Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

June 21, 2013

RONNIE ELLIS: Time to let a commission draw legislative maps

FRANKFORT — It’s time to demand some sort of independent, bipartisan commission be given the job of drawing legislative maps every 10 years.

It’s time for the public – voters, taxpayers, the media – to reject the cowardly, selfish excuses of politicians in the General Assembly who oppose allowing someone to draw sensible legislative maps on behalf of voters rather than to protect incumbents.

Thursday, Gov. Steve Beshear announced he’s calling lawmakers back to Frankfort on Aug. 19 to re-draw state Senate, House and judicial districts, a job they’ve twice failed to do, at least legally. It’s a waste of time and money and whatever Gerrymandered plans the Democratic House and Republican Senate pass still won’t serve the public interest or democracy as much as they’ll serve the interests of the authors.

The authors, frankly, won’t give a damn about you, the voter. It’s gotten so bad in the House that Democratic leaders are cannibalizing their Democratic colleagues’ districts for their own self-protection at the risk of their majority.

In 2012, the Democratic controlled House passed a plan – accepted by the Republican controlled Senate – which lumped a dozen Republicans together in the same districts. One Republican district included two, non-contiguous counties, connected by a narrow strip of highway running the length of a third county. Republican Senators acted just as badly. They managed to draw a map which made it impossible for Democratic Sen. Kathy Stein of Lexington to run for re-election when her term ended, effectively disenfranchising voters of an entire Senate district.

At least it didn’t take the courts long to throw it out. So what did the House do in 2013? It drew a map which connects Ashland to Lawrence County by traveling 20 miles down the width of U.S. 23, wrecked fellow Democrat Mike Denham’s district and again lumped a bunch of Republicans together. The Senate didn’t act – it wasn’t out of altruism – so now we’ll have a special session.

Text Only
Columns
  • Mark Maynard: Let’s just forget about it: 04/17/14

    The older I get, the more forgetful I become. Does that sound familiar?

    April 16, 2014

  • Uncovering forgotten treasures

    You know the big difference between me and a hoarder? I mean, except that you can walk through my house and there are none of the disgusting aspects of hoarding in my life.
     

    April 14, 2014

  • Political stories worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.
     

    April 13, 2014

  • 0413timbizcolweb.jpg Tim Preston: Great salmon; finding Dr. Amy; and more Maria: 4/13/14

    It isn’t an especially convenient location unless you happen to be going that way, and if you don’t get there within the next couple of weeks you’ll have to wait until fall to try it out, but I had the best lunch I can remember last week at one of the last places you’d likely think of when pondering where to eat.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restaurant horror stories; garden planning tips

    In my couponing classes, I always had fun with everyone by telling them gross restaurant stories. In encouraging them to eat at home more and save their money, I was also teaching them how much cleaner it is.
     

    April 12, 2014

  • Feeling happy is ...

    Anyone hoping the Ashland-Huntington area will soon overtake Disney World as “the happiest place on Earth” will be waiting awhile.
     

    April 10, 2014

  • 0410markcol.jpg Mark Maynard: Brick House (South Ashland Florist) brings in $13K so far: 04/10/14

    Here’s a 14-name salute coming your way:

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cannon: Take this joint, please: 04/09/14

    Some of the things that occurred during our recent week in Jamaica were unexpected and even a bit weird. I suspect those will be the things we will still clearly remember long after the memories of the hours of lying on the beach have faded. I started to mention them in last week’s column, but opted to save them until a later date in the interest of length.

    April 8, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: March Madness, sadness for Cats

    It’s just another game. That’s the message John Calipari preached profusely throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. It’s typical coachspeak, but Cal’s young Kentucky team clung to the step-by-step approach to produce atypical results.

    April 8, 2014

  • Sweet thoughts on the season

    So far, I’ve been a good girl. Or a pretty good girl anyway. See, I have this thing for Reese’s peanut butter eggs. Homemade peanut butter eggs? Eh. I can take ‘em or leave ‘em.
     

    April 7, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
SEC Zone