POLITICAL Letters to the Editor
July 20, 2023 by Submitted

YES on Issue 1

The Ohio Democratic Party requires a supermajority vote to change its bylaws. The League of Women Voters (LWV) requires a supermajority vote to change its bylaws. If passed, Ohio Issue 1 will require a supermajority vote to change Ohio’s Constitution.

Why do the Ohio Democratic Party and the Ohio LWV vehemently oppose Issue 1 despite having the same supermajority voting framework built into their foundational documents? What is good for the goose should be good for the gander.

Ohio’s Constitution is more important than the Ohio Democratic Party’s and LWV’s bylaws. That’s why I’ll be voting YES on Issue 1 on Aug. 8. It’s also why I’m highly skeptical of the motivations behind Issue 1’s critics.

Stephanie Foucher
Chester Township

Vote NO on Issue 1

I am writing this letter to urge you to vote NO on Issue 1 on Aug. 8.

If issue 1 passes on the Aug. 8 special election, it would give the Ohio Legislature virtually unlimited power to alter the Ohio Constitution and pass laws that could increase taxes and decrease services and limit our freedoms, and voters would have no recourse.

Ohio citizens have used the initiative process to ban taxes on food, to eliminate party ballot voting, to establish term limits and to dictate fair redistricting reform.

The proposed changes in Issue 1 would make citizen-initiated petitions virtually impossible to achieve. It increases the number of counties in which minimum numbers of signatures are required from 44 to 88 counties. It eliminates the cure period that allows signature gatherers 10 days to gather more signatures if they fall short. Finally, it changes the necessary percentage of voters to approve the initiative once it is on the ballot from a 50% plus one vote majority to a 60% supermajority.

If Issue 1 passes, it would virtually eliminate the citizen-led  initiative process. Any one county could torpedo the will of the majority of voters and 41% of voters could determine the outcome of a democratic vote.

It is vital that we vote against Issue 1 on Aug. 8 for citizens to have a voice in our democracy.

Anita Marlowe
Middlefield Village

Dirty Truth About Issue 1

We recently received a promotional mailing urging us to vote yes on Issue 1. This circular urged us to “protect our constitution,” “stand up for workers, farmers and small business,” and keep safe “the foundation this country was built on.” All good sentiments – but all of which are threatened by a ‘yes’ vote on Issue 1.

This country was founded on the idea that individuals should have a powerful voice in determining the rules of government. Issue 1 proposes to take away that voice. Contrary to the piece of junk mail I received, Issue 1 reduces the ability of everyday Ohioans like you and me to effect change in our laws and our constitution. In fact, it means that only those with powerful government positions or the money to buy influence can determine the laws and governance in Ohio. Just like First Energy bought and paid for legislators like Larry Householder, special interests are the ones who will benefit if Issue 1 passes, not ordinary Ohioans.

The dirty truth about Issue 1 is that it was cooked up by a bunch of legislators to prevent passage of a bill in November that deals with abortion rights, a hot political topic indeed, and worthy of a vote by the electorate. If you support or oppose abortion rights, vote on it in November. Let the majority of Ohioans speak on this important issue.

But please, don’t hand more power to the crooked politicians in Columbus and the special interest groups and lobbyists of large corporations. Don’t amend the constitution solely to prevent the majority of Ohioans having their voice heard. Don’t give in to this back-handed effort to subvert democracy. Vote NO on Issue 1.

Caroline Kovac

Republican Voting NO

The Issue 1 constitutional amendment will raise our taxes. I’m a registered Republican and I will vote NO.

The already gerrymandered legislature corruptly designed Issue 1 to further shield it from voters. Bills passed by that unaccountable legislature will necessitate local tax hikes to help public schools crippled from paying religious and corporate-owned schools with more vouchers; to backfill state income tax cuts; to spend more on public safety to counter relaxed gun laws; to patch state-gutted public health departments; to help state-hobbled local governments; to blunt cynical attacks on public education; minorities and women; and to pay First Energy’s HB6 subsidies.

