June 4, 1997

Friends of CROE:

Happy New Year!  I won't even try to appologize for my unexplained lack
of email updates to you, our "wired" members and supporters. ;(  Suffice
it to say there have been other priorities and insufficient 
coordination of limited staff resources.  You deserve better, and I am 
committed to providing you at a minimum some, brief statement of our 
status on a monthly basis.  

One part of the recent delay was based on our lack of a mailing list 
server to facilitate these mailings.  Due to the gracious and expert 
support offered by Rob Logan (one of our newest Cleveland-area members),
that need has been met.  Thank you very much Rob!

Now, let's get to it!  Here is our perspective on where the anti-E-Check
movement stands.

Ohio Am. Sub. H.B. 172, or the E-Check II bill (as we call it), was 
rushed through the house last month.  The bill contains numerous 
provisions which on balance, simply change E-Check, not repeal it.  
E-Check II does provide for a temporary fall-back to a basic tailpipe 
test in the Dayton and Cleveland areas.  However, several changes make 
it likely the program would be immediately scaled back up to full I/M
240 status, and take decision-making power _away_ from your local 
elected officials instead of empowering them further.  When the bill 
passed the committee, we called an organizer meeting to evaluate 
whether this compromise legislation was acceptable.  The result:
a unanimous vote against it!  Our activists want E-Check terminated, not
converted to a "kinder, gentler" program.

In the Senate Energy committee, the bill was amended to basically look 
just like the E-Check bill previously introduced by that chairman.  The 
resulting version was 300% worse (for motorists), but was passed out of 
committee two weeks ago on a party-line vote.

H.B. 172, at least in its current form, is dead!  The senate rules 
committee referred it back to Energy when the leadership found that it 
would not have sufficient votes to pass it.  Also, Governor Voinovich 
has publicly stated he would veto the bill in its current form--albeit, 
for different reasons than ours.  No word yet on possible changes.

1) As many of you are aware, in February, we facilitated the initiation 
of an Ohio Supreme Court suit by state representative Ron Young
(R-Painsville).  This was an attempt to utilize a powerfull process by 
filing for an extrordinary writ of quo warranto, which could cut through
years of legal red-tape, and get us a final ruling on the obvious 
constitutional violations which allowed E-Check to be created.  
Unfortunately, that action was killed by the court by granting (without
comment) the Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery's motion to dismiss.
The basic argument in the motion was that only her and the 88 county 
prosecutors have the "privilege" of excercising this process for 
questioning the authority of the state.  This decision was not on the 
merits of the case, and as such, does not indicate our arguments are not
valid. (In fact, as if to validate our arguments, several clauses in 
H.B. 172 would _repeal_ existing state law--to be consistent with our
interpretation of the Ohio constitution!)

2) The Grendell common pleas suit, which was instituted last year and 
was winding its way through the legal system, has unfortunately been 
withdrawn.  I have no official word yet on the reason(s).

Discussions on additional actions are proceeding.  Several alternatives 
are available and the one or more best tactics identified will be 
initiated and announced soon.

CROE members have staged two protest events at the state capitol (timed 
with hearings on H.B. 172), as well as continuing protests in the Dayton
area.  Also, our monthly, public, general membership meetings have 
continued throughout this Winter and Spring.

Instead of maintaining a standard meeting location as we did when we 
began holding meetings last year, we have recently followed our later-
adopted "traveling show" model.  In this method, we hold a protest in a 
selected city in the tri-county area on one Saturday, then hold the 
meeting in the same town on the following Saturday.  Wile we are
no doubt loosing some attendees who want a regular location, we know we 
_are_ attracting new local members this way.  Recently, our "tour"
stopped in Xenia and Springfield.

Our latest event was participating (for the second year now!) with a 
float entry and walking contingent in the Enon Memorial Day parade.

Our June general membership meeting will be held Saturday, June 21 at 
The Heights restraunt, 6226 Chambersburg Rd., from 12:30-2:00 p.m.  Call
them at (937)236-0455 if you need directions.  Our 24 hr. voicemail and 
FAX system is always available for information on coming events at 

Later this month, I will be traveling to the Cleveland area to speak to 
the NorthCoast Friends of Liberty (NCFL) group.  This activity is 
another step toward our stated objective of building a state-wide 
coalition of members.  When we accomplish this objective, we will have 
an effective regional support operation in Cleveland, and numerous 
E-Check "station area" teams.  These teams will be well organized to
perform activities location-specific (e.g. community E-Check protests 
and rallys; participating in local government meetings), region-specific
(e.g. regional-wide protests; regional government meetings [NOACA, 
MVRPS]) and coordinated actions with the Dayton and (future) Cincinnatti
regions.  The following is the CROE-related announcement from the latest
e-newsletter from NCFL. (See the full text at 
                      NorthCoast Friends of Liberty

                                 Box 261
                           Mentor, Ohio 44060
                              (216) 248-8620

The Friends of Liberty mission is to present libertarian ideas to
Greater Clevelanders so they may encounter, evaluate and when
appropriate embrace the ideas of self-government.  We are non-political,
though we discuss politics and are always looking for new ways to bring
self-government concepts to Greater Clevelanders. 

                           Damn the E-Check!

Greg Bell, of the Coalition to Repeal Ohio E-Check (CROE) will address
the June 23 Friends of Liberty meeting.  CROE provides an organized
focus for the widespread opposition to Ohio's enhanced automobile
emissions inspection and maintenance (I/M) program.  Neighboring states
Michigan and Pennsylvania have canceled their E-Check-style programs for
being inefficient, and overly burdensome and costly for motorists.  The
Coalition has similarly exposed the Ohio E-Check program as bad public
policy by facilitating the exchange of credible information between our

Don't miss Greg Bell on June 23th at Denny's restaurant, 1600 Snow Road
(398-7076).  Get off at I77 at Rockside, turn West on Rockside, continue
for about 2 1/2 miles and Denny's is on the right.  Dinner is from 6PM
to 7PM, and the speaker starts at 7PM.  For more information about
Friends of Liberty visit http://www.logan.com/liberty or call (216)
248-8620.  For more information on CROE visit http://www.coax.net/croe
or call (513) 429-4183. 

To close, many thanks to those who have participated in building the
strength and credibility of our coalition to what it is today.  We look 
forward to continuing with you--and any others who will join us--in the 
fight for greater freedom through the _complete_ repeal of the wasteful,
ineffective, unconstitutional, abusive, _failing_ government program 
named Ohio E-Check.  Together we shall be victorious!


Greg Bell
Communications Director
Coalition to Repeal Ohio E-Check
  "We care about the environment too..
    but good intentions are a poor substitute for good policy."
P.O. Box 402, Miamisburg, Ohio  45343
24 hr. voicemail and FAX: 937.429.4183
email: croe@coax.net  *  http://www.coax.net/croe
Become a member--follow "Take Action" & "Join Us!" links on our website