Nearly four years after FirstEnergy admitted to bribing top Ohio Republican officials, Ohio law enforcement authorities filed numerous felony charges against two former First Energy executives and a former top utility regulator in what has been called the biggest bribery, racketeering and money-laundering scandal in Ohio history. All three men pleaded not guilty to the charges, were released from Summit County Jail after each posted 10% of $100,000 bond and are required to wear ankle monitors. Details include how the entire scandal reached Governor Mike DeWine (R) and Lt. Governor Jon Husted (R) universe.
Embarrassing. Infuriating. Oppressing. Take your pick. They all describe the performative do-nothings in Columbus and Washington. Dodgy politicians who aspire not to serve the greater good but to grandstand in the extreme for notoriety. It’s not for nothing that Ohio’s General Assembly and the U.S. House of Representatives (both under the loosely defined management of MAGA Republicans) were historically unproductive last year in terms of lawmaking.
Plaintiffs in a civil suit related to the HB6 First Energy massive $61 million bribery and money-laundering scandal have subpoenaed documents from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. In addition, they’re scheduling a sworn deposition with Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) told a GOP group that he allowed several anti-abortion groups to assist in the rewrite of the ballot language of Issue 1. Thus, Ohio’s top elections official invited opponents to write ballot language that mischaracterized the abortion-rights amendment that supporters gathered a half-million registered voters’ signatures to put to on the November General Election ballot.
In addition, HB341 — which would change how Issue 2 revenue funds would be allocated and allow municipalities to ban marijuana dispensaries and home grow. The bill wipes out an entire section of the new law that prohibits municipalities from banning home grow, marijuana use and levying special taxes or fees on marijuana businesses.
COMMENTARY: Ohio voters just took firm positions on abortion and reproductive rights and adult-use recreational marijuana Tuesday, but gerrymandered Ohio lawmakers are already planning to flout, ignore, challenge, and abuse the voters’ wishes. This is what gerrymandering brings. This is why it’s a fundamental poison in the lifeblood of our republic.