One problem that I’m very concerned about is the culture of corruption in Ohio. The arrest of Larry Householder and his associates for racketeering shows just how shady the political process actually is in our state. Corruption isn’t just an abstract moral or ethical issue. Corruption has real costs, and it’s one of the reasons why we can’t have nice things in Ohio. Corruption hits us with:
- Direct costs, such as large campaign donors swindling money from the state through under-regulated enterprises such as ECOT.
- Indirect costs, such as ratepayers subsidizing First Energy whether or not they are First Energy customers.
- Lost opportunity costs, which sacrifice Ohio’s future to the short-term interests of big donors. An example of this is how the passage of HB6 stopped Ohio’s progress in developing renewable energy.
We need to address four areas to start restoring government that works for all the voters.
MONEY IN POLITICS
- Make all contributions fully transparent
- Prohibit candidates from benefiting from unlimited secret corporate money–HB6 bribes and dark money PACs financing allies of Householder such as my opponent, Jean Schmidt
- Prevent campaigns from donating to each other—this is how Householder built his power
- Reduce contribution levels back down to federal limits of $2800 instead of $13,292.35
- Automatically register eligible citizens to vote when they interact with a state agency unless they opt out
- Ensure that every vote counts equally by ending gerrymandering
- Automatically restore voting rights for felons upon release
- Make it easier to vote
- Vote by mail
- Send a ballot to each registered voter
- Let people apply for a ballot online if needed
- Pay the postage, which the Secretary of State now seems willing to do
- Allow more than one drop box per county
- Restore the early voting period of 28 days
- Allow same-day registration and voting
- Vote by mail
Making it more difficult to vote absentee during a pandemic is part of Ohio’s culture of corruption. The easier it is to register and to vote, the harder it is to buy elections.
- Expand conflict of interest laws for elected officials
- Close the revolving door between government service and high-paying private-sector jobs so that individuals can’t unduly influence their former colleagues
- Provide a limited, small dollar matching system for candidates who turn down big contributions from wealthy donors and special interest PACs
- Restore the state tax credit for donating up to $50 to one state-level candidate
Convicting the conspirators in the Householder Enterprise will only put a band aid on the problem of corruption in Ohio. We need comprehensive reform, NOW. We must take back control of our government from the corporate interests and vote out their accomplices, NOW. My name is Alan DarNOWsky and I will work to restore political power to the voters, where it belongs!