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Ohio's Gov. Strickland will veto nasty GOP election "reform" bill

By       Message Mark Crispin Miller     Permalink

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Ted Strickland will veto SB 380, a GOP-backed bill that would make (Dem and Independent)
voting even harder in Ohio. Among other things, the bill would shorten the early voting periof,
make it harder to vote absentee, and easier to dump absentee ballots based on trivial discepancies between the info on voter registration forms and that data in the state's DMV database.
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Here's the latest on the bill and Strickland's veto, from Velvet Revolution:
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Notice, BTW, how the Plain Dealer "reports" the veto: they barely mention it, while headlining
Strickland's vetos of tax breaks for filmmakers and bonuses for veterans. Thus the paper, like
Ohio's papers generally, serves the interests of the GOP and (therefore) not the interests of
Ohio's voters.

The good news here is that the governor responded to grass-roots demand that he nix the bill--
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a call that certainly did not come from the Ohio press, but from a lot of people who were kept
informed by on-line entities like Velvet Revolution.

So, if you urged Ted Strickland to say no to SB 380, be sure to get back to him with thanks
for having done it.


Gov. Ted Strickland to veto filmmakers' tax break, veterans' bonus bills
by Aaron Marshall/Plain Dealer Columbus Bureau
Thursday December 18, 2008, 7:22 PM
Gov. Ted Strickland has three bills in his sights.
COLUMBUS -- Gov. Ted Strickland plans to strike down a trio of bills passed by Republican lawmakers, including one that would offer tax incentives to woo film companies to Ohio.
Strickland also intends to veto a bill granting bonuses to military veterans and an elections bill shortening the period for early voting.
Aside from line-item vetoes on budget items, this will be the first time the Democratic governor will veto a measure passed by the Republican-controlled legislature since his first day in office in 2007, said his spokesman Keith Dailey. That veto, of a product liability bill limiting consumers' ability to sue companies, was later reversed in court.
This week's bill granting a 25 percent tax break on investments in Ohio made by film companies, passed in the lame-duck session, was aimed squarely at Cleveland, where city officials had offered a rent-free space inside the Convention Center for one year to Nehst Creations, a film production company.
Continue reading "Gov. Ted Strickland to veto filmmakers' tax break, veterans' bonus bills" »
From the Columbus Dispatch
Strickland to veto vet-bonus, election bills
Friday,  December 19, 2008 3:06 AM
By Jim Siegel
Gov. Ted Strickland plans to veto three bills that the legislature passed this week in its frantic lame-duck session, including one given final Senate approval yesterday that would use state reserves to fund bonuses for veterans.
Strickland also expects to kill a bill that would provide tax credits to the film industry for movies shot in Ohio and an election-related measure that would eliminate same-day registration and voting by shortening the window for early voting from the 35 days before an election to 20.

The film tax-credit bill would cost more in lost revenue than it would benefit Ohio, Strickland has said.
The elections bill has been opposed by Secretary of State and fellow Democrat Jennifer Brunner, who argued that changes in election law should not be rushed.
The Senate adjourned yesterday afternoon, putting an end to the 127th General Assembly. All bills that did not pass are wiped out, and the new legislature will start in January with a Democratic-controlled House for the first time since 1994.
Legislators made their final two days count, sending about 40 bills to Strickland.
The governor has said repeatedly that he supports paying bonuses to veterans who served during the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, but he wants to pay for them with debt financing, not the state's rainy-day fund.
The Senate passed the Strickland-supported version of the bill 11 months ago, but it was blocked in the House by Speaker Jon Husted, R-Kettering, who said the state should use current funds, not go further into debt.
Senate President Bill M. Harris, R-Ashland, had said that although he would rather fund the bonuses through debt financing, as has been done for past conflicts, the bonuses are important enough that he was willing to use up to $200 million in rainy-day funds, as Husted wanted.
The bill passed 23-8. Sen. Dale Miller, D-Cleveland, was among the opponents.
"I am normally a proponent of pay-as-you-go as opposed to bonding for expenditures. However, these are not normal times," Miller told his colleagues. "It is quite clear we are going to need the entire balance of the rainy-day fund in order to balance the next biennial budget and close the gap in the current budget."
Sen. Timothy J. Grendell, a Chesterland Republican and veteran, criticized those who argued that rainy-day money should be used for something other than veterans. "If you stand up and say, 'I'm for veterans,' then this is your day to prove it."
But Sen. Ron Amstutz,
R-Wooster, said the purpose of the rainy-day fund is to protect taxpayers and try to keep services stable in bad economic times. "We will be, I think we all recognize, either raising taxes on veterans or cutting benefits to veterans in the next budget," Amstutz said.
Other bills sent to the governor include:
* Senate Bill 129, which would extend until 2012 a monthly cell-phone surcharge used to pay for systems that allow county 911 operators to pinpoint the location of calls from cell phones. The charge will be reduced from 32 cents to 28 cents.
* Senate Bill 243, which would end the long-running dispute between the tomato and the pawpaw over which is more deserving of state recognition. The bill would make the tomato the official state fruit, while the pawpaw would be the official native state fruit.
* Senate Bill 277, designed to trim several months from the roughly two-year process of foreclosing on vacant and abandoned inner-city housing.


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Mark's new book, Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008, a collection 14 essays on Bush/Cheney's election fraud since (and including) 2000, is just out, from Ig Publishing. He is also the author of Fooled Again: The Real Case for Electoral Reform, which is now out in paperback (more...)

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