In reaction in Ohio’s Speaker of the House Larry Householder being arrested by the FBI as part of a $60 million pay-to-play scheme, Common Cause Ohio Executive Director Catherine Turcer released the following statement:

“This pay-to-play scandal would have been stopped in its tracks if Ohioans were able to see who was behind efforts to influence their opinions and votes — if they could “follow the money.”  We shouldn’t need an FBI investigation to connect the dots. If we had strong campaign finance disclosure rules,  Larry Householder would not have been able to pervert our political system the way that he did.

This scheme began with his quest for power — his election as Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives — and revolves around the passage of the nuclear and coal bailout of a FirstEnergy subsidiary, House Bill 6.

Householder allegedly took millions of dollars at the same time he pushed legislation to bail out non-competitive coal and nuclear plants with more than $1 billion in public money, gut subsidies for renewable energy, and roll back clean energy standards.

Ohioans have a right to an accountable government and to know who is trying to influence lawmakers, their votes, and opinions. The federal investigation into Generation Now and today’s arrest of Speaker Householder are just the latest example of why the Ohio legislature needs to take immediate action to increase campaign finance disclosure. 

It’s past time for the Ohio legislature to take action to increase transparency of political spending and stop allowing ‘dark money’ to distort the democratic process. The source of campaign funding information helps voters examine the motivation of ads they see on TV and the internet. Shining the light on ‘dark money’ will also encourage those funding these egregious ads to be more accountable.

Common Cause and its members will work with Republican and Democratic allies to find a path for strong money in politics transparency reform. Ohio voters deserve nothing less.”

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Common Cause Ohio is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization that works to strengthen public participation in our democracy and ensure that public officials and public institutions are accountable and responsive to citizens. Through a powerful combination of coalition building, lobbying and litigation, grassroots organizing, policy development, research and public education, we spotlight local, state and national issues that affect every Ohioan.

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