ICYMI: Valley GOP rallies support for Issue 1

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 SB5 was repealed, however, via the Ohio Revised Code by referendum — something that still would have been possible if Issue 1 had been in place, Lusheck argued.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.

Valley GOP rallies support for Issue 1 | News, Sports, Jobs – Tribune Chronicle (tribtoday.com)

ICYMI… ‘It’s time to fix that:’ Republican party head urges Ohioans to vote on constitution issue

Mansfield News Journal


Alex Triantafilou, chair of the Ohio Republican Party, spoke Monday in Mansfield during a luncheon hosted by the Richland County Republican Party.

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.”

Mansfield News Journal

To the editor: August vote protects Constitution, not violate it

To the editor: August vote protects Constitution, not violate it
By: Chairman Alex Triantafilou
Toledo Blade

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.

LTE: Dispatch Editorial Disrespects Lawmakers, Ignores the Merits of Issue 1

DEAR EDITOR: The Columbus Dispatch’s recent editorial regarding the August 8 Special Election is a repugnant perversion of Issue 1.

Rather than discuss the merits of the issue on its face, they mislead their readers on the facts and resort to calling the Ohio General Assembly names in a manner that is highly disrespectful to both our trusted lawmakers and the Ohioans they represent.

They use words like “insincere,” “hypocrites,” and “dictators,” while printing unfettered hyperbole that plays directly into far-left special interests’ talking points.

Issue 1 does not “kill a 111-year-old right.” That is patently false, and they know it. It preserves the ability for citizens to amend the Ohio Constitution, while ensuring changes are widely popular and in the best interest of the vast majority of Ohioans by garnering at least 60% support. It ensures voters in all 88 counties have a voice in what statewide issues are on the ballot. It ensures the rules are followed when collecting signatures.

The policy issues they describe are rightly debated and should be governed by the state’s primary policy document—the Ohio Revised Code. Issue 1 does absolutely nothing to change citizens’ role in determining our state laws via initiated statute, referendum or typical legislation.

Ohio’s Constitution is a foundational document meant to secure individual liberties and establish our form of government. This elevated document absolutely should have an elevated standard to amend. The Dispatch Editorial Board knows this, but appear too blinded by the tactics of the left to care. Ohio’s Constitution is not for sale, and Ohioans will turn out in droves to vote yes on August 8.

Alex Triantafilou is Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party

Submitted to the Columbus Dispatch on 5/30/2023.

Ohio Republican Party Releases Statement on Issue 1

COLUMBUS—Today, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Alex Triantafilou issued the following statement on the upcoming August 8 Special Election and Issue 1:

Ohio GOP Applauds House Action to Protect Ohio’s Constitution

COLUMBUS—Today, the Ohio House of Representatives held a crucial vote on Senate Joint Resolution 2 which aims to defend Ohio’s Constitution by creating a higher voting threshold for citizen led and legislatively proposed constitutional amendments.

“Speaker Jason Stephens, President Matt Huffman, and other members have done a tremendous job navigating this difficult issue, and I applaud their strong leadership,” said Chairman Alex Triantafilou. “The Ohio Constitution is a foundational document that should absolutely have a higher threshold to amend, and I am confident Ohio voters will agree in August.”

During a meeting of the Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee on May 5, 2023, the committee unanimously voted to pass a resolution urging the House to bring SJR 2 to the floor for a vote—and for the issue to be taken up by Ohio voters during an August special election.

Border Officials Brace for End of Title 42, Sherrod Brown Doesn’t “Hear Much” About Immigration

Columbus—Title 42 is set to end this Thursday, May 11, and Joe Biden’s Administration is woefully unprepared. Even Democrats are “railing” against Biden and Kamala Harris’ handling of the southern border as the Title 42 expiration approaches.

Already, we have seen over 6.3 million illegal border crossings under Biden. This includes the 1.3 million gotaways that have escaped past Border Patrol into the U.S. The expiration of the immigration policy will surely make matters worse.


Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to concern Democrats like Sherrod Brown, who sees the open border only as a concern of the “far-right.” Thanks to Joe Biden’s open border and Sherrod Brown’s indifference, Ohio ranked third in country for highest total fentanyl deaths in 2021.

