2006 Election Issue Voting Summary

Here is the link to the bal­lot [PDF] I’ll be vot­ing on in the up­com­ing elec­tion. Here is how I’ll be vot­ing on the is­sues and why:

Issue 1: Referendum on Workers’ Compensation:

Although I might be miss­ing some nu­ances to this leg­is­la­tion, es­pe­cial­ly in light of Bill Peirce’s stance again­st BWC, it ap­pears to me that Issue 1 is pro­vid­ing some sen­si­ble amend­ments to cur­rent Workers’ Compensation law. As of now, I’ll be vot­ing for Issue 1.

Issue 2: Minimum Wage Rate Increase:

I am vot­ing for Issue 2. Having felt the pinch of min­i­mum wage labor my­self, I know how dif­fi­cult it can be sur­vive on a min­i­mum wage job.

Issue 3: Allow in-state gambling/​casinos:

I am vot­ing again­st Issue 3. The rea­son­ing be­hind this is sim­ple. Everything I’ve seen about their cam­paign strat­e­gy is a three-card mon­te game, of­ten gam­bling isn’t even men­tioned in the ads, on­ly an ap­peal to emo­tion, “Please think of the chil­dren!” Also, fol­low­ing much of the dis­cus­sion at BrewedFreshDaily on the is­sue, I am con­vinced that gam­bling as an eco­nom­ic ini­tia­tive is fun­da­men­tal­ly flawed.

Issue 4: Smoking Issue #1:

This pro­pos­al would amend the Ohio Constitution to al­low in­door smok­ing in a va­ri­ety of pub­lic places and would coun­ter­act or cre­ate a loop­hole in any oth­er law that would ban in­door smok­ing in pub­lic places. This bill is spon­sored by to­bac­co com­pa­nies. Voting Yes in Issue 4 would mean you would want to vote No on Issue 5, which is in di­rect op­po­si­tion to this Issue. I’m vot­ing again­st Issue 4, be­cause al­though every­one talks about how it will be bad for busi­ness, I think peo­ple like beer more than cig­a­rettes, and peo­ple who cur­rent­ly don’t go out to bars and oth­er places be­cause of the smoke [like me] will be more like­ly to do so if smok­ing in en­closed pub­lic places is re­strict­ed. Also, I don’t think an amend­ment about smok­ing be­longs any­where near the con­sti­tu­tion.

Issue 5: Smoking Issue #2:

So I guess that means I’m vot­ing for Issue 5, which is just a law and not a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment. I grew up in a two-smok­er house­hold and my asth­ma and the chunks of yel­low phlegm I used to cough up when I first start­ed run­ning are tes­ta­ment to the ill ef­fects of sec­ond-hand smoke. I liken smok­ing in en­closed pub­lic places to any oth­er sort of dis­tur­bance. Take it out­side. Voting Yes on 5 means you want to vote No on 4, oth­er­wise your votes will can­cel each oth­er out.

Issue 18: Cigarette Tax to fund the Arts in Cleveland:

Issue 18 would im­pose a 30¢ per pack cig­a­ret­te tax on cig­a­rettes pur­chased in the Cuyahoga County. The mon­ey from this tax would go to fund arts and cul­tur­al or­ga­ni­za­tions through­out the coun­ty. At a Neighborhood Connections meet­ing I heard from a wom­an in fa­vor of the Issue on the cur­rent state of Arts and Cultural fund­ing in the coun­ty. Apparently all of the mon­ey to fund the­se in­sti­tu­tions is pri­vate, from the Cleveland Foundation, or the Gund Foundation main­ly. Other cities typ­i­cal­ly fund their arts and cul­ture through the hotel tax, but in Cleveland that rev­enue goes to the Conventions and Visitor’s Bureau and to pay bond oblig­a­tions on pub­lic build­ings. Also, their cam­paign slo­gan is “It’s NOT a prop­er­ty tax.” which is the stu­pid­est way to con­vince some­one to vote for some­thing as I’ve ever seen. I am vot­ing again­st Issue 18, be­cause while fund­ing Arts and Cultural in­sti­tu­tions and events is im­por­tant, the prob­lem in Cleveland is in­sti­tu­tion­al, some­thing a tax will on­ly ap­pear to fix.

