Ohio December Updates—’Tis the Season for Holding Elected Leaders Accountable
We’ve turned the page to December with a renewed sense of optimism and cheer. Thank you to those who supported our Giving Tuesday push last week. Contributions we receive from Ohio members are invested directly back into our programming and advocacy efforts.
We’re pleased to share the updates below from our statewide work as we continue to advocate for access to the ballot and accountability across our government.
We’ve started — hundreds of Fair Districts Ohio coalition volunteers are picking up petition booklets and coming to a neighborhood event near you! More than 900 Ohioans have already registered for our volunteer training and dozens have stepped up to lead regional petition signature efforts.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Citizens Not Politicians signature collection launched last week with Republicans, Democrats and Independents working together to end gerrymandering.
- Our work is so important because, earlier this week, the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed the redistricting lawsuits and without reform, our state legislative maps won’t change until 2030.
- Also this week, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose confirmed working with anti-abortion groups to craft Issue 1 ballot language.
Fair Districts will need an army of volunteers for the next 12 months, so if you’re interested, please sign up to volunteer in one of many roles or join our Fair Districts Volunteer Huddle on Wed., December 13 at 6pm to learn more.
You’re Invited – Scandals and SCOTUS: Improving US Supreme Court Ethics
Our watchdog work doesn’t stop at the Ohio border. We are pleased to join the Ohio Fair Courts Alliance on Monday, December 18 at 6pm to host an in-depth forum featuring experts discussing the need for robust judicial ethics and meaningful reforms.
- Panelists include: Alex Aronson, former chief counsel to US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Jennifer Ahearn—Brennan Center for Justice, Sarah Turberville—The Constitution Project, and Lisa Graves—True North Research.
Register today to save your spot for this exciting event.
November General Election Results
Ohio did it again – our 88 county Boards of Elections worked tirelessly last month during the November General Election. We applaud their efforts and the commitment of thousands of poll workers to ensure eligible Ohioans can cast their ballot.
And let’s celebrate the newest addition to the Ohio Constitution – Article I, Section 22 | The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety, now enshrined into our state constitution after the passage of Issue 1.
More than 3.86M voters turned out to cast a vote for Issue 1. We look forward to building off the August and November momentum because we know Ohio voters turn out when our elected representatives forget they work for us! You can view the statewide issues and election results here.
Dark Money Updates
Developments continue in the Householder House Bill 6 FirstEnergy racketeering scheme. Today, three years after the FBI raided his house, former chair of the Public Utilities Commission Sam Randazzo was indicted for bribery and fraud. In July 2021, FirstEnergy acknowledged in a deferred prosecution agreement that the company gave $4.3 million to a public official to advance the company’s priorities including the bailout bill.
While it’s been six months since Larry Householder was sentenced, subpoenas were issued to Governor DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Husted in recent weeks related to a civil lawsuit from investors of FirstEnergy.
Craving more? Power Grab is a new WOSU podcast series that takes a deep dive into the evidence and events surrounding Larry Householder’s dark money alliances and the $1.5B bailout of nuclear power plants. New episodes air each Monday. Last week, on Dark Money, I joined host Renee Fox to help unpack how these secret funds were funneled across multiple organizations and the importance of transparency in campaign finance.
We hope you enjoy these monthly updates and are proud of our work this year. We moved at a record pace and accomplished amazing wins for Ohio, but we did it with grounding support from all of our member advocates who push for more accountable and transparent government everyday.
If you’d like to contribute towards putting an independent citizens redistricting commission on the ballot in November 2024, we need help ensuring that volunteers have t-shirts, beanies, stickers, and other materials so that they can successfully collect signatures.
Questions about the program updates and opportunities listed? Email Kelly Dufour at firstname.lastname@example.org.