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UAPA issue endorsements

Here's a summary of UAPA's position on ballot issues 1, 2, 5 and 6:

  • Issue 1: Vote YES.
  • Issue 2: Vote YES.
  • Issue 5: Vote YES.
  • Issue 6: Vote NO.

ProgressOhio has conveniently deciphered the ballot issues and summarized them in a one page document. And here's a sample ballot of endorsed Democratic candidates to print and take with you to the polls.

UAPA's positions on the ballot issues align closely with those of the editors from Ohio's largest daily newspapers:

Newspaper or blog Ohio Issue 1 Ohio Issue 2 Ohio Issue 3 Ohio Issue 5/Payday loans Ohio Issue 6/Casino
Akron Beacon Journal - - - Yes No
Cincinnati Enquirer Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Cleveland Plain Dealer Yes Yes - Yes No
Columbus Dispatch Yes Yes Yes Yes No
The Courier - Findlay Yes Yes - - No
Canton Repository Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Dayton Daily News Yes Yes - Yes No
Mansfield NewsJournal
YesYesYesYes
Newark Advocate - - - No -
Toledo Blade Yes Yes No Yes No
Youngstown Vindicator - Yes - Yes No
Zanesville Times Recorder Yes Yes Yes Yes No

 

And here's the our rationale for our positions:

Issue 1: Provides for earlier filing deadlines for statewide ballot issues.

UAPA Position: Vote YES

Background: If approved by the voters, the measure would change the deadline for submitting initiative petitions in the state, moving the deadline backward from its current 90 days before the election to 125 days before the election.

The Ohio ballot is too frequently disturbed by issues appearing on it that have been withdrawn or did not actually make the ballot; an example of this is Ohio Issue 4 which will appear on the ballot but has been withdrawn by supporters. Another example is Ohio Ballot Issue 1 (2007).

Proponents of Issue 1 would curb such wastes by setting firm deadlines and resolving legal challenges before Election Day. Issue 1's opponents counter its passage would mean more expensive campaigns and likely costly delays in implementing state laws.

In our view, the potential rise in campaign costs for candidates is worth it to get the ballot right well in advance of Election Day.

 

Issue 2: Authorizes the state to issue bonds to continue Clean Ohio program for environmental revitalization and conservation.

UAPA Position: Vote YES

Background: Ohioans face a decision whether to continue to sell bonds to keep a program going that's cleaned up pollution, created jobs and preserved farms and wildlife habitats.

A "yes" vote for Issue 2 would enable the state to sell another $400 million in bonds for Clean Ohio programs.

Issue 2's approval would not raise taxes. Issue 2 programs have been implemented in almost all of Ohio's 88 counties.

Projects for Clean Ohio, which was started under former Governor Bob Taft, protect drinking water, clean and redevelop polluted industrial sites, preserve working family farms, promote economic development and create more outdoor recreational opportunities.

There is no organized opposition to Issue 2.

 

Issue 3: Amends the state constitution to protect the rights of landowners “to make reasonable use” of water that runs on or through a property.

UAPA Position: No position

Background: Ohio voters will be asked whether or not to protect the water use rights of property owners with land adjacent to lakes, rivers and streams. The measure was created by Ohio lawmakers in both parties as a conditional compromise to help guarantee passage of the Great Lakes Compact.

Voting "yes" will provide another layer of legal protection for private property owners to control rights to ground water underneath or on their land.

Pros:

  1. This amendment, if approved, is intended to reaffirm the rights and expectations of Ohio landowners to have reasonable use of the water on or under their properties.
  2. The proposed amendment does not establish absolute private ownership of water.
  3. It reiterates the state’s right to regulate water use and water quality.

Cons:
  1. The amendment is unnecessary because current Ohio case law already recognizes property owners’ interests in the reasonable use of surface and groundwater.
  2. The Ohio Constitution should be a body of fundamental principles, and should not be amended unless there is a compelling reason.
  3. The amendment could cause unexpected consequences and unintentional changes in current law.

The League of Women Voters of Ohio opposes Issue 3, noting that its board members believe it is “unnecessary; in addition, it might result in unanticipated changes in land-use rights. In either case, it does not belong in the constitution.”

Ohio League of Conservation Voters also opposes the issue.

 

Issue 5: Upholds or rejects a cap on interest that can be charged for payday loans and a limit on the number of loans customers can take out each year.

