© 2022 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Group Has One Week Left to Collect Enough Signatures to Get Energy Bill on the Ballot

a photo of the petition
ANDY CHOW
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
The group Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts must collect more than 265,000 valid signatures to get a referendum on the energy bill before voters.

A group that wants Ohioans to vote on an energy law that bailed out Ohio's two nuclear power plants has one more week to get enough petition signatures. They need nearly 260,000 valid signatures to put the law before voters next year.  

But supporters of the bailout are waging an unrelenting fight to stop that. 

The pro-bailout Ohioans For Energy Security has been urging people not to sign petitions that would put the bailout on the ballot – first with ads and mailers linking the campaign to China, and now targeting the people who’ve been hired to gather signatures. 

Commercials on TV and radio are now warning viewers with lines like this, “Now, they’ve resorted to bringing in shady out of state political operatives….”

Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts spokesman Gene Pierce says the other side is using information about their circulators found on required forms. Pierce's group has filed a federal lawsuit suit asking for more time to get signatures.

“We’re still on course, I believe, to make our deadline but it’s a battle. Every day’s a battle.”

The pro-bailout forces have also asked the Ohio Supreme Court to rule that the plan is a tax and can’t be put to voters. There's been no ruling on that yet.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.