Monday, August 08, 2005

Never Mind

The TABOR folks are putting it off for a year. They have announced that they will file their petitions a day late to put their proposal on the November 2006 ballot.

Why? Good question. Here is what they say (in italics) with my snar-, um, commentary.

(Columbus, August 8, 2005) Citizens for Tax Reform today announced it will file its petitions to place a constitutional amendment to limit government spending on the November 2006 General Election ballot. The committee now intends to file its Tax Expenditure Limitation (TEL) Amendment petitions August 11, 2005, by-passing the August 10 deadline for this November’s ballot.

"After consultation with legislative leadership, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett and TEL supporters,

-Both of them.

the committee decided this issue deserves the widest possible exposure and debate," said Citizens for Tax Reform Honorary Chairman, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. "The 2006 General Election ballot gives Ohio voters that opportunity.”

-This facinates me. The Bumper Sticker party wants the widest possbile exposure and debate? The folks who were getting signatures by simply saying "hey, want to cut your taxes" want the widest possible exposure and debate? Pardon me if I look for other motivations.

"I intend to be the GOP nominee for Governor and expect this amendment to be a major element of my platform of fiscal restraint for government and job creation for the private sector," said Blackwell.

-I intend to be the GOP nominee for Governor, but that will not happen if I get my ass thoroughly and publicly kicked a year out," said Blackwell.

Ohio GOP Chairman Bob Bennett added, “I applaud Ken Blackwell’s leadership on this issue, and his decision to move the proposed amendment to the gubernatorial ballot is a service to the voters of Ohio. It gives Ohioans an opportunity to hear substantive debate on a major policy initiative before making a decision that impacts all of state government.

-One has to ask what the quid for the quo ultimately was. It will be interesting to see if J-Ken suddenly gets an infusion of ORP support. Of course, that may cramp his "I'm not one of those Culture of Corruption guys" style.

“This gesture by Secretary Blackwell will allow us to focus our resources this year on defeating the special interest amendments being pushed by pro-Democrat unions and liberal activist groups.”

-This, I think, is the rub. Political professionals warn of the difficulty of running a "yes" campaign and a "no" campaign at the same time. Especially so when both issues are about accountability and tap into dissatisfaction with the government. Both camps were worried about the alchemy of RON and TABOR -- the Republicans blinked first.

Citizens for Tax Reform will submit more than 500,000 signatures and will exceed county distribution thresholds in 69 of Ohio`s 88 counties. State law requires 322,899 valid signatures for a constitutional amendment, reaching qualifying thresholds in 44 counties."

-Signatures bought and paid for by David Brennan, we must remember.

Ultimately this is a victory for progressives and especially for the Coalition for Ohio's Future (of which I am a member -- see previous post.) Though it might have been nice to have gotten a link in the news stories on the issue.