Monday, November 14, 2011

Comedian Mike Polk mocks Ohio redistricting

"Hey, everybody! Are you ready to party? Are you ready to talk about about Ohio congressional redistricting? I know I am!"

With that, Cleveland comedian Mike Polk kicks off his three-minute, profanity-laced mockery of the Republicans' redistricting plan for Ohio. "Shady maneuvering," he calls it. He says the snake-y lakeshore district linking Toledo to Cleveland is so skinny, you pretty much have to live in an I-90 rest stop or a lighthouse to be a resident of it.

"Stop HB 319," flashes a message at the end. That means Cleveland's YouTube funnyman (whose recent Browns rant eerily foreshadowed yesterday's game, right down to the Pontbriand jersey) is endorsing the petition drive against the Republicans' map.

The GOP has introduced a revised map since passing HB 319, but a nonpartisan good-government group says it's almost as unfair as the old one. The Democrats' petition drive has given them some leverage, so the legislature may try to come up with a compromise map this week.

Drawing a map that gets bipartisan support would seem like a monumental accomplishment to everyone in Columbus. But the real question isn't whether both parties like a map. It's whether the map is fair to voters -- whether it leads to competitive elections and creates compact districts instead of stringing faraway towns together. (Like the one on the right here, not the one on the left.)

In other words, the real test is whether that lizard-like lakeshore district gets wiped off the map.

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