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Reps. Miranda and Sweeney Reintroduce Ohio Anti-Corruption Act In Wake of Householder Racketeering Trial

Bill would close campaign finance loopholes, allow more transparency, and strengthen bans on foreign money
March 8, 2023
Jessica E. Miranda News

COLUMBUS— State Reps. Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park) and Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) today reintroduced the Ohio Anti-Corruption Act. The bill would require dark money groups to identify their contributors and disclose their spending. 

“The saga of former Republican House Speaker Larry Householder and his role in Ohio’s largest corruption scandal has been an embarrassing chapter in this state’s history,” said Rep. Miranda. “When public corruption happens, we need to act to restore the public’s trust in the government. This bill is just the first step in that process. Democrats are committed to putting people over special interest groups, restoring integrity to the People’s House and expanding opportunities to create better lives and brighter futures for all Ohioans.” 

Reps. Sweeney and Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) have introduced the Ohio Anti-Corruption Act in previous General Assemblies

“The trial of former Republican House Speaker Larry Householder has revealed to the nation the ugly truth behind Ohio’s campaign finance system. Ohio law protects bad actors, allowing special interests and crooked politicians to thrive in darkness and enrich themselves at taxpayer expense. If not for the FBI, these schemes may never have come to light and they could happen again. That’s why we need the Ohio Anti-Corruption Act,” said Rep. Sweeney.

“We’re all fooling ourselves if we think the culture of corruption at the Statehouse will be eliminated following the trial of a former House speaker. All the makings of pay-to-play politics still exist in our weak campaign finance laws. That’s why House Democrats have reintroduced the Ohio Anti-Corruption Act,” said House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington). “We must once and for all pass anti-corruption legislation that closes campaign finance loopholes, brings transparency to special interest group’s influence in our elections, and strengthens bans on foreign money infiltrating our democratic process. All Ohioans deserve that.”

The bill would do the following: 

1.  Close Dark Money Loopholes – Non-profit corporations like 501(c)(4)s and limited liability companies (LLCs) have become vehicles for big money special interests to hide their spending. These companies currently do not have to disclose their funders. The Ohio Anti-Corruption Act closes these loopholes, requiring these corporations and LLCs to disclose contributions meant to influence elections. 

2. Require Transparency – The Ohio Anti-Corruption Act will strengthen disclosure by requiring corporations and LLCs to tell us more about their true owners and the actual source of funds behind the deceptively benign names of their organizations. The integrity of our democracy depends on openness and accountability. 

3. Strengthen Ban on Foreign Money – Under the Ohio Anti-Corruption Act, domestic corporations with foreign owners and decision makers will be banned from spending in our elections. Large foreign companies also won’t be able to get around our current foreign spending ban by opening an American subsidiary funded mostly with foreign money to spend unlimited sums in our elections.  

The bill will next be submitted to the House Clerk’s Office where it will then receive assignment to a committee.