Monday, October 24, 2011

Why Ohio will be Forced to Seek a 2-Point Conversion this Spring

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

Every 10 years, the citizens of this great nation participate in a census to count the people living in each given location. The census numbers are used for the drawing of the U.S. Congressional districts. This is a Constitutional requirement. The majority power in the state generally controls the way the lines are drawn with the state legislature and the governor consenting to the new lines in the form of a bill. This year, my colleagues were given the responsibility of helping Ohio move forward with fair representation. The result has been a rehash of what we have witnessed this entire General Assembly. The attempt to move this state forward and throw the football of progress to our capable receivers, the taxpayers, has been scuttled by passing interference from the other team.

When I was asked to seek the appointment to fill the unexpired term of Representative Jim Zehringer when he was appointed as Director of Department of Agriculture, I was eager to assist Governor Kasich and Speaker Batchelder turn Ohio around. For too long, I had witnessed Ohio back-pedal through a number of administrations from both parties. In 1983, when I came to the Ohio House I voted on a bill that redistricted 21 U.S. Congressman. A few weeks ago I voted on a bill to redistrict 16. We are not competing with the other states. We must work to attract jobs and residents to Ohio.

The most recent census results called for Ohio to lose two U.S. Congressional seats. When the line drawing was complete we voted on a map that resulted in a likely loss of one seat for each party. In doing this we added a likely minority seat in Columbus giving the opportunity for minorities to be elected in two majority minority districts in Ohio. These results seemed to be fair but the opposing side did not agree. The democrats did not provide any alternative maps.

This past November, Ohioans threw the last administration out of office because they had four years to fix this state with no results aside from: increased spending, more regulations, and a credit rating that was plunging. In the first 10 months of his administration, Governor Kasich has signed a series of positive bills that will entice business to call Ohio home. We are on the upward track with more jobs, lower unemployment, and options for young people who want to stay right here in our local communities. There is more to come, but every step of the way, the old guard are looking to stymie our efforts.

I don’t know if you have noticed, but every time I open the paper, it seems there is an effort to “referend” the work we are doing. Their most recent effort is to referend the U.S. Congressional district lines. When a referendum is attempted the bill becomes frozen, this means there are no congressional districts for Ohioans to vote on in March. I believe, the other side hopes these lines will be drawn by unelected judges sitting on a federal bench. No activity can be completed on the congressional primaries until districts are assigned. The decision came down to the wire, but had we held congressional primaries in March our brave men and women overseas would not have been able to vote.

This is right out of the other-side’s politics as usual playbook. They have backed us against a wall in favor of their own self-interest. On Friday, I voted in favor of holding a second primary for congressional and presidential races to be held in June which will allow our troops to have their chance to vote. Additionally, we will maintain the regularly scheduled March primary because we have many candidates who are already active in their filings for U.S. Senate and Ohio Legislature primaries. We had to maintain the March date.

The costs of the additional primary will be covered by the State of Ohio. We cannot ask our local governments to bear the price tag which may exceed 15 million dollars. We are attempting a two-point conversion in an effort to avoid disenfranchising any voters. This is a cost that is going to be troublesome at a time when we slashed our state budget to close an 8 billion dollar budget gap.

I came to Columbus with the intention of helping Governor Kasich turn this state around. The opposing side is committed to keeping Ohio moving in the same backwards direction it has gone for over 30 years. They will stop at nothing to slow-down government and run-out the play clock. Last time they did it with an 8 billion dollar stimulus that messed up the fiscal shape of the state-- this time they are taking you to the cleaners to fund an extra primary.

In closing, I want to make it clear to you: I cast a vote in favor of the second primary to be held in June. There was no-way to have the congressional district battle worked out in time for the March primary election. We had to maintain the March primary because many candidates have begun collecting signatures for their candidacy. Had we not held a primary for these individuals a number of legal problems would have arisen. The only option to allow Ohioans to vote on congressional districts and ensure our military men and women received their absentee ballots for the March primary election was to cast a vote in favor of having a June and March primary. A few weeks ago I supported one primary in June; but this idea was nixed when partisan politics suddenly caused democrat law makers to remove their support for a needed emergency clause. The decision for democrat leaders to withdraw their support for a June primary a month ago was an intentional foul carried out at the last minute in the game.

