Represent Columbus is a political action committee (PAC) created to push expensive ballot issues in Columbus. The group is primarily funded by a local non-profit that has repeatedly violated its own articles of incorporation, which require, “No substantial part of the activities of the corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation…” In fact, the non-profit has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbying, including the political campaign for Issue 1.
Here are a few of the many misleading claims and outright lies from Represent Columbus.
CLAIM: The city is playing politics with the title of Issue 1.
FACT: The ballot language title is taken verbatim from the petition filed by Represent Columbus.
FACT: The length of their petition determines the length of the ballot summary.
Columbus voters, through a charter amendment, require the following: “Section 45-4. In any ordinance placing a proposed charter amendment on the ballot, city council shall prescribe a brief summary of the same, which shall be accurate, shall not be misleading, and shall be without material omission or argument.” [emphasis added] Basically, the language should be brief, so long as it is accurate and doesn’t leave out important information about the proposal.
FACT: It will cost $6.5 million in current dollars, but much more if inflation is considered.