FirstEnergy, caught up in FBI investigation, used its ‘political might’ to pressure the Ohio Statehouse

Former Ohio House member Steve Arndt. (R-Port Clinton)

CLEVELAND – "Steve Arndt says he remembers the conversation clearly: A lobbyist for FirstEnergy Corp. told Arndt, then a member of the Ohio House, that he needed to sponsor a bill to help a FirstEnergy subsidiary.

The lobbyist, Arndt said, gave him an ultimatum: Put your name on the bill or your political future is over.

Arndt refused.

Later, he suffered through a negative campaign, fueled by what he believes was dark money, that hit his district of Ottawa and Erie counties with fliers and radio ads, attacking his record as a Republican legislator.

'They wield a very heavy hand,' Arndt said of Akron-based FirstEnergy and its affiliates. 'They have a lot of political might. [Former House Speaker] Larry Householder and FirstEnergy are of the same ilk. They’ll do whatever they have to to get the job done.'"

– John Caniglia,

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