Ohio Politics

Our political team covers the goings on from the White House to the Statehouse.

Husted pushes pot petition probe

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is asking Franklin County Common Pleas Court to force key players in the marijuana legalization campaign to give up documents and answer questions under oath about the petition drive that landed Issue 3 on the statewide ballot.

Husted sent administrative subpoenas to Stephen Letourneau and Ian James of the Strategy Network. James and the firm are being paid to direct ResponsibleOhio, the yes on Issue 3 campaign, and they orchestrated the petition drive to collect more than 306,000 valid voter signatures.

Husted, who opposes Issue 3, launched an investigation into suspected voter fraud in the campaign. His subpoenas demanded records by Sept. 28 and depositions on Oct. 2.

In a written statement issued Tuesday, Husted said: “We know from our investigation that ResponsibleOhio and the Strategy Network’s petitions contained signatures of dead people – We know from our investigation that they attempted to register people under fake addresses – We know from our investigation there were voter registration forms that were forged and completed by someone other than the registrant – We know from our investigation that practices used in putting this marijuana monopoly on the ballot were at best, questionable, and at worst, fraudulent. What we don’t know is the exact depth of the fraud that was committed and who exactly was involved, which is why I have asked the court to enforce the subpoenas and help me find the truth.”

In a written statement, James said Husted was using his office and taxpayer money to campaign against Issue 3.

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"We've already filed an injunction in federal court because of Husted's McCarthyistic tactics. We won't stand for his attempts to dismantle the democratic process and chill future initiatives and candidates with threats of criminal prosecution or biased government intrusion. The people of Ohio deserve better," James said.

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