Ohio lawmakers put a constitutional amendment to a vote in a special election for August. This was done to stop special interest groups from bypassing the normal legislative process. If Issue 1 is passed, the Ohio Constitution will be amended to require a supermajority of 60% instead of the 50% threshold for future amendments.
The amendment was made for one simple reason: amending the Constitution should not be a straightforward process. It shouldn’t be at the mercy of temporary controversies, or of large sums of money from special interest groups out of state. According to the certified ballot, “the proposed amendment would raise the standards for qualifying to initiate a constitutional change and pass a constitutional change.”
Secretary of State Frank LaRose is a major proponent of this amendment and a likely candidate for the U.S. Senate. He stated that “the Ohio Constitution was available to the highest bidder because it is too easy to sell”.
Years ago, Democrats and wealthy friends used the amendment process to push policies that they couldn’t get through the legislature. They’re now in panic mode, as their ability to bypass lawmakers may be ending. In a particularly high-spirited editorial, the Columbus Dispatch declared that Issue 1’s passage would “drive a knife in Ohio’s heart'”. Other activists, including the Dispatch, have called it a knife to the neck of the voters. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has called Issue 1 a travesty and warned Ohio voters to “do everything they can” to counter deceit and manipulation by exercising their constitutional rights as citizens.
Hyperbole can be telling. Since the 1970s, the constitutional amendment process has served to benefit everyone, from payday lenders and casinos to other large-money interests. They have written their business plans directly into Ohio Constitution. The casinos have used the process of a constitutional amendment to create a gambling monopoly within the state. They even included real estate maps in the Constitution that show the location of their casinos.
The state Constitution was amended nearly 200 times, and it contains almost 70,000 words. LaRose remarked that it “looks like something you would pick up at the grocery store, with Fabio’s face on the front.” Compare this to the U.S. Constitution. He added, “There have only been 27 constitutional amendments in our history despite 11,000 attempts.” The founders stated that 75% of the states must ratify any constitutional amendments. “It is about 7,000 characters. It has guided our nation through very difficult times. “And it fits in your wallet.”
LaRose explained, “They’re trying, like in other states, to legislate via constitutional amendment.” “That is not good governance.” “It’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard.”
A very important fact seems to have been overlooked by the “my Democracy!” crowd either due to ignorance or deception. If Issue 1 passes the citizens will have the power to pass laws through an “initiated statute” with a majority of 50% plus 1. Also, they will be able to repeal laws via referendum with 50% plus 1. They will not be able to amend the Constitution by a simple majority.
The secretary of state stated that this does not take away the majority rule or harm democratic principles. “It strengthens democracy when it says that laws should be made by a simple majority (50 percent plus one), but constitutional amendments will be different. You’re talking here about changing the founding charters of our states. To do this, you need to have a consensus. You should be able to get a wide cross-sectional agreement from Ohioans, whether they are urban or rural. The number chosen for Issue 1 was 60%. “You should get at least 60% of Ohioans to support your idea before amending our founding charter.”
LaRose called the lies of “so-called journalists — using air quotes because these people aren’t objective journalists; they are partisans shills at the end of the day — who are clearly in it to try to defeat this. The biggest lie that is being spread is the idea that this is an attack on democracy.
He said that Ohio was a huge outlier in comparison to other states. He said that most other states do not allow citizen-initiated constitutional amendments. “You must propose a constitution amendment at a convention or in the state legislature. There are only 17 states that allow constitutional amendments. After the passage of Issue 1, we’ll still be able to do that. “We’re only raising the threshold.”
Second, Issue 1 is not just about abortion. LaRose pointed out that he discussed Issue 1 for ten minutes at a county Lincoln Day Dinner, explaining “how this issue is not only about abortion”. It’s about protecting our Constitution. This is all about the issues that the left wants to insert into our Constitution.”
LaRose stated in his speech that he was “pro-life”. This is about abortion but also about other issues because the left is trying to include abortion in our Constitution.
The media accepted the clip without question after it was fed to them by a tracker for Sherrod Brown. LaRose is hoping to unseat him in 2024.
“Of Course, They took that 10-second video clip where I said ‘Of Course This is About Abortion’ and left out other issues.” The media used a “partisan tracker video” to attempt to run a story they called a news report that was completely false.
He said, “The next step is the minimum wage. Already, there is a campaign underway to collect signatures for a $15 minimum wage per hour with automatic inflation which would destroy small businesses. It’s not only about abortion but about many other things the left wants to include in our Constitution. They are lying outright to accomplish their dirty work.”
I have argued over and over that direct democracy is not a good idea. It subverts the republican form of government.
Thank you @FrantzRantz for helping me call out the lies peddled by the left and echoed by so-called “journalists”. Take a listen.
Facts > Emotional BS pic.twitter.com/iUPfLso6qp
— Frank LaRose (@FrankLaRose) June 25, 2023
One of my neighbors came to my door a while ago and asked me to sign a document to overrule the township trustees to stop a Dollar General store from opening up in my neighborhood. I told her that we elect trustees who represent us and should let them do their job. We can vote them out if we don’t agree with their decisions. This is how the Republican government should or can work.
In Ohio, instead, special interest groups that have the most money or those who create the scariest (and most dishonest ads) get their amendments in the Constitution. Citizens lose. It is reasonable to require a 60% majority in order to amend the Constitution. This is needed to fight special interests that want to have their pet projects incorporated into the State’s Charter.