We have come to know it as gerrymandering - as in Elbridge Gerry and salamander - and if you've have a chance to look at the jigsaw puzzle that the Republicans at the Statehouse have proposed in their redistricting map you'll get a pretty good idea of what matters the most in politics. We must suffer it with new census figures every 10 years and it will be uglier this year with Ohio's loss of two more congressional seats.
In their wisdom the GOPers have proposed a ribbon of a district (9th) that connects Toledo with Cleveland! Still in an innovative mood, the new map would link Summit County to Cuyahoga, Medina, Trumbull and Geauga Counties and possibly Toronto. That hasn't been decided as yet. The district that slices through Akron appears to have been drawn by a drunken cubist painter. Or M.C. Escher.
Alas, Akron. The city once was well represented solely by the late John Seiberling, followed by Tom Sawyer, both of whom were tightly ensconced in the area's history, identity and needs. A decade ago, the yearning of local Republican officials to get rid of Sawyer (the former Akron mayor) carved out a new district heavily weighted by Youngstown voters. When the GOP redistricting crew wound up its work , Summit County had three congressmen - east, west and north. That was a first for the county. Did I tell you that the crowd that has taken up residence at the Statehouse can be imaginative? There's even talk that the county could end up with four congressmen. With the Ohio House, all things are wretchedly possible, if not in the spirit of basic public service.
As for those concerns for the folks who need easy access to their congressmen, many will have to make long-distance calls. And I'll bet you may have thought that the perps were in office to tend honorably to your business. Think again, folks. Again. You and your alleged lawmakers live in different universes.