Dustin Tomlinson of the Ohio News Time, writes that it will take a lot more than a "bribery scandal on a historic scale" to get energy money out of the political "pipeline". He claims that, despite the scandal, "AEP donated $60,500, ... Buckeye Power has donated $41,200, ... Duke Energy has donated $21,000, ... (and) AES Ohio, has donated $10,000" in just the first half of 2021. (First Energy was prohibited from making donations under their deferred prosecution agreement.)
The campaign donations just keep rolling in from the power brokers while Ohioans are fleeced. Yet, despite scandal after scandal, Ohioans re-elect those very politicians picking their pockets, just like they did when Householder was re-elected shortly after his indictment.
They operate with impunity.
Clark goes on to tout the scheme on the secret recordings cited in the indictment of Householder:
[T]hose guys that go to the wall can only do it once a year because if they do it all the time everybody knows they're pay to play"
Neil Waggoner, with the Sierra Club, summed it up in a quote in Ohio Capital News last week:
Why the hell is this still in place? ...This is the utilities in this state having a death grip on the regulators and people in power to the point that they’re getting exactly what they want.”
The genius of Householder was, ‘To hell with that – let’s do it all in one bill,’” Seitz said. “And I said, ‘Well, that’s fine with me.’
Seitz and Householder were two ends playing the same Pay-to-Play campaign-funding instrument. Instead of competing for which legislation would move forward, they set it up that Ohio Republicans would win regardless. Since Householder's indictment, he has had no greater ally than Bill Seitz. Afterall, Householder brought the old guard Republicans in on the ride. When the removal of Householder from office was finally imminent, Seitz got into a rancorous screaming match at a Columbus bar where Andrew Tobias, at Cleveland.com, documented a witness who said,
“He [Seitz] said, I’m going to take all you mother f-----s out if you vote to remove Householder,”
There is no longer a nuclear operation in Portsmouth needing the two coal plants. They have outlived their purpose - literally. Yet, statehouse officials and the energy sector are intent on keeping them operational. Not for the power they offer to Ohioans, but for the financial and political power they produce. They are moneymakers - even if obsolete. Profitable, even if losing money hand over fist.
It's just a question of who is making the money and who is losing it.
The Ohio House Public Utilities Committee introduced a bill to rescind the OVEC provisions in HB 6, as recently as in late September. However, the committee has refused to bring it forth for even a vote. Bill Seitz sits on the committee.
We’ve beat this horse to death. It’s not going to change,” said Seitz.
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