Why voters should say ‘yes’ on Aug. 8
On Election Day, Aug. 8, Ohio voters will go to the polls to vote on Issue 1 to protect the integrity of the Ohio Constitution. A vote “yes” is necessary to protect our constitution from out-of-state special interests that are well funded and have been unable to win elections at the ballot box in Ohio thus far. A “yes” vote ensures that leftist special interests cannot come into Ohio, purchase our constitution, override our duly elected state officials or circumvent our elected judiciary.
For an amendment to be made to the U.S. Constitution, two-thirds of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives must support the amendment or two-thirds of the states must call a convention for the proposed amendment. Once one of those two things happen, three-fourths of the state’s legislatures must ratify the amendment. Only then is the proposed amendment officially part of our federal Constitution.
Our founding fathers did this for a reason. They created the greatest government document in history and then handily protected it from manipulation. This has only been accomplished 27 times in over 230 years. In contrast, the state of California amended its constitution 514 times. Ohio voters should not “Californicate” the Ohio Constitution and instead protect it with a “yes” vote on Aug. 8.
The threshold in Ohio to amend the constitution now stands at 50 percent plus one, which happens to be one of the lowest thresholds in the nation. This leaves our constitution vulnerable to outside entities and internal radical leftists’ agendas. Groups that are pumping millions of dollars into Ohio are urging voters and potentially misleading voters to oppose this common sense issue. They consist, in part, of Planned Parenthood, the Ohio ACLU, Democrat Socialists of Ohio, Ohio Education Association and the State Democrat Party, among others. The hypocrisy of those that oppose Issue 1 is that they are the same groups that have by-laws that require a 60 percent requirement or more to change their own constitutions; including the state and local Democratic Party. Can you imagine an organization of any kind having a higher litmus test than a state constitution has? Their argument is flawed. What is good for their own interests is not good enough for the voters of Ohio?
Another way that a “yes” vote is good for Ohio’s voters is that it requires more participation from citizenry from around the state to put an issue on the ballot to amend the Ohio Constitution. As it stands now only signatures from half of Ohio’s 88 counties are required to put a constitutional issue on the ballot. This proposed amendment requires signatures from all 88 counties, so every voter in every county has a say in a proposed change to our constitution.
Issue 1 also requires a time limit on signature collection. We previously have seen instances where outside groups spend years collecting signatures with paid circulators or signature collectors from out of state to put an issue on the ballot.
The old adage in Ohio politics is that the 3 C’s control Ohio: the large population centers of Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati. These cities and their counties have an inordinate amount of power over smaller population counties like Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana. Issue 1 proposes a changes that will level the playing field with these larger metro areas that currently can and have imposed their will on the rest of the state. An example is the constitutional amendment for casinos in Ohio that passed in 2012. The amendment that passed guaranteed that only Franklin, Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Lucas counties could have full casinos. Tens of millions were spent by out-of-state gambling interests, which then cut the other 84 counties out of the equation.
Ohio voters should remember millions of dollars are being spent to mislead them to vote against their own interests and support the endeavors of outside special interests. Voters should research and study the issue and then vote an informed “yes” to protect the Ohio Constitution.
Tom McCabe is chairman of the Mahoning County Republican Party.