Letter to the Editor - American Promise

Ellen Greene Bush

How strongly do Americans feel about getting big money out of politics? A recent Bush/Biden survey on democracy found that over three-quarters (77 percent) agreed that “the laws enacted by our national government these days mostly reflect what powerful special interests and their lobbyists want.”

Only 17 percent chose the alternative statement: “The laws enacted by our national government these days mostly reflect what the people want.” There is a growing cross-partisan grassroots movement in Ohio and across the country to change this.

The American Promise-Port Clinton group met with and asked the two candidates for Ohio House, District 89, to support the goal of a 28th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution to "secure fair, free elections by limiting the undue influence of money in politics; protect the rights of all Americans to equal participation and representation, rather than overrepresentation of donors and special interests; and protect the unalienable liberty of people rather than new privileges for the largest corporations, unions, and special interests."

Candidate Joe Helle agreed to promote a 28th Amendment in the ways and means available to him as a member of the 89th Ohio House District if he is elected. He said, "I am committed to leading our area in reducing the large, dark money contributions that have plagued our political system."

Incumbent Rep. Steve Arndt was generous with his time and ideas but declined to support the 28th Amendment initiative.

Across the country, 19 state legislatures and nearly 800 cities and towns have passed 28th Amendment resolutions with cross-partisan support. Ohio is not one of those states but there are resolutions in the Ohio legislature (HR 74 and SR 74). Our volunteers and allies are working toward electing officials, both Republican and Democrat, who will support these resolutions.

Be a voter on Tuesday, November 6. Consider this issue in your decision.

Continue reading »

Ohio EPA Director Calls for Farm Runoff Regulations to Clean Lake Erie

Andy Chow

The bill would increase funding to voluntary projects that battle harmful algal blooms in the Lake Erie watershed. Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler argues data shows that the voluntary programs aren’t doing enough.

“Introducing focused regulatory action must be taken we believe swiftly and appropriately to ensure we show meaningful progress in protecting our crown jewel, Lake Erie,” Butler said.

Republican House Speaker Ryan Smith says the cause and the fix to the algae problem isn’t clear. So he wants more discussion before implementing more regulations on farming, Ohio’s largest industry.

Research by the Ohio EPA found that voluntary measures to reduce fertilizer runoff have failed to decrease pollutants in Lake Erie. Environmental groups have called for legislation requiring farmers to make further changes to their practices.

Continue reading »