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Householder Ousted By The House

Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford), former House Speaker, testifies against resolution to expel him from Ohio House.
Andy Chow
Ohio Public Radio
Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford), former House Speaker, testifies against resolution to expel him from Ohio House.

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the Ohio House's vote to expel one of its members, Larry Householder.

Indicted But Not Forgotten

The last time the Ohio House ousted a representative was in 1857 when they threw out a member for slugging another lawmaker. This time there were no fisticuffs but it was a nasty end to Larry Householder’s second stint in the Ohio legislature.

Householder is under indictment, charged with leading a $61 million bribery scheme to win the speaker's chair and then win passage of the billion-dollar bailout of two Ohio nuclear power plants.

Most politicians indicted in such a huge scandal would have resigned but not Householder. He vehemently denies the charges and did so again Wednesday from the floor of the House.

Democrats and some Republicans have been calling for Householder’s ouster since the charges were made public nearly a year ago and the House did remove him as speaker. But leaders refused to hold a vote until this week.

House members easily secured the two-thirds majority needed to expel Householder.

After the vote, Larry Householder held court in front of a gaggle of reporters and suggested another political comeback.

Double Down

The Ohio Senate basically wants to take the reins off legalized betting in Ohio.

This week the Senate passed a bill that would drastically expand gambling in a state that resisted it for so long.

It would create 58 first-tier sports betting licenses. Some be would be in buildings, and some would be online or on mobile devices. Those licenses cost a million dollars each.

The bill would also create an unlimited number of second-tier sports betting licenses. These would go to any business with a liquor license. Each business would be allowed to have two kiosks where gamblers can only bet on point spreads and make over-under wagers. Those licenses cost $6,000.

Veterans halls and fraternal lodge halls can also offer legal gambling. The bill would legalize electronic Bingo at your local VFW or Elks Lodge.

In addition to the license fees, the state would tax gambling revenue at 10%, generating up to a predicted $23 million a year. Mostly that would go to schools, but some would go to gambling prevention programs.

Mike Thompson spends much of his time correcting people who mispronounce the name of his hometown – Worcester, Massachusetts. Mike studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University when he was not running in circles – as a distance runner on the SU track team.
Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.