Blackwell, Ohio GOP Flip-Flop on TEL
by KTinOhio, Sat May 13, 2006 at 08:01:15 AM EDT
The Tax and Expenditure Limitation (TEL) amendment is the cornerstone of Ken Blackwell's economic plan. Blackwell even postponed putting it on the ballot until this year in the interest of helping his own campaign for governor.
But now, as more and more Ohioans of both parties have criticized the amendment, even Blackwell appears to be having second thoughts. From today's Columbus Dispatch...
GOP hopes to ditch TEL to benefit Blackwell
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Jim Siegel and Mark Niquette
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Republican lawmakers are exploring ways to make a measure limiting government spending disappear from the November ballot while allowing J. Kenneth Blackwell to save face on the signature proposal of his gubernatorial campaign.
Although Blackwell continues to insist the state needs a constitutional amendment to restrict government spending, he will consider other options that achieve the same objective, spokesman Carlo LoParo said yesterday.
"He's willing to listen to discussion from legislative leaders regarding other vehicles that will accomplish controlling government spending so Ohio can control taxes and create jobs," he said.
The proposed Tax and Expenditure Limitation, or TEL, amendment would restrict state and local government spending increases to 3.5 percent per year or the combined rate of inflation plus population growth, whichever is greater.
It has been heavily criticized by an array of state and local elected officials, university presidents and educators who say its poor wording could have a devastating effect, particularly on local governments.
Amid growing grass-roots opposition, Republicans also fear the amendment could hurt Blackwell's chances of defeating Democrat Ted Strickland in November.
GOP legislative leaders are discussing a way to give the four-member committee that submitted TEL amendment petitions the power to rescind the issue, even though Blackwell, the Ohio secretary of state, already has certified it for the November ballot.
The fun never ends in Ohio. Whether it stays on the ballot or not, we have to tie Blackwell to this turkey of an idea. Take away TEL, and what does Blackwell have that isn't designed to appeal to his Religious Right base?
And it will be fun to break out the flip-flops.