Push for amendment urges change in the way Congressional districts are drawn

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In Ohio winning a seat in the U.S. Congress is pretty much a guarantee of lifetime employment thanks to way Congressional districts are drawn. In the last election, the closest race had the victorious candidate winning by a margin of 36 percentage points. Those wide margins were true whether the candidate was Democratic incumbent Marcy Kaptur in the 9th District sweeping to victory with 69 percent of the vote over Republican Donald Philip Larson, or Republican incumbent Bob Latta trouncing Democratic challenger James Neu Jr. with 70 percent of the vote. The problem now, said Katelyn Elliott, a volunteer with an effort to change the way the state’s districts are drawn, is that an incumbent in a safe district has no incentive to listen to or take into consideration the views of voters from the other party. Those districts are the result of gerrymandering mapping district boundaries that assure large majorities for one party. For the most part that favors the Republicans who hold 12 of the state’s 16 seats in Congress, despite the state being considered a swing state. That’s probably why the state Democratic Party is supporting with the petition drive by the non-partisan Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot to change the way Congressional Districts are determined. But changing the way districts are drawn has also gained bipartisan support including from Republican Gov. John Kasich. The amendment has qualified for the ballot, Elliott said. She spoke Thursday at an event to recruit and train people who will circulate petitions. They’ll need to secure 305,000…

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School tax & Rowland win big in primary

The Bowling Green School District income tax renewal has passed overwhelmingly. With 100 percent of the vote in, the income tax is ahead 75 percent (1,939 votes) to 25 percent (647). Sandy Rowland easily outpaced a four-candidate field for two Democratic spots for council at large on the November ballot. Her 1001 votes were more than twice her nearest competitor. Holly Cipriani held a slim 11-vote lead over third place candidate Mark Hollenbaugh, 423-411. Robert Piasecki with 266 votes came in fourth. A first-ever Green Party primary for the council at large drew 123 voters. Beverly Ann Elwazani was the top Green votegetter with 41 votes. Carolyn S. Kawecka with 32 and Helen Kay Dukes with 30 were neck and neck for the second Green line. Rosamond L. McCallis received 20 votes.

Nathan Eberly files for at-large city council as independent

Submitted by NATHAN EBERLY At the deadline for Independent candidates for City Council At-Large, Nathan Eberly has submitted petitions to the Board of Elections for verification in hoeps of being certified to appear on the November 2017 ballot. The November General Election is expected to have at  least six candidates with Eberly joining the race in official status, pending verification and certification by the Board of Elections. Nathan Eberly is a Financial Representative with Modern Woodmen of America here in Bowling Green. Eberly is a volunteer for several organizations in town including the Brown Bag Food Project, the Wood County Humane Society, Wood Lane Levy Committee, and others. He is a member of the Exchange Club of Bowling Green and has been an active volunteer for a range of projects. Further, Eberly is very involved and active in the Chamber of Commerce, assisting the Business Council, Governmental Affairs Committee, and ACT BG. In December 2016 Eberly, seeing a need for an organization focused on young professionals including BGSU graduates and students, formed the Bowling Green Young Professionals Association. The next step in the process is waiting for the certification of the petitions and the official adding of Eberly as an Independent candidate on the November General Election ballot. This will come after the Primary Election for tomorrow, May 2, and along side the election certification process for the election results. Eberly is holding a Coffee with the Candidate chat May 12 between 7:30m and 9:30 a.m. at Biggby Coffee in Bowling Green. This will be the fifth installment of the Coffee with the Candidate events that Eberly has held since…

BG to vote on school renewal levy, council candidates

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green voters will face a school tax, two liquor issues and a truckload of city council candidates when they cast ballots in the primary election next week on May 2. Bowling Green City School District will have a 0.5 percent income tax renewal for current expenses for five years. The income tax for the district began in January of 1993 and has been renewed every five years since. It makes up 11 percent of the district’s general fund revenue, generating $3.34 million annually. Superintendent Francis Scruci has stressed that the income tax issue is a renewal – not a new tax. Also on the ballot are several city council candidates. A total of 16 candidates have filed for the open seats. None of the ward seats will be contested in the primary election. However, filing for the two open at-large seats were four Democrats, four Green Party members, and one Republican. The deadline for filing for Independent candidates is May 1, too late to appear on a primary ballot. Nathan Eberly has indicated interest in running as an Independent. The primary election will narrow down the at-large race to a maximum of two candidates from each party. Since only one Republican filed, voters will be given the choice of ballots for the Democratic Party, the Green Party or for issues only. Terry Burton, director of the Wood County Board of Elections, said this is the first time the Green Party has had enough candidates to warrant a primary ballot in Bowling Green. Burton said the lack of a Republican ballot in…