What you missed in Columbus for Nov. 1

The project manager for Issue 7 finally speaks, Ohio State defeats Penn State and more from the weekend

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
A "Vote No on Issue 7" sign outside the Early Voting center in Columbus

There’s been a lot of mystery surrounding Issue 7, a ballot proposal that would divert $87 million in taxpayer funds to a shadowy green energy group that, up until this week, had been relatively quiet about its intentions for the money. Mayor Andrew Ginther, for one, called the ballot initiative “the greatest scheme in city history.”

Recently, John Clarke Jr., the project manager for Issue 7, spoke with Axios about the campaign, pushing back against the vocal criticism driving opposition to the measure.

“"You know, what if we're not a scam?” he told the outlet. “What if actually what you read (on the ballot language) is actually what is going to happen?”

If passed, most of the funding would be controlled by Clarke, who told Axios that $57 million would be used to subsidize residents switching from fossil-fuel based energy providers to a cleaner source, while another $10 million would make up a minority business development fund.

Clarke chalked his silence on the initiative to naivete (the group has declined numerous interview requests with outlets city-wide). Regardless, statements like “what if we’re not a scam?” don’t inspire a ton of confidence as we roll up on election day.

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It’s election week in Ohio, and WOSU has put together this guide for voters.

Of particular note, local school board races, which often go overlooked, have become a hot-button issue this year, particularly as tempers flare around mask mandates for students and the supposed teaching of critical race theory, a graduate level body of legal scholarship that examines the intersection of race and U.S. law, and which is not being taught to school children, despite of the messaging being delivered by some news organizations.

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In the team’s final game before the first College Football Playoff rankings are released, the fifth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes eked out a tough win over No. 20 Penn State, beating the Nittany Lions 33-24 at Ohio Stadium on Saturday. “We're not trying to get style points in the game against Penn State,” said Head Coach Ryan Day. “That's not how it works. You got to just win the game, and we did that kicking field goals." The initial CFP rankings are set to be released tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 2) and Ohio State’s next game is against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday.

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Buckeye Country Superfest returns to Ohio Stadium on July 23, 2022, with yet another bro country-heavy lineup (Morgan Wade is the lone female on the bill alongside Luke Combs, Cody Jinks, Zach Bryan and Kameron Marlowe). Not that we’re at all surprised at this development based on past events. (It’s at this point when we would normally link to our past reviews of the festival, but the Alive archives are currently down as back stories are migrated to a new content management system.) Tickets for Buckeye Country go on sale Friday, Nov. 5.