I fundamentally disagree with this inappropriate spending and I will work hard to find waste in our existing budget to fund the primary. The Ohio Democrats want nothing more, than to see this state suffer in the name of its own self-interest. The party intends to bog down the Kasich administration and slow-down my colleagues so that we cannot carryout our mission to turn this state around. We will not stop. We have a first string quarter-back who is not injured. We intend to complete the two-point conversion no matter how tough his defensive line may get. Our mission is to ensure that all Ohioans are given the opportunity to casts their ballot for our next leaders. We will do everything possible to remain competitive.


  1. The middle class is leaving Ohio because there are no jobs, courtesy of the politicians like you that sat by twidling their thumbs when business after business left the state.
    If you don't produce big time by the next election you too will be swept out of office.

  2. I am so weary of the partisan-based bickering and each side accusing the other of Ohio's economic woes. When you wag your finger at the opposition, 3 fingers are pointing back at you. Quit using the same tired tactic of blaming the other side and fix the problems. Why can't these politicians pay attention to what constituents are saying and quit the blame game?

  3. All this redistricting stuff is entertaining. Let me put it to you this way - if you are a Republican, who do you want to represent you? Another Republican! If you are Dem, you want a Dem! Well, where are the largest quantities of Dems located? The bigger cities where they want the welfare handouts and want to leach off society. Republicans are located outside of the cities primarily. In terms of surface area, Republican majorities probably exist in something like 75% of Ohio's land. If you are a Republican in Darke County, do you really want a Democrat from Dayton as your representative? Of course not! He doesn't represent your interests in the slightest! If you are a social leach Democrat from Cleveland, do you really want a Republican from somewhere like Ashtabula representing you? No, cuz that representative isn't going to preach for your handouts! A person from out of Darke County I know was complaining about how he would live in a Republican district now instead of his Democrat district and called it "unfair." How was it unfair? He just wanted a Democrat representing him!

    In the end, this map works because more Democrats are being represented by Democrats and more Republicans are being represented by Republicans. We can't send three persons from inner-city Cleveland to DC claiming to represent the interests of both those in the city and those in the suburbs and country. It just wouldn't be a true representation. This map allows for a true representation as to how Ohio is broken up - the inner cities are primarily represented by Democrats and the suburbs and country lands are represented by Republicans (assuming the votes go as Democrats are complaining they would).

    If the Democrats want to cry, let 'em. Take it to court! Legal precedence points towards the map being approved and the Democrats doing what they do best - continuing to waste taxpayer money.

  4. 7:29 AM - You are what is wrong with politics today. Your views that one political party is great and the other is bad is simply proof that you have no idea what is going on. Anyone who votes merely due to political party has no firm grasp of the issues, the politics of the past or reality in general.

    Vote by party and you are a fool!

  5. Yep 7:29, we certainly are in this financial mess as the fault of Democrats. I guess Republicans have never controlled the Whitehouse or Congress or the Ohio Legislature or the Governors office. It's people like you who will keep us continually mired in problems.

  6. Redistricting and making sausage both give you gas and high cholestral

  7. Redistricting does not really mean anything for the people of Darke County. Our representative whether R or D will not care what the people think, because they know what is best for us all. Right Mr. Buchy

  8. I am in my mid fiftys - Mr. Buchy is probably in his seventy's. I want you young people to know that there is about 10-15 yrs. these dumb/old people that don't understand (real) democracy, technology, ecology, etc. etc. etc. will probably be dead. I hope that the talent that I see in your generation will be able to save towns like ours...countries like ours. I hope you never give up. Get out and make a difference....keep talking to people....keep writing....keep voting!!!

  9. a couple of years ago, or so, the repubs ask the dems about an impartial committee draw the redistricting map, the dems refused because they thought they would still have the majority after the election, 11/2/10 kind of threw that idea out
    they got no one to blame but themselves for their own stupidity


Featured Posts

/* Track outbound links in Google Analytics */