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Most of the money raised in Ohio's Issue 1 campaign — both for and against — is coming from out-of-state sources

Signs for and against Ohio Issue 1 dot the landscape in Columbus.
Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Signs for and against Ohio Issue 1 dot the landscape in Columbus.

New campaign finance filings show out-of-state money is flowing to both sides in the debate over Issue 1, the amendment on the Aug. 8 special election ballot that would make it harder to change the constitution. The money gap between the main pro- and anti-Issue 1 groups is big.

Money for the 'yes' side

The primary group pushing Issue 1, Protect Our Constitution, raised $4.8 million. Four million of it came from one Illinois businessman, Richard Uihlein the owner of ULine, a company that makes shipping containers. Around 14% of Protect Our Constitution's money came from inside Ohio, including a donation from Jimmy and Dee Haslam, who own the Cleveland Browns and Columbus Crew. The group also got $150,000 from Save Jobs Ohio, an effort funded by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

When it comes to spending, the group has only spent about a third of the money it's raised.

Money for the 'no' side

The major group opposing Issue 1, One Person, One Vote, raised $14.8 million. Most of that was also outside money, but it was more diversified than the money that flowed into the "yes" campaign. Two-point-six million came from a dark money progressive group called the Sixteen Thirty Fund. Another $1.875 million came from a liberal social justice organization in California known as the Tides Foundation. The National Education Association also gave $1 million to the "vote no" campaign.

When it comes to outside money, more of the Issue 1 opposition group's money came from inside Ohio. A total of 22% of the money received by One Person, One Vote came from donors inside Ohio, including $1 million from the Ohio Education Association, the state's largest teachers union.

The group has spent 70% of what they've raised, much of it on TV ads.

Contact Jo Ingles at
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