The messaging around Ohio Issue 1
Voting is underway for the special Aug. 8 election that could make it harder to change the Ohio Constitution.
On this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the messaging around Issue 1, which could raise the threshold to change the Ohio Constitution.
Early Voting Begins On Issue 1
A yes vote on Issue 1 would make it much harder for citizen groups to get on the ballot and then require a 60% majority to pass future amendments. Currently, constitutional amendments must pass by a simple majority of 50% plus 1.
The vote no side has a pretty clear and consistent message. They argue this amendment would destroy majority rule, would end the practice of "one person, one vote" and they also claim special interests are pushing this effort.
The vote yes side’s messaging has been a little more diffuse and has changed over the past several months.
Here are some of the reasons supporters said we need tougher standards to change the Ohio constitution.
- To protect the constitution from special interests - in particular out-of-state special interests. Although the pro-Issue 1 campaign has been bankrolled by Republican megadonor Illinois billionaire Richard Uihlein.
- To protect against corruption, like we saw with Larry Householder and the nuclear bailout scandal.
- To protect against the radical left agenda.
- To protect small businesses from a liberal agenda - namely an effort to raise the Ohio minimum wage.
Now the latest reason - to protect the family.
Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis said at a meeting in Subury that opponents to issue 1 have a goal to destroy the family unit and this is their first step toward doing it. Cleveland.com reported at the same meeting State Rep. Beth Lear (R-Galena) said the United States is not a democracy, but a constitutional republic. She went on to say "democracy is mob rule."
Of course, Issue 1 in this August election is all about one issue - abortion rights. And this week, the opponents pointed that out in their latest TV ad.
Snollygoster Of The Week
This week it goes to the Vote No on Issue 1 campaign. Opponents of Issue 1 have sent out mailers to voters. One mailer is rather Orwellian.
One side of the mailer has key voter information, including early voting information, the date of the special election, while the other side includes this warning.
“Whom you vote for is private, but whether or not you vote is a matter of public record. We will be reviewing public records following the election to determine whether or not you joined your neighbors in voting.”
It’s a shrewd move aimed at driving up turnout. And there is evidence it has worked in other campaigns. A yes vote would make it much harder for citizen groups to get on the ballot. It would then require a 60% majority to pass future amendments.