Shedding Light On ‘Dark Money’

Americans’ right to donate money in support of political candidates and/or causes must never, ever be curbed. That is not to say the public affected by those candidates or causes should be kept in the dark about their supporters.

A scandal involving former Ohio House of Representatives Speaker Larry Householder, R-72nd District, is bringing new attention to “dark money” in politics. Householder and four associates are accused of trading influence for money — $60 million of it.

Federal prosecutors allege a company, unidentified to now, paid the money to an organization called Generation Now. It was set up by Householder and his cronies. The money was used for various purposes, including supporting candidates Householder favored and, for his personal use, according to charges against him.

Most contributions to politicians or political action groups must be revealed. But funneling the cash through a third-party, as Householder and his friends allegedly did, can circumvent reporting requirements.

A movement to close that loophole is afoot in Ohio — and state legislators should act upon it. Buckeye State residents have 60 million reasons to want some light shed on “dark money.”


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