Skip to comments.How Rep. Steve Austria Became a Sacrificial Republican (redistricting)
Posted on 01/17/2012 7:53:21 AM PST by Clintonfatigued
When the Ohio Legislature was tasked with eliminating two Congressional seats with the decennial redistricting, the delegation was on notice. And with Republicans holding a 13-5 advantage, one of their own was likely to be on the chopping block.
How Rep. Steve Austria got the short end of the stick was the result of a last-minute deal that came together on Dec. 14, the last day of the Ohio Houses 2011 session.
(Excerpt) Read more at rollcall.com ...
This was a bad decision, dumb at best. Steve Austria could have been a star within the caucus and they just threw him under the bus. The GOP really is the stupid party, as if their pushing of Romney on the rank-and-file weren’t proof enough.
Yes, the same thing has been done to Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, LA.
I disagree. Turner is in my district, but I know Austria (had his son in class). The simple fact is that Turner’s recent voting record on the issues has been more consistently conservative than Austria’s. Moreover, Turner-—due to his time as Dayton mayor-—still draws well from the Dayton area whereas Austria doesn’t. So on both the ideological and pragmatic grounds, this was the right move.
The sitch in Louisiana is different. There is no way to not draw a majority Black seat centered in NOLA. So there was no choice but to put 2 Republicans together. I hope Landry wins cause Boustany decided to be a little *itch and support a democrat remap plan that would have been better for him but put a second seat in danger of being won by the rats.
In Ohio the GOP mappers decided to screw over Austira in order to strethen other Republican districts by creating a new Columbus based rat seat. Not sure if it was the right move or not. Either way I feel bad for Austria.
I have long thought that Boustany (a Protestant from Cajun Country) was our best candidate to take out Landrieu, but I was disappointed to hear that he was working behind the scenes to draw a safer district for himself to the detriment of keeping only one Democrat in the House delegation. It should have been a no-brainer to draw an all-Cajun LA-03 for Boustany and Landry to fight over, with Scalise’s LA-01 being limited to the New Orleans suburbs in St. Tammany, Jefferson and St. Charles Parishes plus St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes; the LA-04 could then be drawn north-south from Shreveport to Lake Charles, the LA-5 could have a normal shape, and the LA-06 could take in white parts of the Baton Rouge area plus the Florida Parishes for 5 safe GOP districts, with black parts of New Orleans and Baton Rouge (and maybe St. Landry if you still need more population) placed together in a hyper-Democrat, black-majority LA-02.
As for the OH remap, I’m not a big fan, not the least due to what they did to Austria—while they had to place two Republicans in one district, it should have been Jean Schmidt and Bill Johnson along the Ohio River. Regarding the creation of a Dem district in Columbus, it was pretty much a necessity, since even had they split Franklin County three ways (Franklin County was previously split two ways, with a third CD getting a smallish piece of it) and combined with GOP suburbs it would result in three very marginal CDs that could easily go Democrat, and the three CDs would gobble up GOP counties that were needed to prop up CDs that had just been recaptured from the Dems.
However, if you’re going to create a Dem district, you might as well go all the way, so I would have drawn a black-majority CD that would stretch from Cincinnati to Dayton to Columbus, picking up other Dem areas in between (including Springfield). That über-Democrat CD would have made all of the surrounding CDs safely Republican and it would have made it very, very difficult for the Dems to draw 3 or 4 Dem CDs in SW and central OH if they controlled redistricting next time because the black-majority Cinci-Dayton-Columbus CD would presumably be protected under the Voting Rights Act and unpacking it would be “retrogression.” And the creation of such a district would have likely attracted votes from several black Democrat state legislators, making it easier to pass the map without having to clear procedural hurdles. It would be a horrendous gerrymander, albeit not much worse than other black-majority CDs, and it would have been a brilliant move had the OH GOP had the gonads to try something like that.