What Ohioans are Reading: The Cost of Republican Corruption is Too High a Price for Working Ohioans to Pay
February 11, 2022
For Immediate Release:
Friday, February 11, 2022
Columbus, OH — In case you missed it, the Ohio Democratic Party (ODP), along with attorney general candidate Representative Jeff Crossman held a news conference Thursday outlining how much money the House Bill 6 corruption scandal is costing hardworking Ohioans every single day thanks to a lack of leadership and transparency from Mike DeWine.
On the call, Rep. Crossman outlined how Ohioans remain on the hook for nearly $180 million in coal plant subsidies alone, including money going to a plant that isn’t even in Ohio. Breaking that down, Rep. Crossman showed us that hardworking families are losing over $230,000 a day or $9,500 an hour, $159 a minute because of the largest public corruption scandal in state history.
See what Ohioans are reading today:
“Democrats have a rolling dollar ticker — similar to one used by Republicans to track the national debt — that show how much the coal subsidies are costing Ohioans. That ticker was at about $180 million as of Thursday.
‘“These scandals keep getting bigger and bigger and cost Ohioans more and more money each time,’ Mr. Crossman said, citing the past Coingate, payday lending, and Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow charter school scandals.
‘“If we’re not going to fight to get to the bottom of this and hold the folks responsible for this to account, then this will continue to happen,’ he said. ‘Ohio will go from being once an opportunity state to continuing to be No. 1 in corruption as we’re currently ranked. It’s shameful.’
“Mr. Householder faces trial as soon as this fall on federal racketeering charges for his alleged leadership in what FirstEnergy has admitted was a scheme to bribe its way to getting nuclear bailout bill across the finish line.
“Also awaiting trial on a similar charge is lobbyist Matt Borges, a former Ohio Republican Party chairman. Two others — consultant and close Householder ally Jeff Longstreth and lobbyist Juan Cespedes — have pleaded guilty and have cooperated with the ongoing federal investigation. A fourth defendant, powerful lobbyist Neil Clark, committed suicide.
“A utility consortium — of which American Electric Power is the biggest partner — piggybacked onto the nuclear bailout bill to expand statewide what had been regional subsidies paid by electricity customers to support their two 1950s-era coal plants that were originally built to serve a now defunct federal uranium enrichment plant in southern Ohio.
“The state representative again called on Mr. Yost to launch a separate state investigation — in addition to the ongoing federal investigation — in advance of bringing criminal charges under state law. He called the civil lawsuit brought by Mr. Yost against FirstEnergy and to go after the assets of the scheme’s players ‘low-hanging fruit.”’
“The Democratic candidate for Ohio attorney general on Thursday denounced continuing coal-plant subsidies paid to Akron-based FirstEnergy under scandal-tainted House Bill 6, and called for expanded criminal investigation and more openness from Republican state officials.
“State Rep. Jeff Crossman, D-Parma, said during a virtual news conference hosted by the Ohio Democratic Party that Ohioans are paying $230,000 a day to subsidize coal plants, including one in Indiana.
“A federal criminal investigation is ongoing. Lawmakers repealed the bill’s nuclear-plant bailout, but the bill’s subsidies for coal plants and other projects remain. ‘There’s still a lot of questions about who knew what and when, about this nuclear bribery scandal,’ Crossman said.
“Public-records requests to Gov. Mike DeWine’s and Yost’s offices have not been fully answered, but what has been released shows the scandal is “bigger and broader” than previously known, he said.
‘Larry Householder didn’t work alone,’ he said.
“Crossman alleged DeWine’s office worked with Sam Randazzo, then chair of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission, to pass HB 6. ‘We know that the governor’s office was involved,’ Crossman said.”
“State Rep. Jeff Crossman, a Parma Democrat, running for attorney general, held a news conference on Thursday morning to call attention to what he said were unanswered questions about the House Bill 6 scandal. He said if he were attorney general, he would use the power of his office to investigate the issue further. Crossman also said the scandal continues to cost Ohioans hundreds of thousands of dollars each day, in the form of HB6′s subsidies to OVEC coal plants and the ongoing federal investigation. Crossman is challenging Republican Attorney General Dave Yost in the November election.”