The race to break the glass ceiling in Ohio by electing a woman as governor or as U.S. senator this year has been superseded by the aggressive actions by the highest ranking female elected official in Ohio, the one and only Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor.

Republican O'Connor must have gotten a hold of a piece of a glass ceiling in the Statehouse warehouse and is smashing it repeatedly on the heads of the five Republican members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission with a little help from the three Democratic members of the high court.

Talk about the revenge of a feminist. Talk about a woman who has played the go along, get along game pretty well until now when  the five white males running the state and the redistricting commission just plain pissed her off and she went rogue. She proceeded to figuratively bang the glass ceiling on their noggins not once, not twice, but three times with a fourth and fifth conk likely soon.

Gong No. 1. She and the three Dems turned down the first set of new district boundaries for the Ohio House and Senate.

Gong No. 2. They rejected the second set.

Gong No. 3. The four justices rejected the first set of new boundaries for Congressional districts.

Gong No. 4  Is expected on the third draft of the House and Senate maps any day now.

Gong No. 5. Is expected on the second draft of the Congressional maps in the near future.

Along the way, O'Connor and her three amigos threatened to hold the members of the redistricting commission in contempt for failing to follow the Ohio Constitution that prescribes maps that represent the political leanings of Ohio and scheduled a show cause hearing that could have sent the glass-damaged five some to jail or fined them. The hearing was subsequently delayed when there was false hope that the commission would do its job, but the contempt hearing could be rescheduled at any time.

Who are the palefaces whose heads are being knocked in by O'Connor and company? Hint: they are middle-aged to elderly white men who have worked their way up the political ladder by catering to the bigots, religious zealots, woman-objectifying, Trump loving and anti-tax greed bags who make up the Republican Party.

Gov. Mike DeWine.

Speaker of the House Robert Cupp.

Senate President Matt Huffman.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

Auditor Keith Faber.

The other members of the commission are Democrats who are regularly outvoted and condescended upon when they bring up ideas like being faithful to the constitution. Democrats are the little children of Ohio politics. Seen but not heard.

House Minority Leader Allison Russo, a white woman.

Senator Vernon Sykes, a Black man.

As this article goes to press, more meetings of the commission and more hearings before the court are in prospect.

The Republicans keep coming up with half-assed reasons in attempts to browbeat the court majority into caving. They suggest that there is not enough time for petitions to be passed and election officials to get ready to administer the May 3 primary election. They suggest that two primaries will have to be held, one for state races on May 3 and a one on June 7 for federal races. (I say move the entire primary election to June 7.) They suggest that the additional costs to the taxpayers will be onerous. Of course, these are the same birds who keep cutting taxes for rich Ohioans (mostly Republicans).

There are two major intertwined reasons why the five white male Republicans chauvinists will not do the right thing and create districts that reflect the 54 to 46 percent vote split between Republicans and Democrats as specified by the constitutional amendments passed last decade.

First, the five some does not want the blood on their hands of the 10 to 20 Republican legislators and Congresspersons who will lose their seats in a proper remap. You cannot advance your career when you have lots of your own kind mad at you for costing them their jobs.

Second, there is a real chance that the Democrats can reclaim the governorship in 2022, especially if former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is the nominee. Also there is a decent chance that the Democrats can gain control of the Ohio House and of the Ohio Supreme Court. Democrats can add seats in the Ohio Senate but probably not enough to control it. In the U.S. House, Democrats in Ohio can win as many as 7 of the 15 seats (Ohio lost 1 after the census), a big improvement over the current 4-12. The three seats gained by Democrats coupled with 4 GOP losses can determine whether or not a Democrat continues as U.S. Speaker of the House. The five some will never recover from the blame put on them by Ohio Republicans suddenly out of power in Ohio after three decades of controlling just about everything that moves.

If Chief Justice O'Connor keeps banging that glass ceiling drum on the heads of the foolish five and they finally give in and do the right thing, she should receive a statue of honor in the Ohio Feminist Hall of Fame and a special room in the Ohio Democrat Hall of Fame. Those honors would compensate her for becoming persona non grata in the Ohio GOP.

If GOP Is Routed, Lame Duck Session Will Be A Right-Wing Shit Show

It is my belief that the Republicans controlling Ohio have a hidden radical agenda that would offend all but the right-wingers and thus is being kept under wraps until after the Nov. 8 election.

Should the Democrats take away some of the GOP's control on general Election Day, then the hidden agenda will surely be pushed during the lame duck session because it would be blocked once the Democrats took power in January.

I'm talking more and worse charter schools, less utility regulation, full loss of women's health choices, total gun deregulation, less money for public education, war on critical race theory (which is not taught in Ohio schools anyway, but what do the crazies care?) and eliminating what is left of ethics laws.

And how about vouchers for everything, not just for parents to guide education funding? How about vouchers for highway projects, police, fire, parkland, traffic signs, and sidewalk construction? Give the people their tax money back and let them do what they please with it. Eliminate government. Fire rogue Ohio Supreme Court chief justices.


-- My fictional third cousin twice removed Jed (see my February column) is not fictional after all. He is Joe Blystone, the central Ohio farmer, restaurateur, anarchist and Republican candidate for governor. At least he could be.

-- The Columbus Dispatch's owner Gannett Corp. is stumbling financially in the same manner as the Dispatch. Print circulation is falling and online subscriptions are gaining, but not enough to make up for lost revenue from customers, not to mention replacing disappearing print advertising with digital ad revenue. The paper gets thinner and thinner and ads scarcer and scarcer. The Saturday print edition will end as of March 26. Say good-bye to print coverage of high school football and basketball games and same day previews of OSU football and basketball contests. The culture of high school sports in central Ohio will be forever damaged by the Dispatch's Saturday disappearance. Most folks will not bother to pay to read it online at, but will read about the local team on a free website if at all. Gannett intends to eliminate more daily editions of the Dispatch and knock the print product down to two days a week, probably Wednesday and Sunday. It will be mostly ads and feature stories. Oh wait, the print edition is mostly ads and feature stories anyway with that afternoon deadline imposed to get you to turn to Is it working for you? Me neither?

-- Not to worry. What is left of the Dispatch reporting staff (which is about half the size it was when the paper was sold nearly seven years ago) will make it up to you by selling you a cup of coffee called Deadline Dark Roast. Maybe you would like to buy a t-shirt celebrating 150 years of the Dispatch (and marking its imminent demise). I'd skip the coffee if I were you. It's probably stale like the 2-day-old news in the print Dispatch.

-- Amelia Robinson was brought in a year ago to liven up the editorial page as opinion and engagement editor. She gutted it instead. Now it rarely has editorials. When it does, they are clunky, written by a citizens committee, and lack punch. Most nationally syndicated columnists were booted and replaced by local citizens tooting their organizations' horns, ever so boringly. Now she gets to do nepotism as her husband Anthony Shoemaker is being hired as head of Gannett's Ohio bureau, a supposed watchdog on the state government. Maybe columnist Ted Decker will get her job. His hard-hitting pieces are the closest thing to crusading journalism that the Dispatch has.

-- Repetition is the mother of memory. Maybe that is why the Dispatch keeps running articles about the same subject twice in the same day's print edition. It happens all the time. The latest was Feb. 23 when it was reported on page 6B that TEGNA was selling WBNS-TV and its radio affiliates to Standard General. It was continued to page 7B. Elsewhere on page 7B was a second story about the transaction repeating the same information. Readers beware. The Dispatch editors do not know what they are doing.

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