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WASHINGTON -- Federal agents arrested Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four other people Tuesday in connection with an alleged racketeering and bribery scheme. They are accused of soliciting and accepting $60 million in exchange for passing House Bill 6 -- legislation that secured over $1 billion to bail out two aging nuclear power plants in northern Ohio, with the cost covered by Ohio ratepayers.
In response, U.S. PIRG Democracy for the People Director Joe Ready made the following statement:
“A functioning democracy depends on elected officials representing the people who vote for them, not the corporate special interests that line their pockets. The bribery and corruption alleged in these charges are a betrayal of the trust that the public places in our representatives.
“This scheme should not be possible. It shouldn’t take an FBI investigation to reveal who funded the campaign to pass House Bill 6. To start restoring trust, Ohio should reform their campaign finance laws to require increased transparency of political donations and spending.
“Meanwhile, while the justice system determines the fates of the accused, Ohio ratepayers should not have to pay, literally, for the crimes of their elected officials. State legislators should void this corrupt bargain, repeal House Bill 6, and start over. The public interest must be put front and center when deciding the fate of these old nuclear reactors.
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