Bottom Line: An open border only leads to dangerous drugs and violent crime reaching Ohio. Joe Biden’s crisis is going to get a lot worse, and Sherrod Brown simply doesn’t care.

Justice Pat Fischer to Receive Top Award at Ohio Bar Association’s Annual Meeting

COLUMBUS—Today, Republican Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat Fischer will be presented the Ohio Bar Medal, the Ohio State Bar Association’s highest honor. It is awarded to those who have given unselfishly of their time and talent by taking prominent leadership roles on the bench and in the organized bar, and to those who have worked quietly to earn the deep admiration and respect of the community.

“Ohio is blessed to have brilliant, conservative legal minds who are consistent in their application of the law on our state’s highest court,” said Chairman Alex Triantafilou. “This award is truly an honor, and there are none more deserving than Justice Pat Fischer.”

A former Ohio Bar President, Justice Fischer is in his second term on the state’s high court. According to the association, “he has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to public service and zeal for the continuous improvement of our justice system. For his many years of dedicated service to the legal profession and his enduring work to improve Ohio’s judicial system, Justice Fischer is the 2023 recipient of the Ohio Bar Medal.”

For more information on today’s 2023 Ohio Bar Annual Meeting of Members, click here.

Ohio GOP Endorses Justice Joe Deters, Judges Megan Shanahan and Dan Hawkins for Ohio Supreme Court

COLUMBUS—Today, the Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee (SCC) voted to endorse Ohio Supreme Court Justice Joe DetersFranklin Court of Common Pleas Judge Dan Hawkins, and Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan for the 2024 Ohio Supreme Court elections.

“It has been an honor to get to know each of the fine jurists seeking to serve on Ohio’s highest court,” said Chairman Alex Triantafilou. “Following our thoughtful and deliberative screening process, I am confident that each of these brilliant legal minds will serve the people of Ohio, and the Ohio Constitution, in a manner Ohioans have come to expect from our Republican members of the Ohio Supreme Court.”

Recommendations for endorsements by the Ohio Republican Party Judicial Screening Committee were voted on and adopted by the full SCC at the Ohio GOP State Central Committee meeting on May 5, 2023.

“All three candidates bring experience in the judiciary, and their strong backgrounds as prosecutors demonstrate their commitment to being tough on crime and making our state safer for all Ohioans,” added Triantafilou.

From the Candidates:

“I’m honored to receive the trust and endorsement of the Ohio Republican Party,” said Justice Joe Deters. “It is critical that the three of us endorsed today are successful in the upcoming election, and the action by the committee today is a step in that direction.”

“I’m thrilled with the endorsement from the Ohio Republican Party,” said Judge Shanahan. “I’ve been all over Ohio the past several months and have met many amazing Republican leaders and voters. I look forward to meeting even more voters across this state and telling them how my conservative judicial philosophy will help protect Ohio families and grow our state.”

“I’m honored to have received the endorsement and full support of the Ohio Republican Party. It is essential that we have justices on the court dedicated to the constitution, upholding the law as it is written, and not legislating from the bench,” said Judge Hawkins. “I look forward to continuing to travel around the state to discuss the importance of the Ohio Supreme Court and the outcome of this election.”

Candidates who are endorsed by the Ohio Republican Pary have exclusive access to party resources, data, and other party support. The Ohio Republican Party has a history of screening and endorsing judicial candidates for the Ohio Supreme Court ahead of primary elections.

ICYMI: U.S. House of Representatives Passes Limit, Save, Grow Act

COLUMBUS—Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act. While Republicans are taking action, Joe Biden refuses to negotiate and is using the opportunity to fearmonger and campaign at the risk of driving the United States off a fiscal cliff.

Here is what some members are saying:

Kevin McCarthy (Speaker)

Brad Wenstrup (OH-2)

Bill Johnson (OH-6)

Max Miller (OH-7)

Warren Davidson (OH-8)

Troy Balderson (OH-12)

Mike Carey (OH-15)

Bottom LineOhio’s children will bear the brunt of the U.S. debt and pay the price if Joe Biden’s Democrats continue down the path of failed leadership and irresponsible spending.