Ohio to Governing: Do You Support Terrorism?

A few months ago, we told you about a new Ohio law requiring everyone that does business with the state to affirm that they don't ...
by | September 25, 2006
 

A few months ago, we told you about a new Ohio law requiring everyone that does business with the state to affirm that they don't support terrorism. I got a firsthand look at implementation of this rule when the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals sent a letter asking Governing to answer a set of questions to conform to the new law. Here are the questions they asked, which required me to have a copy of the Terrorist Exclusion List:

1. Are you a member of an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List?

2. Have you used any position of prominence you have with any country to persuade others to support an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List?

3. Have you knowingly solicited funds or other things of value for an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List?

4. Have you solicited any individual for membership in an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List?

5. Have you committed an act that you know, or reasonably should have known, affords "material support or resources" to an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List?

6. Have you hired or compensated a person you knew to be a member of an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List, or a person you knew to be engaging in planning, assisting, or carrying out an act of terrorism?

I was breezing through these, answering "no," but #5 was a bit of a stumper. How am I supposed to know if there was something I didn't know (even if I reasonably should have known it)? Anyways, I still figured the right answer was "no," so that's what I put. If I'm wrong, it's just a felony of the fifth degree.

Then I faxed the form back to the Board of Tax Appeals, not to the Department of Public Safety. The instructions were to send it back to the agency that sent it to you.

That makes me wonder whether these forms are going into a centralized database or whether Governing and other organizations might receive one from every agency with which we do business. If the latter is the case, the lesson will be that Ohio is tough on terrorism and weak on managing information.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com

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