James Williamson guest blog: Imminent rebellion: Rhetoric or forewarning?

Editor’s note:  Ohio native (and current Nevada resident) James Williamson (one of my younger brothers) is back with another in his “Imminent Rebellion” series, which exams the power struggle between states and the U.S. federal government.  This blog article zeros in on the secession petitions forewarded from several states to the U.S. government, but James has been writing about the alienation between states and the federal government for quite some time.  The other guest blog articles in the “Imminent Rebellion” series, starting with the oldest one and progressing to the one just prior to this, can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.–DJW

Imminent Rebellion:  Rhetoric or Forewarning?

There has been a surge of news regarding the secession petitions filed on the White House’s We the People website.  Since I was talking about it over a year ago (you can see my previous blogs on the subject) I’m going to weigh in on the action now that it is coming much closer to front and center.

The latest information that I have is that someone has filed a petition for secession in all 50 states.  I will be the first to admit that many of these petitions have insignificant amounts of support and probably do not reflect popular opinion.  But is it all just talk?  So far.  Talk always precedes actions in the political world.  Is there enough talk that we should be worried?  Worried? Not yet. Concerned? Yes.

There are a few signs that this is no longer just chatter from the fringe elements of society.  One of the signs is the fact that the media is responding to it.  Another is that there are counter petitions being signed.  Another is the fact that several of the states have exceeded the 25,000 signers required to trigger a response from the White House.  As of this writing Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Louisiana all exceeded the 25,000 signature threshold.  Texas, of course, is leading the way with just over 105,000 signers and Louisiana a distant second with just under 35,000 petitioners.  What is also significant is that the Texas secession petition has more support than any other issue on the “We the People” site.  Perhaps the most significant signal that this idea is not as laughable as the pundits would have you believe is the fact that both the governor of Texas and the governor of Alabama have made statements about secession (not in favor of) already.

Support for secession will only grow with time, and it’s not really about Obama.  Obama (along with congress) is the symptom not the disease.  The cankerous disease that will rip this country in half is the lust for entitlements.  What do I mean by that? Everyone wants something without having to pay for it.  It can’t continue.  When a business gets bloated and can’t pay its bills what does it do?  It contracts, gets back to its core lines of business, and sheds unprofitable business activity.  When a government gets bloated and can’t pay its bills, what does it do?   It spends even more of course.  That’s because entitlements are more addicting than drugs.  If you don’t believe me look at the news coming out of Greece, Spain, and Italy.  Once you are hooked on them you can’t stop . . . mostly because you forget how to get things like food, clothing, and shelter on your own.  It spreads like the plague too because once your neighbor figures out you are getting stuff for free they want some too.  Eventually the consumers outnumber the producers and the producers get crushed.  It’s happened many times already, just not here in the United States.  Most people who argue against me on this point out that we haven’t gone bankrupt after nearly 100 years of ever increasing entitlement spending.  Study your history.  It took hundreds of years for Rome to collapse financially.  Rome had “progressed” nearly as far as we have.  They didn’t recognize gay marriage but homosexuality was commonplace and so were abortions.  Toward the end of the Roman period nearly 1/3 of the empire was on the government payroll and the regulations were so plentiful, they regulated how much weight you could pack on a horse.  I wish I could resurrect a few of the Romans from that time so they could warn us.  Would we listen?

I digress.  Secession:  Most of the pundits in the media point out that there is no legal mechanism for secession.  Some suggest and some directly say that secession is illegal.  That, in and of itself, is a pretty silly observation to make.  Of course it’s not legal!  Why would the government allow itself to be dissolved? That’s committing suicide.  Government will always protect itself. Challenging the authority of any government is the fastest way to get persecuted by it.  I would also point out that our declaring independence from Great Britain was not legal either. Secession and revolution are not a matter of law.  They are highly extra-legal activities by nature, so declaring them illegal and therefore insisting that such won’t happen is about as naive as it gets.

I don’t know what will happen.  I don’t know if Texas will secede.  What I do know is this:  We don’t live in 1860.  Just because it turned out one way the last time doesn’t mean it will end the same a second time.

