Ohioans See Through Frank LaRose’s Attempt to Put Special Interests First [Part 3]
June 21, 2023
Columbus, OH – Ohioans from every corner of the state continue to call out Frank LaRose for “lying” to Ohioans and putting special interests first after pushing through a corrupt constitutional amendment designed to kill citizen-led ballot initiatives and admitting it is “100%” about stopping an amendment to protect abortion access.
Cleveland.com: Ohio Supreme Court twists logic into a pretzel to allow Frank LaRose’s tortured Issue 1 ballot language: Today in Ohio
June 13, 2023
- [00:02:50] Chris: They’re doing everything they can to confuse voters. Frank LaRose is lying every time he talks about this thing, telling people that he’s protecting it from outside interest. It’s just not true.
The Chronicle Telegram: Issue 1 ballot language remains unclear
June 15, 2023
- Most folks recognize that an informed electorate leads to better democracy. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is not one of them.
- Issue 1 is an undemocratic power grab by Republicans in the gerrymandered General Assembly. They fear what a simple majority of Ohio voters might do if left unchecked.
- Indeed, the whole point of the amendment is to make a proposed abortion and reproductive rights amendment widely expected to appear on the November ballot harder to pass. (August elections usually have low turnout, which is why Republicans largely eliminated them last year. They resurrected such an election because they believe it will be politically advantageous to them in this case.)
- Republicans and special-interest groups aligned with them might view limiting the power of the people as a good thing, but Ohio voters shouldn’t be fooled.
Columbus Dispatch: Looney Tunes lawmakers out to trick Ohio voters with ‘weasel word’ | Suddes
June 20, 2023
- That’s why the General Assembly passed State Issue 1 and why Frank LaRose is seeking Republican IOUs (for a Senate race) by putting his thumb on the ballot-language scale.
- The only thing Issue 1 will “elevate” is the power the General Assembly has over ordinary Ohioans, notably over the reproductive health and choices of a majority of Ohio’s population — women.
Cleveland.com: Two dozen Ohio business leaders sign letter opposing Issue 1, calling it an ‘ill-conceived ballot issue’
June 18, 2023
- A group of business leaders and corporate executives signed an open letter opposing State Issue 1, a ballot-initiative that would make it harder to amend the state constitution if passed.
- The letter, released Wednesday by the Leadership Now Project, says that business depends on the “health and stability of our democracy to thrive.” They write that they are “concerned about the growing attacks on our democracy.”
- “In an act of desperation, the Ohio legislature overreached and rushed through a constitutional amendment proposal that would upend Ohio’s process for amending its constitution,” leaders wrote in the letter.
- While the 60% proposal would have wide-ranging ramifications, GOP lawmakers specifically fast-tracked it for a special August election – and likely low turnout – to try to defeat an abortion rights amendment aiming for the November ballot. Passage in August would raise the threshold for November. Earlier, the Ohio legislature had banned August elections and grounds they were costly and involved low turnouts.
CBS: Targeting abortion access, Ohio Republicans are trying to make it harder to amend the state’s constitution
Caitlin Huey-Burns, Michael Kaplan
June 21, 2023
- A CBS News investigation found the GOP effort in Ohio is one flank in a coordinated nationwide campaign, heavily funded by Republican megadonor Richard Uihlein, to raise the threshold to pass any citizen-initiated constitutional amendment.
- Former Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, a Republican who retired in December, criticized Republican lawmakers for what she said is a “strategic” effort to thwart the will of the people. “It’s misleading, it’s deceptive, and if it weren’t so serious, it would be laughable,” O’Connor said in an interview that the process Ohio uses to allow citizens to amend its constitution has been in place since 1912. “When you keep changing the rules and moving the goalposts, you are intentionally silencing the vote of the people.”
- [LaRose] cited the need to protect Ohio’s constitution from “out-of-state special interests.” A CBS News investigation discovered out-of-state interests promoting LaRose’s proposal.
Conservative Radio WLW: Frank LaRose is taking his marching orders from special interests.
- [00:18]: HOST: “Frank LaRose… said that we’ve got to get this done, got to get these August special elections off because it costs us like $20-$30 million – generally special interests can influence that election because of the extremely small turnout. We got rid of it for that reason… it just went in effect literally weeks ago… and now they’re going, ‘yeah, you know what, well we want to have an August special election.’”
- [00:46] GUEST: “Why the flip flop? Because that’s what the special interests told them they had to do. They’re following their marching orders. They’re getting their marching orders from the big money guys and they’re following them.”
1590 WAKR: “Last year, Secretary of State Frank LaRose led the effort to eliminate August elections in all cases except for fiscal emergencies… it’s a waste of money. You can do this in November in a regular election… That’s been the norm and that respects voters.”
