Ohio Governor Taft resorts to strong-arm tactics
to steal away your vote on Education matters with the introduction of
House Bill 711
UPDATE #2 - May 22, 2000

Home | Audio | Buy | Contact | Downloads | FAQ | Links | | TOC | Videos


See also: UPDATE: The 1999- 2000 session of the Ohio Congress has concluded. HB711 was passed by both the House and the Senate, although by very close margins. There was no public support for it that we are aware of. Governor Taft has signed it into law. The information below is presented as background/historical information concerning this bill.  Please do not contact your Ohio congress members about this bill because it is already signed into law.  This link was left on our web site for historical purposes only.

The author of this E-mail, Melanie Elsey, was interviewed on May 18 by Chad Bresson on his radio program FrontPage!. This was a very good interview that presented a lot of useful background information on this bill, and on problems with the State Board of Education in general. Click here to listen to her 10-minute interview. We wish to thank CDR Radio Network, and Chad Bresson in particular for giving us permission to publish this interview on our web site. During the interview, it is mentioned that no public testimony will be allowed on HB711. That was true when the interview was conducted. However, the next day, the committee leadership caved into public pressure and decided to allow public testimony after all.

  Democrats opposed to HB711
  Update #1 on House Bill 711 (it's a carbon copy of HB602)
  History of the defeated House Bill 602
  Lawsuit filed against Ohio Governor and Ohio Board of Education
  House Bill 679 Mandates evidence "not supportive" of evolution be taught!

We received the following e-mail on May 22, 2000:

To all:

PLEASE consider the plea in this forwarded email to take a stand. We NEED to show the grassroots opposition to HB711. We NEED to prove the importance of restoring the State Board of Education to a completely elected board accountable to CITIZENS, not the executive branch of state government!

We need MANY, MANY people [HUNDREDS] to attend the press rally on the Statehouse steps and overflow the hearing room after the rally [see attached email]. For home educators this issue is as IMPORTANT as the battle on HR6 several years ago. Only this time our focus is on OHIO.

If everyone coming can bring 2 people with them our crowd size will triple !! Please activate PHONE CHAINS for political alerts and prayer. TIME IS SHORT ! THIS IS URGENT !

Thank you for making a difference in Ohio!!

Melanie Elsey

PS WE ALSO NEED CONTINUED PHONE CALLS. If you did not receive the list of legislators to call, please let me know. Also, it is very important to contact YOUR OWN legislators and ask that they vote NO on HB711 if it comes to the full membership this week!! If you aren't sure who represents you contact your county board of elections. Thanks!!

To all:

Join us in Columbus!

In order to protect our children and grandchildren and keep our voice heard in the education arena, we MUST regain a fully elected state board of education. The content of HB 711 is designed to do just one thing: Dilute local control and shift power to the political elite. The tactics being used to force this through show a breathtaking disregard for the voice of the people of Ohio. Will you help us draw "a line in the sand" on this issue?

Politicians understand and respect broad based grass roots support.

Many of us will travel to Columbus this Tuesday May 23rd to attend a 1:30 pm public hearing. Some of us will give testimony against this bill. But it is NOT necessary for you to testify in order to have an impact. We are printing large blue and white sticker badges that read "NO on HB 711" for everyone who can come.

If there is any way you can adjust your schedule, PLEASE join us outside the State House at 1:00 pm for a rally that will be covered by the media. Then, as many as are able can come inside to fill the hearing room and show the legislators that we are SERIOUS ABOUT STOPPING THEIR BRAZEN POWER GRAB. You will NOT be required to speak or do anything other than BE THERE to show support.

We are trying a unique Internet communications technique to find out how many think they can come. If you are reasonably certain you can be at the State House on Tuesday at 1:00 pm BEFORE the hearing, do the following:

Create a NEW email (not a reply to this one). Address it to


In the subject type RALLY followed by the number of people you can bring. If you can have 3 plus yourself, type RALLY 4 in the subject.

Do not type any message for me in the body. If you want me to read a message, send it to jay@tigf.org.


Here are some ideas for signs to carry if you choose to do so:

*** NO! on HB 711

*** Just say NO to sneaky politics!

*** Give us our board of education back!

*** Which part of BY the PEOPLE,  FOR
the PEOPLE do you not understand?

*** Put PARENTS and CITIZENS back in control of education!

*** MISSING: Honesty in state government

AND FAMILY. Also, there will be an update message recorded on our system
for up to the minute info.

Dial 1-877-884-8443
When it answers, press 3
Then, press 444 to hear the message.

If you simply cannot get away to join us, you can still help by keeping the phone calls FLOODING the State House on Monday AND Tuesday!

I believe there is a growing grassroots movement across Ohio and the nation to bring our government back to the role of servant, not dictator.

Almost 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson looked ahead and saw this kind of issue. He said:

"I know of no safe depository for the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion."

Thomas Jefferson (c 1820)

See you in Columbus.


- Jay Groenke
Truth In Government Foundation
Toll Free 1-877-884-TIGF(8443)

Two dozen people testified AGAINST HB602 when it was up for consideration in the Education Committee. Four testified for it. The four who testified for it were three State School Board members, including its president, and one person from the governor's office. Nobody from the public testified in support of HB602. Now the governor and House Republican leadership are going to make all those who opposed HB602 jump through the same hoops again to oppose exactly the same bill in the form of HB711. This is an outrage!