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Doug Berger 0:01
In this episode, we look at the struggles of modern Republican and retired sports reporter Michele Tafoya as she tries to stop the world from making her babies feel bad in our post racial era, and Tucker Carlson celebrates her American ideal. Then we look at how the Ohio GOP is trying to run out the clock to maintain their super majority in the legislature. They’re on the finish line and want to change the rules. I’m Doug Berger, and this is secular left.
Doug Berger 0:50
One of the arguments right wingers make about race is they claim that all lives matter. And we should only judge people based on their character and not skin color. We saw that when they trotted out the Martin Luther King speech about that about the hi I have a dream. That’s the only thing they focused on. They make the further claim that people who point out systemic racism, or the need to fix such racism are the actual racists who think skin color is more important than character and make white children feel bad. Of course, that is a crock of shit. And they know it. They frame the argument that way to shut down any debate by claiming the moral high ground like white people saying they don’t see color when their actions say otherwise. They’re all about maintaining the status quo. We hear similar distractions after a mass shooting. When the right says Now is not the time to talk about gun control. But people need to grieve. And then they we never do talk about it. Or if we try to talk about it, they change the subject. They claim they care about the shooting, while not caring about solving them so they don’t happen again. recently retired NBC sports reporter Michele Tafoya joined the conservative gravy train when she started complaining about her kids having to have school picnics for families of color. She of course she got a primetime slot on white supremacist supporter Tucker Carlson’s Fox news show. Let’s take a look at a clip from that show. And we’ll talk about it afterwards.
Michele Tafoya 2:29
It’s been on my mind for quite a while Tucker, thank you for having me. And we’re no NBC did not encourage this. They did not force this. This has been on my mind. I’ve been waking up every day with a palpable pull at my gut. That my side my view, my my middle ground kind of moderate viewpoint is not being represented to the rest of the world. I didn’t feel and and so rather than, you know, just banging it out on Twitter or Instagram every day, I thought, I’ve got to do something I have benefited greatly from the American dream. And I feel like for the sake of my kids, and because I so love this country, I’ve got to start giving back.
Tucker Carlson 3:18
Boy, that is the best possible reason. So people who watch sports of course know you and have for many years. You went on the view recently, which is slightly different venue for you. We haven’t just short clip and I want to ask if this had some role in your decision. Here it is.
Michele Tafoya 3:36
My kids in school there is a big, big focus on the color of your skin. I like children, my children are now 16 and 13. Okay, my way it’s been going on since they were in Lower School. All right. And it is that there are affinity groups on campus for my kid my son’s first best friend was a little African American Boy they were in separable get to a certain age, they start having what’s called an affinity group, which means you go for lunch and pizza with people who look like you. Suddenly my son wasn’t hanging out with him anymore. Why are we even teaching that the color of the skin matters because to me what matters is your character and your values.
Whoopi Goldberg 4:16
But you know, you live in the United States you know, that color of skin has been mattering to people can we please it that it was we need white people to step up and do that
Michele Tafoya 4:26
But I think that we they’ve been doing that since the Civil War. And I say
Whoopi Goldberg 4:30
no, no, no.
Tucker Carlson 4:33
Wow, that was such a such a moderate thing to say such a sensible thing to say. And yet it seemed like such a controversial thing. I thought that was really brave that you said that. What did you think of the reaction?
Michele Tafoya 4:45
I’m just astonished that we’re, we’re so looking in the rearview mirror and not absorbing the progress that we’ve made in this country and building on it and recognizing it. You know, I Don’t think a person like Whoopi Goldberg, Goldberg would have had that role 50 years ago, she has that now, I mean that I want you and I know, Tucker, we could come up with a million examples. And it breaks my heart, that my kids are being taught that skin color matters. And to me, if you want white people to step up, I was stepping up when I addressed the school and said, Why are we having these picnics? For families of color? Why are we separating our kids? If the world is integrated? Let’s continue that. And and have everyone find out what we all have in common, not just what we have in common with people who look like us,
Tucker Carlson 5:43
man, you know, I would I bet you 20 bucks that 95% of Americans agree with what you just said, and but to say that when you work at NBC Sports, or any big media company really takes I mean, you must have known that you would be attacked for defending the American ideal as you did. Why did you do that?
