house

Ohio utility regulator lobbied for legislation to save FirstEnergy millions, texts show

BY: - November 9, 2021

Ohio’s top utility regulator quietly lobbied lawmakers to include a provision in the state budget that saved tens of millions for FirstEnergy Corp., text messages from company executives show. FirstEnergy admitted in federal court earlier this year that it funded $60 million to a political nonprofit that wasn’t required to disclose its donors, secretly controlled […]

As Ohio House’s war on vaccine mandates fades, Speaker reticent on what’s next

BY: - October 18, 2021

Despite a political dead cat bounce late last week, the Ohio House’s war on vaccine mandates ended in stalemate, if not a humble retreat. After eight hearings on two versions of legislation to ban vaccine mandates, the requisite support failed to materialize and Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Ohio, said Wednesday it’s time to move […]

Ohio House Speaker leans into ‘medical freedom’

BY: - September 24, 2021

The Republican Speaker of the Ohio House, under mounting pressure from the nascent anti-vaccination movement within the GOP, said his caucus is soon to unveil consensus legislation to ban vaccine mandates. Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Lima, said to reporters Wednesday that House leadership is in the “final stages” of putting together a bill to erect legal […]

GOP Ohio senator fought to repeal corrupt law; party leaders drew him out of his district

BY: - September 17, 2021

New lines drawn by state GOP leaders ousted Sen. Mark Romanchuk, a Republican from Richland County, from the district that elected him to his seat in 2020. Since the indictment of the former speaker of the House last summer and subsequent guilty pleas from four alleged co-conspirators, Romanchuk has led the charge among Ohio Republicans […]

Ratepayers spent $166 million and counting bailing out coal plants under law that passed via bribes

BY: - September 15, 2021

Despite several plea deals with federal prosecutors regarding bribery on a massive scale to pass legislation providing a windfall to nuclear and coal companies, Ohio utility customers continue to fund bailouts of failing coal-fired power plants in Ohio and Indiana. In the first half of 2021, Ohio utility customers paid $51 million to subsidize the […]

Amid corruption scandal, energy money continues to flow to state lawmakers

BY: - August 5, 2021

It’s going to take more than a bribery scandal on a historic scale to get energy money out of Ohio politics. Campaign finance reports, submitted late last week, show the campaign contribution pipeline from the natural gas and utility industries to Ohio lawmakers’ campaign accounts is alive and well. The vast majority went to Republicans, […]

FirstEnergy said it bribed a regulator for $4.3 million. Here’s how it worked.

BY: - July 29, 2021

FirstEnergy admitted in court documents last week it paid the state’s top utility regulator $4.3 million to use his perch to save the company hundreds of millions via friendly administrative rulings. The company’s allegation against Sam Randazzo, former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, came in a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. […]

DeWine says he didn’t know about alleged $4.3m bribe of utility regulator he appointed

BY: - July 27, 2021

Gov. Mike DeWine distanced himself Monday from a utility regulator he appointed who was accused last week of accepting millions in bribes from FirstEnergy Corp. FirstEnergy said in a court filing last week that it paid Sam Randazzo $22 million in consulting fees in the decade leading up to his appointment as chairman of the […]

FirstEnergy paid $4.3 mil to top energy regulator and reaped the benefits, court docs state

BY: - July 23, 2021

An energy lobbyist who Gov. Mike DeWine appointed as the state’s top regulator of public utilities received $22 million from FirstEnergy Corp. in the decade before his appointment — including $4.3 million paid just before assuming the post and specifically to execute official duties to benefit the Akron-based utility — court documents revealed Thursday. Sam […]

Bar machine operators gave $100k to nonprofit that pleaded guilty in statehouse bribery case

BY: - July 22, 2021

A trade association connected to bar machine operators paid $100,000 to a political nonprofit that pleaded guilty to its role in an alleged bribery operation engineered by the former Speaker of the Ohio House, tax records show. The 2019 payment came from the Fair Gaming Coalition of Ohio (FGCO), which has deep ties to the […]

Ohio consumer watchdog asks regulators to revisit coal plant bailouts

BY: - July 13, 2021

A consumer watchdog last week asked state regulators to revisit their decision to allow two Ohio utility companies to pass onto customers their losses on two coal-fired power plants they partially own. The Ohio Consumers Counsel (OCC), which represents residential ratepayers in utility issues, asked the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to revisit its […]

Nearly a year after a racketeering indictment, Ohio House expels Householder

BY: - June 16, 2021

The Ohio House voted Wednesday to expel Larry Householder, arrested on charges of public corruption nearly one year ago, from the chamber his Republican — and even some Democratic — colleagues thrice elected him to control. The expulsion could mark the end of Householder’s decades-long political career, which has included a previous tenure as speaker […]