Thursday, October 20, 2011

Senator Cafaro Calls Additional Primary "Fiscally Irresponsible"

Columbus – Senate Democratic Leader Capri S. Cafaro (D-Hubbard) issued the following statement today after the Ohio Senate voted along party lines to create two primaries in 2012--a change that will cost taxpayers an estimated $15 million:

It is the height of hypocrisy for Republicans, who claim to be fiscal conservatives, to pass a bill that needlessly spends $15 million of taxpayers’ money. Substitute House Bill 318 is fiscally irresponsible and will only add cost and confusion to our elections. Furthermore, the rationale behind the legislation simply defies logic.

“I offered an amendment to create one primary in June for state, local and federal elections. It would have saved money and simplified our elections by asking voters to make only one trip to the polls next spring instead of two. But, this common sense alternative was swiftly rejected by Republicans.

“Instead of making it easier for Ohioans to vote, Republicans seem intent on causing confusion, suppressing voter turnout and needlessly spending scarce resources.”

Senator Smith Disturbed by Republican Refusal to Amend House Bill 318

Columbus – State Senator Shirley Smith (D-Cleveland) released the following statement today after voting against the passage of House Bill 318, which creates a separate federal primary on June 12, 2012:

“I am completely disturbed by the Republican decision to unnecessarily create an additional primary election in 2012. This new primary will cost as much as $15 million, and all year we have been told that the state has to guard its resources.

“My colleagues in the Democratic Caucus offered an amendment that would have combined the state and federal primaries to create a single primary in 2012, saving the state those $15 million. Who in their right mind would pass up such an opportunity?

“I also offered an amendment that would have codified an agreement between Secretary of State John Husted and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald, which was also supported by the majority’s leaders. This amendment would have required the Secretary of State to send absentee voter applications to all registered Ohio voters for the November 2012 Presidential Election. Again, and without sufficient explanation, Senate Republicans rejected the amendment.

“This is the same party that, several months ago, blamed public employees for the state’s financial problems, instead of finding fault with the huge, unnecessary tax loopholes and excessive tax cuts that they enacted in 2005. Now, under the twin specters of Senate Bill 5’s defeat and possible referendum on the highly partisan Congressional maps, Republicans baldly waste taxpayer dollars. If they had used an open and inclusive process to draw those new Congressional boundaries, I am convinced that we would not be here today.

"Their actions show internal incoherence or unbridled hypocrisy within their party. Either way, the result is not good for Ohio.”

The Caucus

Minority Leader Eric H. Kearney - Cincinnati - 9th District
Assistant Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni - Canfield - 33rd District
Minority Whip Nina Turner - Cleveland - 25th District
Assistant Minority Whip Edna Brown - Toledo - 11th District
Senator Tom Sawyer - Akron - 28th District
Senator Charleta B. Tavares - Columbus - 15th District
Senator Shirley Smith - Cleveland - 21st District
Senator Michael J. Skindell - Cleveland - 23rd District
Senator Lou Gentile - Steubenville - 30th District
Senator Capri S. Cafaro - Hubbard - 32nd District

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