I have to feel a teensiest bit sorry for Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich today. He’s spent the last few months watching his support crumble as a redrawing of the districts map pushed him (and me) into what is now called the 9th district. His re-election fate now stretched from the west bank of the Cuyahoga river to the East side of Toledo. An eighty mile long strip of gorgeous gerrymandering along the shore of Lake Erie.
At a certain point, the district shrinks to a sliver less than a thousand feet wide, where it crosses through the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. As you can guess, the only voters in this marsh are of the feathered variety.
There’s been at least three different versions of the redistricting map between October and December of last year, which only seems to factor in additional confusion for campaign staff trying to determine which voters should be targeted. Here’s the original map for OH-10 that predated them all.
Marcy Kaptur, a 15-term Democrat congresswoman, handily absorbed mere 7-term Kucinich’s district into her own campaign strategy, winning the primary by a 24-point lead. Kucinich conceded.
During the campaign, Kucinich attacked Kaptur for voting to fund “Bush’s wars,” voting for the Patriot Act, backing the Keystone XL pipeline and opposing gay marriage. Kaptur in response ran deeply negative ads accusing Kucinich of voting against bills that would have brought in funds for new manufacturing jobs and veterans’ care. Kaptur ran “a campaign lacking in integrity, filled with false truths,” according to him.
One controversial item that may come back to haunt her is her terrible reaction to revelations that an aging nuclear plant had deep cracks in the casing, could potential melt down and turn North East Ohio into a glowing rave party that would make everyone forget about all that boring burning river stuff of years past. It would probably do well for disaster tourism and in creating cleanup jobs. Not to mention the medical industry boom from treating all the new cancer patients.
In related news, Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher won the GOP primary portion of the same district in a very close race, edging out Steven Kraus by less than 300 votes. I wouldn’t mind seeing him go on to trounce Kaptur and serve a term, if only to spite the whole bland sellout routine of Washington just for a few years. He’s going to have an uphill battle out-raising Kaptur.
As for Kucinich, he was spotted last year scoping out the Seattle, Washington area for a possible move to retain congressional powers. He has until April to decide — and would have to step down as Congressman due to residency laws. At least he still has his tall, supermodel-looking red-head wife Elizabeth to lean on.
Never mind, I no longer feel sorry for him.
UPDATE: Bradblog has noticed a very lopsided vote tally in Lucas County in Kaptur’s favor that are suspicious, to say the least:
Now Toledo is Kaptur’s current district, so it might make sense for her to win a lopsided victory there. Kucinich reportedly won handily in his own Cuyahoga County district of Cleveland by a 72.5% to 24% margin.
But really? 94% to 3.7% over Kucinich in Lucas County? 22,269 votes to just 870 votes? Those are Saddam Hussein-like numbers. Are they even plausible? I’ve been trying to learn more and would certainly welcome any input from folks who know the politics in that area of the state better than I do. If there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for those results, I’m certainly open to hearing it.
“Saddam Hussein-like numbers,” courtesy of closed-source electronic voting machines run by a company nobody in their right mind trusts.