Deploring the rampant negativity of political campaigns, groups of religious leaders in Columbus and Cleveland launched a campaign yesterday to make Ohio a "political sleaze-free zone" in the 2008 presidential election year.
The leaders, members of We Believe Ohio, a statewide interfaith coalition, said they already had gathered nearly 1,000 signatures on a petition calling on all candidates to run clean and positive campaigns that focus on issues of common good.
"Some will say that we are looking for a miracle," said Cantor Jack Chomsky of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Columbus. "Who would work for miracles if not us? We embrace the idea that miracles happen every day."
The We Believe Ohio members said they will ask Ohio citizens, political parties and candidates to sign an online petition calling for a "political sleaze-free" state. The petition is at www.webelieveohio.org/noguttersignup.html.
The group already has reached out to the two leading candidates in the 15th Congressional District -- Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy, a Democrat from Upper Arlington, and state Sen. Steve Stivers, a Republican from Columbus.
Among other things, the petition calls upon candidates to promote what they stand for; refrain from negative and inflammatory attack ads; describe truthfully what they will do for the people of Ohio; not distort an opponent's record or positions; denounce attacks by outside groups; and do everything possible to bring attacks to a halt.
"Our society benefits most when people treat each other with dignity and honor," said Asma Mobin-Uddin, president of the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. (MORE)