You may have heard of another signature gathering campaign going on in Ohio called "Voters First". On their website,
they claim to be "led by a coalition of nonpartisan groups and people from across Ohio."
Voters First is also known by the name We Are Ohio. This is the same union organization that spent millions convincing Ohio voters to turn back Governor Kasich's government union reforms last year. The usual suspects include the SEIU, OEA, AFL-CIO and AFSCME. Not a very "non-partisan" set of groups.
Voters First are proposing a constitutional amendment that will change Ohio's redistricting process to one they claim is non-partisan. What they don't tell you, is that its almost a carbon copy of a system put in place in California. Democrats manipulated and controlled the system in California to ensure that the "non-partisan" citizens' commission contained a majority of extremely liberal Democrats.
Back in December, Pro Publica blew the lid off the how California Democrats gamed the process from the beginning.
Statewide, Democrats had been expected to gain at most a seat or two as a result of redistricting. But an internal party projection says that the Democrats will likely pick up six or seven seats in a state where the party’s voter registrations have grown only marginally.
The losers in this once-a-decade reshaping of the electoral map, experts say, were the state’s voters. The intent of the citizens’ commission was to directly link a lawmaker’s political fate to the will of his or her constituents. But as ProPublica’s review makes clear, Democratic incumbents are once again insulated from the will of the electorate.
The entire article illustrates the level of corruption in which the California Democrats engaged.
And now, Big Labor wants to do the same thing in Ohio. Here are some reasons this is a bad idea for Ohio:
- The citizens commission created by this amendment would be completely unaccountable to Ohio's voters. Currently, districts are drawn by elected state officials. If voters don't like the job that they are doing, they can vote them out of office. The unions want to put a commission in place that could not be removed from power by either the voters or any branch of government. How is that putting "voters first?"
- The commission would have no limits on the amount of taxpayer dollars they spend. They could decide to pay themselves as much as they want, and no one in the state government could stop them from overspending. That may be how they do things in California, but not in Ohio. Governor Kasich just overcame an $8 billion shortfall in the state budget left by his predecessor, Ted Strickland. We don't need to start handing a blank check to a group of bureaucrats.
- The language used in the amendment is extremely convoluted, and leaves lots of questions unanswered. Some of the loopholes created will be open to abuse by special interests, and subject to litigation, leading to possible delays in the electoral process.
Finally, this group that says they are trying to improve our electoral system is already ruining it by breaking election laws to get it on the ballot.
Watch this video where the Voters First worker tells a man that he can sign the petition for his brother.
Here is another video, where the Voter's First worker tells a man from out of state that he can sign the petition, as long as he puts down a county.
The unions are bankrolling a paid signature gathering campaign, so it is not unlikely that this horrible amendment will find its way on to the November ballot. Let's hope that the government unions don't fool Ohio voters again.
Cross-posted on Third Base Politics