The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


    Campaign finance reports filed with the Lucas County Board of Elections show that the Toledo Jobs and Growth Coalition spent almost $306,000 to sway Toledo voters to not support the Lake Erie Bill of Rights ballot initiative in February.

        With 6,260 actually voting against the measure, that comes to about $49 a vote.

        By contrast, Toledoans for Safe Water spent just under $5,900 in support of the issue and saw it pass by about 61 percent with 9,955 votes. Voter turnout was low at about 9 percent.

        What’s especially irksome to the backers of the initiative is almost the entire source of the coalition’s funding is from B.P. Corp. North America, Inc., Houston, Texas, which is listed as donating $302,000 to the anti-LEBOR campaign.

        “The time has come for corporate-owned politics to take a backseat to the citizen-led efforts and movements for change. We want to be the ones who influence and shape our communities to reflect our values and protection for the city we call home,” said LEBOR organizer Julian Mack.

        The expense reports for the Toledo Jobs and Growth Coalition show that most of its funding was spent on out-of-state consulting, legal and advertising firms:

-Yellowstone Associates (Virginia), $10,000 for consulting

- Shumaker Advisors (Ohio), $10,000 for consulting

- Chain Bridge Bank (Virginia) - $140 for bank fees

- Battleground Strategies, LLC (Ohio) - $25,000 - general campaign consulting

- CrossRoads Media, LLC (Virginia) -$105,444 for radio ad production and placement

- DDC Public Affairs (Washington, DC) - $10,000 for digital ad production and placement

- Langdon Law, LLC (Ohio) - $10,000 for legal fees

- New Troy Strategies (Virginia) - $122,352.39 for campaign outreach, direct mail, radio ads, text messages and phone calls.

        The campaign refunded $12,708 back to BP Corp.

        Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie donated $1,000 to Toledoans for Safe Water on Jan. 16 and $500 on Feb. 27 – the day after the election. Crystal Jankowski, a member of Toledoans for Safe Water, donated $1,000 but most of the donations to the group were well under $100.

        LEBOR grants legal rights to the Great Lake and its watershed as an amendment to Toledo’s charter.

        According to Toledoans for Safe Water, it will be the first U.S. law of its kind.

        The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund drafted the bill of rights for the lake at the request of Toledoans for Safe Water, which then gathered signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot.

        But no sooner were the election results announced than a member of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation filed a lawsuit to prevent the ballot measure’s enactment.

        Mark Drewes, a director of The Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association whose family farms in Custar, O., filed the lawsuit in Federal District Court for Northern Ohio, challenging the constitutionality of LEBOR.

        The suit argues LEBOR violates federal constitutional rights, including equal protection, freedom of speech and is unenforceable for its vagueness.

        In March, the court issued a preliminary injunction that prevents the city from enforcing LEBOR while the case proceeds.




The Ohio legislature has passed a bill that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. In practice, that would make abortion illegal after six weeks.
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