Gallup says distrust in MSM hits new high

Thanks to this story from Gallup, I get to double-down on my prior post chiding the MSM for straining credibility.

In short, in all the years that Gallup has conducted polls on trust in the media, when it comes to political coverage, the level of mistrust has never reached 60% before, but this year it has.

60%.  Even if you are not a math wiz, you know that 60% is a majority.  The presidential election popular vote results are likely to be less lopsided than that.

There are partisan views on media trust, Gallup found.  The majority of Democrats still trust the media.  The majority of independents and Republicans do not.

So, does this mean that Democrats are the most avid consumers of political news from the MSM?  Actually, no.  Gallup reports that Republicans pay more attention to political news than either Democrats or independents.

My own suspicion is that those who most closely follow the political news become the most acutely aware of media misdirection.

My own message to the MSM is: Stop embarrassing yourself.  We have freedom of the press, so you may pose as emperor as much as you like, but the majority sees that you are wearing no clothes.

To the MSM: A primer on voting in legislative and executive branch elections

To the mainstream media:  I have been very unhappy with how the MSM is always asking the wrong questions.  Of course, there is freedom of the press guaranteed by the Constitution, so you have carte blanche to keep asking the wrong questions.  I might note, though, that, for those of us who aren’t gullible enough to believe everything you try to spoonfeed us, such persistence has not only shred your credibility a long time ago, but it also prompts people like me to run to my blog to publicly call attention to your lapses in credibility.

The MSM has been making much ado about polls that ask questions like:

“Who is more in touch with the middle class?”

“Which candidate has more in common with you?”

“Which candidate is more like you?”

Etc.

The problem with these questions is that they are being posed in the context of the race for POTUS.  The more appropriate context for such polling would be in legislative races, such as Ohio’s U.S. Senate race between Josh Mandel and Sherrod Brown.  For the Presidential race between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, a more appropriate question would be something like, “Which candidate has the better track record and resume as a leader and administrator?”

The U.S. Constitution not only separated our federal government into three separate branches, (executive, legislative, and judicial), but it also inserted a system of checks and balances to make certain that one branch of government would not be able to overstep its bounds because the other two branches were designed to rein in such abuses of power.  The executive branch carries out and enforces the laws; the legislative branch writes the laws; and the judicial branch interprets the laws and ensures their fidelity to the Constitution.

In addition to the checks and balances exercised between branches, there are checks and balances between the people and government, between the amateur and the professional, between the lay person and the politician. 

In the judicial branch, when a defendant is on trial, a judge presides.  The judge is a professional.  A federal judge is appointed primarily on the basis of his/her resume.  Prosecutors and defenders, also professionals, play a large role in how a trial plays out.  The case, however, is not decided by any of the professionals.  Conviction or acquittal rests in the hands of the twelve amateurs that constitute the jury.

The executive branch should be led by a professional.  A track record or resume should clearly indicate an executive’s leadership and administrative acumen.  The professional exective carries out the laws.

How do the people make sure that the laws are fair to them?  People elect legislative representatives from amongst themselves to convene together for the making of laws.  Our nation’s founders envisioned these as amateurs.  They weren’t intended to stay in office for very long.  They weren’t intended to become life-long professional politicians, especially not in the U.S. House of Representatives, where terms only last two years.  It was thought that ordinary citizens would run for election to Congress, would spend a short season there, if elected, and would return to their place in the private sector after spending that short season in office representing the citizens of their districts.  In Ohio, there are only three basic criteria for eligibility to be elected to Congress: eligibility to vote (a citizen in good standing); residence (Ohio is the state of residence); and age (at least 25 for the U.S. House of Representatives and at least 30 for the U.S. Senate).  The MSM is often guilty of promoting additional criteria to be considered in selecting legislators (such as citing “experience,” or “familiarity with the law”) that are at cross-purposes with those of the framers of the Constitution.  Because the MSM puts too much premium on “experience,” we have too many career politicians who have become insiders more beholden to special interests than to constituents.  Regular legislative turnover would better ensure that lawmakers are in touch with the people, as they have not been too far removed in time and space from the mainstream population of their districts.  The longer a lawmaker serves, the more time lapses since he or she had circulated in the mainstream, and the more the Beltway insulates them and isolates them from the pressing everyday concerns of voters.  Because the MSM puts too much premium on “familiarity with the law,” we have too many lawyers in the legislative branch who have created too many perks and opportunities for their own professions at the expense of others.  Ideally, our legislature would look like a cross-section of our population. 