WFMJ: “It was just January of this year that many of those same lawmakers voted to end August special elections, with Secretary of State Frank LaRose saying they are used primarily to ‘have a sneaky levy when nobody’s paying attention.’ But now, LaRose’s position has changed.”
Toledo Blade: To the editor: Election official won’t work in August electionLeann Hall, Napoleon
May 11, 2023
- We agree to prevent fraud. I believe that fraud is being posed by those who wish to place a 60/40 constitutional ballot issue on an August midterm election at a cost of $20 million.
Tribune Chronicle: Column: Special interests fuel 60% drive
May 7, 2023
- The jigging from Gov. Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Republican lawmakers’ on their August special election position, voting only months ago to abolish them for being ‘undemocratic’ and ‘bad for taxpayers,’ is so fast and out-of-tune, even my Irish step-dancing kids can’t keep up.
- HJR 1 and SJR 2 are the political agenda, propped up by outside special interests who aren’t concerned with the people of the Valley. Ohioans can, and should, be trusted with their Constitution using the rules that exist today.
Akron Beacon Journal: LaRose’s dishonesty, paranoid gun owners and more | Voice of the People
Shelly McMillen, Cuyahoga Falls
May 7, 2023
- Ohioans of all demographics support having the voices of the people, not big money, heard in citizen-led initiatives.
- LaRose would like us to imagine what corrupt politicians and big money special interests could do if given the chance to amend our constitution. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing since reading the April 28 article “GOP megadonor Richard Uihlein bankrolls push to make it harder to amend Ohio constitution.” Uihlein, a billionaire from Illinois, has dumped $1.1 million into the newly created “Save Our Constitution PAC.” The PAC has begun airing ads warning of “big money” trying to bypass Ohioans and lawmakers. That’s right: An out-of-state billionaire is funding ads pushing the passage of legislation that will make it nearly impossible for ordinary Ohioans to amend our constitution, while warning us that our constitution can be “bought” by special interests.
Dayton Daily News: MARCANO: This is what a power grab looks like
May 6, 2023
- Voters, take note. This is what a power grab looks like.
- LaRose, who just months ago led the fight against August elections, now says one would be OK because Ohio must protect the state constitution from special interests.
- An out-of-state billionaire, according to the Columbus Dispatch, has donated $1 million to the PAC that supports the efforts to make it harder to change the constitution.
Cleveland.com: Add election officials across Ohio to the giant group opposing Frank LaRose’s attack on majority rule: Today in Ohio
May 3, 2023
- [00:03:35] Chris: Well, and of course, that’s what Frank LaRose is counting on. He doesn’t want people to turn out because he knows if you had a larger turnout on this issue, it would go down in flames. They’re trying to sneak it through in August where a tiny percentage of the Ohio population would make this change. That puts 40% of the people in charge of the other 60%.
Ohio Capital Journal: Ohio Sec. of State LaRose won’t comment on election-denying financier of constitutional effort
May 4, 2023
- Secretary of State Frank LaRose said it’s important to make it a lot harder for voters to amend the Ohio Constitution because we need to keep powerful out-of-state special interests from meddling with the state’s foundational document.
- But his office wouldn’t respond when asked if the state’s top elections official embraced or condemned the support of an Illinois billionaire who helped fund the Jan. 6, 2021 rally in Washington, D.C., and who has lavished millions on candidates who have falsely claimed that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election.
Cleveland.com: ‘A slap in the face:’ Elections officials urge lawmakers off August elections
May 2, 2023
- In interviews and testimony to state lawmakers, bipartisan county elections directors and boards of election members have urged lawmakers off their proposal to schedule an Aug. 8 special election to decide a constitutional amendment proposal backed by Republican state lawmakers.
- They said such a contest would be unreasonably expensive on a per-ballot basis, threatens to further exhaust elections workers, and could leave a massive constitutional question in the hands of a thin turnout.
Cleveland.com: Secretary LaRose’s two-faced stance on outside interests pushing for Ohio constitutional change
Sherry McMillen, Cuyahoga Falls
May 1, 2023
- An April 29 Plain Dealer article, “Super PAC joins fight to restrict future amendments,” reports that a new Super PAC is airing ads warning of “big money” trying to “bypass” Ohioans and lawmakers, ads pressuring politicians to pass new rules proposed by extreme politicians and LaRose that would enshrine minority rule into our constitution. A lawyer with a history of running dark money organizations for anti-abortion organizations handled paperwork for the Super PAC, the article reports. The Dispatch reports a billionaire from Illinois donated $1.1 million.
