Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts has failed in its bid to gather the required signatures needed to challenge a controversial energy law on the November 2020 ballot.
That follows an unprecedented pushback from pro-HB6 groups and allies of FirstEnergy Solutions who have lobbied hard to thwart pro-referendum efforts.
“Nuclear bailout supporters of House Bill 6 have stooped to unprecedented and deceitful depths to stop Ohioans from exercising their Constitutional rights to put a bailout question on the ballot for voters to decide,” campaign spokesman Gene Pierce said in a statement. “We may never know how much money the corporate backers spent in their campaign of deceit, but we estimate their television, digital and radio advertising, direct mail and their blocking and fake petition to cost over $50 million.”
The referendum group was required to turn in 265,774 valid signatures by Oct. 21 to continue its march toward gaining ballot access. The law is set to take effect Oct. 22.
But OACB is still awaiting a federal judge’s decision on whether to grant the group another 38 days to gather signatures. Oral arguments are scheduled for Tuesday on that request. Mr. Pierce said the group would continue collecting signatures as it awaits the court’s decision.