That’s why I think the pollsters asking questions about a candidate’s compatibility with the voters are among the best questions to ask in legislative races.

I endorse Josh Mandel for U.S. Senate.

In the race for President, though, the bar is set much higher.  I reject high unemployment as the new normal.  I reject a $16 trillion debt as the new normal.  I reject a nuclear Iran as the new normal.  I reject redistribution of wealth as the new normal.  I reject dead diplomats and embassies ablaze as the new normal.  I reject identity politics (us vs. them) as the new normal.  For these reasons, I must reject President Obama’s bid for a second term.

It does not matter to me that Mitt Romney is far higher up the income scale from me than Barack Obama is.  It does not matter to me that I don’t follow equestrian sporting events, like Romney does.  It does not matter to me that I do fill out March Madness brackets, like Barack Obama does.  I don’t need a POTUS who is just like me.  I want a professional, not an amateur.  I need a leader.  I want an American turnaround.  Show me the candidate that has the strongest resume as a turnaround artist.  Show me who has a track record of success as a leader.  At the RNC, Ann Romney, someone who should know, promised me, “This man [Mitt Romney] will not fail.”  Obama already has failed.  The choice could not be more clear.  Mitt Romney is the candidate I want to be POTUS next January.

James Williamson guest blog: Somber thoughts

Editor’s note: James Williamson, an Ohio native, currently resides in Nevada.  He has written several other guest blogs for Buckeye RINO, for which I thank him–DJW

SOMBER THOUGHTS

I am an outspoken person.  Everyone that works with me knows that I am not afraid to talk politics.  That’s because I often do.  With the recent attacks on the American embassies in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen there has been much to talk about and yet many seem reluctant to say much.  There is something ominous about what is happening.  I think the general populous now senses what they least want is about to come to pass:  Peace is quickly fleeing the world.

The day after Mitt Romney spoke in Israel and re-affirmed their right to defend themselves I heard two people at work say they were having second thoughts about Romney for fear he would invade Iran and start another war.  I’m not sure why they came to that conclusion from Romney’s remarks but that was enough for them to talk about voting for Obama.   One of them will probably vote for Obama regardless, but the other is the one that concerns me.  He was favoring Romney, mostly on the grounds that he would have more fiscal discipline.   As time goes on I get the feeling that this sentiment is more and more prevalent.  This makes me uneasier than ever about this election.

First, let me start by saying that war is inevitable.  I am now convinced of that.  It is not a matter of if but when.  Unfortunately everyone who remembers a time like we are going through right now is in his or her late 80’s.

We may not want to face up to what is about the happen.  We may not want to be involved.  We may not want to rise to the occasion, but what is about to happen will come whether or not we are ready and whether or not we want it.

Those who know me well know that I have often said that no one will make any serious attempts at world conquest until the United States is too weak to fight–militarily, economically, or politically, does not matter much (although I believe they are inter-related).  The end result is the same:  freedom to conquer without fear of repercussions.    I think that day has almost arrived.

Already the Obama administration has sent signals to the Middle East that the US will not fight back nor will they leave.  The warships and marines being sent are just a token gesture.  I don’t think the president is serious about protecting our embassies.  (I don’t think he is serious about anything except getting re-elected right now…)  This will happen again.  I will say it now before it’s even abated.  This will happen again, only next time there will be more casualties.

Those who study history will be able to draw many, many parallels between what is happening now and the period before WWI and the period before WWII.  I will not take the time to explore them all here.  I will say however that we do have a choice.

This is not really about the election for president, although it is an indicator of the will of the voting public.  This is about whether we are ready to defend our country when it is attacked.  I don’t know anyone who wants war.  I don’t.  I especially don’t want war in my neighborhood where my children would be exposed to it.  That is what the United States military is all about.  Taking the fight to the enemy so that such things never happen on our soil.  The irony of that is that our current administration seems to think that the Department of Defense is the only expendable government agency there is.

