🇺🇸 Ohio's Choice

Plus, how many people does it take to toast s’mores?

The Flag

Good morning, and happy Thursday. A four-legged bodyguard comes to the rescue! This Connecticut family's home security camera captured the moment a black bear approached a 4-year-old boy — and ended up chased off by the family dog.

Plus, A Texas-based company broke a Guinness World Record by gathering 891 people to make s'mores at the same time.

Also, investing in wine — and no, we don’t just mean buying bulk at Costco.

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ABORTION

Ohio’s Choice

On Tuesday, Ohio voters rejected Issue 1, a ballot proposal that looked to make it harder to amend the state’s constitution. While the measure didn’t explicitly deal with the abortion, it was seen as a proxy vote on abortion rights.

Reporting from the Right: Ohio ballot initiative to make it more difficult to amend state constitution fails (FOX News)

Reporting from the Left: Ohio Voters Take First Crucial Step To Protect Abortion Rights Ahead Of November Vote (Huff Post)

From The Flag: If the measure had passed, it would have complicated a separate ballot initiative to enshrine abortion access, which voters will take up in November. Because Issue 1 failed, the threshold to pass future ballot measures will stay at 50% rather than the proposed 60%.

RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Mixed: “Leftist Imposition” or “Warning for the GOP”?

  • This is not an outright win for abortion rights advocates, as Tuesday’s measures didn’t directly deal with abortion.

  • Issue 1 would have made it harder for out-of-state organizations to take advantage of ballot proposals to inflict leftist agendas.

  • This be another warning sign for Republicans that the issue of abortion may hinder their chances of victory in the 2024 elections.

The abortion lobby shouldn’t celebrate too quickly in Ohio Hudson Crozier, Washington Examiner: “President Joe Biden and abortion advocates are cheering after Ohioans rejected a ballot proposal that would make it harder for voters to pass amendments to the state constitution. The proposal threatened a pro-abortion amendment that will be on a November ballot, and many have declared Tuesday’s vote a ‘win for abortion rights.’ … By itself, the vote is not a win for or against abortion. It is a step in a broader plan by the abortion lobby that, as a whole, faces difficult political odds. … Tuesday’s proposal performed poorly even in conservative districts, according to the Associated Press. Voter turnout was far more enthusiastic in liberal areas, and it seems that many conservatives did not care or had their own reasons for opposing this procedural change for amendments. We cannot infer from this that a mostly red state will adopt a sweeping constitutional right to abortion come November.”

In Ohio, Voters To Decide How Easily They’ll Let Pro-Abortion Interest Groups Change Their Constitution Jordan Boyd, The Federalist: “Tuesday’s special election is an explicit attempt by the state GOP to prevent an outsider operation like the one executed in Kansas in 2022 from significantly changing Ohio’s political landscape on abortion, parental rights, and even guns, which Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb has already promised to target via ballot measure. In Kansas, out-of-state donors and special interest groups that opposed a homegrown pro-life amendment raised millions to expand Midwestern abortion operations. Their deliberately deceptive practices led voters to reject a proposal that would have declared there is no constitutional right in Kansas to abortion, taxpayer-funded or otherwise. Ohio voters are already facing their first hurdle in a similar battle. National activist organizations like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and various LGBT groups banded together earlier this year to add a ballot proposal that would enshrine abortion up until birth in the state constitution, as well as override parental consent laws for minors seeking irreversible gender experiments.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: What Ohio's vote on constitutional amendment means for Republicans on abortion in 2024 Paul Steinhauser, FOX News

LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Ohioans Stood Up For Their Freedom

  • The result of this election will have major consequences for Ohio and the country. This is why Republicans scheduled the vote when people were unlikely to pay attention.

  • Ohio’s voters made it loud and clear they’re not willing to have their voices and power weakened by the GOP.

  • This was a brazen attempt to keep a majority of Ohioans from enshrining abortion rights in the state constitution.

The Critical Election Republicans Are Hoping You Won’t Notice Michelle Goldberg, The New York Times: “The outcome of next Tuesday’s vote will resonate nationally, because the strategies of both Ohio abortion-rights supporters and opponents are being replicated elsewhere. Throughout the country, reproductive-rights advocates, faced with legislatures that have insulated themselves from the popular will, are turning to referendums to restore some of what was lost when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. And throughout the country, abortion opponents understand that to keep abortion illegal, they need to change the rules. … The November ballot initiative to make abortion a constitutional right is a chance for Ohio voters to circumvent their unrepresentative representatives. With this August initiative, the Republicans are working to head off the voters by essentially asking them to disenfranchise themselves. Because most people are unlikely to give up their rights quite so easily, Republicans scheduled the vote at a time when few are paying attention.”

In the Ohio GOP’s scam referendum, the majority backed majority rule E.J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post: ““When you do everything you can to rig an election and still lose, you have a problem. Voters in Ohio told the state’s Republican Party on Tuesday that it has a big problem, and they sent that message to the GOP nationwide. The outcome is also a major challenge for opponents of abortion. They might come to see the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade not as the victory they celebrated in 2022 but as the decisive moment when the politics of the issue turned against them. The combination of hypocrisy and opportunism proved too much for most Ohioans, who defeated the GOP legislature’s referendum proposal that would have made it far more difficult for future electorates to change the state’s Constitution. Even though the state voted for Donald Trump by eight points in 2020, a majority refused to accept the Republicans’ invitation to throw away its own power.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: Ohio’s Issue 1 referendum is a proxy fight on abortion Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post

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FLAG FINDS

Ohioans Opposed Before and After

Before Tuesday’s vote, polling found 57% of voters were against Issue 1, including some Republicans and opponents of abortion. Twenty-six percent backed the issue, while 17% were undecided (USA TODAY Network/Suffolk University).

Following the vote, those numbers held up. With the count nearly completed, votes cast against the measure received 57% compared to 43% in favor — a lead of almost 430,000 votes (AP News).

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Today I learned Svalbard, Norway is the only visa-free zone in the world. Regardless of citizenship, anyone can live and work there indefinitely.

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