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.
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, cleveland.com