house

DeWine re-appoints former utility lawyer as utility regulator

BY: - February 11, 2022

Gov. Mike DeWine named attorney and incumbent utility regulator Dan Conway to renew his five-year term on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. The selection of Conway from a shortlist curated by the PUCO’s nominating council undercuts DeWine’s pledge in January that he wouldn’t name appoint anyone to serve as regulator with ties to the […]

Who funded Ohio Statehouse politics in 2021?

BY: - February 3, 2022

Education and construction unions, natural gas utilities, the beer and wine industry, optometrists, car dealers, telecommunications firms, nursing home operators, doctors’ associations and others dumped money into lawmakers’ accounts in 2021. These funds set the stage for the maiden elections on yet-to-be finalized maps setting the district lines. (The Ohio Supreme Court overturned the GOP-passed […]

Householder asks judge to dismiss public corruption case against him

BY: - February 2, 2022

Former Speaker of the Ohio House Larry Householder asked a federal judge to toss out a case against him that prosecutors have called the largest probe of public corruption in state history. In a motion filed late Tuesday evening, lawyers for Householder argued that there was no “quid pro quo,” or explicit favor-for-a-favor agreement, between […]

Feds expect Householder trial to take six weeks; could occur this fall

BY: - January 27, 2022

Federal prosecutors indicated Wednesday they expect the public corruption trial of former House Speaker Larry Householder will take about six weeks and could occur sometime this coming fall. Attorneys representing Householder and an alleged co-conspirator generally agreed a trial would take six weeks to leave time for jury selection and the parties to make their […]

Dark money group with Mandel ties named in subpoena in FirstEnergy bribery lawsuit

BY: - December 13, 2021

A former FirstEnergy executive, defending himself in a shareholders’ lawsuit stemming from his alleged role in the company’s statehouse bribery operation, has subpoenaed correspondence with two political operatives with close ties to U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel. Attorneys for Mike Dowling, former senior vice president of external affairs for the utility company, subpoenaed records from […]

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. […]