Advocacy update, July 27, 2021

Advocacy update, July 27, 2021

Advocacy update, July 27, 2021 750 422 Episcopalians in Connection

Ohio Fair Maps Town Halls

Ohio’s Equal Districts Coalition is holding a series of in-person town hall meetings across the state to allow citizens to testify how your community has been impacted by gerrymandering and to hear how you can contribute to a fair outcome in Ohio’s new process for creating both state and Congressional district lines, the result of two referenda in which citizens in every county overwhelmingly approved new rules to prevent the worst abuses of partisan gerrymandering by either party. The Dayton Town Hall is scheduled for July 29, 5 to 7 p.m. at the Main Library, 215 E. 3rd Street, Dayton, and the Columbus Town Hall will be Aug. 4 from 5 to 7 p.m. at UFCW, 4150 E. Main Street, Columbus. Read more and register here

New revelations in HB 6 bribery case

FirstEnergy has agreed to pay $230 million in federal penalties to avoid prosecution in the bribery case against former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and several associates. The company, which operates the two nuclear plants, would have huge financial benefits at ratepayer expense through HB 6, admitted to the facts in the charging document that they bribed an elected official (Householder), and Sam Randazzo, who they persuaded Gov. DeWine to appoint as chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).  The federal government charged FirstEnergy with one count of “conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud,” to “defraud the public of its right to the honest services of a public official through bribery and cutbacks.” The penalty will be split between the federal government and Ohio, with the state’s $115 million share to be used to help Ohioans pay their utility bills. Gov. DeWine says he knew nothing of Randazzo’s corrupt acts.

Although the financial benefits of HB 6 to First Energy have been repealed by the State Legislature, the 2019 law’s provisions killing Ohio’s renewable energy portfolio standards and programs to help customers reduce their electric use continue in force.  In addition, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed SB 52, creating new local regulatory obstacles to utility-scale wind and solar farms.

Here is some of the wealth of reporting on this huge corruption scandal in recent days:

Advocacy briefings are compiled by Ariel Miller, a member of Ascension & Holy Trinity, Wyoming, and a member of the diocesan Becoming Beloved Community Leadership Team.