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.

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.

  • Annekarima

    Sounds like it cannot arrange a good pizza party.

  • stryx

    This was my favorite part-

    Tagged with: FAIL

  • Good, except that the damage has been done and will linger for years.

  • Herc

    Looking at those paltry numbers makes me think that even if it did get on the ballot it wouldn’t hurt the SB5 movement much, if at all. If it took them 2 YEARS to basically get half of the signatures We Are Ohio got in 2 MONTHS, I would say there is not a really strong movement there, and the number of issue-driven voters the health care repeal would bring to the polls would be even more anemic. 

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    I say there will be a “magic” act and they will pull large numbers out of a hat ……….
    after all we saw them do this at the vote for sb5… a whole politician materialized that day
    ( one disappeared and another in his place )
    Kasich after all believes in smoke and mirrors 

  • Modern Esquire

    I agree, but with slightly different reasoning.  The fundamental flaw in the GOP’s “Health Care Amendment” helps save SB 5 from the referendum is that assume the supporters of the first are likely supporters for the second.  The reality is quite different.

    As anyone who has gone to an Ohio Tea Party group’s blog has noticed, there is a decided split in the Tea Party movement over SB 5.  So even if they get it on the ballot, it doesn’t help SB 5 if a significant chunk of the health care amendment supporters split their ballot.

    If there was ever a time in which such a ballot initiative should have been successful it was last year.  What the media has failed to point out is that if they were still 80k signatures short of the minimum pre-validation as recently as April of this year, then the Tea Party group had GROSSLY overstated how close they were in getting this on the ballot last year. 

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