Issue 19: Levy Adjustment to fund Health and Human Services in Cleveland:

Issue 19 will reap­por­tion 1-thou­sandth of a cent from an ex­ist­ing levy for four years to fund health and hu­man ser­vices or­ga­ni­za­tions. As this is a tax-pay­er di­rect­ed reap­por­tion­ment of fund­ing I will vote for Issue 19. The League of Women Voters of­fers the pros and cons [pdf] of this is­sue.

Issue 42: Should a lo­cal gas sta­tion be al­lowed to sell beer on Sundays:

There is a gas sta­tion down the street that wants to amend their liquor li­cense to sell beer on Sundays. That’s fine with me. I will vote for Issue 42.

17 thoughts on “2006 Election Issue Voting Summary

  1. If you’re ar­gu­ing that the op­po­nents of Issue 3 are be­ing disin­gen­u­ous about the ef­fects of casi­no gam­bling in-state, then you should un­der­stand where I’m com­ing from when I state that Issue 3 it­self has been equal­ly disin­ge­nous in sell­ing it­self. If you try to trick me, I won’t vote for you. That’s the ul­ti­mate rea­son for my choice.

    The Issue is about gam­bling, not about ed­u­ca­tion. If you read the analy­sis by the League of Women Voters [pdf] you’ll see that is geared to shuf­fling mon­ey in­to the pock­ets of the casi­no own­ers. The “think of the chil­dren” is just there to make it more palat­able. And if it’s not there for that rea­son, Issue 3 peo­ple didn’t do a good enough job con­vinc­ing me about their plan in the first place.

  2. I wish I could agree with you on is­sue 3, but I sim­ply can’t stand watch­ing Indiana, West Virginia and Michigan ben­e­fit at Ohio resident’s cost any­more. Of course the op­po­si­tion is go­ing to try and taint this ef­fort. Have you no­ticed that they make con­flict­ing ar­gu­ments? In one point they tell you that the re­al rev­enues from the­se fa­cil­i­ties will on­ly be $1.2 bil­lion, which would on­ly provide $324 mil­lion to the schol­ar­ship fund. They al­so ac­knowl­edge that Ohio res­i­dents gam­bled $1 bil­lion last year in Indiana, West Virginia and Michigan. Their next ar­gu­ment says that this is­sue will cre­ate 109,000 prob­lem gam­blers. If you ask them where they got that num­ber, you will find that it comes from a study that was done sev­er­al years ago that was based on 18 full blown casi­nos in Ohio with rev­enues in ex­cess of the $2.8 bil­lion that the pro­po­nents are pro­ject­ing. Someone needs to tell the op­po­si­tion to make up their minds. Pick one ar­gu­ment, and don’t take us for be­ing stu­pid! As far as the is­sue about the ac­tu­al amend­ment, I read it. It doesn’t seem like the mon­ey can be used for any­thing but what the pro­po­nents are say­ing. At this point, even if the id­iot politi­cians fig­ured out a way to use it like the lot­tery mon­ey, wouldn’t that be bet­ter than giv­ing it to the oth­er states and their res­i­dents? The last is­sue re­lat­ed to this is­sue dic­tat­ing where the­se nine fa­cil­i­ties will be lo­cat­ed is sim­ply the best way to present this. I would rather vote on a speci­fic is­sue than let the lo­ca­tion of fu­ture casi­nos and who gets to own them be de­cid­ed by some gov­ern­ment con­trolled en­ti­ty. If we were de­cid­ing on that type of method, I’m sure the group on brewed fresh dai­ly would be ar­gu­ing that the dirty politi­cians will be tak­ing bribes and do­ing fa­vors. On top of all that, wouldn’t you rather know where the­se things will be lo­cat­ed rather than find out some­one wants to build one in your neigh­bor­hood af­ter the de­ci­sion has al­ready been made. I’m ok with the ar­gu­ment that gam­bling is bad, so why don’t peo­ple just use it rather than come up with all of this oth­er bs.

