Ohioans recently learned that the now-former Speaker of the Ohio House, in league with a team of GOP lobbyists and operatives, hatched a scheme to take more than $60 million in corporate bribes in exchange for enacting a billion dollar consumer-funded bailout of failing coal and nuclear power plants.
This pay-to-play scheme was years in the making. FirstEnergy Corporation and its subsidiaries and allies in the coal industry have been funding campaigns of candidates at the local and state level for years in hopes of laying the groundwork for a reversal of Ohio’s groundbreaking renewable energy and efficiency mandates and a bailout for their aging power plants.
That investment finally paid off with the ascent of Larry Householder as Speaker of the House.
Progress Ohio has identified nearly $6 million in campaign contributions connected to the FirstEnergy bailout scheme. This includes donations from the individuals named in the FBI complaint: Larry Householder and co-conspirators Matt Borges, Neil Clark, Juan Cespedes and Jeff Longstreth. We have also included political action committees and executives of FirstEnergy and allied coal interests Murray Energy and the Boich Companies — the three identified as Companies A, B and C in the FBI filings.
The vast majority of that $6 million in dirty campaign cash went to officials who currently hold or are seeking office in November. While some have donated the ill-gotten gains to charity, many have not. With elections around the corner, it’s important to know who is compromised by this dirty money, so with that in mind, here is the data, compiled from reports filed with the Ohio Secretary of State: