Sunday, October 30, 2005

 

Blade backs RON while Dispatch caves

Hopefully the Reform Ohio Now campaign can gain some perspective from the conflicting editorial positions staked out today by two of the major Ohio newspspers.

In particular, the RON folks should be very pleased about the endorsements given by the Toledo Blade. As the paper with the investigative staff that consistently towered over all of the others' efforts combined to document the culture of corruption, the Blade's support is sweet because it comes from an institution that knows the problems the best.
Ohioans who are embarrassed by the national attention paid as recently as last year to our clumsy, inefficient, and occasionally unethical elections - and that should be all Ohioans - should be encouraged by a grass-roots initiative that would make the necessary repairs.
On the other hand, like the Kerry/Edwards endorsement in 2004, the Dispatch's rebuff of the RON initiatives is a not-unexpected disappointment to those of us who continue to think that maybe the paper will show more editorial political independence.

And, the negative editorial suggests some major underlying conflicts among the Dispatch's chieftans. We have heard from at least two sources, for example, that at least one very high-ranking manager after an editorial board meeting pledged that the paper would be supportive of the RON iniatives - at least of Issue 4.

We fully understand that John Wolfe still knows what side of the political bread to put the butter on and that he has the final say, but slamming Issue 4 puts at least one of his top team members in a significant pickle.

And, one last thought. If Kenny Blackwell still succeeds in putting his TABOR proposals on the ballot next year, will the Dispatch still feel this way?:
The biggest flaw is that they seek to write highly detailed, prescriptive language and untested policy into the Ohio Constitution. Once there, fixing any deficiencies would require another statewide vote.
If we were part of the anti-TABOR group, we'd be filing this editorial away for safe keeping.

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