PAC Backed By Illinois Billionaire Pushed For Vote On Making It Harder To Amend Ohio Constitution!
FEATURED PHOTO: HEIR TO THE SCHLITZ BREWING COMPANY BILLIONAIRE RICHARD UIHLEIN
IdeastreamPublicMedia.org, By Karen Kasler-STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU, Posted May 18th 2023
A political action committee was set up to push for the constitutional amendment requiring 60% voter approval for future amendments, before a vote on a reproductive rights amendment this fall.
And most of the funding for the PAC is from a billionaire Republican megadonor from Illinois.
Republicans have said they want to keep out of state special interests out of Ohio’s constitution. But more than $1 million for these ads had come from Illinois billionaire Richard Uihlein, who runs a prominent office supply and packing supplies company.
Save Our Constitution PAC is ran ads targeting specific House members and Speaker Jason Stephens. The ads, aimed at Rep. Al Cutrona (R-Canfield) and Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill), urging constituents to call Stephens’ office to press him to call for votes on HJR 1 or SJR 2, the resolutions requiring 60% voter approval for constitutional amendments, and on SB 92 or HB 144, which would allow an August special election to vote on that resolution.
The ad referred to “the clock is ticking” and said there is “less than a week” for action because Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose has told legislative leaders they have to pass these measures by May 10 for an August election to happen. LaRose supports both of these proposals. The Ohio Association of Elections Officials, the bipartisan group representing the people who would have to execute a statewide August election, is formally opposed.
Save Our Constitution PAC spokesman Joel Riter said in a written statement: “The clock is ticking and the decisions made in the coming days by Speaker Stephens and those who put him into power will shape Ohio for decades to come. The voters must be allowed to protect our Constitution. Next week will determine our next move – including looking ahead to March 2024.”
Uihlein, whose great-grandfather was a founder of the Schlitz brewing company, runs the private packing and office supplies company Uline. He and his wife have given more than $120 million in recent years to pro-Trump candidates and conservative causes.
And a person familiar with the campaign says Uihlein’s big donation is just the first installment in the effort to push the amendment.
SJR2 and HJR1 passed in the Ohio senate and house on May 11th for an August special election for the voters to decide.