PERRY COUNTY, Ohio — Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder (R-Glenford) is now under federal arrest following an FBI investigation into possible racketeering and bribery to the tune of $60 million.
While the investigation is still ongoing, House Bill 6 may hold a clue.
“We’re going to confiscate these tax dollars from all Ohio homeowners and businesses and give them to New York investors so their nuclear power plants can become more profitable,” said Sen. Joe Uecker (R-Loveland).
That was Senator Joe Uecker back in July of last year — when he and other opponents tried to pull the plug on the billion dollar nuclear bailout that proponents hailed as a clean energy bill.
The Householder-backed bill nixed renewable energy efforts, and instead siphoned taxpayer money into two failed state nuclear power plants.
Democrats were quick to call the bill rotten — including Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland), who oddly, ended up voting for it.
“If and when we are wrong, we should correct ourselves. I and others believe we are wrong to take the state backwards, when others are moving forward in increasing their renewable portfolio standard,” said Williams.
However, sponsors of the bill vowed that it would actually save money.
“Does this help save Ohioans money? The answer is yes,” said Rep. Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro), the bill's sponsor.
This debate over the validity of the bill carried outside of the Statehouse and into the general public even after it passed.
A group tried and failed to get the issue on the ballot.
One of the reasons it failed was a blitz counter-campaign funded by dark money. Here is one of their ads:
"First they came for our manufacturing jobs —now they’re coming for our energy jobs. The Chinese government is quietly invading our American electric grid.”
Due to Ohio law, the group behind these ads never had to identify themselves, but it was clear they were willing to shell out to keep HB 6 alive.
While the details of how HB 6 fits into Tuesday's arrest are not yet known, this isnt the first time Householder has been the subject of an FBI investigation. In 2004, the FBI launched an investigation into whether or not Householder was pocketing campaign contributions in exchange for legislation that would benefit his donors. No charges were ever filed in that case.
Householder has served as Ohio's House speaker since 2019. A farmer and businessman, he is also the first Ohio lawmaker in 60 years to recapture the speakership after leaving due to term limitations.
The U.S. Attorney's Office will be holding a press conference at 2:30 p.m.
See the entire criminal complaint below.