Extremist Republicans don’t care if Joe Biden makes the ballot. Foreign money is a power grab.

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Ohio House of Representatives Minority Leader Allison Russo is serving her third term representing House District 7, which includes Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights, and portions of Columbus.

All of this discussion of whether President Joe Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio or not makes for a juicy headline.

But let’s be clear: come November, Joe Biden will be on the ballot.

What Ohioans need to be equally clear on is that extremist Republicans don’t think that the average voter is very smart. They’ve shown over and over that they don’t care what your values are or what direction you think our great state should go.

Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman admitted that reality when he said the gerrymandered supermajority can “kind of do what we want.” 

Once you see it, and, trust me, Ohioans have seen it a few times the past year, the playbook for extremists is obvious.

They use coded language and dog-whistle tactics as weapons to scare us. They did it last year with an August special election taxpayers had to pay for in the fight for abortion rights and the fundamental freedom for Ohioans to determine their own future.

Foreign money lie a power grab

They’re doing it again, using the so-called “foreign money” issue as a bargaining chip for the legislative fix to getting President Biden on the ballot. 

First, let’s get their “foreign money” lie out of the way. The truth is, any contribution of foreign money in our elections is already illegal under federal law, and these federal restrictions also apply to state campaigns.  

It will likely surprise those who’ve been paying close attention to our statehouse that the urgency and intent of Gov. Mike DeWine’s recent call for a special session have almost nothing to do with what should be an easy, bipartisan ballot fix or “foreign money.”

Getting Biden on Ohio’s ballot shouldn’t be controversial

Instead, these power-hungry politicians are once again attacking our fundamental freedoms and the people’s right to hold their government accountable. 

There was an agreed-upon plan by Democrats and Republicans for a clean, straightforward fix to getting Biden on the ballot, just as previous general assemblies have done in 2012 and 2020.

Some Senate and House Republicans saw an opportunity to use their gerrymandered power as a weapon to get what they wanted, despite what the people want. Rep. Brian Stewart said the quiet part out loud, tweeting that “any legislative fix for Biden should be paired with a GOP policy priority.”

That “priority” is another attack on the people’s right to challenge the government when the government is not responsive to what the people want. Citizen-led ballot initiatives are one of Ohio’s most powerful democratic tools, and extremists are scared silly by it. 

Sore losers are afraid of citizen-led initiatives

These sore losers—still licking their wounds after last November’s Issue 1—are using the so-called “foreign money” lie to put a stranglehold on grassroots citizen-led ballot initiatives. Underneath that lie is a plan to take every group that ever tried to organize a ballot initiative and treat the group as a candidate for public office.

This ignores federal constitutional law, and it targets the voice of the people. For every citizen-led ballot initiative, extremist politicians are scheming to harass grassroots organizers and to use legal jujitsu to derail any citizen-led Ohio organization before it can get going.

It’s a giant scare tactic to target the citizen-led initiatives these politicians don’t like. https://omny.fm/shows/dispatch-on-demand-audio/playlists/then-what-happened/embed?style=cover

GOP politicians know that the Citizens, Not Politicians reform, which is on track to come before voters in November, will begin dismantling their gerrymandered, supermajority grip on power.

Allison Russo

The same politicians embroiled in their own corrupt, dark money allegations will do anything to prevent accountability. That includes lying to you, changing the rules of the game, and attacking your basic fundamental freedoms. 

Blinded by power, Ohio’s statehouse extremists treat voters like naive children.

Don’t let them.

The people’s fundamental freedoms are never open for negotiation. They tried to fool us before, and they failed. Let’s make sure they fail again. 

Ohio House of Representatives Minority Leader Allison Russo is serving her third term representing House District 7, which includes Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights, and portions of Columbus.