DEAR EDITOR: In a recent story, Ron Adkins states that voting ‘no’ on Issue 1 will create more collaboration and less conflict in our political system. In fact, it is exactly the opposite.
A ‘yes’ vote on August 8 forces amendments to Ohio’s Constitution to have broad, bipartisan consensus before making dramatic changes. Requiring a 60% statewide vote will guarantee that these issues are widely popular, deeply vetted, and in the best interest of the vast majority of Ohioans. An elevated standard will demand elevated efforts of collaboration and compromise from anyone who would like to amend our state’s foundational document.
When special interest groups decide to try to enshrine their policy goals into the Ohio Constitution, the first question they will have to ask themselves is, “Will the vast majority of Ohioans support this?” That is exactly the question Ohioans should demand be answered before being asked to approve a change to our entire system of government. Anything less subjects our state to continued divisiveness being sown by special interests who would rather win their particular political fights than see what’s best for all Ohioans.
This is not controversial. Voting ‘yes’ will safeguard our sacred Constitution from outside forces who will spend unlimited amounts of money to achieve highly divisive political goals at the expense of everyday Ohioans.
For working Ohioans who are in favor of good government, voting ‘yes’ on Issue 1 is common sense. It preserves the People’s critical role in our government, while making sure controversial issues are left out of our Constitution.
Alex Triantafilou is the Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party
Submitted to The Chronicle on 6/27/23
Ohioans understand that there is a twisted, concerted effort by the far left to remove parental rights and seize control of kids’ development.
This week, the ACLU of Ohio said the quiet part our loud—apparently very upset about parents being notified of important developments in their children’s mental, emotional, or physical health.
stating that “there is no such thing as someone else’s child.”This comes on the heels of Joe Biden boldly
Sadly, Democrats believe that they know what kids need better than their parents, and they are willing to withhold critical information in the process.
Bottom Line: Ohio Families are not going to remain silent as the far left tries to replace parents and strip their parental rights.
BOARDMAN — A few leading Ohio Republicans are urging residents to vote for a measure that promises to have a major impact on altering the state constitution.
“We’re here today to fight for a yes on Issue 1,” Alex Triantafilou, Ohio Republican Party chairman, told a crowd of 50 to 60 who attended a rally Saturday morning at the Mahoning County Republican Party headquarters, 8381 Market St., to garner support for the measure.
Issue 1 is on the Aug. 8 special election ballot.
Last month, the Ohio Ballot Board approved added language for the controversial measure, which would make it more difficult to amend the Ohio Constitution by requiring a 60 percent supermajority of state voters. The current standard for passing constitutional amendments is a 50 percent plus 1 simple majority.
Dan Lusheck, the state party’s communications director, said Issue 1 will go a long way toward counteracting special interest groups “from pushing their policy agendas into the constitution.” The measure does not eliminate citizens’ ability to place referendums on the ballot to undo certain pieces of unpopular legislation.
He cited the example of the controversial Ohio Senate Bill 5, commonly known as the collective-bargaining bill, which the Ohio House of Representatives passed March 30, 2011, and restricted the state’s public workers’ ability to strike and collectively bargain. SB5 was repealed, however, via the Ohio Revised Code by referendum — something that still would have been possible if Issue 1 had been in place, Lusheck argued.
Issue 1 merely elevates the standards for all constitutional amendments “across the board” and holds lawmakers to the same standards as ordinary citizens, he explained.
During his presentation, Triantafilou said Issue 1 would repair the problem of what he contended was special interest groups being able to spend millions of dollars in the state and bypass the normal legislative channels for amending the constitution.
In more than 240 years, the U.S. Constitution has been amended only 27 times; by contrast, the Ohio document has been amended more than 150 times, which makes another case for raising the standards, Triantafilou continued.
He also urged attendees to take advantage of early voting to cast their ballots. The voter registration deadline is July 10; early voting starts July 11.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose noted that Florida, along with some blue states, already has adopted the 60 percent supermajority threshold for amending their constitutions.
LaRose said the Ohio constitution wasn’t written to include “day-to-day legislation,” such as raising the state minimum wage to $15 per hour or dealing with the abortion issue.
Despite claims that Issue 1 would reduce special interest groups’ ability to amend the constitution to fit their agendas, Senate Joint Resolution 2, which placed the issue on the ballot, was funded largely by an Illinois billionaire, countered Christopher Anderson, the Mahoning County Democratic Party chairman.
Instead, the measure is the Republicans’ latest effort “to ensure they’re accountable to absolutely no one,” opens the door wider for extreme pieces of legislation to pass and shows the party does not care about what most Ohioans want, he said.
In addition, it’s already difficult for citizens to lead a ballot effort to change the state constitution — something that requires a specific formula to be met, is a very expensive endeavor and needs hundreds of thousands of signatures, Anderson explained.
The vast majority of the more than 150 amendments to the Ohio Constitution were made by the General Assembly, not ordinary residents, Anderson said. He added that making a comparison between the number of amendments to the U.S. Constitution versus the Ohio one “is like comparing apples to bowling balls.”
“(Issue 1) is taking away one person, one vote and citizens’ say in what happens in Ohio,” state Rep. Lauren McNally, D-Youngstown, said.
