Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

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
Local News
  • News in brief, 07/31/14

    About 450 marijuana plants were confiscated during an eradication effort in Lawrence County on Tuesday.

    July 30, 2014

  • 0731facelift1.JPG Painters finishing up work at ACTC

    When Ashland Community and Technical College students return to campus Aug. 18, they will find fresh paint, clean windows and pressure-washed brickwork on the college’s original building on College Drive.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Night Moves on tap for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairview school district being investigated

    State education investigators were scheduled to arrive in the Fairview school district this morning to interview school officials.

    July 30, 2014

  • Advisory committee on landfill to meet

    Members of the county’s new advisory committee regarding Big Run Landfill enforcement are encouraged to attend the group’s first meeting next week.
    Committee facilitator Mike Clevenger of Cannonsburg said the panel will meet the first Monday of each month, starting next week. For now, all meetings will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Boyd County Community Center.

    July 30, 2014

  • Highway dedicated in Morehead man’s name

    During Wednesday morning’s highway dedication ceremony for late airman Daniel N. Fannin, 30, of Morehead, the man was honored as a Kentucky hero for dedicating his life to the U.S. Air Force until his untimely death last year.

    July 30, 2014

  • Stumbo questions Noah’s Ark incentives, backs off on expanded gambling

    Democratic Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo on Wednesday questioned the constitutionality of state incentives for a Noah’s Ark tourist attraction in Grant County.

    July 30, 2014

  • Night Moves for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August in downtown Ashland from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • ‘Arts in the Vines’ will be in conjunction with U.S. 60 Yard Sale

    Offering a different taste of life in Carter County, the owners of RockSprings Winery are inviting locals and visitors to the U.S. 60 Yard Sale to spend some time in their vineyards during the first “Arts in the Vines” from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.

    July 30, 2014

  • Grimes zeroes in on women’s issues with latest ad

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is out with a third television ad posing questions from Grimes’ supporters to Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    July 30, 2014