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GOP Lawmaker Accused Of Self-Dealing With Crisis Pregnancy Center Bill

State Rep. Candice Keller (R-Middletown)
Ohio House
State Rep. Candice Keller (R-Middletown)

The leader of the Ohio Democratic Party is criticizing a bill to give tax credits to people who donate to non-profit “crisis pregnancy centers,” which steer women away from abortion.

State Rep. Candice Keller (R-Middletown), who co-sponsors the bill, also operates one of 100 such centers around the state.

The bill would give people fully-refundable tax credits for the amount they give to crisis centers. Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper says Keller’s involvement is a case of self-dealing, because Keller is the paid, full-time director of a pregnancy resource center in Middletown.

“You know, in the world of ethics and good government, it raises a lot of flags," Pepper says.

In a written statement, Keller says the opposition is simply trying to create a diversion to tarnish her reputation. However, Keller says she has decided to abstain from working with the bill while it’s being considered.

“While all proper protocols were followed before I signed my name to this bill, I have informed Speaker Larry Householder that Will [sic] be abstaining from further participation with this bill as it goes through the legislative process,” Keller wrote.