The issue also exacerbates how difficult it already is to give momentum to grassroots, citizen-led initiatives in Ohio, something that’s “only done when the Legislature doesn’t do what people ask the Legislature to do,” she continued.
McNally added that Issue 1 also will make passing constitutional amendments harder by expanding signature requirements from 44 of Ohio’s counties to all 88.
Mansfield News Journal
Voting in the Ohio’s special election on Aug. 8 is “a golden opportunity,” Alex Triantafilou, chair of the Ohio Republican Party, said in Mansfield on Monday during a luncheon hosted by the Richland County Republican Party.
“That’s 63 days from today,” Triantafilou said. “Issue One is a measure that will appear on every ballot in Ohio that will say we are changing the threshold to amend the state constitution.”
The resolution, a proposed amendment, would increase the voter threshold to 60% for amendments put forward by citizens and the Legislature, the Columbus Dispatch has reported. It requires citizen groups to get voter signatures from all 88 counties, instead of 44, to place something on the ballot. And it would eliminate a 10-day period that petitioners are granted to replace any invalid signatures.
‘It’s time to fix that’
Changing the state’s constitution is far too easy, Triantafilou, a lawyer by trade, told the room of Republicans in Mansfield.
“The federal constitution has been amended exactly 27 times,” Triantafilou said. “The first 10 were the Bill of Rights.”
Since then, he said, another 17 have added over the years. It’s been a far different process in The Buckeye State.
“Our state constitution has been amended over 150 times,” Triantafilou said. “Special interests come in, they buy up television ads and spend a ton of money to get on the ballot, and then they amend the constitution. It’s time to fix that.”
‘Get your ballot and get it filled out’
Republicans have, historically, waited until Election Day to head to the polls, but the state’s Republican chair said the red vote can and should get out much sooner this year.
“We want your help educating all of your friends and your family and everyone else you know to get a ballot early,” Triantafilou said. “Get your ballot and get it filled out.”
Voters might like to know, he said, that the Republican database recognizes when a voter has cast a ballot early, and that all calls and mailed flyers will cease once someone has voted.
“You’re saving the campaign money and resources by voting earlier,” he said. “We want your help educating all of your friends and your family and everyone else you know to get a ballot early.”
Voting early also ensures there are no interruptions to the voting process on Election Day.
“Do you guys know that Sept. 11, 2001, that awful day where we were attacked in New York? It was an election day,” Triantafilou said. Cincinnati had its first mayoral primary that day. “Now, we’re not going to have Sept. 11. That’s preposterous example, but it’s one very high-profile example of how things can happen on Election Day.”
To the editor: August vote protects Constitution, not violate it
By: Chairman Alex Triantafilou
Democrats and far-left special interests are panicking because Ohio voters will have the opportunity on Aug. 8 to vote yes and protect Ohio’s Constitution.
While there are many false claims circulating that this is an attack on democracy, Issue 1 upholds the most basic principles of our Constitutional Republic, exactly as the Founding Fathers intended.
The United States’ Constitution was made purposefully difficult to amend, requiring a ⅔ vote in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as 75 percent of state legislatures to ratify.
However, a well-funded special interest campaign can amend the Ohio Constitution with a simple 50 percent + 1 statewide vote.
Critical to this debate is understanding the Ohio Constitution, the Ohio Revised Code, and the impact Issue 1 will have on the two primary documents that govern Ohio law.
Under Issue 1, the threshold to amend the Ohio Constitution would be raised to 60 percent + 1, ensuring anything added to our founding document is widely popular and in the best interest of the vast majority of Ohioans.
The new 60 percent threshold will apply not only to citizen led initiatives, but also to Constitutional amendments proposed by our elected lawmakers in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate.
This is common sense to anyone who does not want the Ohio Constitution to be the battleground for policymaking but believes it should maintain its role as a foundational document that secures our individual liberties and establishes our form of government.
On the other hand, Issue 1 has absolutely zero impact on changes to the Ohio Revised Code.
The Ohio General Assembly can still pass bills with testimony and input from the public to better the lives of the Ohioans they represent.
The people of Ohio can still repeal a law passed, or propose a new law, in the Ohio Revised Code with a 50 percent +1 statewide vote by way of referendum or initiated statute.
By voting Yes on Aug. 8, you are protecting Ohio’s Constitution, while preserving the people’s critical role in the governance of our state.
Every Ohioan who goes to the polls on Aug. 8 should have a clear understanding of this complex issue, as it will determine the security of the Ohio Constitution for generations to come.
Democrats are also trying to dupe Ohioans into believing Issue 1 is simply about the debate over abortion rights, which will certainly be a motivating issue for voters on both sides of the aisle.
The reality is, this is about much more than abortion lobbyists’ desire to enshrine late-term abortions into our Constitution.
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Restaurant Association, National Federation of Independent Businesses, and many others are supporting this issue for much different reasons related to Ohio’s long-term business climate and fiscal health of our businesses and families.
The bottom line is this: Most of these policy decisions are rightly debated by the Ohio General Assembly and should be governed by the Ohio Revised Code.
However, as previously mentioned, the people’s power is retained in their ability to roll back laws they do not agree with (such as Senate Bill 5) with a 50 percent + 1 statewide vote.
As Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, we will be working around the clock, encouraging every Ohio voter to get out and vote yes on Issue 1.