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 Replies

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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:

  • 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.

  • 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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