Michele Tafoya 6:05
Because I don’t care if I’m attacked. I really am not afraid of that. And I guess I feel like so many people now are afraid. Yeah. And I’m not. Listen, I know there are repercussions for whatever I choose to say. i And I’ve talked to my kids school about it. You know, please don’t hold this against my kids. I’m speaking for me. I’m speaking for my family. But please don’t hold this against my kids. But this is what I really believe. I think I speak for a lot of people, like you said, Tucker. And a lot of these people, my friends are afraid to repost things that I’ve posted, or, you know, get into political conversations they are and they’ve said it, I’m afraid I don’t want to get in these arguments with my friends with my boss, with my colleagues. This is the most terrifying thing in the world to me right now that people are afraid to talk. These are words coming out of our mouths. Yeah, we could probably hurt people with our words, I acknowledge that. But I get to choose my reaction to everybody’s words. And everybody else gets to choose their reaction to my words. So they can choose to react to what I say. I’m going to choose to say what I believe in what I feel very strongly about. And I’m going to continue this and this is, this is the direction I’m headed.
Tucker Carlson 7:24
I just love it so much.
Doug Berger 7:26
So I hope you found some pretty interesting things. It starts out with Tafoya claiming that she has moderate views. Of course, many people like Michelle, who are wealthy and live in a white area of the country never claim to be racist. And they claim that any talk about complaining about racism is wrong. You know, we can’t be divided. We have to be together. Why can’t we be together. And so that was the first thing that caught my eye when I heard this. This interview was that she claimed to be a moderate. The other thing to notice on the Chyron the little words at the below the screen. When you watch the video, and I have a link in the show notes. Tucker Carlson’s show people put down that she was upset about anti-white teaching. You know, that’s white supremacist. Talk about that. But in and also I want to point out too, that Michele Tafoya grew up in Manhattan Beach, California. Now Manhattan Beach is 85 to 90%. White, they have less than 1% people of color, less than 1% Hispanic, less than 1% Asian. So it’s probably 98 to 99%. White, or at least it used to be especially when she was growing up there. Manhattan Beach is also well known for another beach. It’s called Bruce’s Beach, in the center of Manhattan Beach near the near the ocean. And for a long time it was a city park. And what a lot of people don’t realize or didn’t realize till recently was that the land that that city park was built on belong to an African American family, the Bruce’s hence the name Bruce’s speech. And they had for a long time in the early 20th century, a resort that catered to African Americans because back in that time, in Jim Crow times, blacks and whites were not allowed to mix when they were having fun. So you had resorts that that excluded blacks, so they built their own and one of them was Bruce’s beach. And it was well known, very popular, and then the city took it with Little to no compensation because they wanted to build a city park. It was prime real estate. And for years for decades, they didn’t build a park. Until finally somebody pointed out, Hey, you were supposed to build a park. So they did. And then in 2020, finally, the city and the state. Well, the state passed a law that returned that property back to the Bruce family. So that’s Manhattan Beach. That’s where Michele Tafoya grew up. Her and her family now her husband and kids grow live in Edina Minnesota, which is outside Minneapolis. And it too, is not as much. It was a majority white neighborhood. And they had sundown laws and deed restrictions, just like Manhattan Beach did to keep black people out. So, you know, when Michele Tafoya talks about being together and not being divisive about race, she does not have much room to talk she, she personally probably is not a racist. But she does not know what racism is or doesn’t understand it. In that Tucker Carlson clip, they had a clip of her on the view. And that’s probably what got her the shot on Tucker Carlson was that she had an argument with Whoopi Goldberg, and saying, you know, why can’t we just be together? And, and Whoopi says, Well, you do know you live in the United States, you know, skin does matter. And it still does. And so Michelle said, Well, it hasn’t mattered, you know, since the Civil War, which is totally bogus.
