Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Congratulations Ohio Netroots. Now Let's Crush TABOR.

I agree with the prevailing wisdom that Paul Hackett's strong showing in the supposedly locked-down OH-2 represents a huge moral victory for Democrats, and demonstrates the power of the netroots. Hackett ran a great campaign, but the bloggers took off with it. The view from up north was stunning -- internet fundraising, volunteer recruiting, oppo debunking, all happening in nearly real time on my computer screen.

I also agree with the cautious assessment that this campaign may not be the watershed it appears if the netroots, ODP and traditional grassroots activists cannot build on this momentum.

So now I submit the next challenge -- defeating Ken Blackwell's TABOR amendment in November. Between national news, OH-2 and the continuing coin/BWC/Noe-fundraising-gate, TABOR hasn't gotten much run outside of HypoSpeak. I submit that it is the most important issue in November. I am involved in the antiTABOR fight -- an involvement described in greater detail in a disclosure at the end of the post.

The imminent train wreck that is TABOR has been well-documented. If you need a primer on how it works, what happened when they tried it in Colorado and the various land mine buried deep within the proposal, check out the website for the Coalition for Ohio's Future -- the group opposing TABOR. I will try to address some of those issues in future posts as well. This post is about the political side of the issue.

TABOR is Blackwell's baby. J-Ken has staked a fair amount of political capital on this campaign. He is the "honorary chairman and spokesman" according to the campaign website, but it goes far far deeper than that. By all accounts and appearances, TABOR provide's both a rallying point for developing a campaign organization and a set of talking points to allow J-Ken to distance himself from the mess the R's have made of the state.

And J-Ken is the lightning rod of Ohio politics. this blog and others have noted the love national conservatives and their media machine have for him.

In addition, we are learning more about the folks underwriting the proTABOR effort. Early reports had the leading funder as Americans for Tax Reform, home of TINY GOVERNMENT avatar Grover Norquist. Then the campaign released some website to get on the mailing list, to volunteer and to get organizations you are active in signed up as coalition members. They also have info regarding donations posted now, though currently they are only accepting snail mail.

Symbolic victories are nice an all, but this is a fight we can -- and must -- actually win. Let's show Ohio and the nation that OH-2 was not a fluke.


I am a county coordinator for the Coalition for Ohio's Future. I am not paid for my efforts; I am involved for the same reason I blog on it -- because I think it is the right thing to do. While I am involved in the Coalition, the opinions expressed in my blog are, as always, mine alone, not necessarily those of the coalition or its member groups.