As the bickering between Democrats and Republicans continues over a congressional redistricting map in Ohio, the AP reveals the influence wielded by House Speaker John Boehner in the map drafting process.
The National Republican Congressional Committee as well a representative for Beohner each had a notable say in the process. The money grafs in the AP story:
Documents obtained through a public records request by the Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting show Tom Whatman, executive director of a congressional campaign effort called Team Boehner, legislative leaders, mapmaking consultants and the National Republican Congressional Committee participating in the process.
The correspondence includes a pledge by GOP Senate President Tom Niehaus to deliver "a map that Speaker Boehner fully supports." As the process kicked off this summer, William Batchelder, Republican speaker of the Ohio House, had said he expected Boehner to have a role -- though he also said he'd listen to U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat.
A September note from Whatman includes a reference to "someone important to us all":
"Guys: really really sorry to ask but can we do a small carve out down 77 in Canton and put Timken in the 16th district," Whatman wrote on Sept. 12. After the request is approved, Whatman replies, "Thanks guys. Very important to someone important to us all."
A map passed earlier this year in the state legislature was spearheaded by Republicans, and gives the GOP majorities in 12 out of 16 districts.
In November, Republicans tried to pass an alternate map with the help of some Democrats in the hopes of avoiding a ballot referendum. That proposal failed.
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