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Team Householder gets charged with racketeering

I don’t have time to unpack this whole thing, and it will be a while before it all starts to come into focus.
I just wanted to make sure the common folks have access to the 81 page FBI indictment of the Ohio Speaker without having to sign up for anything. 469930706-United States vs Matthew Borges
[1]

The shell company, Generation Now Ohio was set up by a lawyer named Eric Lycan, [2] who used to be a partner at Dinsmore and Shohl. Now he’s with the Kentucky House Republicans. He’s called an expert in campaign finance by a few of his friends on his Linkedin page. House speaker Larry Householder, former Ohio GOP chairman Matt Borges, 48, of Bexley; lobbyist Neil Clark, 67, of Columbus; lobbyist and Ohio Civil Rights Commission member Juan Cespedes, 40, of Columbus; and political consultant Jeffrey Longstreth, 44, of Columbus were all arrested and charged with racketeering.

The way the FBI described it, “Company A”- which is First Energy, gave a boatload of cash to Housholders shell company, Generation Now Ohio, a 501(c)(4). Then, they had a whole tier of secondary shell companies- that distributed the money to candidates on “Team Householder”- which is 21 house members who haven’t been identified yet. The FBI is pissed they have to waste time on this, they have better things to go after instead of “Politicians who can’t do their jobs.” This is the first time they’ve filed a RICO charge against a public official in Ohio (they obviously haven’t looked very hard, because the Dayton Culture of Corruption is just as guilty).

The FBI said that these crooks actually used the words “Pay to play” and they have them discussing this same sort of arrangement with payday lenders. The quotes are just unreal:

From the indictment pg 19 – LH – householder, NC- Neil Clark a lobbyist
“LH: Now switching gears. So we are looking at the payday lenders. And we are expecting big things in (c)(4) money from payday lenders….
NC: Right. Right.
LH: So far, I think we are what, fifty? I think
NC: Are you, you’re checking now with Jeff right?
LH: Right.
NC:: You should have gotten twenty-five or fifty from [owner of firm], correct?
LH: Yes.
LH: [After confirming with someone in the background} Twenty five total . . . Twenty five total is what we’ve got”
They spent huge sums on advertising. The agencies aren’t disclosed but, give me time.
The insane part, is after they passed HB 6 to give First Energy it’s 1.5B and people started to try to do a ballot initiative to reverse it- Team Householder hired all the signature collection competitors so the opposition couldn’t get it on the ballot.
RICO isn’t far enough. It’s time to start trying these political punks with treason. That way, we can actually hang them.
If you look at this money, it’s still only half of what went missing at Wright State. So far, the FBI and the DOJ still haven’t charged Cliff Rosenberger the last Ohio House Speaker [3].
How much corruption can get covered up in Ohio?
When will we see someone really big do big time?
So, far, the best they’ve done with an elected official was 3 months and 21 days for Joey D. Williams who was allowed to gracefully leave office before getting charged a year later.
Gotta give the FBI credit, a year after only arresting African Americans, and Steve Rauch, they’ve finally arrested some white guys.
Tyler Buchanan @Tylerjoelb covers Statehouse/Politics  for @OhioCapJournal [4] Former editor of the  @athensmessenger [5] and a . BGSU grad built a spreadsheet to show where Householder money went: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1L9_Xhkq9vk0PZMi7OuU7L4UX3uOOFICgjOFvJCOEaLc/edit?fbclid=IwAR1eqcgdlr8EbzeiCpTT4Qtb6sglI18rpTThjYsxHk6mezGLZbpuneM0wN0#gid=0 [6]
Fascinating reading. Might want to keep an eye on Ohio Capital Journal [7].

 

 

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Gary Leitzell

It would be interesting to see where the donated funds to Plummer, Antani, Smith, Butler and Young came from originally. I haven’t been able to access Householder’s list of donors, as if he needed any. Would be interesting to see if a dark money PAC made a contribution to Householder’s fund. If that were the case then all donations to local candidates would be tainted. I never believed Jim Butler to be corrupt but I could see Plummer, Antani and Young chomping at the almighty dollar. This is a sad day for Ohio politics. I wonder which local Democrats receive bribes. I am sure there are a few though I doubt $60 million has been waived in front of them.

Bubba Jones

Great questions, Gary! From what I’ve been hearing, money from the “Generation Now” group help to fund the “Growth & Opportunity PAC”. Locally, G&O PAC funded several negative mailers targeting Tom Young’s opponent for the State Rep seat for the Miamisburg/Germantown area. IIRC, I received 5 or 6 of these mailings that totally misrepresented Young’s opponent. Also, IIRC, G&O also paid for radio ads supporting Young on WHIO. They did the same thing (radio ads) in Greene County, but I don’t remember the candidates there. I’m going to guess they spent somewhere close to $100k (if not more) smearing Tom Young’s opponent and promoting Young. Not sure how much they spent in Greene County.
G&O also did a couple huge negative mailing campaigns in the Columbus area. One of them targeted a pastor running for a State Rep seat. Another one targeted an 18 or 19 year old kid that threw his hat in the ring for a different seat. Pretty sad and really makes you wonder how lucrative a seat in the State House is.
As far as I can remember, all of Antani’s mail pieces in his recent run for Peggy Lehner’s seat were paid for by either the Montgomery County or Ohio Republican party committees. I don’t remember any PAC funded mailers in my mailbox.
It would be interesting though to see if either Generation Now or G&O donated to the local party fund or directly to Plummer, Antani or Young. If they did, I think that all of them should bow out of their current races and turn over the spots to the runners up from the primaries. And, any candidate that benefited from any of the dirty PAC money should do the same. But, they won’t.
Speaking of donating to Young – I was told that his campaign finance report shows a $100 donation from Jan Kelly (head of the Board of Elections). While I’m sure it’s not illegal for her to donate, the optics certainly don’t look good.