Doug Berger 11:48
You know it. And that’s what you get from these right wingers is they talk about, you know, our post racial world, and there’s no more racism, because this black person stars on a TV show? Well, back in the 50s, when Jim Crow laws are really strong, even in even in the north, even in what now is, California and New York, Nat King Cole had a show he was a star of a show as well. And there was still racism. So just because one black person is successful as a star of a show, doesn’t mean that racism doesn’t exist or that systemic racism doesn’t exist. Now, I don’t know about her story about the school lunches, because I really haven’t gotten into checking on those claims. But what I get from her was that her son was friends with this African American boy. And they had these affinity picnics at school, and now they’re not friends. I don’t know what what’s up with that? It would really help if we knew if these picnics were required to be attended, if they were voluntary. And also, would they exclude people who are not have that affinity? I don’t believe most schools that would have something like that would do that. But anyway, so Michelle is going to get involved with some Republican campaign work. I think she’s working for a gubernatorial candidate somewhere in the United States. I’m not sure where, where, because I really don’t follow it that much. But I just wanted to highlight what she was talking about. And how conservatives do this as they turn it around. They, they always say that if you call out racism, or try to fix racism, that you make my kids feel bad, and that you’re being a racist. And that’s not the case at all. Greg Sargent had a op ed piece in The Washington Post about to foil his appearance on Carlson’s show. And I kind of wanted to read what he said, because I think I think it’s very important. He taught he mentions after after talking about the clip, the clip that was shown with Whoopi Goldberg. He said:
Doug Berger 14:19
Put he put aside for now the erasure of post Civil War, white terrorism, Jim Crow, and the fact that it took until the mid 1960s to achieve multiracial democracy, after decades of violent struggle. What’s been obscured here is the true nature of the disagreement. Goldberg and many others disagree with Tafoya and Carlson about the amount of racial progress we’ve made the cause and true nature of lingering disparities, and how much work remains and how to do that work. Tafoya gestured at this telling Carlson that we should appreciate the progress we’ve made in this country, rather than looking in the rearview mirror. Tafoya and Carlson are, of course, entitled to their opinion, even if it rests on a sanitized version of our vision of our past, where they stray into sleazy bad faith, rhetorical hustling, is by insisting those who disagree with them are the ones who insist skin color should matter. That Tafoya and Carlson represent the only true race neutral position in their framing, offering a more pessimistic and less celebratory view of how much racial progress we’ve made, and what remains to be done, amounts to telling children they are inherently debilitated or tainted. This cynical scam uses children as rhetorical shields to shut down debate, the real aim is to take that less celebratory view of racial progress off the agenda entirely. If you raise this pessimistic view, you’re telling children their skin color matters.
Doug Berger 15:55
And the other way that we we see that type of framing that Sergeant points out is when we talk about affirmative action, correcting the mistakes of the past through affirmative action, you know, and white people claim that that’s reverse racism. And I keep having to tell people, that white people, you can’t be racist to white people, you can be prejudiced to white people, you can dislike white people. But racism denotes power denotes control of the power. And people of color and Hispanics and women, they do not have hold of that power that belongs to white people so far.
