COLUMBUS (TDB) -- The Hamilton County Grand Jury handed up a couple of indictments that allege election law violations. The criminal charges can be viewed on the last page of the grand jury link, and apparently involve petitions circulated in Cincinnati over a proposed ballot issue to limit gay rights in the city. Backers withdrew the issue, and it never reached the electorate.
The plan had the support of Republican State Rep. Tom Brinkman and Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values. They have never been accused of any illegal activities, although they are lightning rods for criticism from the left.
Gay rights activist Gary Wright complained about about the possibility of election law irregularities last year. His concerns appear to have drawn the attention of the authorities, and the criminal cases coming could expose just how hardball these referendum issues are played. Equality Cincinnati, the organization Wright led, has some info on its Web site if you scan down the page.