The constitution delegated very specific powers to the federal government.  One of the most important was the ability to provide for the common defense.  There is no constitutional mandate to provide health care to everyone, much less free contraception.  There is a mandate to protect the American public from foreign invasion.  So why are we gutting the military budget so we can offer everyone something they should have the responsibility of securing themselves?

With freedom comes responsibility.  With freedom also comes the ability to succeed or fail.  With liberty comes the responsibility of constant vigil to preserve that liberty, otherwise it will be lost.  Ease and comfort are not guaranteed, nor are they even to be expected in a free society.  When the Israelites left Egypt and wandered in the wilderness, many of them complained about the difficulty of the journey and yearned for the “flesh-pots” of Egypt.  If we as a nation yearn for those “flesh-pots” to the point we are derelict in our duty to protect and defend our rights and liberty, we will lose them.

Who gets elected in November may affect the timing of the outbreak but regardless of who is in the White House this nation will face a test.  Will we make the sacrifices necessary to prepare for the worst?  Or will we bury our heads in the sand, ignore the signs of what is coming, and clamor for more entitlements?

I hope we all choose the former.

Hypocrisy of Ted Strickland at the DNC

At the DNC on 9/4/2012, Ted Strickland said President Obama is “a president who stands up for average working people.”  What would Ted Strickland know about that? Strickland never stood up for average working people as governor of Ohio.  His policies increased the number of unemployed people of Ohio.

If Strickland was concerned about the survivability of the auto industry, why were Ohio Democrat politicians around the state, from people like Joe Koziura to people like Jimmy Dimora, empowered to shake down companies via fines or kickbacks in ways that cannibalized free enterprise in Ohio for decades without being held accountable?  Strickland could have improved the business climate for the auto industry in Ohio, but he did not.

Strickland has a problem with Americans who offshore money?  Really?  Strickland single-handedly handed over Ohio to the gambling industry, the ultimate predatory industry that targets the working class and sends its fraudulent ill-gotten gains offshore.  On top of that, organized crime, that also preys upon the working class, now has a permit to launder their money inside Ohio’s state lines now that casinos are opening for business.

The Republicans lie about waiving welfare’s work requirement?  The President’s executive order on the matter is not written in plain English, so parsing the words themselves is not exactly illuminating. Therefore, we need to look at the function of the executive order.  If the executive order did not change the work requirement, then why does it exist?  If there’s no change, why not rescind it?  It still stands, so evidently it represents a change of the requirement.  It functions as a waiver.  Therefore, it is a waiver.  This is a problem because the statute specifically forbids the exercise of presidential power to alter that requirement.  The Democrats lie.

But as far as calling out someone for lying, let me take the opportunity, once more, to call Strickland out as a liar of the Nth degree.  Prior to his gubernatorial election, he postured against the gambling industry.  During his term as governor, he ushered those wolves into the fold so they could glut themselves upon the sheep.  Turncoat.  What a whopper of a lie.

Strickland, who worsened the labor market in Ohio, eventually fed Ohio to the wolves.  He could easily conjure up a fiction of Santa Clause laying off reindeer and outsourcing elves because, in reality, he, himself, has actually done something many times worse.

James Williamson guest blog: Mitt Romney, Hispanics, and the Vice Presidential nominee

Editor’s note:  I am grateful to one of my younger brothers, James Williamson, for contributing another guest op/ed to Buckeye RINO.  In the interest of disclosure, James is a native Ohioan who currently resides with his wife and four children in another swing state: Nevada. Nevada, of course, has a much larger Hispanic population than Ohio does. James has attended several GOP functions while residing in Nevada, including attending the presidential caucuses earlier in the year and serving as a delegate to Nevada’s Clark County Republican Party Convention.  James has a couple of things in common with Mitt Romney.  First of all, James is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, or Mormon) like Romney.  That being said, Romney was not James’ first pick for the nomination.  When Rick Perry first announced his candidacy (before it imploded), James was on board for Perry.  By the time the Nevada caucuses were held, the field had been winnowed down to Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul.  James caucused for Paul and went to the county convention as a Paul delegate.  Now that it is clear that Romney is the party nominee, James supports Romney against Obama.  The second thing James has in common with Romney is that he served a Mormon mission in a foreign country.  Romney was a missionary in France.  My brother, James, was a missionary in Ecuador.  James is fluent in Spanish (as is the rest of his family), and circulates among those in Las Vegas’ Spanish-speaking community.  Therefore, though he’s a gringo, I tend to lend some credence to James’ viewpoint on this topic. –DJW

