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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Ohio Anti-Reform Group Crawls Out of Woodwork - Surprise! It's Politicians

As we've written, TheRestofUs.org is working as part of the Reform Ohio Now coalition to get three reform initiatives on the Ohio ballot for this November's election. The initiatives would take the job of drawing congressional and legislative districts away from politicians, place a bipartisan panel in charge of administering Ohio elections, and reduce the amount of money wealthy interests can contribute to Ohio candidates and committees.

Given the reform nature of these initiatives, it is hardly surprising that they would face opposition from the politicians and wealthy interests that have benefited from Ohio's current laws. The opposition showed its face last week, first with an abortive alternative redistricting measure, followed by a flimsy lawsuit filed by a Delaware religious nonprofit corporation called Ohio First.

Leading the opposition are Rep. Kevin DeWine, who sponsored last year's wealthy-friendly bill which quadrupled Ohio's contribution limits and allowed corporate contributions to the political parties for the first time in a century, and current lobbyist and former President of the State Senate Richard Finan, a master at getting lobbyists to cough up campaign cash while in office and current posterboy for the revolving door between politics and lobbying.

DeWine and Finan are the practitioners and beneficiaries of the current broken system that has cost regular Ohioans their say in government, not to mention millions of dollars. With the possible exception of Delaware, it's clear where their loyalties lie - with themselves and the fatcat contributors who got them into office.

These guys have already shown a willingness to try anything to impede the process of reform in Ohio, even if the only rhyme or reason is to protect a broken system. The people of Ohio deserve better.

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