In Michigan, counties are reapportioned into districts by Reapportionment Commissions after each census. The Reapportionment Commissions are, by law, required to be made up of the county prosecutor, county treasurer, county clerk, and the two heads of the two county parties that received the most votes in the last election for secretary of state.
In Oakland County, Michigan, this means that the current Reapportionment Commission is made up of three Democrats and two Republicans.
That’s not good enough for Oakland County Republicans. In response, their State Representatives and Senator have introduced legislation that would make it so that the Reapportionment Commission of counties with populations of 1 million or more would be made up entirely of the county board (rather than the five-members currently required by law.) From Spinal Column Online’s reporting on this GOP power grab:
House Bill (HB) 4380, sponsored by state Rep. Eileen Kowall (R-Highland, White Lake) and co-sponsored by every House Republican representing communities in Oakland County, would make it so that counties that have an elected county executive and a population of more than 1 million — only Oakland and Wayne counties — would have apportionment commissions comprised entirely of their county board, not the five designated members provided for under current state law. The current statutory members of county reapportionment panels are the county prosecutor, county treasurer, county clerk, and the two heads of the two county parties that received the most votes in the last election for secretary of state — translation: the Oakland County Republican Party and the Oakland County Democratic Party.
This year, the county’s reapportionment commission is made up of three Democrats — Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, Treasurer Andy Meisner, and Democratic Party Chairman Frank Houston — and two Republicans, Clerk/Register of Deeds Bill Bullard, Jr. and Republican Party Chairman Jim Thienel.
State Sen. Mike Kowall (R-Commerce, Highland, Milford, Walled Lake, Wixom, Wolverine Lake, White Lake, Orchard Lake, West Bloomfield) also introduced the same legislation, Senate Bill 224, in the state’s upper chamber.
Notice two things. First, the way this legislation is written, it affects only Oakland and Wayne counties. Second, if it goes into effect, the Oakland County Reapportionment Commission goes from a bipatisan mix with 3 Democrats to 2 Republicans to a Republican-controlled group with 15 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Isn’t that convenient?
Power grab, pure and simple. Their explanations otherwise are laughable.
I’m just sayin’…