NO on Ohio Issue 2

I finally got around to reading Ohio Issue 2.

The answer is NO.

If passed, it would work like this. Every “initiative” (any change in law that you get on the ballot by circulating petitions) will have to go through the Ohio Ballot Board. The Board will decide if the proposal will “grant or create a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel, specify or determine a tax rate, or confer a commercial interest, commercial right, or commercial license… that is not then available to other similarly situated persons or nonpublic entities.”

If they think it does (in short) create a monopoly, then… Ohio is such a weird state… the proposal still goes on the ballot, but it’s preceded by a yes/no question that amounts to “You know that Issue 2 thing we passed in 2015? Do you want to waive it just this once?”

So basically this is adding an “ARE YOU SURE?” vote to every initiative petition.

Also, special case–and how I love having special cases in a state constitution!–if Issue 2 passes then it claims to cancel and trump Issue 3. I’ve played enough Nomic to know how badly that can go.

One other thing

Issue 2 does nothing to prevent the Ohio Legislature or any subordinate local government from simply granting or creating a monopoly, yadda yadda, as long as they don’t put the issue to a referendum. That’s quite an oversight, if it’s an oversight. I don’t think it’s an oversight.


Long story short: Issue 2 AT BEST makes a silly extra hoop to jump through if the Ohio Ballot Board decides they don’t like your petition proposal. It doesn’t do anything to counteract the actual corruption that is rampant in local governments. And if both 2 and 3 pass, we’ll get dueling amendments. (That’s not such a bad thing, because 3 is bullshit. But still.)

Therefore, definitely NO on 2.

No. Not a "progressive."

“I’m a progressive who likes to get things done.” (Hillary Clinton from the Democratic debate the other night.)

No. Hillary Clinton is not a progressive. She’s gone out of her way, “for decades” according to her supporters, to distinguish herself from the progressives.

This is the kind of disingenuous bullshit that makes people not trust HRC. She’s a moderate Democrat. She should go ahead and own that.

Also: on what planet do you define a “progressive” as someone who doesn’t like to get things done? Doesn’t anyone remember FDR?



Barge & PARC: I'm cautiously optimistic. Here's why the haters are wrong.

I’m not particularly sold on Matthew Barge and his company as the Monitor for the Cleveland consent decree on police use of force but here are a few things about the process.

This selection is being done in the first place because it’s a requirement of the consent decree. It’s not like Cleveland went ahead and outsourced compliance because they thought it would be fun. While this isn’t specifically stated in the Cleveland Scene article, but it’s important: the City doesn’t get to pick any Monitor it wants. It’s a joint decision with the US Department of Justice. DoJ won’t let the City pick a softball Monitor. Furthermore, if the City and DoJ couldn’t agree on a Monitor selection, the choice would have fallen to Judge Oliver.

Elementary negotiation: this strengthens the DoJ’s hand.

Don’t complain about the cost. If it takes five million dollars to solve the problem of cop violence, then it does. It requires lawyers, investigators, statisticians, writers, analysts, security experts… people whose skills cost money.

In a similar vein, of course this has to be outsourced. Everyone knows the City of Cleveland administration is corrupt and otherwise very poorly managed. And we don’t want this oversight done by people who work directly or indirectly for Mayor Jackson; that’s ridiculous. We do want it done by people who are responsible to Judge Oliver.

Finally, yes we do want an out-of-town company to do this work. The farther removed they are from personalities and politics, the less likely they are to have friends and family members and even enemies with a personal stake in this, the better their chances of doing a solid job instead of avoiding offending anyone.

Look, either Judge Oliver and the DoJ are being real about this or they’re not. If they’re not real, then never mind the details and never mind who the Monitor is–this is just a farce all the way through. So we logically have to presume they are real. The alternative is literally to give up.

If the judge and the DoJ are real, then DoJ tried to pick a responsible Monitor and Judge Oliver will fire them if they suck.