  3. Adam, I can’t agree with you on Issue 2. By rais­ing wages not on­ly now, but every year, by im­pos­ing record keep­ing and dis­clo­sure rules on busi­ness, this Issue will on­ly be one more rea­son for busi­ness and jobs to leave Ohio. The tax and labor cli­mate has al­ready cost us enough jobs, and we are los­ing out to neigh­bor­ing states. We can’t af­ford Issue 2.

  4. Hey Matt,

    I don’t like the au­to­mat­ic wage ad­just­ments ei­ther, but I know too many peo­ple and fam­i­lies who sub­sist on min­i­mum wage and it is no way to live. 

    I’m still sort of iffy on this Issue be­cause of the added bu­reau­cra­cy that you men­tion. If it were sim­ply the wage raise, I’d be much more com­fort­able with it.

  5. Adam,

    They def­i­nite­ly could have done a bet­ter job pro­mot­ing it, but I’m look­ing at the bot­tom line. Ohio is watch­ing a lot of mon­ey cross the bor­ders, al­most on every side. We’re get­ting stuck with the prob­lems and they’re get­ting our mon­ey. That’s what piss­es me off. I ac­tu­al­ly read the pro­pos­al, and from what I can tell, this thing is pret­ty tight on get­ting the mon­ey to a schol­ar­ship fund. They def­i­nite­ly ad­dressed the con­cerns peo­ple have about how the lot­tery mon­ey gets spent. Let’s face it, Ohio hasn’t been pro-gam­bling on any oth­er at­tempt, so I’m sure they want­ed to em­pha­size the pos­i­tive. I tried to point out that the op­po­nents are us­ing dirty tricks as well, so I’m try­ing to look past all of it and make a de­ci­sion on what’s best for the state, not which pub­lic­i­ty cam­paign I like bet­ter. I’m still vot­ing yes.

  6. See, I don’t think it is best for the state.

    Money to schol­ar­ship fund =! good jobs and eco­nom­ic de­vel­op­ment for the state. Instead it will cre­ate low-pay­ing, non-skill-build­ing jobs and 54% of the rev­enue goes, un­taxed, in­to the pock­ets of the casi­no own­ers. This is ul­ti­mate­ly no dif­fer­ent than Issue 18. The prob­lem is in­sti­tu­tion­al, and tak­ing mon­ey from Ohioans isn’t the way to fix it.

  7. Don’t get me wrong. I think the best fix is get rid of the casi­nos every­where ex­cept Vegas and Atlantic City. Unfortunately, that’s not go­ing to hap­pen. In the mean­time, they are tak­ing mon­ey from Ohioans. That’s what up­sets me the most. I heard some­one say the same thing about the casi­nos be­ing un­taxed. I didn’t see any­thing in the pro­pos­al that said they don’t pay tax­es. Actually, I don’t know of any oth­er busi­ness that gives up 45% of it’s rev­enue. That sounds like a tax to me. I was con­cerned that it meant they were ex­empt from state in­come tax­es. That’s just not true. If they make mon­ey, they will pay tax­es just like any oth­er busi­ness. That state­ment was mis­lead­ing. Actually, the 45% they give up is more than Indiana, West Virginia and Michigan. Here we go again, de­bat­ing all the­se is­sues and over­look­ing the fun­da­men­tal prob­lem. Ohio mon­ey is al­ready sup­port­ing casi­nos, they just aren’t ours. It re­al­ly is like the lesser of two evils — 1) al­low gam­bling and keep the mon­ey, or 2) con­tin­ue to let the oth­er states ben­e­fit at our ex­pense. In the de­bate on Monday over this is­sue they iden­ti­fied that there are al­ready 252,000 prob­lem gam­blers in Ohio! The prob­lem is al­ready here. Go talk to the Mayor or City Manager in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. I read two ar­ti­cles where they were quot­ed say­ing that crime is down, cap­i­tal im­prove­ments are up and most of the towns res­i­dents are em­ployed. They’re get­ting the ben­e­fits of gam­bling, and we’re pay­ing for the prob­lems. That has to stop!

