Householder’s Dark-Money Group Paid For Oppo Research That Included Hacked Info

COLUMBUS — Larry Householder and his alleged criminal enterprise provided significant financial support to the Ohio Republican Party and Ohio House Republican Campaign Committee, as well as funding Team Householder’s campaign staff — and apparently, opposition research books, one of which used hacked information to trash a non-Householder candidate.

“Earlier this year we called on the Ohio Republican Party to condemn the use of hacked or stolen materials for political campaigns, but they refused — probably because they had already worked with Larry Householder behind the scenes to circulate hacked information to benefit a ‘Team Householder’ candidate,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “Now we learn what paid for that dirty opposition research — it was Larry Householder’s slush fund.

“Every GOP House candidate who had opposition research prepared for them should have to answer this simple question — who paid for the research books? Did they just magically appear one day? Are they planning on using this dirty oppo to attack their opponents? No candidate or campaign should be able to benefit from a criminal conspiracy.”

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, FAR Public Affairs LLC prepared a research book against GOP House candidate Joe Dills, who was running against Jean Schmidt, a “Team Householder” candidate. That research book, which was shared with the Ohio GOP’s executive committee, included information obtained from the Ashley Madison data breach.

The Enquirer reported that the FAR Public Affairs research was provided by the “House GOP’s campaign arm” — but according to federal campaign finance reports, FAR was actually paid by the Householder-controlled dark-money group Growth and Opportunity PAC.