statement on Householder verdict

Justice has been served with the guilty verdict in the federal racketeering trial of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and former Ohio GOP Chairman Matt Borges.

This was a years-long empire-building scheme in the making, designed to develop a sustainable structure to channel dark money for political purposes for decades. Larry Householder and others involved believed they were above the law and that there would be no ramifications for their actions. The jury has decided differently.

Every day, evidence uncovered through this trial highlighted the sheer scale of corruption of our state government by utility interests. Among the most jarring aspects was the degree to which corrupt activity was treated by elected officials as the ‘normal way of doing business.’ Those with deep pockets were empowered to drive the decisions of policymakers and brazenly boasted about their victories. 

We don’t believe that utilities funneling millions of dollars through shell corporations to drive state policy is how our state government should work, nor do Ohio voters. We believe it is now time to turn our attention to changing the face of democracy in Ohio. We hold up this decision as evidence that Ohioans not only deserve better but will now be expecting better from their elected officials.

After so many years of utility-controlled energy policy that favored fossil fuels, Ohio must now move toward equitable, forward-looking solutions that will protect our air and water, the health of Ohioans, and provide clean energy jobs to keep Ohio competitive in the 21st-century economy. 

Nearly 1,000 days after the news broke of the House Bill 6 scandal, we can finally move past the largest bribery and racketeering scheme in Ohio history and charge forward becoming ever more vigilant in keeping our decision makers accountable to the people of Ohio.

- Rachael Belz, CEO, Ohio Citizen Action