Don’t believe that Issue 1 will ‘save our Constitution’


To the Editor:

I urge all Ohio voters to join me in voting “no”on Issue I in August. Passage would deny voters the power to pass, by a simple majority, citizen-led initiatives when the legislature cannot or will not follow our will.

For 110 years we have had this power under the state Constitution. Currently 50% plus one of votes cast are required to pass an initiative. Issue I would increase the required percentage to 60%. That means 40% of opposing voters would be able to outweigh the will of the majority who favor an initiative.

The proponents of Issue 1 claim that passage would protect from the passage of laws by “special interests.” That claim is based on the absurd assumption that the over 8 million registered voters in Ohio are more vulnerable to undue influence and corruption than the 99 House and 33 Senator members.

The evidence suggests otherwise: In recent years Ohio’s legislative leadership was corrupted by special interests involving the nuclear power industry, resulting in a 20-year prison sentence for the House speaker and costing Ohioans millions. Such corruptibility indicates that we need citizen-led initiatives to rein in our legislature when it fails to follow our will or, even worse, is corrupted by special interests.

A political action committee Save Our Constitution was established to fund support for Issue 1. More than $1 million has come from Illinois billionaire Richard Uihlein.

Proponents of Issue 1 have cited no examples from the past where Ohio voters have been victimized by “special interests” into passing a citizen-led initiative that favored such interests over the interests of the majority. We never needed that protection, and should not be misled into believing that Issue 1 will “save our Constitution.”

The last four Ohio governors of Ohio — two Republicans and two Democrats — all oppose Issue 1. Former Republican Gov. John Kasich said: “Ohio is stronger when we can all lend our voices and we all have an equal chance to participate in the work of our state’s democracy. I’ve experienced that firsthand having policies backed by myself and a majority of the legislature’s members overturned at the ballot box and it never occurred to me to try to limit Ohioans’ right to do that. It wouldn’t have been right then, and it isn’t right now.”

Vote “no” on Issue 1.

Joseph Jacoby

Bowling Green

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