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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