Election in Ohio Focused on Abortion Rights Receives Significant Support from National Entities and Funds

by Ethan Kim
fokus keyword Ohio election

Proponents of a ballot initiative in Ohio designed to make constitutional amendments more difficult, thereby impacting future abortion rights in the state, assert that voting in favor will protect against external interference.

On the other hand, critics contend that an affirmative vote would hand over a victory to influential special interest groups.

However, an examination of funding data reveals a contradiction, as both sides, while criticizing external interests, receive significant funding from outside the state. Financial backing, celebrity endorsements, and influence from a distance are driving much of the late-stage campaigning and disinformation about the proposal, known as Issue 1, on the upcoming Tuesday’s ballot.

The Protect Our Constitution coalition, supporting the proposal, gets almost all its funding from an Illinois billionaire, Richard Uihlein, who has donated $4 million of the total $4.8 million, as per campaign records. The largest donation from within Ohio, totaling $150,000, was made by Save Ohio Jobs, affiliated with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

In contrast, the campaign opposing Issue 1, named One Person One Vote, also saw a substantial percentage—around 85%—of its $14.8 million donations coming from outside Ohio. Several significant donations were made by “dark money” entities that aren’t required to disclose their contributors, including Washington’s Sixteen Thirty Fund and the California-based Tides Foundation.

Travis Ridout, who monitors ad expenditure, comments that the influx of out-of-state funds in state-level elections is becoming increasingly common. Hot-button national issues like abortion in Ohio’s election act as a strong incentive.

If Issue 1 is approved, it will change the requirement for future amendments to Ohio’s Constitution from a mere majority to a 60% majority vote. This alteration could severely impact a November vote that could enshrine abortion rights in Ohio.

Some external groups have been spreading deceptive information. This includes a counterfeit newspaper that has been disseminating false assertions about the opposition and a voting event hosted by conspiracy theorists.

One such piece of false journalism was an eight-page mailer, resembling a local newspaper called “The Buckeye Reporter.” Allison Schroeder, an Ohio resident, noticed that the mailer was slanted, focusing on Republican supporters of Issue 1 and falsely labeling the opposition.

The fake newspaper turned out to be part of a larger network known as Metric Media or Pipeline Media, which is responsible for generating content that promotes Republican candidates and issues nationwide. Connections between this network and the official campaign supporting Issue 1 are suggested but unconfirmed.

Prominent figures from outside Ohio are also voicing their support for Issue 1, including actor Jim Caviezel and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, both known for promoting unfounded conspiracy theories. Anti-abortion activist Abby Johnson has also spoken out, making claims about the proposed abortion amendment that legal experts contest.

As the election nears, campaign efforts continue to receive aid from outside Ohio. Protect Women Ohio, a campaign against the fall abortion issue, spent $5.5 million on advertising to support Issue 1 in the final week, according to AdImpact. While this group has raised some in-state funds, its out-of-state contributions far outweigh local donations.

This election cycle in Ohio, concentrating on the crucial issue of abortion rights, is emblematic of a growing trend where national interests and funding play a significant role in state-level campaigns. The considerable investment from both sides underlines the potential national implications of a decision that, on its surface, appears localized.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Abortion rights

What is the Ohio election about Issue 1?

The Ohio election revolves around Issue 1, a ballot question aiming to make it harder to change the state constitution and potentially affecting abortion rights.

Who supports Issue 1?

Supporters of Issue 1, known as Protect Our Constitution, receive significant funding primarily from billionaire Richard Uihlein and an Ohio-based group tied to the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

Where does the funding for the opposition come from?

The campaign against Issue 1, named One Person One Vote, receives around 85% of its funding from out-of-state sources, including “dark money” groups like the Sixteen Thirty Fund and the Tides Foundation.

How does external influence impact the Ohio election?

Both sides of the campaign criticize out-of-state influence, but financial backing, celebrity endorsements, and misinformation from national entities play a significant role in the election.

What would passing Issue 1 mean for future amendments?

If approved, Issue 1 would raise the threshold for passing future changes to the Ohio Constitution from a simple majority to a 60% majority vote, potentially affecting a November vote on abortion rights.

Are there deceptive tactics in the campaign?

Yes, there are deceptive tactics, including the distribution of a fake newspaper called “The Buckeye Reporter” spreading false information about the opposition.

Who are some external figures supporting Issue 1?

External figures voicing support for Issue 1 include actor Jim Caviezel and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, both known for promoting baseless conspiracy theories.

How does external funding continue to impact the campaign?

As the election nears, both sides continue to receive substantial financial aid from outside Ohio, keeping the influence of national interests prominent in the campaign.

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AnalyticalMind August 7, 2023 - 6:54 am

ohio issue 1 campaign shows a divide btwn in-state & out-of-state $$! deceptive ads & baseless claims makin things messy. need transparency!

JohnDoe88 August 8, 2023 - 3:02 am

ohio election abt abortion rights & funding frm outside? no surprise, but issues like this rly bring in out-of-state $$, celebs & influence. ppl should kno who’s fundin both sides.


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