COLUMBUS — In the summer of 2017, the Akron Beacon Journal editorial board questioned the legality of Larry Householder’s “attempt at political money-laundering” of contributions from Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow founder Bill Lager through the Ohio Republican Party — a deal so shady that the Ohio GOP almost immediately decided to give back the cash.
However, that didn’t stop the Ohio Republican Party from taking more Householder campaign cash in the following years — $50,000 in September 2018, $180,000 in October 2018 and $47,000 in January 2019 into the party’s state candidate fund, and $5,000 in October 2019 into their state account.
“It’s as if there was an enormous flashing warning light that Larry Householder was back to his old tricks of funneling cash through various groups to evade campaign finance laws — and yet the Ohio Republican Party said, sure, we’ll take your money, but we’re not going to ask too many questions,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “The criminal complaint alleges that Householder was taking contributions and running them through a web of interconnected entities that he personally controlled and from which he enriched himself. It appears that one of the beneficiaries of Householder’s activities was the Ohio Republican Party.
“The Ohio GOP should not be permitted to fund candidates and campaigns with proceeds from a criminal enterprise. Therefore, we are asking the courts and law enforcement to take appropriate action to freeze any accounts associated with Larry Householder and his co-conspirators and prevent further corruption of our political process here in Ohio. In addition, the Ohio Republican Party should also voluntarily freeze these tainted funds, or give them back as they did in 2017, pending the investigation.”
In addition to the charges detailed in yesterday’s criminal complaint, Householder and his political action committee, Friends of Larry Householder, have been referred to the Ohio Elections Commission for campaign finance violations.