Commentary

Misrepresentative lawmaking will continue in Ohio until voters have fair maps

BY: - August 17, 2023

Ohio has a new round of redistricting coming up this fall. With a new right-wing majority on the Ohio Supreme Court and power-mad Ohio Republicans controlling both chambers of the legislature and the Ohio Redistricting Commission, prospects aren’t looking good for fair maps. What would representative and fair maps look like? About a 55% to […]

A warning told again: Politics and religion don’t mix

BY: - August 16, 2023

In a special election on Aug. 8 scheduled by a gerrymandered, authoritarian legislature intent on manipulating low voter turnout during a hot summer, Ohio citizens went to the polls and did something extraordinary in these fractious times.   They upheld democracy.  The election was to approve a ballot issue that made it nearly impossible to amend […]

Issue 1 exposed the rot in Ohio government. And the people now still have the power to fix it

BY: - August 15, 2023

When former Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich got his hat handed to him by incensed voters over a restrictive collective bargaining law he championed, he was duly chastened. Ohioans sent a loud message to the overreaching first-term governor on Senate Bill 5 in 2011, the anti-union legislation that would have gutted the political power of […]

November vote could give Ohio among the strongest abortion protections in the region

BY: - August 14, 2023

Last week, Ohio voters rejected Issue 1. This was a constitutional amendment put forth by abortion opponents in the state legislature to make it harder for Ohio voters to enshrine abortion protections in the Ohio Constitution. After this vote, the next big policy decision for Ohio around abortion protections will be the “Ohio Right to […]

Ohio voters affirm the “Defense of Democracy” enacted by Oregonians 25 years ago

BY: - August 11, 2023

Voters in Ohio turned back a blatant attempt to change the rules of their democracy this week, when they trounced a ballot referral designed by the state’s Republican Legislature to stymie a citizen initiative headed to the ballot in November. The issue in this case was abortion rights, which elevated Ohio’s Issue 1 to national prominence. And just as […]

The Ohio burgee. Getty images.

What happened in Ohio Tuesday? Voters refused to be suckered, and stood up for themselves

BY: - August 9, 2023

Ohioans, I’m so proud of you. You stood up for yourselves. You refused to let corrupt politicians and lobbyists steal your power. You paid homage to generations before us who won us these rights, and you protected them for future generations. You won a noble and historic victory for democracy in Ohio, and you should […]

After Issue 1, Ohioans have a new opportunity to end GOP stranglehold

BY: - August 8, 2023

When the Ohio GOP came up with Issue 1 as a cheap ploy to thwart a constitutional amendment to enshrine the right to abortion and contraception in the Ohio state constitution, they thought this was a slam dunk. Assuming that the historic trends of low voter turnout for August elections would be the way to […]

The Trump indictment tells the disturbing story of a traitor working to overthrow American democracy

BY: - August 8, 2023

History will not look kindly on the apathetic in 2023. It will judge harshly those who are willfully blind to the most consequential juncture in the American experiment. We have come to the hour in our country (and state) that will decide whether we endure as a democratic republic or succumb to authoritarianism. The latter […]

The Ohio burgee waving along with the national flag of the United States of America. Getty Images.

The Ohio Constitution declares all power inherent in the people. Issue 1 seeks to rob that from us

BY: - August 3, 2023

The Ohio Constitution Bill of Rights declares all power is inherent in the people. Now it’s time for Ohio voters to show all of America how seriously we take that, or if we’ve abandoned our own birthright — this timeless, defining principle of democracy. With Issue 1 on August 8, Ohio lobbyists and politicians demand […]

A voter shows identification to an election judge during primary voting on May 3, 2022 in Lordstown, Ohio. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Ohioans need democracy as Issue 1 vote approaches

BY: - August 2, 2023

In 2007, my homeland, Kenya, devolved into violence. Politicians exploited contested election results, dividing people along ethnic lines and plunging the country into chaos. Three years later, the people of Kenya organized to ensure this would never happen again. The outcome: a new, more modern, more inclusive constitution. Growing up in Ohio since then, I […]

Issue 1 supporters target parents without the need for fact-checking

BY: - August 1, 2023

We parents are being exploited for political punch. Have you noticed? We’re the go-to rationale for the culture war nonsense floated by right-wing politicians. When Republicans launch repeated attacks on transgender kids they use us, or more precisely our seemingly endangered parental rights, as justification to cruelly pile on the vulnerable few. But the newfound […]

The Ohio burgee. Getty images.

From home rule to the initiative itself, Ohio would have never won many reforms under a 60% rule

BY: - July 31, 2023

Michael F. Curtin is a retired editor and associate publisher of The Columbus Dispatch and a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives serving from 2013 through 2016. Reprinted with permission, Curtin delivered the following remarks to the Federalist Society of Columbus on Ohio Issue 1, which seeks to make it harder for voters […]