Doug Berger 16:43
You know, the demographics are not in white people’s favor. As we move through history, as we move through time, they will be less and less. But right now, in today, and 2022, white people hold the power. And because they hold the power, black people can’t be racist to them. The system can’t be racist, affirmative action is not racist to white people. And that’s what that’s what many of these white, right wingers don’t understand. They understand the concept of racism and how it’s bad. But they think it’s an equal thing, that keeping somebody out of a job because they’re white, in order to give it to a marginally, a marginal group, such as a woman, or a person of color is somehow equal to that woman or black person not getting the job, because they weren’t white. They think that that’s equal. And the way I look at it is white people are some white people are upset about correcting racism. And they think, you know, I’m colorblind, and skin shouldn’t matter. And they say that because they’re already at the finish line. You know, it’s like a track meet, you know, they’re already at the finish line, and they want to change the rules. That’s how that’s what how a good number of these white people work, you know, if they want to change the rules once they’re at the finish line, right? So if you change the rules, to better allow marginal groups to get to the finish line, then that’s racism. And that’s not good. We shouldn’t do that race, all lives matter. You know, you’ve heard all of it. You’ve heard all of those types, those types of sayings in the last couple years, and it’s ridiculous, it’s it’s a, it’s a load of crap. You again, you cannot be racist to white people. You know, they hold all the cards. We all hold all the cards. You know, I’m a cisgendered. White male. I’m at the top of the power paradigm. And I’m telling you, the game is rigged against people who are not a white cisgendered male. And that’s got to change and we’ve got to change the rules. And so Michele Tafoya, you are not a moderate you do not have a moderate view. And you may not be racist yourself. But as, as the meme said, it’s not a deal breaker for you. And I really think you need to get educated and learn. You know, which is surprising because you reported on the NFL for 30 years. And you’ve you’ve interviewed hundreds if not, you know at least a few hundred Black football players You’ve been exposed to the locker rooms of all these NFL teams. And you have such a skewed view of racism. It’s ridiculous. It’s like, would you have like a bubble suit on and with blinders, and it’s like football, football, football and nothing else. You know, a lot of these football players Kaepernick, you know? Did you I think you interviewed cap, Colin Kaepernick, maybe I have to go back and check. But anyway, so that’s Michelle Tafoya. You know, so don’t feel bad for her kids. Her kids are learning that there is diversity in this country. And it and it would behoove white people to learn it. And acknowledge that you’re already at the finish line. And it’s not going to take anything away from you, to help other people get there and correct the wrongs of the past.
Doug Berger 21:08
Hello, this is Doug host of secular left reminding you that I like to be validated. If you like this podcast and want to thank me, feel free to buy me a coffee, go to buymeacoffee.com/secularleft and donate some cash to help make this a better show and validate me as a person. You’ll feel better in the morning.
Doug Berger 21:36
The other story that I want to talk to you about today is similar to the Michele Tafoya story that we just covered in that the framing is the same.
Doug Berger 21:47
It’s the conservative playbook. It’s over gerrymandering here in Ohio. It’s time to redraw the maps. And luckily, I guess, luckily, some would say probably not lucky. But luckily, in 2015 and 2018. They had ballot measures that change the way that maps were drawn for legislative districts in Ohio, both state and federal. And it was given to a commission a redistricting commission. Ohio has a supermajority Republican supermajority in the legislature. And so they have a majority on this commission. And so they’re supposed to draw the maps. It’s been like pulling teeth. The the Republicans have pulled out every political shenanigans that they can, in order to protect their super majority in the legislature. The first thing that they did was they claimed that the census data was late. And they sued to get it released because they needed it. They said that it’s gonna cause problems. The census, the 2020 census was tainted by the previous administration, Trump because they tried to manipulate the data to support white supremacy. And so it took a little bit more time once the administration changed in order for them to get the numbers. So they got the numbers, they created a map. The first map was the legislature, the state legislative districts. They did not the Republicans did not consult with the Democrats. They were supposed to have public hearings, and people could comment, they had public hearings. But they were usually at one or two o’clock in the afternoon, when a lot of people can’t show up. So they came up with this map. And it was obvious that it was not going to be constitutional. And Governor Dewine even said he didn’t think that the map was constitutional. But he voted for it anyway. Because that’s what Republicans do, even though they talk a good game about being in law and order and, and, you know, get that wall built and get rid of immigrants. When it comes to the law applying to them, then they tend to look the other way. So we got an unconstitutional map. Groups filed a lawsuit in in the Ohio Supreme Court, and the Ohio Supreme Court agreed that the maps that the Republicans drew were not constitutional, so they had to go back. So there wasn’t any other commission meetings until the deadline came up. And they met and passed another map that looked very similar to the previous one. Well, the The group’s out for having a fair vote, sued again. And it went back to the Ohio Supreme Court. The Ohio Supreme Court again agreed that the map that was passed was not constitutional. And, and so this is how this is how I guess I should back up just a little bit in the process. Most of the time you do a redistricting map, it’s supposed to last 10 years, until the next census. But when they changed the way that the legislative maps were drawn here in Ohio, they put in a loop. I call it a loophole that if they can’t agree on a map, if the commission can’t agree on a map, then the map that is adopted would only last for four years. And then they would have to do it again. They’d have to go back and draw it again. Well, when you’re already in a supermajority for years, you know, that’s still maintaining your power. And then you just go back and do it again. Until you know, you just run the clock out.
