What caused voters to reject the measures was the fact that out-of-state special interest groups funded the campaign. On one hand Democrats claimed that special interests had too much say in the Ohio election process and yet special interests were trying to change it. From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Reform Ohio Now, backed primarily by Democrats and unions, billed the four amendments, known as Issues 2, 3, 4 and 5, as a means to rid state government of corruption.
Ohio First, made up mainly of Republicans and business groups, used a sophisticated campaign to deliver a death blow to the measures.
State Rep. Kevin DeWine, R-Fairborn, who helped lead the opposition, said voters were united in their opposition across the state, and the four amendments were defeated in urban, rural and suburban areas. “This shows that ideas matter and that bad ideas lose,” DeWine said.
He said voters got the message the measures were being pushed in Ohio by out-of-state liberal groups.
Ohio First campaigned successfully against the issues by arguing that they would lead to more bureaucracy at the state level, strip away the right to vote, hand over important government duties to appointed boards rather than elected officials and give an edge to unions and independently wealthy individuals in campaigns.
Opponents also emphasized that the Ohio Constitution was not the proper mechanism for addressing the issues.
The Christian Coalition of Ohio also opposed the amendments and provided a list of the issues and their opposing viewpoint at their website:
Issue Two – No-Fault Absentee Voting
• Clutters the Constitution with election regulations on mail or absentee ballots and provisional ballots-regulations that could lead to election fraud and abuse without legislative recourse.
Issue Three – Deforming Campaign Finance
• Allows special interest, even those out of state, to give ten times more money to a statewide candidate than any individual is allowed.
• Allows those special interests to keep the names of their contributor’s secret.
• Wealthy candidates have no spending limits, but citizens are severely limited in donations, leaving a tremendous advantage to millionaire candidates.
• Clutters the Constitution with set-in-stone spending limits that won’t reduce the cost of campaigns.
Issue Four – Appointment Board and Legislative Districts
• Removes legislative district drawing power from well known directly elected officers and gives it to a politically appointed board whose members are not required to meet any minimum level of qualification.
• It uses a complicated mathematical formula to draw districts that has never been used in any state.
• This new bureaucracy in Columbus will be granted virtually unlimited power to spend Ohio tax dollars with essentially no oversight by Ohio voters, elected officials, or the state legislature. Could lead to fewer minority elected officials and reduced representation of minority communities in the legislature and Congress.
Issue Five – Appointed Elections Commission
• Takes away Ohioans’ right to vote for the state’s chief elections officer. Instead, it creates a new statewide elections board of political appointees who would never face election and would never be held accountable to Ohio voters.
• This proposal would give this new bureaucracy a blank check to spend tax dollars without oversight by voters or elected officials. Issue Five invites legal challenges at every election, possibly turning Ohio into a Florida.
No right thinking person would believe that these are real reforms. These are reactionary measures taken by the liberal losers of the 2004 election. They really didn’t want to help Ohio. They just wanted to help themselves. Why do liberals believe that if you can’t win a contest that you should change the rules?
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