Outrage in Ohio

4 mins read

Help us stop the Ohio outrage

In what newspapers are calling a “statehouse con” and an “historic abuse of power,” Ohio Republicans are trying to sneak into law an anti-abortion/anti-democracy measure that would leave voters with no way to check their lopsided gerrymandered legislature. 

This cynical power-grab is called “Issue 1,” and it’s the only thing on the ballot in a special election scheduled for August. To protect their right to a voice in their own government, Ohio voters must VOTE NO on this initiative.

The shamelessness of Issue 1 is breathtaking. Last year Republican lawmakers voted to eliminate August elections in Ohio because they are expensive and extremely low-turnout. But when Ohio doctors and activists began collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to protect abortion rights, far-right extremists realized that an ultra-low-turnout is just what they need! So they have scheduled this election, which will cost Ohio taxpayers $20 million, to slip in a new rule requiring 60 percent of voters to approve proposed constitutional amendments; the current threshold is 50 percent plus one. This change would make amendments virtually impossible in Ohio; it directly contradicts the cherished principles of majority rule and one person, one vote. 

The proponents of Issue 1, bankrolled by fatcats like Illinois billionaire Richard Uihlein, have raised millions for a dog-days advertising blitz. They caution supporters not to mention the 60 percent threshold (sounds undemocratic!) or the real reason for the measure. Their aim, they say, is “to prevent outside interests from buying their way into our constitution,” though they cannot cite an example of that ever happening. Nor can they explain why the issue is so urgent as to require a $20 million special election. Why can’t it wait until November? Because they need to pass their proposal before abortion rights get onto the November ballot. Of course they’re not telling that to Ohio voters. So we have to tell them.

Join us in spreading the word to Ohioans: vote NO on Issue 1!

Let’s work up some outrage of our own and defeat this horrible thing!

And then, on to Wisconsin 

On July 18 we have a chance to make a dent in another entrenched gerrymandered legislature: a special election to fill a recently vacated seat in Wisconsin’s general assembly. Our friends at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin are asking for our help flipping this seat from red to blue by electing Bob Tatterson, so we’re pitching in with get-out-the-vote calls on June 15, the last Saturday before the election: 12-2 PM and 2-4.

We’ll be calling strong and leaning Democrats in the 24th assembly district; it shares a lot of territory with the 8th senate district, which some of us got to know in spring. 

We’ll be using OpenVPB, a relatively low-tech dialing platform, so this is a great opportunity for the inexperienced and digitally challenged. Sign up here to join us, and check out the WisDems Call Team Resource Hub for more opportunities to help, including a link you can use to call on your own schedule.  This will be another low, low-turnout election—just the kind we can win with a few hours work. 

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