Thursday, October 20, 2005
As Bill Hershey reports in the Dayton Daily News, yesterday California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed Ohio's Issue 4, a ballot initiative which would take the job of drawing Ohio's political districts out of the hands of the politicians who currently gerrymander them and turn the job over to an indpendent panel. Issue 4 is one of four reform initiatives on the Ohio ballot this fall.
Governor Schwarzenegger is also supporting California's Prop 77, a ballot measure designed to tackle the same problem - politicians drawing their own districts - as Issue 4 in Ohio.
Voters in both states have been adversely affected by the gerrymandering done by incumbents more interested in staying in office than in representative democracy. Districts in both states have been stacked to ensure victory for one party or the other, reducing voter choice and representation while creating a polarized political atmosphere in which the voice of moderate voters is stifled.
We applaud Governor Schwarzenegger for taking on this issue. Democrats and Republicans alike have lined up against Prop 77 and Issue 4, raising huge sums of money to protect their political fiefdoms. This is not surprising: redistricting reform does not fit into the cozy box of Republican vs. Democrat that so many love to use. Rather, it is voter versus politician.
We stand alongside Governor Schwarzenegger in defense of the rights of voters of California and Ohio, and hope the voters in each state do the same.