Crime with DeWine

Ohio Citizen Action is calling on Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted to reject regulated utility campaign contributions and spearhead reforms at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

After nearly 18 months, the DeWine/Husted Administration has failed to take decisive action in the wake of the $61 million scandal surrounding House Bill 6. 

Here’s how you can help us hold Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted accountable:

  1. Send a digital letter to DeWine
  2. Write a letter to the editor
  3. Record a video

“Governor DeWine and Lt. Gov. Husted created a culture in Ohio where utilities are in control of politics,” said Rachael Belz, CEO of Ohio Citizen Action. “They defend their staff and even former PUCO Chair Sam Randazzo in the face of clear and mounting evidence linking them to corruption. Why is Mike DeWine choosing to defend those at the heart of the scandal rather than standing up for Ohioans?”

Ohio ratepayers have been subjected to paying for the bad business decisions and corrupt actions of regulated utilities for decades, with increased charges being levied on every Ohio utility bill today to subsidize coal plants included in House Bill 6. According to documentation from FirstEnergy, former PUCO Chair Sam Randazzo received $4.3 million from FirstEnergy weeks before becoming its top regulator. In addition, recent audit reports have also uncovered that ratepayer dollars were improperly used to fund House Bill 6 dark money lobbying efforts.

While Governor DeWine had been quoted as saying he would not accept contributions from FirstEnergy in this election cycle, the energy company has suspended all political spending, making the pledge moot. However, the Governor and Lt. Governor have made no such pledges about accepting contributions from AEP or other regulated utilities. 

Our Crime with DeWine campaign has outlined three very specific asks for the DeWine/Husted Administration:

  • Donate to charity all campaign contributions received from regulated electric utilities and pledge not to accept any new contributions moving forward.

  • Terminate any PUCO staff who have close ties to former Speaker Larry Householder or former PUCO Chairman Sam Randazzo to clean up corruption in the agency.

  • Recommend legislative changes to establish more balance in commissioner appointments to include consumer representation.

A message from CEO Rachael Belz in response to the launch of Crime with DeWine:

Here's our digital billboard that was on display at the corner of State and High by the Riffe Center in downtown Columbus:

 

"DeWine Was Warned"

 

"Ohioans Demand Answers"

 

"This is a Huge Concern"