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.