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Investigate everyone involved

Allegations against Ohio House of Representatives Speaker Larry Householder and others should make Buckeye State residents sick to their stomachs. If true, they mean higher utility bills throughout the state will be due to bought-and-paid-for legislation.

Householder, a Republican from a district just east of Columbus, was arrested Tuesday, along with four alleged accomplices. All are accused by federal authorities of participating in a $60 million bribery scheme. U.S. Attorney David DeVillers called it “likely the largest bribery scheme ever perpetrated against the state of Ohio.”

Investigators say Generation Now, a group controlled by Householder, received the $60 million from a company that has not been identified.

In exchange, Householder and his cronies allegedly worked to enact a bill that adds a surcharge to every Ohio electric bill. Most of the proceeds from that, about $150 million a year through 2026, are to go to two nuclear power plants near Cleveland and Toledo. About $20 million a year goes to the solar power industry.

It is known that Householder pushed hard for the bill. If charges he was bribed to do so are accurate, Ohio lawmakers — and law enforcement authorities — need to investigate whether some of the $60 million was spent to buy the votes of others in the General Assembly.

If so, they, too, should be arrested. No one involved in the scheme should be permitted to escape justice.

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