Distortions or Lies?

Dave  Grabaskas
Jul 8, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Recently, we’ve blogged about YAL chapters in Ohio helping out with The Ohio Project, which is a grassroots ballot initiative to nullify the federal healthcare mandate in Ohio. 385,000 signatures had to be gathered for the initiative to appear on the ballot this fall. On Thursday, about 550,000 signatures were turned in to the secretary of state (440,000 by the Ohio Project, and another 110,000 by a paid effort, Ohioans for Healthcare Freedom). 

Now, this might seem like the end of the story. However, following this event, the Ohio Democrat Party sent out a press release addressing the initiative. Usually, I ignore messages sent out by the two parties, but this one was so hideous that I felt it had to be addressed. 

The message from Seth Bringman, the ODP’s communication director, is below.

After over a year of paying petition circulators and collecting a modest amount of signatures, the Tea Party is patting itself on the back today. What the Tea Party won't tell you is that they are fighting against something that was a Republican invention championed by that Party's presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney. Their initiative is a waste of time and taxpayer money, and it doesn't come close to passing constitutional muster.

We are proud to have been a partner with We Are Ohio, which collected nearly 1.3 million signatures to protect worker rights and worker safety.

It remains to be seen how many of the Tea Party's signatures are valid, given that they were collected over such a long period of time and so many of the signatures were collected by paid circulators rather than volunteers.

Let’s go through this message line by line. 

After over a year of paying petition circulators and collecting a modest amount of signatures, the Tea Party is patting itself on the back today.

First, no signatures gathered by the Ohio Project were paid for. Second, Ohioans for Healthcare Freedom, which did pay for signatures, was formed in May, not “over a year” ago. As the numbers above showed, the vast majority of signatures were from non-paid circulators.

What the Tea Party won't tell you is that they are fighting against something that was a Republican invention championed by that Party's presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney.

This line makes two mistakes. First, it assumes the Ohio tea party groups and the Republican Party are the same thing, which they are definitely not. Second, it assumes that tea partiers like Mitt Romney. I can honestly say I have never met a Romney-supporting tea partier.

Their initiative is a waste of time and taxpayer money, and it doesn't come close to passing constitutional muster.

This statement is so ridiculous it almost makes your head hurt. It asserts that the initiative “doesn’t come close to passing constitutional muster,” but somehow a federal law which mandates citizens to buy a private product does? Where was this concern for constitutionality before? Also, letting Ohioans get the chance to actually vote on this law is “a waste of time.”

We are proud to have been a partner with We Are Ohio, which collected nearly 1.3 million signatures to protect worker rights and worker safety.

The ODP is part of another ballot initiative this fall to repeal SB5, a law restricting the powers of public unions. However, they leave out that “We Are Ohio” also paid petitioners, and has not disclosed how many of their signatures were from actual volunteers.

It remains to be seen how many of the Tea Party's signatures are valid, given that they were collected over such a long period of time and so many of the signatures were collected by paid circulators rather than volunteers.

Once again, this line just reiterates their nonsense. Internal audits have shown the Ohio Project signatures to be 80-90% valid, which is well above any estimated validity rate of their own SB5 initiative.

While I shouldn’t be surprised at the near flat-out lies from this statement, I thought it had to be addressed. The more these types of distortions are called out and publicized, the better. 

A typical partisan statement from Democrats. Both parties do it all the time. In any event, thanks for that... it was interesting to read.

Oh and I know one Tea Partier who supports Romney. Then again I know a lot of Tea Partiers so that's a pretty small percentage.

Dennis von Mises's picture

Thanks Dennis, and I agree. This is typical of the nonsense spewed by both parties. However, since I know so many people who committed so much time and effort to this cause, I felt it had to be corrected. 

Dave Grabaskas's picture

I think healthcare reform needs to be pushed more. There is so many people that need it in this country. I think it is definitely a must have.

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Yup,I agreed with terry.Healthcare is a needs for everyone even in my place we are planning to start  healthcare reform.

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irvine lampson's picture