It looks like The Cincy Enquire/Cincinnati.com is the first to pick up the story about Let Ohio Vote’s signature gathering efforts. You’re welcome for the tip guys.

To be fair, their article does reveal some additional information that I didn’t have. Some important information, actually. For example, Let Ohio Vote (LOV) isn’t just paying random folks recruited from Craig’s List to collect signatures at a buck and a quarter each. LOV has also enlisted the help of Arno Political Consultants – the notorious and, arguably, nefarious group whose reputation actually lives up to the one that The Right wants to push on to ACORN.

It also reveals that LOV is planning to gather twice the number of signatures (500K vs 250K) they need to get their ‘issue’ on the ballot next November. Which actually makes sense since Arno seems to average “just under 51%” accuracy in their signature gathering efforts.

The important thing to take away from this new information is that Arno is most likely making more per signature than the Craig’s List lunkheads – probably close to two bucks a signature at the very least. And with a goal of five hundred thousand signatures, that means Let Ohio Vote must have at least a million bucks on hand to put this ‘issue’ on the ballot.

So now we are faced with the obvious question: who the fuck is paying for this? Seriously. A million bucks? To put something on the ballot that Ohioans already voted for?

Anyone have any thoughts?

Could it be the same people who were pushing the recent casino ballot issue? Not wanting to have their new casino profits diluted by race track gambling might be a big incentive to fund Let Ohio Vote.

Or could it be really angry Republicans still pissed off at Strickland? Also a pretty likely scenario.

The only thing we know for sure is that it’s someone with A LOT of money to spend on a cause that has absolutely nothing to do with the stated purpose of the group (i.e. “to seek a public vote on the expansion of government sponsored gambling”). Ohioans already did that a couple of weeks ago, voting 53% IN FAVOR of bringing gambling to Ohio.

So, I’ll ask again… who the hell has millions of dollars to blow on a completely unnecesary ballot initiative – the only purpose of which seems to be helping Carlo Loparo and the boys from the Buckeye Institute exact revenge against the governor of Ohio and/or to prevent racetracks from taking away a small portion of casino profits?

I have some ideas – but I’m interested in what everyone else thinks…

 
  • davidandgoliath

    Issue 3 backers are paying for this. I walked into a group of signature gatherers on 6th Street in downtown Cleveland just a few days before Election Day. They asked for “signatures in favor of Issue 3” and only when I read through the language did they admit it was to stop slots at racetracks. The gentlemen who approached us proudly showed us “Cops for Casinos” tee shirts under their jackets.

  • I highly doubt that actual labor groups are out pushing for this but it certainly does seem plausible that at least Gilbert would want to help get this on the ballot.

    However Penn National also owns race tracks which would actually benefit from getting video lottery terminals – so I don't see why they would be involved.

  • davidandgoliath

    It struck me as odd, too. I'm thinking the tee shirts were a ruse and not a sign of direct union involvement. These weren't union guys; they were “professional” signature gatherers, not working men. But for all of them to have the C4C tees – all new shirts – seemed a bit too coincidental.

    Surely the Issue 3 backers see far more profit in casinos without competing slots at tracks – including Lyle Berman, who they now admit is fully involved. Also, if you do the numbers, Penn will make far, far more money generally if there aren't slots at tracks – even if they own a track.

    In the end, I'm guessing Gilbert is behind it, and likely Berman. But Penn might be, too.

  • davidandgoliath

    It struck me as odd, too. I'm thinking the tee shirts were a ruse and not a sign of direct union involvement. These weren't union guys; they were “professional” signature gatherers, not working men. But for all of them to have the C4C tees – all new shirts – seemed a bit too coincidental.

    Surely the Issue 3 backers see far more profit in casinos without competing slots at tracks – including Lyle Berman, who they now admit is fully involved. Also, if you do the numbers, Penn will make far, far more money generally if there aren't slots at tracks – even if they own a track.

    In the end, I'm guessing Gilbert is behind it, and likely Berman. But Penn might be, too.

  • Pingback: Prediction: LetOhioVote.org Will Fail()

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