Saturday, August 13, 2005

'Reform Ohio Now' Catching Fire

Reform Ohio Now is picking up steam in its efforts to put three progressive Ohio Constitutional amendments on the November 2005 ballot. On 8/9 they filed twice the number of signatures needed. The impact of Coingate couldn't be more imminent, or shocking. If these reforms pass, they could cost the GOP control of Ohio's General Assembly and the Congress (losing as many as six congressional seats in Ohio and having these reforms spread to other states.)

The first amendment reintroduces competition in state and congressional elections in Ohio by creating an independent redistricting commission - thereby keeping politicians out of the gerrymandering process.

The second would rescind the corrupt Ohio GOP campaign finance "reform" package that allows direct corporate involvement in elections for the first time, and increases to $20,000 the amount an individual can give to a state candidate per year.

The third amendment would create a bipartisan, statewide, Board of Elections, as opposed to our current system that allows a politician to put his interests and his party's interests ahead of the public interest. And, significantly, allow anyone to vote using an absentee ballot for any reason.

Pounder at has a great post on the GOP group calling themselves "OhioFirst!" (incorporated in Delaware!) that is trying (and failing) to stop the progress of Reform Ohio Now. Also credit to Ohio Blog: Hypothetically Speaking.

Jim Provance, the state reporter for our own Toledo Blade has a good summary of yesterday's developments.

Then there is David Murphy's story today in The New York Times. More national attention on Ohio politics. More urgency than ever for Democrats to stop the "Finky" in-fighting and train our energies on the real work of reforming our job-wounded, scandal-pocked state.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will this affect Kaptur's district, which I think is heavily Democratic. If it makes her district more competetive than I think she will be less apt to be off the deep-end on some of her issues. Someone told me she voted AGAINST stem cell research. I support Marcy, but she is getting out of touch on some stuff. I think making some of these state races competive in Toledo is a good thing. At least we'll have some real campaigns and not be rubber stamping whatever Democrat we send to the state house.

8:50 PM  
Blogger historymike said...

You can bet that GOP lawyers will tie those amendments (if they pass) up in court for a loooong time.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

It could indeed effect Ohio's 9th District. Of course, if only Republicans could vote in Wood, Fulton, Lucas and Ottawa Counties (her old district) - she'd still win.

Not sure lawyers can tie up amendments to Ohio's Constitution for that long - when an amendment passes, it creates new law. Hard to argue with that.

11:46 PM  
Blogger Lisa Renee said...

Herb Asher, professor emeritus of political science at Ohio State University and a founder of the group said he expected Republicans would benefit more than Democrats from the proposal for drawing congressional and legislative districts because Republican voters are spread out more geographically than are Democratic voters.

If this is true then why would Democrats support this and Republicans like Rep. Kevin DeWine, say "This is not about good government or government reform," DeWine said. "This is about pure partisan politics."

Something doesn't make sense.

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa, I think you make an interesting point. While this Reform thing might help us statewide, it will probably cost us a few Democratic seats in Lucas County. Right now I think we hold all of them except out in Sylvania.

10:56 AM  

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