Missing in the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s editorial about the Republican legislators effort in the legislator to put a health care repeal amendment (with the support of conserva-Democrat Senator Jason Wilson, who’s claim to fame was that he jeopardized his dad’s chances to succeed Ted Strickland in Congress by flubbing his dad’s nominating petitions, triggering a write-in primary campaign) on the ballot.
Tim Grendell, who is angling for a judicial appointment from the Kasich Administration and needs to do something to earn their good graces after opposing SB 5, is pushing for SJR 1, which would put on the November ballot a totally unconstitutional state constitutional amendment that would allow Ohio to “opt out” of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Wait, Modern, wasn’t the Tea Party working with the Ohio Republican Party to put such an issue on the ballot along with the SB 5 referendum? Yes, they were.
The Ohio GOP’s website makes no mention anymore of the petition effort. They announced back in April that they were helping with the effort that the Tea Party started back in early 2010. Their original intent was to get it on the ballot last November. When that failed, they vowed to use the signatures they gathered to get it on the ballot this November. In early May, the Ohio GOP and the Tea Party group behind the amendment said they only needed 80,000 signatures to arguably have enough signatures to get the issue on the ballot. That’s when the SB 5 repeal committee, We Are Ohio,was starting its process to gather over 240,000 signatures.
“Absolutely, we will have it on the ballot this year,” said Littleton, noting the goal is to submit more than 500,000 signatures in order to compensate for those that may be rejected.
As of June 18, the committee behind the petition process said that they were 15,000 signatures from 400,000. With only fifteen days left, they are still several hundred signatures below the minimum of valid signatures they need. The problem is that the error rate on petitions are ordinarily in the double-digits. Although the petitioners would be given additional time to collect more signatures if they come up short, the reality is that in nearly two months they’ve only gathered 80,000 signatures. (In comparison, the We Are Ohio campaign recently reported they’ve gathered over 700,000 in that time.) When you have a petition effort that has gone on over two years, the error rate is likely to be high. First, we’re dealing with people who are inexperienced in training. Second, it’s highly likely that people have accidentally signed the petition more than once forgetting that they’ve signed it a year ago.
The action of the legislature is a clear sign that the Republican establishment has given up on the Tea Party getting sufficient signatures. So, they’ve gone the second route to get this issue on the ballot this November, by an act of the legislature.
Second area of FAIL? Remember how the Ohio Tea Party organizations were organizing a statewide convention in Columbus this November? They boasted that they’d get the entire ‘12 GOP field together for a PAC fundraising event. Instead, they’re boasting about getting Herman Cain and trying to unload tickets with “special discount sales.”
Apparently, this cup of tea has gotten politically cold in the Buckeye State.