Doug Berger 26:07
So anyway, so they tried twice, and the supreme court threw them out twice. So they were supposed to get back together again. Well, again, they didn’t have any meetings until the deadline date. And they decided this time they weren’t going to pass a map. The Democrats offered one up that they did, and they drew it based on the proportion, it’s supposed to be proportional. In Ohio, it’s I think it’s roughly 54 54%, Republican 48%, Democrat. For congressional maps. What they were thinking is it’d be 15 congressional people with the proportions. It would be seven Republican, eight Republicans, seven Democrats. All right. Similar with the state legislature, it would be a majority Republican but a good enough number of Democrats. Well, the Republicans just threw up their hands and say, we can’t come up with a map. Even though the Democrats had a map. And other groups like the fair voting group, they came up with a map and and that met all the requirements in the Ohio constitution. So they threw up their hands. They said, there’s just no map. And the one that our representative Allen Allison Russo’s on the commission brought up was they basically bullied her about it. They claimed that it was racist. You know, going back to the Tafoya thing, the fact that some Republican legislators were going to possibly lose their job when they redrew the districts, because it would be more, it would lean more Democrat, and they thought that that was unconstitutional and undemocratic. That’s what they said. And they said it was racist. Because I guess some some of the Republican legislators were were white, I don’t know. But that’s what they make up. Okay. So they’ve been dragging their feet the whole time, introducing these maps that they know, are not constitutional. And they were hoping that because there was a Republican majority on the Ohio Supreme Court, that they would agree and they will get this map for four years, and they could move on. Well, it hasn’t worked out that way. The Ohio Supreme Court has actually done its job. Thanks to Maureen O’Connor, who’s the Chief Justice. She’s the one that’s has voted with the Democrats on on the Supreme Court to throw out these maps. So at least there’s one Republican that is hopeful that democracy works. All right. So what I want to do is, it was covered by spectrum news 1 out of Columbus covers Ohio. They had some interviews with the players that be you’re going to see this in this clip, you’re going to hear from what the social media is calling mapless Matt Huffman, who’s the the the Senate President, Ohio Senate president from Lima, and they call mapless Matt Huffman. He’s also a doctor who doesn’t know how medical science works, but that’s another story. Then you also hear from House Speaker, Bob Cupp also from the Lima area. In there, these two guys are making Northwest Ohio look terrible. I’m telling you. Then you also hear from Jen Miller. She’s from the League of Women Voters. And then finally from Alison Russo, who’s the ruling Democrat on on the commission. She’s the the Democratic majority leader. Also in you also hear from Vernon Sykes who’s also a Democrat, he chimes in, during when the reporters interviewing Bob Cupp you will hear him because Bob Cupp will claim that the Democrat map was unconstitutional. And Vernon Sykes will say, well, that’s your opinion. It’s pretty funny. Anyway, so let’s listen to that clip.
You criticize the Democrats maps. But why didn’t Republicans offer any maps? If you guys had a problem with that?
