ICYMI: Trial Reveals Dave Yost, Frank LaRose Have Ties To Ongoing FirstEnergy Bribery Scandal
February 8, 2023
Columbus, OH – As the federal court trial surrounding the $60 million FirstEnergy bribery scandal has unfolded, we have learned more about additional GOP politicians’ ties to the largest bribery scandal in Ohio history, including Dave Yost and Frank LaRose.
“While we wait for justice to be served for Larry Householder and Matt Borges, we cannot lose sight of politicians like Frank LaRose and Dave Yost who enabled this scandal to take place. Any Republican looking for a new job come 2024 should have to explain to voters why they’re being named in the most damning federal court case in Ohio political history,” said Chair Walters.
According to court documents, Dave Yost opposed HB6, the legislation behind the scandal, but kept his opposition silent because of his FirstEnergy donors.
- From The Ohio Capital Journal:
“Cespedes asked Borges what the attorney general thought.
He’s sympathetic, but he wants to go back and look at the law,” Borges replied.
As they discussed the matter further, Borges said “Don’t repeat this,” but Yost believed the bailout was a bad law.
Yost “‘would be out front (in opposition) if not for (FirstEnergy) support and your involvement,’” Borges quoted Yost as saying.
As attorney general, Yost also would have to approve any repeal language before it went on the ballot. The AG also wanted to help with that if he could, Borges said.
“If there’s any way the law will allow him to reject the language, he will do it,” Borges texted.
Frank LaRose was all too eager to help move the legislation forward, as long as he got his back scratched, too.
- From the Toledo Blade:
Cespedes and Mr. Borges also talked about supporting Secretary of State Frank LaRose, the state’s top elections official and chairman of the Ohio Ballot Board that would also have reviewed the referendum language had it gotten that far. They expected an attempt to try to force Mr. LaRose to recuse himself from the board.
“He’s going to be a friend in this process,” Mr. Borges tested to Cespedes. “So let’s be prepared to speak up for him.”
Cespedes responded, “We will support him more than anyone.”
More below on the deep connections between Ohio Republicans with higher political ambitions and the FirstEnergy bribery scandal:
- Yost’s Campaign manager was Matt Borges, who Yost once called the ‘wise man of Ohio politics,’ and who is set to go to trial for his role in the scandal.
- Yost has not taken meaningful legal action to go after his friends in the Ohio Republican Party.
- Yost received a subpoena to testify in the trial.
- Voted for HB 6
- Said he would vote for it again in 2020 to Cleveland.com
- FirstEnergy’s dark money group gave $85,000 to Matt Dolan’s dark money group, who then tried to distance himself from the group.
- FirstEnergy donations in 2018: more than $25,000
- FirstEnergy remains in top 20 of his donors
- Continues to fundraise with groups like Strategy Group that were instrumental to HB 6
- Gave $100,000 to Larry Householder’s dark money group through Murray Energy
- FirstEnergy executives texting about donations from Murray Energy wrote: “Mike Carey has all the paperwork.”
Ohio Republican Party Donations
- The Ohio Republican Party has collected $87,500 since beginning of 2018 and refuses to give that money back or donate it to charity.