UAPA Position: Vote YES

Background: Ohio officials, legislators and those running for office this election season -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- are in nearly unanimous agreement in urging a "yes" vote on Issue 5.

Using Ohio's veto referendum process, lobbyists for the lending industry tried to overturn a current law, which caps the annual interest rate on loans at 28 percent, down from the 391 percent typically charged on a two-week loan, and limits the number of loans customers can take to four per year.

  1. Yes on 5 lowers interest rates on payday loans from 391% to 28% annual interest.
  2. Yes on 5 extends the same payday loan protections to all Ohioans that the federal government provides to military families.
  3. Yes on 5 ensures that loans will still be available for people who need them, but the interest rate is reduced so that it is comparable to the rates charged by credit cards.
  4. Yes on 5 helps prevent Ohioans desperate for quick cash from falling into a cycle of high-cost loans that they can never pay off.

Ohio Newspaper Endorsements – Vote Yes on Issue 5: Akron Beacon Journal, Canton Repository, Cincinnati Enquirer, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Columbus Dispatch, Dayton Daily News, Toledo Blade, Athens News, Chillicothe Gazette, Coshocton Tribune, Lancaster Eagle Gazette, Lorain Morning Journal, Medina County Gazette, The Communicator, Times-Reporter (Dover-New Philadelphia), Youngstown Vindicator, Zanesville Times Recorder

Partial List of Supporters: Governor Ted Strickland, Speaker Jon Husted, Senate President Bill Harris, Lt. Governor Lee Fisher, State Treasurer and Attorney General candidate Richard Cordray, Attorney General candidate Michael Crites, Former Attorney General Betty Montgomery, Former Attorney General Jim Petro, Northeastern Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association, County Commissioners Association of Ohio, Cincinnati City Council, Cleveland City Council, Columbus City Council, Mayor Michael Coleman, Mayor Frank Jackson, Mayor Mark Mallory, Mayor Rhine McLin, Mayor Donald L. Plusquellic, Mayor Scott Schertzer, Mayor Jay Williams, Montgomery County, Board of Commissioners, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Beatitude House, BREAD, Citizens Against Loan Sharks, Cleveland Housing Network, Catholic Conference of Ohio, Center for Responsible Lending, Community Development Corporations Assn of Greater Cincinnati, Community Shelter Board of Columbus, COHHIO, Equal Justice Foundation, ESOP, Greater Cleveland Board of Rabbis, Habitat for Humanity of Ohio, Hope House of Findlay, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance - Youngstown, John Edgar, United Methodist Church for All People, Jewish Family Services of Cincinnati, League of Young Voters, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, NAACP, Cleveland branch, National Association of Social Workers - Ohio, Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland, Northeast Ohio Legal Services, Ohio AARP, Ohio AFL-CIO, Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies, Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks, Ohio Coalition for Responsible Lending, Ohio Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Ohio Council of Churches, Ohio Democratic Party, OEA - Ohio Education Association, Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Farmers Union, Ohio Manufacturersʼ Association, Ohio Municipal League, Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy, Ohio Roundtable, Progress Ohio, Sojourners, SEIU #1199, Tim Ahrens, First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Tri County Independent Living Center, Inc., The Vineyard Church, United Way of Central Ohio, United Way of Summit County, U.S. PIRG, West Ohio Conference and East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist, Church, World Harvest Church

 

Issue 6: A proposed constitutional amendment to authorize the building of one privately owned $600,000,000 resort/casino near Wilmington, Ohio between Columbus and Cincinnati. If voters approve the measure, it will authorize the first casino in Ohio.

UAPA Position: Vote NO

Background:

Pros:

  1. Thirty-eight states—including Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania—have casino gambling. By authorizing a casino in Ohio, the profits could benefit our state rather than other states.
  2. All counties in Ohio may receive tax revenue generated by the casino, and each county can decide how to best spend its money
  3. The casino will also be required to pay all other applicable taxes.
  4. The casino will create jobs in Clinton County.
  5. The casino will stimulate the economy by adding restaurants, hotels and ancillary businesses.