MITT ROMNEY, HISPANICS, AND THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE

There is much talk about the Hispanic or Latino votes this election and whom they will vote for.  Many experts believe that it is a crucial swing group that may decide the presidential election.  I believe that may be true. Having now become the largest minority group, they certainly have sufficient numbers to have a significant political voice.  Perhaps more importantly they are not loyal to either party and will vote for whomever they believe has more to offer them.

The desire to capture the Hispanic voting community has many suggesting that Mitt Romney should pick a Hispanic running mate to improve his chances with that group.  While I think that the Hispanic vote is still in play I don’t think that simply picking a Hispanic running mate will be enough to tip the scales in Romney’s favor.

I’d like to weigh in on both issues:  1) the Hispanic vote and 2) the VP selection.

The Hispanic Vote

While some may believe that Obama has the Hispanic vote locked up I have some first-hand evidence that he does not.  I was recently riding in a vehicle with two Hispanic women that were discussing the election.  While the women both reside in Henderson, Nevada (hardly a bastion of liberalism…) I’m sure that their views are not unique among the voting (and, yes, both are voting citizens) Hispanic community.  Both women had voted for Obama and expressed disappointment in his performance.  Both indicated that they would probably not vote for him again.  Unfortunately both women had some reservations about voting for Romney.  They said that Romney did not inspire them.  Moral to the story:  the Hispanic vote is still in play but Romney better get moving if he wants it.

So how do you get the Hispanic vote if you are Mitt Romney?  If I were running this is what I would do:

1.              Remind the Hispanic community that Obama has only put a temporary measure in place regarding immigration and is only a partial solution.  A permanent solution requires the cooperation of Congress.  Obama is not going to get that cooperation if he is re-elected.  Hispanics that are paying attention know this.  Even if Obama is re-elected, the work permits that the White House plans to issue to immigrants who came as minors will only be good for 10 years.  They will not have full residency status and will have no path to citizenship unless Congress acts.   After 10 years (or less, if someone else is elected, or someone takes the case to the Supreme Court), the “dreamers” will wake up to reality that they do not have permanent legal status.  This is not a solution this is political pandering.  The pandering is only necessary because of argument #2.

2.              Point out that Obama spent his time, energy, and political will urging congress to pass the Affordable Care Act instead of immigration reform.  Instead of spending an inordinate amount of time and political capital on a bill that is not only unpopular, but also unconstitutional (Chief Justice Roberts overlooked the fact that by defining the penalty as a tax, the bill became an appropriations bill . . . that originated in the . . . Senate!  If I’m right, and Obamacare, by way of Roberts’ ruling, is an appropriation, then it needed to be originated by the House! However, I’m completely open to the possibility that Roberts was wrong on ruling that it was a tax, hence the bill is unconstitutional, by a 5-4 decision, in that the Commerce Clause does not uphold it!), the president should have lobbied for comprehensive immigration reform. Yes, it is a difficult issue, and can be divisive, but it is an enumerated power in the Constitution and clearly a responsibility of the federal government, a responsibility that the democratic Congress and White House abdicated during the 2009-2010 session.  That, of course, needs to be followed with assurances that immigration will be addressed during the first year in office.  Bush promised immigration reform, received the Hispanic vote, and then failed to deliver after three attempts.  Obama promised immigration reform, received the Hispanic vote, and then didn’t even try to deliver until it was too late.  Romney has to convince the Hispanic community that he can do better.

