With Election Day coming up, much is being thrown at us about State Issues 2, 3, 4, and 5, which will dramatically change our Ohio Constitution.
In the 60 years I have been an Ohio resident (actively participated in the election process for more than half of them; 11 years on Ottawa County Election Board) it has been with great pride that I boast of the honesty and fairness that I have seen displayed.
I can t say that I m pleased with all people in power and the way they have served the office to which we have elected them, but we did it, not the election system.
These drastic amendments stand to make our elections more susceptible to voter fraud, make politicians less accountable, put more power in the hands of special interest groups, allow appointed bureaucrats to spend unlimited tax dollars, and give out-of-state millionaires the ability to spend their own personal fortunes to influence our Ohio elections.
These Ohio Constitution proposals are full of loopholes. They are not true political reform just more politics being played by out-of-state special interests who want to grab and control Ohio elections.
Keep our Ohio election system fair and square. Vote No on Issues 2, 3, 4, and 5.
YVONNE N. DARLING
The most successful lie of right-wing capitalism states that nobody else has solutions for governing. The truth is that most successful governments in the world are neither totally socialist nor totally capitalist. They are a harmonic blend of both. Any government which exclusively embraces one system over the other ultimately pays the price of totalitarianism.
Today, it s our choice. Government by the people or oil monarchy? U.S.A. or banana republic? It matters little if the puppets of a government are from a socialist dictator or the shills of corporate power monopolies. The results are the same: stolen elections, rich-poor chasm, enormous debt, state propaganda with media control, assassinations, expansionist wars supporting military-industrial businesses. It is a state of affairs where the Noes, Tafts, Blackwells, Delays, Roves, Cheneys, Rumsfelds, Enrons, Halliburtons, and Wal-Marts of the world thrive.
Ignoring plausible governmental solutions in favor of totalitarian capitalist ideology conveniently coincides with the consequent greed which benefits only a few. Big Oil is the paradigm. Since the early 1970s oil shortage, there has been populist support for alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, and ethanol. Government-funded research showed great strides in solar energy technology during the 1970s. It was in 1980 that Ronald Reagan and Big Oil destroyed that initiative. This ill advised policy has continued with every Big Oil-controlled administration to the present.
The moral values party is anything but. On Nov. 8, Ohio has a chance to redeem itself from last year s fraudulent election debacle and dissipate the enormous corruption here. Passage of issues 2, 3, 4, and 5 is a good beginning.
I am surprised The Blade editorially opposes State Issue 2. Have you forgotten the long lines in all the large metropolitan cities in Ohio in the last election? Whether the lack of voting machines or poll workers was deliberate on the part of Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, the eyes of the world were on Ohio and what they saw was not equal access to voting. The fact that Mr. Blackwell pushed hard for President Bush s re-election raised questions that Karl Rove was working with him to influence the outcome of the election behind the scenes.
If Issue 2 is adopted, working people will have an equal opportunity to vote in person at their board of elections before Election Day or by mail. Long lines of voters who had to wait to vote until they got off work would be a thing of the past. The chance for fraud would not be greater because ballots would be mailed only to those people who are registered to vote.
The rules governing the ability of voters to cast an absentee ballot vary widely now in the different counties. My friend s husband, who was disabled, received an absentee ballot, but she, his caregiver, was not allowed to receive one. In other counties the rules were different. The passage of this amendment will make it clear that every registered voter can vote absentee if they choose.
Thirty years ago, Democrats controlled the Statehouse and legislative maps were drawn to protect incumbents and preserve democratic control. Today Republicans are in charge and the process has repeated itself. Ohio is again experiencing the corruption, mismanagement, and arrogance of power that one-party rule breeds.
Issue 4, along with its companions, Issues 2, 3, and 5, will do much to return competition, democratic dialogue, and bipartisan cooperation to Ohio politics.
Instead of leaving the process of districting to the dominant party and self-serving incumbents, Issue 4 creates a time-limited nonpartisan panel (not a new state bureaucracy) to consider redistricting plans proposed by Ohio citizens and presumably reflecting many competing interests.
Issue 4 requires the panel to draw legislative districts that are politically competitive but that also respect the community identity of our cities and counties. The panel goes out of existence when this limited once-a-decade task is completed.
Ronald Reagan summed up the rationale for Issue 4 when he said that no congressional district should be safe because of the way it is drawn. It should be safe because the congressman represents the interests of the people in that district.
THOMAS J. McARDLE
What is the purpose of allowing readers to download the call from Devin Anaya to 911 pleading for police to prevent her mother from being slain?
I am sure that if it was one of your family members or close friends, you wouldn t be re-playing their grief for the sake of more hits on your Web site.
There is a fine line between freedom of speech and respect for privacy, and The Blade crossed it.
Rick D. Luedtke
What does the word stereotype mean? Ask any teenager. I am outraged to see how many times, and in how many different ways, a teenager is stereotyped as an indecent person. As a freshman in college, I know that it is not easy being a teen. We are followed in stores, not taken seriously, sometimes refused housing, and disrespected. I m not saying that all of us are angels, and that there aren t some valid reasons why we get stereotyped. However I am disgusted by how far this issue has gone.
I have read articles in which people have called us an infestation or a cancer. No human being deserves to be downgraded in such an awful way.
The law in Toledo that states only up to three unrelated peo ple are allowed to live in a house together is targeted at teenagers, specifically at University of Toledo students. Could this be age discrimination?
The law is only there because families living around campus have complained that they don t want to live next to drinking parties every night. Who said all teenagers are about drinking every night?
What happens when college students have no place to live during the school year because they have no family members to live with, and they can t afford to live on their own?
If this gets any worse, we might as well replace the definition of the word teenager with a not respected, indecent person between the ages of 13 and 19. Don t judge a book by its cover. Isn t that what society taught us growing up?
North Kennison Drive
One thing you forgot to mention concerning Issue 3. While it bans corporate contributions, there are no limits on union contributions. I wonder why?