Earlier this week, the Coalition Against the Sin Tax (C.A.S.T.) visted a popular Cleveland-area bingo game to speak with citizens about Issue 7 — the proposed $260+ million Sin Tax on alcohol and cigarettes that Cuyahoga County’s business and political leaders want to take from the County’s residents to give to Cleveland’s pro sports teams for improvements to their facilities. Not surprisingly, the bingo players were none too pleased with the idea of the sports owners reaching back into their kitty.
Unfortunately, there’s far too much doubt as to whether informed opinions of regular Clevelanders will be heard in this low-turnout May election, especially with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of “Keep Cleveland Strong” propaganda flooding the County like something out of an Orwell novel. And the problems caused by money’s corrupting influence on politics won’t be subsiding anytime soon, with the U.S. Supreme Court having ruled this week that there can be no limit on an individual’s or corporation’s total amount of contribution in any given election — “the latest in a series of decisions that have all but demolished the campaign reforms adopted by Congress beginning 40 years ago in the wake of the Watergate scandal.”
Which makes it especially important for folks to inform themselves and stand up for themselves, including in Cuyahoga County on May 6 by voting no on Issue 7.
Here’s a note by C.A.S.T. Vice Chair Will Tarter containing a clear and concise explanation of why he’s opposed to Issue 7. Also, here’s a link to video of this week’s City Club forum on the Sin Tax; here’s a link to a roundup of media coverage of the forum; and here’s a link to information about tomorrow’s Sin Tax panel hosted by Councilman Matt Zone and the Ward 15 Democratic Club at Our Lady of Mount Carmel at 6928 Detroit Ave. Thanks.