The news this week that the Ohio Speaker of the House, Larry Householder, has been arrested along with others on federal charges of racketeering, bribery, money laundering and conspiracy is shocking, to say the least. This man was elected by the people of Ohio to represent them. Instead, he chose to use the seat for his own personal gain. The criminal indictment against the Speaker reveals how he used $61 million of illegal contributions to build a “Team Householder” in the legislature, a group of representatives who could conspire to defraud the public. It reveals too how he acted to secure a $1.5 billion nuclear plant bailout for the FirstEnergy corporation, to be paid for by the taxpayers of Ohio, and to enhance his own power in the people’s Statehouse at the same time.
Even more disturbing for the people of Ohio’s 73rd District is that my opponent Brian Lampton accepted campaign contributions from two entities named in the federal criminal corruption charges – including the indicted Speaker of the House. Together these amounts totaled more than $14,200. In addition, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Householder is also tied to the Growth and Opportunity PAC, a dark money group that spent over $1 million in 5 Republican primary races – including the Republican primary race here in our own backyard in District 73, where Mr. Lampton was victorious thanks in part to a flood of mailers and other media advertisements produced by the Growth and Opportunity PAC in support of his campaign. Was Mr. Lampton being groomed to become the next member of Householder’s “team” of corrupt politicians? Were there any strings tied to those contributions? Will there be even more involved with this as the FBI connects more of the dots?
Even the appearance of potential corruption is unacceptable for elected officials, and so I call on Mr. Lampton to immediately give up the $14,292 he’s accepted from those referred to in the multi-felony indictment. Mr. Lampton needs to cut any ties he has with both Speaker Householder and reject any assistance and support from the dark money PACs that spend money on his behalf.
I also call on our current State Representative Rick Perales and the Ohio state legislature to repeal HB6 immediately. This bill was allegedly passed fraudulently, and as such, should be overturned without delay.
I agree with the FBI Special Agent in charge of this investigation, calling this a “shameful betrayal” of the public trust, and that every possible action to remedy the situation must be taken immediately, including the resignation of Speaker Householder. Frankly, I find it difficult to see how Mr. Lampton can in good faith continue to campaign for this seat, when the single largest supporters of his campaign are criminally indicted conspirators in the “largest bribery money laundering scheme in the state of Ohio.”
This crime represents a fundamental core reason I am running for office, to remove and replace the politicians from power who are abusing the trust of the people who elected them, and who are not serving anyone but themselves and the greed of their corporate patrons. I am running to restore your trust in government, to show you what a true representative of the people looks and acts like. I ask for your support so that we can clean the Statehouse of the rot that has obviously infiltrated the people’s house. It’s time we really “Drain the Swamp.”