DEAR EDITOR:

After 30 years of Republican one-party rule, Columbus achieved the infamous title of the largest public corruption case in US history with the House Bill 6 bribery program. David Roberts states that this corruption law was that “The worst of the 21st century.” They have never seen anything like this in a state assembly in the past, according to FBI supervisory agent Matthew DeBlauve.

Democrats Russo and Sweeney enacted Ohio’s Anti-Corruption Act, HB 306, on May 11, which must be regulated by law. The bill would require disclosure of donations to political nonprofits, disclosure of the real owners of certain nonprofits, and discourage foreign companies from making political spending through American subsidiaries.

It’s no surprise that at the state level, Ohio has a national reputation for public corruption in the GOP. This is the latest in a series of scandals by the Ohio Republican-controlled legislature: Coingate, an ECOT education scandal that robbed hundreds of millions of people from the community and curtailed our children’s education, and the recent HB 6 bribe program in height of $ 61 million, including the indicted former House Speaker.

Republicans have long used every trick in the book to play an oversized role in Ohio to the detriment of our communities. They are embroiled in public corruption and still have not removed householders from legislation. Gerrymandering was used to help build a Republican super major in the Ohio legislature. Although Republicans won around 50 percent of the vote in the 116 Statehouse races in 2018, they took 63 percent of the seats. Likewise, Republicans won 75 percent of Ohio’s congressional districts in 2018, with just 52 percent of the vote.

They have used this power to the detriment of the home rule of the local communities. In the local communities, state funds for schools and infrastructure have been continuously cut. And while Republicans have a majority, they have worked to suppress voting by targeting democratic populations. They reduced the early voting by a week, eliminated registration and voting on the same day in 2015, and implemented one “Use it or lose it” Vote cleanup.

Important priorities for our communities such as fair school funding have not been active for decades. At the same time, Republican officials in Columbus, who are setting an increasingly radical agenda, are passing laws like “Man up” that mayors and police chiefs were overwhelmingly against it.

This imbalance in Columbus is fueled by dark money, lobbyists, corruption, and weak leadership. It’s been a long time since voters, not dark money, took responsibility for Ohio. Let your lawmakers know your contribution to the passing of the Ohio Anti-Corruption Act, HB 306, and the making of dark money out of Ohio State politics.

KAREN ZEHR

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