- So, yes, Secretary LaRose, the Ohio Constitution is vulnerable to well-funded special interests. That’s why I’ve joined thousands of ordinary Ohioans from across the state and political spectrum to defeat House Joint Resolution 1/Senate Joint Resolution 2 and prevent an unnecessary August election.
Ohio Capital Journal: Opponents of August special election continue to use Ohio Sec. of State LaRose’s words against him
April 28, 2023
- In a continuing effort to stop legislators from reinstating an August election this year, opponents quoted Ohio’s Secretary of State, who just last year, supported the removal of unneeded August elections.
- The quotes included one in which Secretary Frank LaRose claimed August elections result in “a handful of voters” making “big decisions,” and the winner in those elections “is often the one that has a vested interest in the passage of the issue up for consideration.”
The Columbus Dispatch: Letters: 41% of voters should not get to decide for the rest of us
Danajane Pavlis, Toledo
April 25, 2023
- If Secretary of State Frank LaRose and the Ohio state GOP gerrymandered state legislature are so concerned about protecting the integrity of Ohio’s constitution and voting, they need to start with themselves.
The Columbus Dispatch: Bob Taft to lawmakers: Don’t put right Ohioans have had 100 years on chopping block
Former Governor Bob Taft
April 25, 2023
- As secretary of state I was all too aware that August special elections are too costly for the very low voter turnout that they attract. I concur with current Secretary of State Frank LaRose when he declared “August special elections aren’t good for the taxpayer, elections officials, voters or the civic health of our state.”
WVXU: Commentary: Ohio GOP wants voters to give up what little power they still have
April 20, 2023
- LaRose, whose head seems to be on a swivel on a number of issues, was in support of doing away with the August election. Now he’s told legislative leaders that he thinks an August election is a swell idea. A statewide issue will bring out more people, he says.
The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio Senate Republicans OK August election, plan to make it harder to change constitution
April 19, 2023
- Democrats called the measure undemocratic and arrogant and believe it will erode the ability of Ohioans to make their voices heard. Critics have also noted that Republicans, including Secretary of State Frank LaRose, advocated for the law to limit August elections because of cost and low turnout.
Ohio Capital Journal: In GOP flip, August special election will return
April 20, 2023
- Less than half a year after proclaiming August elections to be too expensive for the turnout they attract, the Senate Republican majority expanded the use of a special election this year, complete with $20 million in funding.
- Speaking in opposition for SB 92, state Sen. William DeMora, D-Columbus, quoted Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose who spoke in support of reducing August special election usage last year, when he said they “aren’t good for taxpayers, election officials, voters or the civic health of our state.”
- “(SB 92) is so bad that (LaRose) Secretary LaRose couldn’t even find the time to come and testify about it in committee,” DeMora said.
Associated Press: Ohio GOP advances making constitutional changes tougher
April 19, 2023
- The star witness on behalf of eliminating most August special elections was Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who blasted them as low-turnout drains on election board budgets that are bad for the state and for democracy. But LaRose now says he favors this particular August election, which he calls an exceptional circumstance.
Ohio Capital Journal: Ohio SOS gives yet another reason to make it a lot harder for voters to amend Constitution
April 14, 2023
- Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose on Wednesday offered another rationale for making it much more difficult for voters to amend the Ohio Constitution. Now he’s saying it’s needed to fight a possible power grab like one that grew out of a massive bribery and money-laundering scandal.
- But LaRose didn’t mention in his op-ed that his name came up repeatedly in a criminal trial related to the scandal and that he appeared to be in close communication with some of its central figures.
- Nor did his office respond when asked whether LaRose ever spoke out against the corrupt utility bailout before the FBI started arresting people in July 2020.
Cleveland.com: HJR 1 would blast away constitutional amendment rights Ohio citizens have had for 111 years: editorial
April 5, 2023
- In January, August special elections were seen as unneeded, costly exercises by Ohio cynic-in-chief Frank LaRose, who as Ohio secretary of state is Ohio’s chief elections officer. LaRose was full of praise in January when Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 458 into law. The bill, into which all manner of major electoral changes, including photo voter IDs and tighter absentee-ballot deadlines, had been crammed, started out life — and is titled — “Eliminate August special elections except for US House nomination.”
- LaRose had applauded that part of the law, in particular, calling August special elections “a costly, low-turnout, and unnecessary election for our county [elections] boards to administer.”
- Now, he and others can hardly wait to hold another August special election, courtesy of $20 million of our tax dollars (if Senate Bill 92, which is now pending in a Senate committee, or another measure authorizing this passes, of course).