Mapless Matt Huffman 30:32
It was it was pretty clear the statement that I made that others made that I don’t think it’s possible, as governor dewine said, and others to comply with all of the requirements in the Constitution, the two Supreme Court decisions, federal law and federal constitutional law. I don’t think it’s possible to do that
You didn’t even want to try?
Mapless Matt Huffman 30:50
We did try. That’s what we’ve been doing for the last 10 days. But he didn’t want to present it. I’m saying Why didn’t you even want to present it just to see what because it’s not possible to do that. You have a question? Why did you come to the conclusion that wasn’t possible in the last 24 to 48 hours? In your mind? What’s the next step? What do we do? Because I don’t know why, you know, I don’t have a next step. So no,
do you think that the Supreme Court may choose to just accept the Democrats map?
Mapless Matt Huffman 31:19
No idea that’s the Supreme Court?
What happens now?
Speaker Bob Cupp 31:24
Well, this is, as we’ve said many times, this is a new constitutional process. There is no precedent to follow. A we there’s no at this point, it’s obvious. If there’s no consensus for a majority on this commission for any particular map, there’s not even a clear understanding of what the court is requiring us to do. We will keep working on it. But I would just have to say the way forward is not clear.
You will keep working on legislative I mean, what that means.
Speaker Bob Cupp 31:59
We will keep working on trying to how to produce a map for the legislative districts. But but the way forward is not clear.
Between now and midnight, you’re going to work on that. So when are you going to work on it? If the deadline is tonight?
Speaker Bob Cupp 32:14
We’ll be working on it.
The fact that you’re not meeting this deadline from the Ohio Supreme Court, are you afraid that they might just take the Dems maps or any other maps that were presented?
Speaker Bob Cupp 32:23
I’m not going to speculate on what a court might do?
What was the status of the options you talked about? Blake and Ray working on? I mean, why didn’t you guys have something?
Speaker Bob Cupp 32:35
I think it’s pretty clear. We’re not sure where the way what the way forward is, we’re not sure what we’re required to produce. We’re not sure what the court would accept. And so with all of those things, and quite frankly, one of our mapmakers has been rather ill for the last few days, so or multiple more in the last few days. So it’s just a it’s a that the court has asked us to do, and impossibility under the circumstances,
but how do you criticize one fair maps without even offering up your own
Speaker Bob Cupp 33:06
refund for it? We’ve offered publicly three or four maps and think
I mean, I mean, today you didn’t offer anything? No.
Speaker Bob Cupp 33:14
And nobody else has produced a constitutional map either.
Vernon Sykes 33:17
That’s not true.
Speaker Bob Cupp 33:20
It was sure it sure became apparent that has a lot of constitutional flaws, and D that the court has not ruled on.
Vernon Sykes 33:27
Those are accusations made by you
your caucus does not support moving the primary. But you just heard Secretary of the rose outloud say that you’re getting dangerously close to violating federal law. Is that change anything about your opinion, or you think it changes anything about your caucuses? opinion? I want to move the primary.
Speaker Bob Cupp 33:43
I don’tthink in the house that there is a majority for moving the primary election at this time, let alone the two thirds that were required to have it go into effect right away. Breaking federal law? No, not in favor of breaking any law. Do you think this Thank you. Thank you those amendments a couple years ago wanted. Thanks, everyone.
So what are you guys doing about it? And the probably of objection, what’s your recourse?
Vernon Sykes 34:10
We’re going to continue to advocate will change, continue to promote our maps. And we’re waiting on we’ll have to wait, of course on the court to consider what has been or hasn’t been done. And so we’re waiting from direction for the court this particular time.
Do you think that the Supreme Court should take your maps?
Vernon Sykes 34:33
I think that the the court, according to the Constitution has to refer it back to the commission the court cannot adopt maps themselves. So that’s why we are at this point right now impasse, because the commission didn’t have the wheel to actuallycomply with the court.
