The intense fight over a petition drive seeking to overturn Ohio's nuclear bailout law is escalating with a counter petition now circulating around the state. The pro-nuclear bailout group is calling it a grassroots effort which doubles down on their anti-foreign investors message.
Ohioans for Energy Security has already spent what appears to be millions of dollars on ads and mailers to stop people from signing the petition that would call for a referendum of the nuclear bailout law.
Now they're circulating their own unofficial petition that calls for a ban on foreign investment in energy generation.
Gene Pierce, spokesperson for the referendum group Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts, says this new petition will create confusion.
"It's just another example of how desperate they are to keep this issue off the ballot. They've spent a million dollars a week on television and radio, not to mention direct mail to probably every registered voter in Ohio and now they're hiring people to come out and pass out these pretend petitions to try and confuse voters," says Pierce.
But Carlo LoParo, spokesperson for Ohioans for Energy Security, disagrees.
"Well under that logic then you can only circulate one petition for one issue at a time. We certainly don't think it causes confusion I think that voters are smart enough to read the language, we certainly hope they do read the language," says LoParo.
The informal petition has no force of law but the group believes it would build public pressure for lawmakers to act on the issue.