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Published: Saturday, 10/29/2005

Guests on 'The Editors' debate election reform measures

Both a supporter and an opponent of four election-reform measures on the statewide Nov. 8 ballot bolstered their arguments with references to the federal indictment of Tom Noe.

In discussing Issue 3 - a proposed constitutional amendment to limit campaign contributions - supporter Herb Asher said on The Editors television program that the indictment "will indicate to Ohioans that there are problems of campaign finance and the corruption of the system and violations of the law."

But an opponent, state Rep. Kevin DeWine (R., Fairborn), said the Noe indictment helps his argument: Some people are always going to try to put money into the campaign process.

And while it's illegal to use others as conduits for individual contributions, low limits will force contributors to fund third-party organizations, which are not accountable to voters and will "have a voice that is stronger than the candidates we're trying to elect," he said.

Mr. Asher, a professor emeritus at Ohio State University, and Mr. DeWine also discussed Issue 2, which would allow voters to cast a ballot by mail within 35 days of an election without stating a reason; Issue 4, which would create a state redistricting commission to redraw congressional and legislative districts every 10 years; and Issue 5, which would create a bipartisan board to supervise elections, removing the secretary of state from the process.

They were questioned by Thomas Walton, vice president and editor of The Blade.

The Editors will be broadcast at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow on WBGU-TV, Channel 27.

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