We’ve done this three times. So what makes you think a Fourth time’s gonna change?
Vernon Sykes 34:58
I think the court may have Some other options. I’m not sure I’m not a member of the court. But I believe there are some other options. And we have to wait to find out what they will.
Are you concerned about any of the members of the Commission being held in contempt of court for not following the court order?
Vernon Sykes 35:17
I believe that is a possibility. But I’m not a lawyer. And that’s not my ramble, maybe okay with authority. I am okay with moving us forward. But we whatever can be done to help us move forward, including, including whatever we can do,
Jen Miller 35:35
the court clearly needs to weigh in. But we all I can tell you is what we’re going to do. We will file objections in the court, we will explain all the ways that it’s possible to uphold every aspect of the Ohio constitution when creating State House and State Senate maps. And we will also explain why the legal interpretations that were presented in this hearing, were inaccurate. Again, if we really wanted to grapple with the Ohio constitution, and we really wanted to make the maps that the Ohio voters deserve, then we would have started this process a lot earlier, we would have had lots of non partisan experts explaining things like proportionality and the Voting Rights Act. Instead, what we see, quite frankly, it’s an oversimplified understanding of the law that they are using to make excuses.
they disobey the court’s order, and one possible outcome could be contempt of court, is that something that you’ll be pushing for?
Jen Miller 36:35
I can’t speak to that.
Do you think that they might be good for him?
Jen Miller 36:41
I don’t know. I mean, I really can’t speak I’m not trying to be difficult, I really don’t know. Because at the end of the day, you know, we have an incredible team of lawyers and experts that will be deciding what our best path forward is. Our thing isn’t about being mad at anyone. We’re just trying to get maps that work for the people of Ohio. And so the way that we go forward now will be to try to maximize that
the process has shown it doesn’t work. So what do you think the Supreme Court should do when it comes to that? Because we have a primary coming around May 3.
Jen Miller 37:13
So the bottom line, what I’ll say is this. The primary is, you know, we have been at the league and our partners have been talking about this timeline being problematic since January of 2021. So it’s absolutely regrettable that we are stuck in this situation right now, where everyone is going to have to react to change primary boards of elections and voters deserve better than that. does the process work or not? I mean, I guess it doesn’t. But I would argue that they never really upheld the process, and that they never really tried to uphold the process. But we need to take it one step at a time. The next step is to file an objection with courts, and then we’ll see what they do. And we will continue to move this forward.
They didn’t introduce a map, but they continuously question your map. How do you think all this is going right now? And where do you think this is headed?
Allison Russo 38:02
Well, I think, not a surprise that that was the strategy because they have no map, and likely will not introduce a map. And so this is simply a distraction from the work that needed to be done at hand that they did not do. But I think that what we showed with our presentation and demonstrated through answers to their questions that our map is constitutional, it is possible to achieve what the court has put forward. And that is what we attempted to do. And they chose not to consider that that defies what the voters of Ohio have asked overwhelmingly for this commission to do what the courts have asked for this commission to do. And to me, it is a direct assault on our democracy and on Ohio voters.
Would you ask the court to impose your math?
Allison Russo 38:55
If that happens? We likely will not. We’ll see what the court decides to do with that the court. Again, you know, they have many different tools at their disposal to make sure that I believe this commission complies with what they have asked us to do
when making that map. Huffman accuses you of only forcing Republicans into confrontational situations and desserts. I mean, was it possible to do that to Democrats are not possible?
Allison Russo 39:27
Well, again, Republicans hold super majorities in both the House and the Senate. So by virtue of creating a constitutional map that is also proportional there will be Republicans who lose seats. And you know that that is just a reality of drawing for districts. You
introduced these maps last week. What do you have to say about Republicans only giving you feedback today on the final day with ours?
Allison Russo 39:53
What I have to say is that it’s not surprising, and we suspected all along that this would be the strategy that They would use, again, they’ve shown time and time again that they have no interest in entering into this as both fair discussions or fair negotiations.
