AG Dave Yost is doing the right thing on HB6, so why not House Speaker Bob Cupp? This Week in the CLE

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is doing the right thing on the corrupt House Bill 6, so why isn’t House Speaker Bob Cupp?

We’re talking about Yost’s push to hold Energy Harbor and FirstEnergy accountable on the need for a $1.3 billion nuclear bailout on This Week in the CLE.

Listen online here.

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Here are the questions we’re answering today:

What is Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s latest step to bring transparency and honesty to the move to repeal HB6, the corrupt bill adopted by the Ohio legislature to make us all pay $1.3 billion to bail out what were then FirstEnergy’s nuclear plants? Yost is urging state lawmakers to have Energy Harbor and FirstEnergy Corp. representatives testify before legislative committees and disclose whether the plants actually need the money.

Do we know anything more about the police officer who gave the finger Tuesday night to protesters who were demonstrating against, you guessed it, police abuse? Shaker Heights is investigating a police officer who flipped off a group of protesters demonstrating outside the presidential debate in Cleveland Tuesday. Adam Ferrise reports the Shaker officer was working in Cleveland as part of the presidential debate detail.

What laws might be getting broken by the people flashing political messages on the side of Terminal Tower? The city prosecutor’s office offered three sections of law that it believes prohibit the light display: a city law related to posting signs or other types of messages on private property without consent, a city law related to criminal mischief, and a state law related to political communications.

How bad were the television ratings for the wrestling match that purported to be a presidential debate in Cleveland Tuesday night? Despite speculation the first debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden could draw Super Bowl-like television ratings, the debate drew about 73.1 million Americans.

As expected, an appellate court slapped down a lower court’s order that the state accept online absentee ballot applications. What was the reasoning? The 10th District Court of Appeals said they agreed that state law doesn’t prohibit elections officials from accepting applications for absentee ballots via email or fax, but that the Ohio Democratic Party didn’t demonstrate a “right” under the law to “unlimited methods for delivery of their applications.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is going to sign the prohibition on plastic bags even though he is against it. How does that work? DeWine

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State Rep. Dave Greenspan is unnamed representative who spoke with the FBI about House Bill 6, records show

COLUMBUS, Ohio – State Rep. Dave Greenspan is the unnamed Ohio lawmaker who federal charging documents dramatically depict as meeting with agents in the FBI’s public-corruption unit while he received a text from former House Speaker Larry Householder pressuring him to vote for House Bill 6, according to newly released public records.

The records show Greenspan, a Westlake Republican, received a text from Householder on May 28, 2019, matching the one depicted in the 82-page criminal complaint that was unsealed following Householder’s arrest in July. In the text, Householder tells Greenspan, “I really need you to vote yes on HB6, it means a lot to me. Can I count on you?”

At that moment, Greenspan was sitting in a meeting with FBI agents. Meanwhile, the House was debating whether to pass House Bill 6, which will send more than $1 billion to two nuclear plants formerly owned by FirstEnergy. Prosecutors allege Householder and his allies passed the bill in exchange for $60 million in bribes from FirstEnergy and others, given in the form of political spending that helped elect Householder to his legislative leadership position and that helped force the bill through the legislature and defend it against a repeal effort.

After Greenspan responded no, Householder replied: “I just want you to remember – when I needed you – you weren’t there. twice.” An unnamed intermediary later approached Greenspan, identified in the complaint only as “Representative 7,” asking him to delete the texts on behalf of Jeff Longstreth, a top Householder political aide who also was arrested and charged in connection with HB6.

Greenspan showed the text message to FBI agents immediately after he received it, according to the federal charging document. He later provided screen shots to the FBI.

The House passed the bill on May 29, the day after Greenspan met with the FBI.

Greenspan Householder texts

A screenshot of the text message exchange between former House Speaker Larry Householder and state Rep. Dave Greenspan that recently appeared in a federal corruption indictment following Householder’s arrest.

The charging document also says that Neil Clark, a prominent Columbus lobbyist who was arrested the same day Householder was, told Greenspan separate legislation he was sponsoring would not advance unless he voted for House Bill 6. When Greenspan tried to explain to Clark why he couldn’t support the bill, Clark responded: “No one cares about your opinion.”

Householder has pleaded not guilty to a federal racketeering charge, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, and denied wrongdoing. He was removed as speaker following his arrest, but remains in the state legislature. Clark and Longstreth also have pleaded not guilty, as have two others arrested in connection to the probe, lobbyists Matt Borges and Juan Cespedes.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers, who’s overseeing the case, said: “When confronted with wrongdoing, those who come forward and assist law enforcement demonstrate bravery and courage. We owe such individuals our deepest admiration and gratitude.”

The identity of “Representative 7” was a

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