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Ohio Secretary Of State, Lawmakers Seek Transparency For Dark Money Groups

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose discusses his support for legislation requiring the disclosure of contributions and spending by co-called dark money groups, on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Columbus.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
/
AP
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose discusses his support for legislation requiring the disclosure of contributions and spending by co-called dark money groups, on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Columbus.

House lawmakers met with Ohio's top elections official to discuss ways of making the state's campaign finance system more transparent. The meeting comes after the former House Speaker was indicted for an alleged bribery scheme to get a nuclear power plant bailout through the Ohio General Assembly.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R-Ohio) voiced his support for the campaign finance proposal, HB737, from state Reps. Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Jessica Miranda (D-Forest Hill).

Recommendations out of the meeting between LaRose and the legislators included parity for groups fighting for and against ballot issues, allowing subpoenaing power for the Secretary of State's Office, and required reporting of donations into independent expenditures, also known as dark money groups.

"This idea that you can create an LLC, or two, or three to move the money around and have anonymity is not going to be consistent with what we're trying to accomplish here," LaRose said.

Federal investigators charge that former House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) was part of a racketeering scheme that involved millions of dollars secretly flowing through a dark money group, Generation Now, from a utility company widely believed to be FirstEnergy, in order to pass a nuclear power plant bailout.