Cons:

  1. The Ohio general revenue fund, which supports basic services for Ohioans, will get $0 from the gross casino receipts tax.
  2. If an additional casino were an Indian casino, which is exempt from taxes, the Clinton County casino might not pay any taxes, either, on the gross casino receipts.
  3. Ohioans may spend money at the casino they would have spent at other existing Ohio businesses such as restaurants, movies, or sports events, adversely impacting those businesses.
  4. Ohio lottery profits, currently dedicated to education, may decrease because people will gamble at the casino instead of playing the lottery.
  5. The number of gambling addicts in Ohio would increase, and the tax receipts dedicated to providing treatment for addicts (0.3% of gross casino receipts) could be insufficient.


The clean sweep of the daily newspapers in Ohio's eight largest cities all oppose Issue 6.

  1. The Ohio Vindicator is opposed to Issue 6, saying, "We remain convinced that regardless of the additional tax revenue promised by casino operators, the social costs of gambling are, in the end, higher. Casino gambling is the biggest redistribution of wealth scheme ever invented; it takes from the poor and gives to the rich."
  2. The Cleveland Plain Dealer is opposed to Issue 6 saying, "[E]ven if the [tax] estimate is solid (foes say it can't be), that's just 5 cents a day per resident. If that's a windfall, ping-pong balls are hailstones... For Greater Clevelanders, Issue 6 may offer a marginal upside -- additional cash for Cuyahoga County's government. But it also offers a major downside -- geography. A casino 200 miles from Cleveland won't stanch the flow to Detroit and Erie of Greater Cleveland entertainment dollars. The Plain Dealer recommends a "no" vote on Issue 6."
  3. The Zanesville Times Recorder is opposed, saying, "The only way to keep the house from winning your money is not to play. Any initiative written by gaming interests is a bad bet for Ohio."
  4. The Toledo Blade is opposed, saying that a gambling casino monopoly should not be enshrined in Ohio's Constitution. "Ohio's economy cannot be rebuilt by taking advantage of human frailty, only by encouraging industries that create good jobs producing beneficial products. And its Constitution should not be cluttered with special-interest provisions."
  5. The Columbus Dispatch opposed, saying, "Issue 6, a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution, would allow one privately owned casino to be built in Clinton County. The issue calls for a tax of "up to 30 percent" on gross casino receipts, but because of an enormous loophole, if other casinos later open in Ohio and are taxed at a lower rate, the first one could reduce its tax rate to the same rate. In fact, the first casino's tax rate could be reduced to zero. Are additional casinos likely to follow the first one? Consider this: Once any casino opens in Ohio, then, under federal law, American Indian tribes would be able to apply to open a casino here, as long as they can prove historical roots in this state. Federal law prohibits taxation of Indian casinos, so if one opens in Ohio, the Clinton County casino could have its tax rate on gambling receipts reduced to zero."
  6. The Akron Beacon Journal opposed. After describing the loopholes built into the amendment, the Journal wrote, "Issue 6 is a dangerous distraction at a time of economic turmoil. Voters should reject this latest gambling scheme and shift their attention to making long-term investments in education and infrastructure that promise true improvement for Ohio."
  7. The Respository of Canton opposed, saying, "Beyond the specifics of this proposal, Ohioans are right to continue to be concerned about the usual issues that arise with casinos. The jobs they create are not high-paying ones. The money spent at an Ohio casino would not be additional money poured into the state's economy, but rather money that would have been spent on other entertainment venues. The casino would not be a spur for economic development but could well be a spur for social problems."
  8. The Dayton Daily News: "Ask yourself this question: If you were inclined to have a casino in Ohio, would you want the developer to write the rules about what taxes that business has to pay and what rules it will abide by? That's what happened here."

The Chillicothe Gazette is opposed, saying, "...the current ballot issue is too risky - one our state shouldn't take.

Among many other newspapers urging “No on 6” votes are The Courier of Findlay, Mansfield News Journal, Marion Star, Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune, Coshocton Tribune, Zanesville Times Recorder, Newark Advocate and Chillicothe Gazette. In addition, two of the state’s major business newspapers – Business First of Columbus and Crain’s Cleveland Business – have editorialized in opposition to Issue 6.

Issue 6 is opposed by Governor Ted Strickland, U.S. Sens. George Voinovich and Sherrod Brown, Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted, Ohio Senate President Bill Harris, the Ohio League of Women Voters, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, a major national union representing casino workers, the Ohio Racing Commission, and other state leaders and organizations.

 

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