Secretary of State sides with Brecksville Citizens for Transparent Politics, city to take issue to Supreme Court

September 13, 2012
Robert Rozboril, Sun News

BRECKSVILLE - Members of the local group Brecksville Citizens for Transparent Politics are rejoicing today after getting word that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted decided that the initiative petition to have the city of Brecksville voice to Congress the residents' belief that corporations are not people and money is not speech will be on the Nov. 6 voting ballot, barring an appeal by the city.

The issue came down to Husted's decision after the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections tied during their Aug. 28 vote on the city of Brecksville's protest of the petition.

"I feel like fairness won," said Rose Petsche, who co-founded Brecksville Citizens for Transparent Politics with her husband Jack. "The right of the people to speak won."

Husted sent out a letter early today stating that what the petition proposed for Brecksville as well as a similar one proposed in Newburgh Heights are constitutional and legal, therefore, should be allowed to be on the ballot.

Brecksville Mayor Jerry Hruby said, after the city filed the protest, that he believed that the petition proposed something that a local municipality, such as Brecksville, is not responsible for, which is attempting to effect federal law.

Husted ruled that the petitions for both cities should be allowed to go on the ballot because it does not propose anything that a local municipality cannot control. His letter stated, "The Brecksville and Newburgh Heights ballot issues would require officials to designate a day on which to hold public hearings and to correspond thereafter with federal officials - activities that a municipal legislative authority may control by legislative action."

The petition also states that the mayor and one other city official is responsible for provide testimony at such public hearings and then send a letter to Congress expressing the residents' opinion that corporations are not people and money is not speech.

This coincides directly with the stance supported by the Move to Amend Movement, which seeks to convince Congress to make a constitutional amendment that would effectively limit corporations' ability to make donations to political campaigns.

Brecksville Law Director David Matty said that the city will prepare to file a complaint with the Ohio Supreme Court protesting the issue's placement on the ballot but would not offer any more details at this time.

Petsche said that she believes it would be a waste of taxpayer money for the city to try to appeal the decision.

See the full decision letter here: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted's Decision

Contact Rozboril at (216) 986-6065 or rrozboril [at]

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