ICYMI: Conflict of Interest Questions Arise as Consulting Group with Ties to HB 6 Scandal Raises Money for Frank LaRose
April 9, 2021
In Case You Missed It, a Columbus Dispatch report today raised questions of conflicts of interest involving Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose as he gets set to host a fundraising event with the Strategy Group, a consulting group with ties to the HB 6 scandal. The Strategy Group produced dark-money funded ads for the scandal-ridden HB 6 campaign, a bribery scheme which led to federal charges against then-Speaker Larry Householder and other Ohio Republicans as they lined their own pockets while putting Ohio taxpayers on the hook for a massive nuclear bailout.
The Strategy Group received top billing on a fundraising invitation sent out on behalf of LaRose’s campaign this week.
“Why is LaRose holding a reelection fundraiser Tuesday co-hosted by the Strategy Group? Could it be a conflict of interest for the Republican?” asks Darrel Rowland of the Dispatch, detailing next week’s fundraiser.
While LaRose has publicly claimed to oppose dark money in politics and has tried to distance himself from Ohio Republicans involved in the HB 6 scandal, his willingness to rub elbows and fundraise with the HB 6-linked group shows these publicity stunts ring hollow and once again demonstrates that LaRose is willing to put his own political interests above the interests of Ohio voters.
Read more HERE and below:
- The Strategy Group, which was responsible for many ads in the multimillion-dollar effort touting the controversial House Bill 6 bailout of two Ohio nuclear power plants and opposing a referendum to overturn it, is hosting a fundraiser for Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose.
- At least some of those HB6 spots were funded by dark money, the use of which has been strongly condemned by LaRose.
- Public documents show connections between the consulting firm or its affiliates and the questioned endeavors of Rep. Larry Householder, R-Glenford, the former Ohio House Speaker who has pleaded innocent to federal charges in what authorities say was a $60 million bribery scheme related to passage of HB6. Strategy Group has not been accused or charged in that matter.
- The consultant also is fighting a subpoena in a separate Elections Commission case on a complaint that the Strategy Group was among the spenders of hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegally undisclosed Householder-connected campaign cash for a southwestern Ohio House seat.
- All this is background to a question: Why is LaRose holding a reelection fundraiser Tuesday co-hosted by the Strategy Group? Could it be a conflict of interest for the Republican?
- The fundraiser invitation seeks campaign contributions of $250 to $2,500. Other hosts include state Sen. Andy Brenner, R-Delaware, Delaware County GOP Chairman Steve Cuckler, and Delaware County Commissioner Jeff Benton, and his wife, Barbara.