Those expensive, awful bills — and many others — drive away talented citizens, especially our youth. Ohio routinely loses population and congressional seats thanks to our crackpot Republican general assembly, state-level officials and our now-partisan Ohio supreme court. Issue 1 would grease Ohio’s costly years-long decent into mediocrity.

Issue 1 isn’t about abortion, as our home-grown special-interest clergy falsely claim. They and other special interest endorsers like the chamber of commerce, OHLA, NFIB, restaurant association, farm bureau, building contractors association, pork council, and the GOP itself, love the state’s largesse.  Plus they want your local tax levies to pay the price of state-level fecklessness.  If Issue 1 passes, that price goes way up.

Issue 1 will raise our taxes.  I’m voting NO on that.

Bill Miller

State Issue 1 Imbroglio

Plain and simple, this is an initiative with the intent to limit the voters’ capacity to change Ohio’s constitution. The following amendments/initiatives since 2000 that would not have passed if this amendment were in place.

  • 2000: To issue bonds for environmental conservation and revitalization projects. Passed, 57% to 43%.
  • 2005: To create jobs and stimulate growth. Passed, 54% to 46%.
  • 2006: To raise the minimum wage. Passed, 57% to 43%.
  • 2009: To allow one casino each in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, with tax revenue distributed statewide. Passed, 53% to 47%.
  • 2015: To protect the initiative process from being used for personal economic gain. Passed, 51% to 49%.

This is not about Ohio Democratic Party Constitution and Bylaws (red herring); there is a rat in Democrat, or the U.S. Constitution. Venal knaves FOR Issue 1.

As Bob Dylan said, “Morality has nothing in common with politics.” PPM: Power-Politics-Money.

David Hancock
Chester Township

Issue 1 is Undemocratic

By now hopefully most of you folks know there is an election on Aug. 8. Our esteemed electorate at the statehouse decided to spend about $20 million of our tax dollars on this when it could have easily been put on a November or May election at no additional cost.

Opponents of  Issue 1 feel passage of this issue will make it almost impossible for citizens to change the constitution via an initiative petition. I agree.

Proponents say this will make it more difficult for out of state special interests to make constitutional changes. Really? Since they have all the money in the world they should have no problem. After all, they seem to have no problem buying off many politicians. I understand most of the money to push for passage of this issue came from an out-of-state billionaire. What does that tell you?

Passage of Issue l will mean 60% of the votes will be needed to pass any future constitutional changes. That’s like saying if Ronald Reagan got 59% of the votes and his opponent got 41% his opponent would win. Is that democracy?

Time to send a  message to those folks in Columbus that we won’t put up with these shenanigans any longer. And next time they look to be reelected, maybe time to give them the boot.

Please vote NO on issue l on Aug. 8 as I will.

John G. Augustine
Parkman Township

Vote Yes on Issue 1

We must value, understand, and protect our foundational documents. The number of amendments and voluminous wording in the Ohio Constitution should give us pause. Since its 1851 adoption, the Ohio Constitution has been amended 172 times. By contrast, the U.S. Constitution has 27 amendments. Amending the U.S. Constitution requires supermajorities for both proposal and ratification.

The Ohio Constitution was meant to be the framework for state government. With a comparatively easy amendment process, changing governance through constitutional amendments has become a recurrent longstanding practice. Over time, special and out-of-state interests with deep pockets learned that targeting the Ohio Constitution was an expedient and permanent pathway to achieving their goals. Thus, we see wordy and complex amendments, many influenced by special interests and shifting political sands.

Issue 1 will raise the voter approval threshold for constitutional amendments to 60%, thus ensuring widespread citizen support while telling vested interests that our constitution is not an easy target. Issue 1 will also require amendment campaigns to include signatures from all 88 counties, ensuring statewide participation. This commonsense initiative will provide good policy for all Ohioans.

Simultaneously holding physical copies of both the Ohio Constitution and a standard pocket version of the U.S. Constitution reveals a remarkable contrast in size. The U.S. Constitution is stated to include 7,591 words while the Ohio Constitution has over 67,000. It is long past time to protect Ohio’s foundational document. Please join me in voting YES on Issue 1 on Aug 8.

Kathy Johnson
Chardon Township