3.              Hispanic issues are everyone’s issues.  When I was attending a town hall meeting here in Nevada I managed to get on the Spanish news that night even though I am not Hispanic and Spanish is my second language.  The reason is because the town hall was about e-verify and several of the attendees complained about being stopped by police that asked them for their social security numbers.  I stood up and said that this was not just an issue for Hispanics.  I was stopped by a BLM officer who demanded my social security number and even threatened to broadcast it over his radio if I didn’t provide it willingly. (This is why I really don’t like the BLM.)  These issues affect everyone.  If the police can demand proof of residency or a social security card from a Hispanic they can also demand it from an Asian, African, or Caucasian.  I personally don’t want to carry my passport everywhere I go.

There are many other messages that will get the attention of the Hispanics but I believe these three are the key to opening up the dialogue.

The Vice Presidential Selection

While I don’t think that the VP pick will greatly influence the Hispanic vote I do think it will impact the election if it garners media attention.  Contrary to popular opinion, I think Sarah Palin helped the McCain campaign.  It wasn’t enough, but it brought media attention to a campaign that desperately needed it.  This time the Republican still desperately needs media attention but one other factor is very different:  A Democrat is the incumbent.  In today’s world of anti-incumbent fervor, the challenger has a much better chance of winning than 8 years ago.

The biggest challenge that Romney faces is that people are not excited about him being president.  Many of them will vote for Romney just to vote against Obama.  Romney needs people to vote for him and I think the right VP candidate will help that if it is coupled with a higher-energy campaign.  Romney is sending the right messages, but his delivery is not energizing the voters who are wary after being burnt by Obama.

Voters like Romney’s business aptitude.  We need it right now.  They also like the idea of American exceptionalism and, with that, generally like Romney’s foreign policy.  What they don’t like is Romney’s perceived vanilla flavoring.  He is viewed by many as just another politician who won’t be able to control the beauracracy or slow the entitlement tsunami.

How can the VP help that perception?  Pick a high-energy, relatively unknown conservative that does not live or work in Washington DC, preferably a resident of a swing state.  Someone like Palin with one difference:  Don’t pick a first term governor.

I don’t know exactly who that person is.  I wouldn’t pick any of the other Republican candidates for president.  (Although I might pick Ron Paul as Secretary of the Treasury.)  Mitch Daniels has taken another job.  Marco Rubio is already working in Washington.  Susana Martinez and Scott Walker are still in their first term.  Donald Trump would be viewed as a corporate crony.  Arnold Schwarzenegger is not eligible for the office.

Who does that leave?  Ken Blackwell? Wayne Allen Root?  Joe the Plumber?

Who would you pick?

David Arredondo guest blog: About Ohio’s New Congressional Districts

Editor’s note:  David Arredondo is a Lorain resident, very involved in the Lorain community and a highly visible member of the Coalition for Hispanic/Latino Issues & Progress (CHIP).  He is the vice chair for the Lorain County Republican Party.  He’s often a featured guest on WEOL radio to discuss his work with international students at Lorain County Community College (LCCC) as well as sharing a center-right perspective on political issues.  He’s also appeared as a Republican pundit on Feagler & Friends, which airs on the PBS affiliate in Cleveland, WVIZ.  Professionally, David Arredondo is the Director of International Student Services at Lorain County Community College.

ABOUT OHIO’S NEW CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS

Elections have consequences and it is clear that the GOP has had the upper hand on redistricting following the census in 1990, 2000, and 2010. Given this trend, it is entirely possible that we can expect more of the same in 2021. Our current law dictates that the state legislature is required to re-draw congressional district lines based on the census results and this census shows that Ohio has lost enough residents to warrant a loss of 2 seats. One of the requirements is that each district must be comprised of a similar number of residents. This time it is about 720,000 residents.

Another requirement is that the plan must provide for “majority-minority” districts which means that a significant number of black residents must be grouped together so as not to dilute their voting power. So the plan must adhere to this or risk being thrown out and re-drawn. Republicans have done as such the past three times and so first, Louis Stokes, then Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and now Marcia Fudge have the district seat in Cuyahoga County set aside for them.

