Ohio Redistricting Trial Balloon

In the midst of the controversy over SB 5 in the Statehouse, a trial balloon was quietly floated regarding redistricting in Ohio. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer (http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2011/03/going_far_afield_to_make_a_min.html), a plan is being considered that would link “most of Cleveland” with “Akron’s predominantly black neighborhoods” to create a majority minority district for current Cleveland representative Marcia Fudge. On a certain level, it makes sense. But the story glosses over how such a district would be created – namely, by making the shaft of the barbell run through the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area. Leaving aside the absurdity of a district “unlike anything ever drawn in Ohio,” the inclusion of a large part of Akron in “Marcia Fudge’s district” should come as no surprise. Akron has been largely written off by the Republican Party. Even the Summit County Republican party, and its kingmaker chairman Alex Arshikoff, ignore Akron, instead focusing virtually exclusively on Akron’s suburbs. If accurate, this plan would appear to begin putting the pieces in place for what Ohio’s Congressional districts will look like after re-districting.