Upon review of the language for an initiative petition to allow one casino in Ohio, which was certified by the Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann on November 30, 2007 , the Ohio Ballot Board has suggested that the initiative be split into three issues.
The Ballot Board decided to split the ballot issue into three separate proposals:
1) The main proposal
2) The liquor license provision
3) The provision that gives the gaming commission the authority to adopt laws and regulations.
The Board heard testimony from two witnesses: Don McTigue, who represented Charles Ruma who owns Beulah Park Racetrack and Don Mottley of the law firm Taft Stettinius who represented MyOhioNow.com. The Board, without discussion, voted 4 – 0 (one member absent) to accept McTigue’s recommendation. The necessary motions and other paperwork to split the ballot into three issues had been prepared in advance.
The Ohio Board, as led by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner includes 4 members: Sen. Eric Kearney, William Morgan, and former lobbyist Paul Tipps. Sen Randy Gardner was not present.
Following the Board’s determination, MyOhioNow.com has eliminated the verbiage regarding the liquor license and gaming commission from the initiative, which now reflects the one issue for the main proposal.
Rick Lertzman, co-founder of MyOhioNow.com remarked, “This is just one more step in a long road, much as we have expected. We are moving forward and voters can look forward to this issue on the November 4, 2008 ballot.”
Dr. Bradford Pressman, co-founder of MyOhioNow.com said, “Our team will be out to collect the necessary 1000 signatures beginning this weekend to resubmit the petition to the Ohio Attorney General. We will not be deterred or slowed in this process. We are responding immediately and strongly to resolve this. The Attorney General will have the initiative, that reflects one issue, early next week for certification.”
Under the initiative, Ohioans would have the opportunity to vote to legalize a $600,000,000 casino/resort destination site that is located off I-71 (at State Route 73) that is centrally located between the Columbus/Cincinnati/Dayton areas in Clinton County.