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Government and Politics

TV ads against Issue 2 are being aired on throughout Ohio
The group airing the ads says that Issue 2 would create a system of unelected commissioners
This story is part of a special series.

Jo Ingles

The group that wants to defeat a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would change the redistricting process is taking its message to the airwaves. But the group supporting the proposal says the ad is misleading. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles has more on the story.

Ingles on ads against Issue 2

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Ingles on ads against Issue 2 short version

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No matter where you live in Ohio, You will soon be hearing an ad like this.

“Issue 2 would change our constitution, creating a system of unelected commissioners who would influence who can represent us in the Capitol.  They could set their own pay and taxpayers would be forced to foot the bill….”

That ad is sponsored by a group called “protect your vote”.  The group, along with the Ohio Republican Party, wants to defeat the proposed constitutional amendment that , if passed, would create a commission to draw boundary lines for congressional and legislative races in the future.  Carlo LaParo is a spokesman for Protect Your Vote.

“Issue 2 would create an unaccountable and unelected commission of government bureaucrats who would spend tax dollars and not be accountable to taxpayers.  The issue has too many flaws and leaves too many questions unanswered and that’s the message that we are bringing to Ohio voters today.”

LaParo says groups like the Ohio State Bar Associaiton, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and others are supporting his cause to defeat the proposed constitutional amendment.  But he’s not saying exactly who will be paying for this statewide ad buy.

“Well we will report our contributors as required by law in October.  We take contributions from individuals and groups.”

“I think it’s interesting that they are not telling us who is paying for this one because if they tell the truth and if they put forth a transparent project then my side wins.”

That’s Sandy Theis, a spokeswoman for Voters First, the group that’s backing the proposed constitutional amendment.  She says the problem is that this ad is misleading voters.

“It requires input from the citizens.  Citizens can try to get on the commission if they want to as long as they have the credentials.  And they can have a seat at the table and watch while those new maps are made.  The maps that we have today were drawn in secret in a hotel room and the people who were drawing in secret called it the bunker.  That’s the kind of mindset we are dealing with right now.  The bunker would no longer be allowed and citizens could sit at the table and have input in drawing the maps.”

Theis says the current system allows the party in charge of state government to draw maps that favor its candidates….thereby making districts less competitive….allowing more extreme candidates to win elections.  And she says taxpayers currently pay for that politically shrouded process.  She thinks once voters really learn about this proposal, they’ll vote for the amendment.  And Theis says her side will also air ads this fall, explaining their plan to voters.

Listener Comments:

--- "Theis says the current system allows the party in charge of state government to draw maps that favor its candidates….thereby making districts less competitive….allowing more extreme candidates to win elections..." - This seems like an overstatement since this process has been used for decades - if the redistricting produced a negative result for Republicans, nothing would be said, because Republicans do not routinely use deceiving tactics. - Once voters really learn about this proposal, they’ll vote against the amendment -if- they find answers on their own, and not allow ads or political entities to make their decisions for them.

Posted by: Dem power grab for Nov. on September 15, 2012 9:09AM
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