AMENDMENT TO STATE BUDGET BILL WOULD PERMIT UNLIMITED CONTRIBUTIONS FROM CORPORATIONS AND WEALTHY TO CAUCUS COMMITTEES
Tell your State Senator and Representative to Oppose this Amendment
Find your Ohio Senator at http://www.ohiosenate.gov/index
Find your Ohio Representative at http://www.ohiohouse.gov/index
An 11th hour amendment to the Ohio biennial budget bill would exempt business corporations and wealthy individuals from existing campaign finance laws (ORC Section 3517).
Specifically, the amendment allows direct contributions (or investments) by corporations and wealthy individuals to legislative campaign funds or caucuses for expenses not directly related to elections — for office rent, equipment, supplies, and operating costs. Such contributions would be redefined as "gifts" and, thus, would be exempt from existing state campaign finance laws — which are already among the highest levels in the nation.
The legislative campaign funds or caucuses that the exemptions would apply to are the House Democratic Caucus Fund, Ohio House Republican Organizational Committee, the Ohio Senate Democrats and the Republican Senate Campaign Committee.
Though the amendment applies to all artificial legal entities (which includes unions and non-profit corporations), the reality is that business corporations already spend more on elections that other artificial entities under current state campaign laws. Providing exemptions simply permits those with the most money (both corporations and wealthy individuals) to contribute/invest even more money in our political system — further corrupting the political system.
Contact your State Senator and Representative. Ask them:
Why was this amendment added to the budget bill and not a stand alone piece of legislation?
What does this amendment have to do with the state budget?
And why was the amendment added just days before the entire 2 year budget is to come to a final vote?
Tell them to remove this amendment.