The Columbus Dispatch: LTE: ‘Sneaky’ Frank LaRose
Dave Schwendenman, Columbus
April 4, 2023
- Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose doesn’t want to have August elections where ‘sneaky local’ officials use the traditionally small turnouts to favor their chances of success, but it’s A-OK for sneaky state officials to use the same low turnout August election to push through their 60% amendment to the constitution as regards citizen initiatives?
- If Frank LaRose wants to hold this to vote in August, why not make passage of it dependent upon the same 60% margin he wants for the November vote on women’s rights? And what’s with throwing shade on local officials and of all things sewage issues?
The Columbus Dispatch: Thomas Suddes: Power hungry LaRose, Huffman think you are stupid or have amnesia
April 2, 2023
- Three months ago, virtually all Republicans in the General Assembly and Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a suburban Columbus Republican, the state’s chief election officer, favored abolishing August special elections as provided by House Bill 458, a measure the legislature passed in December and Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed in January.
- What’s changed since then is growing GOP fear the voter-proposed November abortion rights amendment has momentum. (What hasn’t changed is LaRose’s hunger for 2024’s Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate for the seat now held by Cleveland Democrat Sherrod Brown, himself secretary of state from 1983 through 1990.)
Akron Beacon Journal: Hypocrisy thrives with Ohio Republicans, LaRose
March 31, 2023
- Ohio Republicans love to talk about special interests as a shadowy force of out-of-state operatives hellbent on disrupting our state with liberal ideas.
- Perhaps they’re really describing themselves, albeit with a hyper-conservative agenda we believe most Ohioans oppose.
- The only special interests we see are Statehouse Republicans trying to make the difficult process of citizens amending the state’s constitution even harder.
The Columbus Dispatch: Our view: Desperate Ohio lawmakers ready to slap voters in the face to stop abortion vote
March 30, 2023
- A word sums up an effort led by Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Senate President Matt Huffman, State Rep. Brian Stewart and others to steal a power Ohioans have enjoyed since 1912: undemocratic.
- As with the 2022 Ohio redistricting battle, Huffman, LaRose and other Republicans want to change the rules to get what they want.
- Turnout in special elections is traditionally low even when important issues are on the ballot. Just last year LaRose said as much when he supported a new law that says local governments and school districts can only hold August elections when there is a fiscal emergency.
- LaRose, Huffman and the rest want to stack the deck against Ohio voters.
The Columbus Dispatch: LTE: Frank LaRose and his hypocrisy
Richard S. Donahey, Columbus
March 30, 2023
- The Dispatch has been carefully tracking the Republican Party’s latest attempt to manipulate and control the election process. In the March 29 Dispatch.com article “Ohio secretary of state defends possible August election after pushing to limit them,” the hypocrisy of Frank LaRose, Ohio’s Secretary of State, screams out at the electorate as if he is trying to fool someone.
WOUB: After supporting the elimination of August elections, Ohio’s Secretary of State now says sometimes they’re ok
March 29, 2023
- Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose is suggesting he’s on board with an August election for voters to decide on a GOP-backed plan he supports to make it harder to amend the state constitution – even though three months ago he testified in favor of the law that got rid of August special election.
Cleveland.com: Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose objected to August elections, but not to change Ohio Constitution
March 28, 2023
- Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, the state’s chief elections officer, said Tuesday he supported a bill last year that generally ended August elections because he believes municipalities, local school districts, local sewer districts and others schedule them “to have a sneaky levy when nobody’s paying attention.”
- However, LaRose isn’t objecting to an August special election that would make it harder to amend the Ohio Constitution and possibly scuttle a statewide vote in November on a proposed constitutional amendment enshrining abortion rights.
The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio secretary of state defends possible August election after pushing to limit them
March 28, 2023
- Secretary of State Frank LaRose on Tuesday defended a potential August election for the effort to make it harder to amend the state constitution − just months after advocating to limit those elections.
The Chronicle-Telegram: Don’t hold special elections in August
March 24, 2023
- It seems as if just last year Ohio legislators passed a law largely eliminating special elections in August.
- Oh, wait, it was last year.
- The near elimination of such elections was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing Republican-backed bill that imposed strict photo ID requirements on voters and eliminated early in-person voting on the day before Election Day.
- Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican, celebrated when GOP Gov. Mike DeWine signed it into law in January. In a news release LaRose’s office even highlighted the law’s near elimination of those elections, except when a political subdivision or school district was in a state of fiscal emergency.
The Columbus Dispatch: LTE: Why does majority rule upset Frank LaRose so very much
Thomas W. Billing, Springfield
April 15, 2023
- I have some questions for Frank LaRose after reading his April 12 column, “Corrupt mastermind’s plot shows frailty of our state’s constitution,” and they start with: why does a simple majority upset you in voting on state constitutional amendments?
- What happened to majority rule?