  8. I see where you’re com­ing from and I agree to some ex­tent with your points, but it isn’t enough to con­vince me to go for gam­bling. If I’m wrong, I hope you’re right. I guess we’ll find out a few years from now.

    BTW, I grew up in that part of Indiana and used to go to a cross-coun­try meet at Lawrenceburg every year when I was in high school.

  9. What would be great is if there was a way Ohio could share in the tax rev­enues the oth­er states get based on how much we sup­port their casi­nos. Unfortunatley, I think that’s an­oth­er pipe dream. I hon­est­ly don’t know that this is the best so­lu­tion, I’m just tired of Ohio sit­ting around and do­ing noth­ing about it. I re­al­ly start­ed pay­ing at­ten­tion to this thing be­cause I’m re­al­ly ir­ri­tat­ed about the way the state ig­nores the school fund­ing prob­lem. I fig­ured if they ac­tu­al­ly were go­ing to set up a col­lege tu­ition pro­gram, that would be some­thing that could set Ohio apart from oth­er states. What re­al­ly frus­trat­ed me was when I read about how the gov­ern­ment was con­cerned about the slot ma­chi­nes com­pet­ing with the lot­tery and the pres­sure that would put on our bud­get be­cause they couldn’t use the slot ma­chine mon­ey to cov­er things up. After I heard that, I read the pro­posed amend­ment. It seemed pret­ty tight, and ever since I’ve been on­board. For as long as I can re­mem­ber, the Ohio gov­ern­ment has nev­er tak­en ac­tion un­til they were forced, and look where it’s got­ten us. We’re def­i­nite­ly in the bot­tom 5 states on eco­nom­ic growth and col­lege af­ford­abil­i­ty. In the mean­time, the on­ly thing that makes me be­lieve the Bob Taft has ever shown up for work is that he’s been in the news for the coin in­vest­ment scan­dal. I think if they need a push to re­act to our cur­rent sta­tus, and this might be that push, I’m sup­port­ing it. 

    Sorry, here I go again in lec­ture mode. These is­sues get me go­ing. Life was a lot eas­ier when next week’s track meet was the biggest wor­ry you had, wasn’t it? Oh well, we’ll see where this thing goes. Either way, I hope it kicks the gov­ern­ments butt’s in gear. I ac­tu­al­ly heard there is a group plan­ning to put a school re­form amend­ment on the bal­lot next year. That will be an­oth­er in­ter­est­ing game of pol­i­tics. Something to talk about in ’07

  10. Yeah, when I post my can­di­date de­ci­sions it should be pret­ty ob­vi­ous that I’m vot­ing for change. The on­ly way to get gov­ern­ment to do any­thing is to put heat on them. I’m just as tired of the com­pla­cen­cy as every­one else. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see what this school re­form is­sue is that you’ve been hear­ing about. That sounds more like the in­sti­tu­tion­a­ly change I want.

  11. Adam,

    FYI I came across this re­port. It’s from the Learn and Earn web­site, but it seems to ac­tu­al­ly be pre­pared by the Board of Regents. They men­tioned it at the de­bate on Monday, but didn’t go in­to much de­tail. This doesn’t make the plan sound all that bad. I bet Voinovich won’t be us­ing this at his next press con­fer­ence. Here’s the link:

  12. As a for­mer smok­er and reg­u­lar bar-go­er, I was more or less in­dif­fer­ent to the leg­is­la­tion ban­ning in­door smok­ing here in NY. That last­ed ex­act­ly ONE DAY af­ter it went in­to ef­fect, when I walked in­to a bar that wasn’t filled with smoke. Now I’m a huge fan. At this point, it’s pret­ty hard to go out to places in oth­er states.

    Also, that was three years ago, and the smok­ing ban has had pret­ty much ze­ro fi­nan­cial im­pact on bars and restau­rants.

  13. For me is­sue num­ber 1 and 19 were quite con­fus­ing. I wish it was put in laymen’s terms.
    I hadn’t even heard of is­sue 42. Its the night be­fore elec­tion and I nev­er felt more tired and
    con­fused (wink).

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