Screw Spon & City Council – what a joke!
MANSFIELD — A proponent of the City of Mansfield’s proposed environmental bill of rights said she is considering filing a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission against a political flier distributed by an opposition group, Mansfielders for Jobs.
Second Ward resident Cindy Soliday said she believes the flier would not pass muster with Ohio’s campaign disclosure laws, which require information that identifies who is backing a political message.
The flier in question was made available during a public forum at the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library on elections issues Monday. The proposed charter amendment Mansfield voters are being asked to consider, placed on the ballot at the suggestion of Law Director John Spon, would require any company seeking to build an injection well within city boundaries to first obtain written consent from city council.
Supporters say the amendment bolsters the city’s legal rights to require an injection well company to divulge what chemicals are being disposed of in fracking waste injected underground. Opponents say they fear the measure could be used to overregulate business or environmental issues outside of injection wells.
Soliday, who attended the forum Monday, said former Richland County Republican Party chairwoman Barbara Walter set out a Mansfielders for Jobs flier opposing passage of the issue, during an elections forum Monday, and took leftover fliers with her when she left.
A disclaimer on the fliers says “Paid for by Mansfielders for Jobs,” but lists no treasurer’s name or contact address.
Soliday said she questioned Walter about that.
“I told her ‘That’s not proper,’” she said.
Walter could not be reached for comment late Friday afternoon.
During an interview Thursday on the recent spate of opposition ads, Walter told the News Journal she and her husband, John, are co-chairing Mansfielders for Jobs.
“Obviously my husband, being a former businessman, feels very strongly about this,” she said.
The opposition co-chair was not willing to discuss who else is involved in the group, but hinted others were involved — saying she talked to some businessmen who were “really against” the charter amendment. “There’s only so much one person can do,” she added.
The environmental bill of rights did not appear to stir up a lot of open opposition when first placed on the ballot by a city charter commission, with official action from council to put the issue before voters.
But at least three groups — Mansfielders for Jobs, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute — have weighed in against the proposed charter amendment, through a greatly stepped-up flurry of political ads over the past week.
None of the groups had filed pre-election campaign finance reports with the Richland County Board of Elections by Oct. 17. Elections Director Paulette Hankins said any groups spending $1,000 are required to file spending reports.
As of mid-week, Mansfielders for Jobs had not registered the name of its treasurer or other key officers with the Richland County Board of Elections or State Treasurer’s office.
“The fury of opposition at the last minute was not surprising, but seems to be misdirected,” Soliday said. “It concerns me when outside interests want to throw their weight around with big money.”
“In doing so, if they then insult our community further by not following the rules of campaign finance or election ethics, I believe that should be investigated. To that end, I have contacted the Ohio Elections Commission and have been advised of how to file a complaint. I will do so if evidence shows that to be the right course of action,” Soliday said.
An agency official has forwarded information detailing what is required on political fliers, under Ohio law, she said.
The Ohio Election Commission’s legal chief could not be reached for comment.
Mansfield-Richland Area Chamber of Commerce Kevin Nestor sent an email to chamber members early this week questioning the language of the charter. But when asked whether the local chamber group was taking a stance similar to the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, he distanced the group from the opposition advertisements.
“The email sent yesterday was an informational piece on a number of ballot issues. The chamber has not taken a position for or against the charter amendment.” Nestor told the News Journal. A link to the full language for the charter amendment was included in his email since most people had not see the actual language, he said.
“There is concern that some of the language is much broader in potential scope than the issue of deep injection wells, which is what most people believe the amendment to be about. We wanted to help make sure that our members had the opportunity to read the actual amendment,” he said.
WE HAVE ENOUGH LAWS ALREADY!
I AM 100% POSITIVE, IF SOMEONE WAS PUTTING A HARMFUL CHEMICAL INTO THE GROUND THERE WOULD BE SOMETHING THEY COULD BE CHARGED WITH?.
THIS IS BULLSHIT SPON, MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE STUCK TO DEFENDING YOUR FRIENDS, LIKE THE ONE YOU DEFENDED WHO NOT ONLY STALKED AND HARASSED HIS EX-WIFE, HE WENT AS FAR AS VIOLATING THE ONLY PERSON IN THIS TOWN WHO WOULD KEEP HER SAFE FROM HIM, AN EX-SEX OFFENDER WHO DID HIS TIME!.
DOING THIS ALSO MEANS YOU ADVOCATE DRIVING DRUNK TO DO IT!
NOT SURE HOW PEOPLE LIKE THIS KEEP GETTING IN OFFICE,
HE’S A FRIEND OF THE DRUNKEN FIRED APA SUPERVISOR – FIRED BY THE STATE, AND NEVER WAS ANYTHING MORE THAN A MALL COP!.