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Let the ingrained fighting begin

November 7, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Now is the time to take your respective corners for the next battle royale: Redistricting.

The winners of the House and Senate in Tuesday’s elections know their places. Most of them have been true to their tickets most of their adult lives.

So leave it to a Democrat to pull back the curtain to reveal how “fake news” was alive and well on Election Day.

A Democrat and one of my favorite female warriors, Eleanor Holmes Norton, slid to re-election Tuesday but was tripped by two political speed bumps. One was paved by City Hall, which failed to ensure that there were enough vote-counting machines on Capitol Hill.

Tweeted longtime D.C. reporter Tom Sherwood: ”‘This is outrageous,’ says DC Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton as she arrives to vote at crowded Eastern Market where only ONE vote-counting machine is here for two precincts (88 89). @kojoshow @wcp.”

That’s what happens when City Hall, which is overrun with Democrats and progressives, doesn’t walk the talk.

Also about mid-afternoon Tuesday, Mrs. Norton tripped herself, tweeting: “700,000 taxpaying DC residents, who are denied their congressional voting rights, remind you to vote today. Help us bring the change necessary to achieve #DCStatehood #TaxationWithoutRepresentation #ElectionDay.”

All respect to Ms. Norton, but does the nation’s capital really have 700,000 “taxpaying” residents?

For sure, D.C.’s population has ballooned, from 572,059 in 2000 to 703,608 this year. Yet when ages are considered, the “taxpaying” thing is debatable.

In fact, according to 2017 U.S. Census Bureau numbers, 6.5 percent of D.C. residents were 5 years old and under, and 17.9 percent were 18 and under.

Give the older kids credit, perhaps, for paying income taxes on summer jobs, or sale taxes on tobacco and Juul products, and alcohol, none of which they’re supposed to be able to purchase anyway.

Consider as well the fact that lots of kids with summer/seasonal jobs are destitute like their parents, which explains why the city’s safety net especially for homeless youths and families has been bursting at the seams for more than a decade.

Now, let’s look at that battle royale. Some of the politicians who won and lost on Tuesday have redistricting to thank and Republicans aren’t always the bad guys.

Which brings us to who won what seat in the down-ticket races. Who won attorneys general races? Judgeships? Who won statehouse races? Who won mayoral and council seats?

See? The politicians who won those races will be the very pols who in two, four, six years down the road will decide what laws will be nixed and which will be reinforced. Your cost-of-living bottom line. Where your kids go to school. How much you’ll pay in property taxes. Whether your roads get plowed during a blizzard and whether your city is buttressed for a hurricane. (Recall 2005 and Katrina: NOLA has not yet fully recovered.)

In closing, now that you’ve voted, I hope you pay attention. The biggest and most important battles will be fought in your own front and backyards.

Some Americans will surmise the election results were Donald Trump’s fault (and Hillary Clinton might have to eat her own deplorable words).

From here on out, it’s time to ignore the distractions and find out what’s going on closer to home because, honestly, the 24-hour news cycle can be a drag.

In short: Do you even read local news?

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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