Vote YES on Statewide ballot Issue 1 to extend the Ohio Third Frontier Program. If former Governor Bob Taft did one thing right (and it may seem to some that he only did this one thing right), he ushered in one of the most successful economic development programs that Ohio has ever seen. Between 2003 and 2008, Ohio’s Third Frontier Program invested $681 million in research, development and commercialization projects in technology, biomed, advanced and alternative energy, advanced materials, instruments and advanced propulsion; all areas where Ohio has a competitive advantage. That $681 million has resulted in $6.6 billion in economic impact – a 10-to1 return- and 41, 300 jobs, according to the economic impact study by SRI International in September 2009. Now the state wants to renew it’s commitment to Third Frontier with $700 million over four years (from 2012 to 2016). Find more details at the campaign site here: http://unitedforjobsohio.com. We think it’s the best use of tax money our state government has come up with, and we urge you to renew the Third Frontier Program and VOTE YES on Issue 1.
Vote YES on Statewide ballot Issue 2 to move the Columbus casino location It is absolutely ridiculous that issues such as the casino are on the ballot requiring that we change the State constitution. If our legislators had any guts, they would make these decisions and deal with the consequences. Instead, millions of dollars were spent to convince Ohio voters to approve casinos is last Fall’s election, limited to specific locations in the major cities. Casino projects in Cleveland, Cincy and Toledo will not be affected by Issue 2, but the powers that be in Columbus have, for some reason, decided they didn’t want their casino anywhere near their Downtown economic engine, so they are banishing it to a vacant auto plant site at the intersection of I-70 & I-270. Why? They claim that High Street is now “family-friendly,” but that’s a stretch for anyone who’s been along that strip on Buckeye football game days. Interestingly, the Columbus area voted against the casino, but were outvoted by the rest of the state. Now they want to move their casino to the suburbs. Why should we stand in their way? VOTE YES on Issue 2.
Vote for Lee Fisher for Democratic Senate Primary Although Cool Cleveland generally does not endorse in primary races, we are breaking our own rule to endorse Lee Fisher for the Democratic Senate Primary. Fisher’s opponent, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is refreshingly bold and decisive, and this makes our endorsement of Fisher a tough call. We need more women in the Senate, and Jennifer Brunner is sharp. Like many in NEO, we’ve know Lee Fisher for many years, and feel representation of Northeast Ohio by Lee Fisher, a longtime resident of our region, will benefit the largest population center in the state, and therefore the entire state. Fisher has served a wide range of roles throughout the years, and is well educated on all the key issues and the needs of our state. He is also a fighter and his recent position as Lieutenant Governor has put him in charge of economic development for the state, a role he can be expected to take forward to Washington. We urge you to VOTE for LEE FISHER in the Democratic Senate Primary.
VOTE YES on Cuyahoga County Issue 15 to renew the Health and Human or Social Services levy. The problem with corruption is that it makes people cynical. And it justifies their cynicism. So with Cuyahoga County officials mired in FBI investigations and soon-to-be-announced indictments, it is a stretch to ask Cuyahoga residents to do the right thing and renew the Cuyahoga Health & Human Services levy. We don’t trust those County bastards any more than you do. But think of who this money goes towards: the most vulnerable in our community- kids in foster care and poor families, funding for MetroHealth Medical Center, programs for alcohol & drug addiction and mental health. It’s a renewal levy- your taxes won’t go up. So let’s hold these crooks accountable for their corrupt behavior. But in the meantime, hold your noses and VOTE YES on Cuyahoga County Issue 15.
VOTE FOR YOUR Selected Local School Issues School levies are on the ballot in the following communities: Beachwood, Garfield Hts, Lakewood, North Olmsted, North Royalton, Parma, Rocky River, Shaker Hts, Solon & Westlake. Look, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled four times that the way our state funds public education is UNCONSTITUTIONAL, but none of our elected leaders has the guts to make any changes. So the burden of public education falls on local communities. Generally, strong local schools makes for stronger communities: stable and growing housing prices, lower crime and more desirable communities for growing families. Especially if you don’t have children of your own, it is up to you during each election cycle to support stability in your community. Those communities that repeatedly turn down school levies begin to decline. We urge you to do the right thing.
Judgeships For judge elections, we recommend http://www.Judge4Yourself.com, which aggregates the recommendations of 4 non-partisan local bar associations. This year, we have a lot of bad candidates for judges. Of the 23 candidates reviewed by Judge4Yourself, only 7 received a rating of Good or Excellent by any of the 4 local bar associations. So there is a 2/3 chance of a voter choosing a mediocre or unfit candidate, and that’s not even taking into account the “name game,” where candidates with popular names always seems to get the votes. Don’t fall into this trap. Visit http://www.Judge4Yourself.com and make an informed decision this Tuesday, May 4, 2010 (or sooner by absentee ballot). Watch a CoolCleveland.com video with Judge4Yourself organizer Subodh Chandra, former Law Director of the City of Cleveland, as he explains how Judge4Yourself works: http://www.coolcleveland.com/wiki/Newsletter/J4y0410