Petitions Go Out, GOP Says Compromise Talks Continue

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Democrats and their allies are trying to repeal the Congressional map approved by the Republican-led Legislature.(Photo: Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee)
Democrats and their allies are trying to repeal the Congressional map approved by the Republican-led Legislature.(Photo: Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee)

The fight over Ohio’s newly-passed Congressional map continues, even as Democrats begin an effort to put the map on the ballot for a referendum.

The head of Ohio’s Democratic Party says legislative members who’ve been working to hammer out a compromise on a new map remain far apart. Chris Redfurn says party leaders have mailed out the first patch of petitions to gather signatures for a referendum.

Redfurn says there are plenty of volunteers who are willing to stand outside polling places on Election day to get signatures on those petitions.

“You do the math. You see the infrastructure is in place across the state using a wide, large group of volunteer activists who’ve become engaged through the course of this year in an attempt to stop John Kasich’s right wing agenda.”

Redfern says Ohioans are not happy with the state’s Republican leadership right now. And he says when he shows the recently passed congressional map to people, none of them like it. Redfern says he thinks the map is drawn in a highly partisan way to silence the votes of Democrats throughout the state. And he says Ohioans are ready to vote to get rid of it.

Mike Dittoe, a spokesman for the Ohio House Republican Causus, says negotiations about a new map continue.

“The Speaker and legislative leaders in the majority caucus are continuing to have discussions with legislative leaders in both the house and the senate,” says Dittoe.

Dittoe says reports of an upcoming vote on a compromise map are inaccurate.

Dittoe rejects the notion that a referendum is the only recourse the Democratic party has. There are members of the Democratic house and senate who supported the new congressional map so it’s clear not all members are opposed to the map

While it’s true some African American Democrats supported the initial congressional map because it was kind to minorities in certain areas of the state, some of those same members are now working to get the map changed. The head of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Sandra Williams dismisses reports that a deal is close on a new map. The GOP’s Dittoe says reports that a vote on a new map will happen in the next day are also not correct

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