This means that the plan is not democratic giving an equal opportunity for all candidates. Even if Republicans, or Democrats for that matter, wanted to create a fair, non-partisan plan giving all citizens equal opportunity to run for Congress or vote for a congressman in a 50-50 district, it is nearly impossible given the Voting Rights Act requirement providing for a Democratic Party set-aside seat.

The current Voting Rights Act is a relic of the last century and of a time that no longer exists. It is time for it to be abolished in so far as it perpetuates unnecessary practices such as congressional minority seat set-asides and provisions for bi-lingual ballots. It essentially sets-aside a Democratic seat based on race or ethnicity. The days of lasting institutional racism are long past.

If you want proof of how far we’ve come, just look at the faces of recently elected governors in New Mexico, Nevada, South Carolina, and Louisiana—all Asian-, or Hispanic-Americans and all Republicans. Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American Republican was elected senator from Florida. Here is substantial proof that so-called minorities can be elected state-wide without set aside districts. Six of the sixty-three new GOP congressmen elected in 2010 were Hispanic-Americans and two African-American. None was from a majority-minority district. One new Puerto Rican congressman was elected from Idaho. How many Puerto Rican voters might there be in Idaho?

And Republicans are supposed to be bigots?

For self-serving purposes, former Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is spreading the word that Democrats dropped the ball last year by not offering a new law providing for a reform of the Ohio congressional redistricting process. She claims that Democrats’ hubris precluded them from working with Republicans, namely then-Senator Jon Husted. Nonsense, sheer nonsense. I have my doubts about the reality of such a scenario given that at least as early as summer 2010, polls showed that some state races would be toss-ups, the House could shift back to GOP majority and add seats in the Senate. I saw no speculation anywhere that Democrats would run the table and win the House, Senate and governorship. Even if Democrats wanted to pass a law for redistricting reform, GOP Senate leader Paul Harris would never have approved. He, not Jon Husted, would have been the decider on such a ploy.

Within the past few weeks more talk has surfaced, primarily from media pundits and aggrieved Democrats like Brunner, to change the current redistricting law, if need be, by a ballot referendum. It seems these days ballot initiatives are the only means that Democrats have to push their agenda. No doubt they believe that voters have forgotten that a few short years ago in 2005, Democrats and their Academic elite MSM allies proposed not one, but four initiatives to change the redistricting process, provide for Early Voting, and a reorganization of the Secretary of States office, among other things I recall. All four of these so-called “reform” initiatives” failed by no less than 2-1 margins, even in Cuyahoga County. I don’t agree that Ohio is a 50-50 state. Certainly over the past twenty years Republicans have largely had control of the state offices as well as the legislature. Democratic dominance is long in the past. The majority of “likely” Ohio voters are Republicans and Democrats, partisan voters. I can’t see how anything has changed to expect a different outcome for a redistrict initiative today or next year.

So in 2010, the GOP won 13 Ohio districts, Democrats 5. It would appear that the Republican redistrict map was an exercise in ensuring re-election for most incumbents, both Democrat and Republican save for three. Republicans were more than generous in giving up one seat and creating a possibly new minority seat in Columbus for a Democrat while the Democrats only lost one seat.

Those on the bubble are: Democrats Marcy Kaptur, Dennis Kucinich and Betty Sutton from Northern Ohio and Republicans Steve Austria and Mike Turner from the Dayton area. Two have no seat and one has a chance for a seat in an adjacent district in which she’s have to beat the Republican incumbent.

Right now a “death match” is shaping up between Kucinich and Kaptur in the 9th District. Since this includes much of Lorain County which is Sutton’s district, I wouldn’t discount the possibility that she takes on Kaptur and Kucinich rather than run against Renacci in the 16th.

Last but not least a change needs to be made whereby college students are allowed to register and vote in districts where they attend school: Columbus, Oberlin etc. as well as their home districts. Our system does not have portable registration such that you only have one residence to register and vote. College students do. Whether or not some or all vote multiple times at school and at home is unknown but the possibility exists that some do. That is fraudulent and needs to be fixed along with other measures. It is my understanding that currently the Cuyahoga voting rolls show more than one million registered voters with an eligible voting population of fewer than 800,000. The city of Oberlin has more registered voters than residents. The current electoral system leaves a lot to be desired.