Ohio Supreme Court Decides Citizens’ Initiative Can Go on the Ballot

The issue, which the city has been fighting, will go on the ballot in November.

The Ohio Supreme Court has decided that the city's citizens’ petition initiative can go on the ballot in November.

The issue argues that money isn’t equal to speech and corporations aren’t equal to people—if passed, the city would have to send a letter to state and federal representatives saying Brecksville voters support adding a federal amendment saying just that. The city has been fighting this issue, saying it's beyond their reach.

On Monday, the Ohio Supreme Court denied or dismissed all of the city’s requests, which means that the issue will go to voters in November. There were five justices in favor and two who dissented.

The decision and the “slip opinion,” which is not yet formalized, can be read on the court’s website.

Brecksville Law Director David J. Matty could not be reached as of publication.

Rose Petsche, one of the leaders of Brecksville Citizens for Transparent Politics—the group that collected signatures to put the issue on the ballot—said in an email that there would be an informational meeting about the issue at 7 p.m. on Oct. 17 at the Brecksville branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

Update, 1 p.m., Oct. 2
Law Director David J. Matty said the city would abide by the court’s decision and no further action would be taken.

Jeff Mihalich October 02, 2012 at 02:26 AM
The word "corporation" derives from corpus, the Latin word for body, or a "body of people.". My business (a corporation) is a collection of PEOPLE whom have a legal arrangement. Why is a decision allowing the free political speech of my partners and I a bad thing. You demonize this as "dark money" and "special interests". Are you not a special interest, one who wishes to limit free speech. What dark purpose do you have by attempting to limit the basic protection offered in the first amendment. Before commenting on this decision please be aware of the facts, the law clearly states that foreign nationals are prohibited from contributing to any political party, campaign or advertisements, despite claims of Brecksville Citizens for Transparent Politics. While our first amendment equally protects ignorant political speech, it does not justify the groups attempts to limit the speech of those they may not agree with.
John Glenn October 02, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Then someone needs to speak to george soros about the millions he's donated to the democratic (I mean, socialist) cause...
nl October 02, 2012 at 03:33 PM
If a corporation is not a person I wonder if that would remove them from several taxes and laws that apply only to "persons" as that term was generally used for hundreds of years.
Rose Petsche October 02, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I realize that there has been some angst about this issue. I will only quote our founding father: “The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations” -Thomas Jefferson
Rick Putka October 03, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Corporations do not have the right to vote only individual human beings have the right to vote. Speech as defined by Webster's, is defined as the "expression or communications of thoughts and feelings". Humans have thoughts and feelings not money or corporations. The first three words of the Constitution is "We The People".
Jeff Mihalich October 03, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Rick, a cheese sandwich does not have a right to vote either, because it is made of bread and cheese. Corporations, Political Groups, Unions, Clubs, Business are legal collections of humans whom do have the ability to express thoughts and feelings as groups. The very organization bringing this issue to the ballot is a group of Democrats who wish to limit speech of the people. They want to concentrate the ability to wield political power to only the groups and persons they agree with. "We The People" include many hard working business owners and entrepreneurs. Why not focus your attack on the real threat to freedom? Groups who receive public funds and that are used to elect politicians that funnel them more money. This downward spiral of corruption is undermining our Republic.
Mark Schwertle October 07, 2012 at 02:11 PM
A Corp. is a group of people. Hopefully they are citizens of this country, but sometimes not. My first issue with a Corp. having the rights of a citizen is just this! People with other agendas would influence our elections. My second issue is if a Corp. has rights as an individual, the individuals running this Corp. are now double dipping. As individuals they can donate, protest, speak and act. But should their agenda have the added strength their Corp also brings them? One person = one vote. One person should be only that, one person. Most Corp offices once empty of people, can't vote or donate.
Jeff Mihalich October 08, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Each citizen is only allowed one vote. Corporations have no votes no do any foreign owners. It is possible to usurp our law and limits on political donations through fraudulent means. But I am sure the Democrat group placing this on the ballot has no problems with allowing fraud as long as it benefits their party. http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/2509895/#.UHMZOLSwHVv
Fred E. Pedersen November 03, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Corporations are beholden only to their stockholders. For many of our multinational corporations this means foreign owners as well as domestic owners. When that US company uses its Supreme Court given Freedom of speech in the form of millions of dollars in donations to super pacs those foreign owners among the stockholders have many times more freedom of speech than the vast majority of US citizens. That is why the supreme court decision is wrong and that is why voting yes on issue 25 is right for each and every citizen of Brecksville, Democrat, Republican and Independent. None of us should be proud of all of the super pac money being spent in this election to purchase senate seats, house seats and other political offices which is why one of the founders of the Tea Party is against the decision along with Senator John McCain and the vast majority of the rational ;citizens of this country.
Jeff Mihalich November 03, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Based on your logic, employees of foreign company's should not be able to donate to campaigns. John McCain sponsored Mcain-Fiengold to solidify the donations of Washington insiders. Save our constitution, Save Freedom of speech, Vote with our Mayor and City Counsel. VOTE NO ON ISSUE 25
Fred E. Pedersen November 03, 2012 at 11:09 PM
John McCain sponsored McCain-Feingold because he knew and still knows today that Congress should regulate political contributions, therefore giving rise to greater free speech by US citizens and less interference in our politcal process by mega corporations such as Koch Industries or the AFL-CIO. Keep Free Speech Alive Vote Yes on Issue 25.
Fred E. Pedersen November 03, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Based on my logic Corporations are NOT people, only human beings are. Money is NOT free speech and as such, should be regulated by Congress. US citizens who are employees of foreign companies absolutely should contribute to, the candidate or candidates of their choice. Corporations should not be allowed to contribute unlimited millions of dollars with no accountability which the Citizens United Supreme Court decision has now established. We seek an amendment to the Constitution to correct their mistake. We have been very careful with Issue 25 to insure that it does fit within the responsibilities of the city of Brecksville and its leaders. Both the Secretary of State of Ohio, who has jurisdicfikn over
Fred E. Pedersen November 03, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Jurisdiction over such matters and the Ohio Supreme Court agree that Issue 25 belongs on the ballot for the citizens of Brecksville to vote on. Keep Free Speech Alive Vote Yes on Issue 25.


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