Doug Berger 40:12
Okay, so essentially, what’s happening is that the Republicans are running, trying to run out the clock. The other thing that is happening is Frank LaRose, who is the Secretary of State is also on the commission. He is complaining that if we don’t adopt map soon, and it’s gonna mess up the primary, there’s a May primary. The deadline to run in the may primary has already passed, they didn’t change it. The Republicans don’t want to change the primary date. And the reason why they don’t want to change the primary date is because they want to force the courts to adopt their map. The third, it’s all about getting this map passed, because they want to use it for four years. And that’s all they care about. They they care about maintaining their supermajority, even though in the past 10 year thing that they’ve looked at for voting patterns, they should not have a supermajority, they, they think that they should have 60 or more house seats, and they shouldn’t have 60 or more house seats, they should have about 54 House seats to to the Democrats 48% of House seats. And so they’re just trying to run out the clock. They had the Ohio Right to Life Group filed a lawsuit in federal court demanding that, that the federal court Institute, the last Republican map really a right to life group. No, I mean, that’s bizarre. The Ohio Supreme Court was not amused that they could not come up with a map for the third time. And they have ordered the commission to appear before them on Wednesday, February 23. And to show just cause why they should not be found in contempt of court. And of course, being found in contempt of court could be possible jail time. It could also be that the Ohio Supreme Court will impose a map and then that will probably go to court as well. But a lot of this stuff could have been fixed. Had one Mike DeWine and the other Republican leadership actually got a backbone and rejected the maps to begin with and forced them to come up with a decent map that they could work with the Democrats. So the Democrats could agree to it. You know, because like I said, the first set of maps might do, I was like, Hey, these are unconstitutional, but let’s pass them anyway. Franklin, Rose, could ask to have the primary moved, all we take would be a vote in the legislature. And then you could move it to June. But he doesn’t want to do that. Because it’s all about the power. It’s all about the status quo. It’s all about being at the finish line and changing the rules to make sure that you win. And it’s just undemocratic. It just really is. It’s not only undemocratic, but also the way that they want to crack and pack some of these districts and break up some of the large urban areas into multiple districts to dilute the voting power for the people of color. And so things like this, this is particularly the reason why we need to have federalized elections for exactly these reasons. And Ohio is not the only state that’s having issues with redistricting. There’s at least two or three other Republican states that are trying to rig it so that they’re in power for decades to come. And that shouldn’t be that shouldn’t be allowed. It shouldn’t be the case. So I think that’s why we need to federalize elections. And so that’s what I recommend is you go talk to your legislator and and have them get them to get people to move. And here in Ohio, people need to just get rid of mapless, Matt Huffman and speaker Cupp, because those two just do not know how to govern at all. I mean, that’s why you get you get gerrymandering causes these extreme laws, like there’s a law that just been introduced, that would penalize teachers that would force them to lose their license. If they teach about racism in schools.
Doug Berger 44:48
You know, then you get the ridiculous law that’s just was introduced that would force doctors to tell women that they could undo chemical abortions by taking another pill which is not the case. You know, and then and then you had the other the other bill that forced women who have lost their children, because they are either a stillborn or miscarriage to force them to fill out a death certificate and bury the fetus. All because they want to get back at women that get abortions. That’s what happens when you have a super majority of conservative Christian nationalists running the state. You know, all of the polls show that they are out of touch with Ohioans. And it just doesn’t matter because they don’t have to worry about getting elected because they’ve rigged the game and we need to change it.
Doug Berger 45:56
Thank you for listening to this episode. You can check out more information, including links to sources used in our show notes on our website at secularleft.us. Secular left is hosted, written and produced by Doug Berger and he is solely responsible for the content. Send us your comments, either using the contact form on the website or by sending us a note at comments at secularleft.us Our theme music is dank and nasty composed using amplify studio. See you next time
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