Issue 2 isn’t right solution

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, October 31, 2009

State ballot Issue 2 is the wrong solution for a legitimate problem.

The initiative that would create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, an agriculture supervisory board, would address some significant challenges facing the state, potentially strengthening the economy and helping farmers.

So what’s the problem? It is the way it seeks to accomplish these goals.

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Issue 2 would amend Ohio’s Constitution, something that should never be taken lightly because it becomes very rigid and cannot easily be modified.

Constitutional amendments are used far too often and unnecessarily. The governor and the legislature could easily have accomplished the same goals as Issue 2 with far more explanation and guidelines.

Part of the problem with Issue 2 is that it leaves too many items left to be determined including how much this would cost, what the clear hierarchy of power is and how the public would have a voice.

A key concern we have with this amendment is that it would give this board, some of whom would be political appointees, nearly unchecked power and no real accountability to the public or even the Legislature.

Plus, the reality is that much of the motivation for this amendment comes as a pre-emptive move against animal rights groups that include the Humane Society of the United States who have said they plan to legislate against farming practices they feel are cruel.

We don’t think amending the constitution out of fear for what may come is the right approach.

So, while Issue 2 would address some legitimate agricultural problems in Ohio, these challenges should be tackled the old fashioned way — through the leaders elected to lead.

We urge Ohio voters to wait for a better solution by voting “no” on Issue 2.