Ohio voters will be faced Nov. 3 with deciding a trio of ballot measures, all of which would amend the state's constitution.

Ohio voters will be faced Nov. 3 with deciding a trio of ballot measures, all of which would amend the state's constitution.

Issue 1 would authorize the issuing of up to $200-million in bonds to provide compensation to Ohio veterans of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, or to certain survivors of service members who are killed, designated as missing in action or held in captivity.

Issue 2 would create a Livestock Care Standards Board that would set rules for the treatment of farm animals to "endeavor to maintain food safety, encourage locally grown and raised food, and protect Ohio farms and families," according to the Ohio secretary of state's Web site.

Issue 3 would permit gambling casinos in the state's four biggest cities -- Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo -- with their gross revenues taxed at a rate of 33 percent.

The existence of the first two issues might come as a surprise to the casual observer of an off-year election, because Issue 3, by far, has garnered the most attention, controversy, ink and airtime, paid and otherwise.

In fact, in the absence of organized opposition to Issues 1 and 2, the Ohio Ballot Board, as required by law, prepared the arguments against their approval that appear on the secretary of state's Web site.

By contrast, Issue 3 has generated the creation of two quite vocal opposing camps.

"The casino developers will say anything and pay anything, but they won't tell Ohio the truth," the opposition organization, TruthPAC, charged in a recent mass e-mailing.

"We told you they'd lie," counters a Yes on Issue 3 television advertisement featuring Scott Tipton, vice president of the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police.

A recent mailing from the pro-casino Ohio Jobs and Growth Committee mentions the word casinos only twice.

TruthPAC's message centers largely around the contention that out-of-state casino developers are trying to pull a fast one on Ohio.

Issue 3 backers contend the amendment would create 34,000 new jobs, almost 19,000 of them in the construction of the casinos and nearly 16,000 permanent positions, as well as keep gamblers from taking their money to the neighboring states that already have casinos: Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. They also say taxing revenues from the four casinos would produce $651-million a year for counties and school districts, among other government entities.

TruthPAC's arguments against passage of the amendment include voter rejection of casino gambling four times previously.

"Issue 3 is another attempt to hijack Ohio's Constitution and create a monopoly for out-of-state owners to build casinos only in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo," according to the argument against statement.

The TruthPAC statement also maintains Ohio would be forced to also offer other games that might be approved in the future by the neighboring casino states.

"This would happen with no say from Ohioans," the group maintains.

The arguments in favor of Issue 1 on the secretary of state's Web site include offering a "much-deserved 'thank-you' to Ohio's servicemen and women," help for military families and continuing a longstanding tradition of supporting veterans.

The Ohio Ballot Board statements in opposition point out the amendment would require more government spending on bond money, which taxpayers would have to pay back.

Backers of the Livestock Care Standards Board proposal, Issue 2, have admitted it is a preemptive strike to prevent more onerous regulations from being proposed by the Humane Society of the United States.

Creating the 10-member panel, with all of them appointed by the governor, would "keep control of agriculture where it belongs, here in Ohio, under the guidance of Ohio experts, including family farmers, food experts, veterinarians and consumers," according to the pro-issue page on the secretary of state's Web site.

Arguments against on the site include placing the "economic interests of factory farms ahead of the welfare of farm animals," the support of agribusiness for the amendment and unnecessarily expanding state government.

kparks@thisweeknews.com