The Ohio Ballot Board went into session yesterday to rework the Issue 2 ballot language after being ordered to by the Ohio Supreme Court (see this diary for background) to rewrite the "fatally flawed" language that they had approved earlier this month. The court stated that the way it was worded was intended to cause voters to reject the measure which is intended to change the way Ohio redistricts its General Assembly and congressional districts. It is a Constitutional Amendment proposal to end Gerrymandering as we know it in Ohio.
The effect, if the amendment is passed is to allow voters to select its legislators, not to have its legislators select its voters, and to end the abuses we currently have in Ohio.
Trading one party-line vote for another, the Ohio Ballot Board approved new summary language for Issue 2 yesterday, one day after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the board’s prior summary was inaccurate to the point of being “fatal to the validity of the ballot.”More below the fold.
Democrats and Voters First Ohio, the coalition pushing the redistricting issue, say the new ballot language isn’t much better than what was replaced.
I will share some of my long observation of Ohio politics. When a ballot initiative is proposed, the big money in opposition to a proposal will always build their attack around a fear of legalese and complexity which is built into the proposal. The ads almost write themselves:
Key the grim music. "This XX page law (or amendment) is too complicated! It gives someone (anyone) a key to the Ohio Treasury, and allows some unforseen evil force unlimited power to spend the taxpayers money, and oh, HEAVENS! it gives unlimited power to an unelected board, beholden to no one!"This is the clear intent of the Ballot Board's Republican majority (guess who settles ties, Surprise!, Surprise! it's the Secretary of State, Jon Husted), that since they were prohibited from putting misleading language on the ballot, they settled for the next best strategy, which was putting long and complex language on the ballot, which people will never read, and they can demaguge with something similar to the ad above. A Republican campaign against something will always revert to fear of the unknown, particularly if the measure threatens to limit their power, and this one will certainly limit their power, if passed, and it will take effect in time for the 2014 primaries.
So the stage is set. The Republicans first tried lying, and now they are trying complexity and obsfucation, which will provide a lead-in to their already in the can advertising campaign. When this one gets rejected by the court, their next tactic will to try to change the wording of the ballot to a situation where No means Yes, and Yes means No, which is also a standard tool in the Republicans confusion and obsfucation bag. This means likely three trips to the Supreme Court, which is also intended to take the limited resources from the proponents of the amendment, and to shorten the time that the Republicans need to carpet bomb Ohio with their fear campaign, which likely has three versions already in the can. Remember, the net effect here is to limit Republican Power, which will cause them to spend unlimited sums of money to avoid.
Back to the article:
(Snip) But Turcer compared the board’s action to “teenage behavior” — Republicans were mad about the ruling so they responded with an overreaction.Fair use prohibits any more copying, but you can go here to read the article.
“The voters just want something that is balanced and understandable,” Turcer said.
The two Democrats on the Ballot Board offered three summary-language changes, but all were defeated.
“We don’t want to swap misleading for confusion,” said Fred Strahorn, a Democratic board member from Dayton. “The technical language we’re using in this version is going to be confusing for a lot of voters.”
But fellow board member Sen. Keith Faber, R-Celina, said the court indicated that complete text could be used.
Your comments are appreciated. Republicans will fight tooth and nail and will spend unlimited amounts of money to spread fear, and work around the clock to do anything to defeat any measure that has the potential to limit their power. This measure, which WILL appear on the November 6 ballot, threatens that equilibrium, and we can expect the Radical Republicans to spend millions over the last month of this campaign, a time which is rapidly approaching. Jon Husted has only one goal, and that is to find each and every way to continue the Republican domination of Ohio politics for as long as he can, whether it is through voter suppression, or misleading voters. Whatever it is, he will do it, and he will do it shamelessly. I have always contended that sociopaths have no sense of shame, and in my view, I believe Jon Husted is no different.
Update 1: H/T to Kurt from CMH - Plain Dealer article with new ballot text, old ballot text, Supreme Court ruling with Voters First proposed text.