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Ohio: judge calls for lawmaker to be charged with falsification over anti-gay petitions

A group called Equal Rights Not Special Rights said it had obtained enouch signatures on its petitions to place a repeal Cincinnati’s anti-discrimination measure protecting gays on the ballot. The group, headed by Ohio State Rep. Tom Brinkman, was caught perpetrating petition fraud and withdrew it once it was discovered names had been falsified.

A Cincinnati judge says Brinkman should be charged; a grand jury indicted two women with the group, but the lawmaker skated… (365gay):

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman was sentencing two women who worked for Brinkman collecting names to have a repeal measure placed on the ballot in 2006.

The women working for Equal Rights Not Special Rights, headed up by the Republican lawmaker, pleaded guilty last month to election falsification.

…More than 7,600 signatures that were validated by the Hamilton County Board of Elections but the phony names were discovered during a second check before a challenge from Restore Fairness, a pro-gay rights group, was to begin before the Board of Elections. Among the phony signatures were “Fidel Castro” and Cincinnati Reds owner “Bob Castellini.”

The women were sentenced on Monday to probation and 200 hours each of community service.

…But said Ruehlman: “I still think real culprit is Rep. Brinkman.”

“Somehow he falls between the cracks and is not prosecuted? the guy in power is the one who should have been indicted.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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