Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ohio CAN have a do-over: How to throw the bums OUT

Markos "kos" Moulitsas wrote in Ohio wishes it could have do-over in governor's race that Ohio is having major buyer's remorse over the election of John "Lehman Brothers" Kasich as governor. Due to citizen disgust at Kasich's reverse Robin Hood budget and the anti-union and anti-public employee SB5, Kasich would lose a new election by 15 points.
Alas Ohio lacks any recall mechanism for state officials - but that doesn't mean we can't throw the bums out - we do have a citizen's initiative process for placing issues and constitutional amendments on the ballot.
Use the Citizen's Initiative Process to Amend the Governor's Term of Office.
An issue could be put on ballot to amend the Ohio constitution to change the dates of the terms for governor and other elected state officials - including members of the Ohio Senate and House, by ending their terms soon after passage, with the new terms being filled by candidates chosen in a special election. We can put a "recall and reset" issue on the ballot just like the gambling companies put casinos on the ballot.
The Amendment could be written to end only the term of the Governor and Lt. Governor, or it could completely clean the slate and put every office up for reset, or something in between.
In the process we can fix one of the tactics the GOP uses to stay in control of a Blue State. They have the Governor and major state offices elected in mid-term elections when voter turnout is lower, thus favoring Republicans. The initiative could reset those terms to coincide with Presidential terms - when voter participation is highest and most representative of the state's population.
And importantly the initiative could add a recall mechanism to remove elected state officials in the future without requiring a constitutional amendment.
Passage of the Amendment would end the current terms of Governor and some other elected officials and provide for a quick special election to elect new office holders. It would be a very short campaign - a rarity in American politics. The new gubernatorial and state office terms would only last until the end of the quadrennial year, and would thenceforth follow the national quadrennial calendar for presidential elections.

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