Encouraging his fellow Republicans to “[end] the madness,” State Rep. John Becker (R–Union Township) unveiled articles of impeachment against Gov. Mike DeWine, but what’s really mad is the timing of this publicity stunt in regards to the unraveling story of FirstEnergy and Larry Householder buying lawmakers of all stripes and getting bailouts in return.
In 2018, Growth & Opportunity PAC—a political group named by the Federal Bureau of Investigations as part of former Speaker of the House Larry Householder’s (R– Glenford) $60 million bribery and public corruption scandal—intervened on Becker’s behalf and helped reelect him.
Becker later voted to approve House Bill 6, a law funneling $150 million in taxpayer money each year to FirstEnergy.
This majority of Becker’s complaints center around Becker’s belief that the coronavirus pandemic is manufactured or that DeWine is lying about the statistics, an article of faith among some people.
“DeWine has violated the Ohio and United States constitutions, as well as multiple sections of the Ohio Revised Code,” Becker said. “Among his abuses of power, he meddled in the conduct of a presidential primary election and arbitrarily closed certain businesses, while allowing other businesses to remain open. He later instituted a statewide mask mandate, implementing that requirement as a condition of employment, making Ohio a hostile work environment.”
The movement to impeach DeWine has been brewing for months in the frothy online sphere, backed by a website collecting e-mail addresses for groups operated by Kansas political-action committee owner Chris Dorr. Ignoring hucksters like Dorr, the astroturfing movement has been pushed by Franklin County Republican Party Central Committee member Joseph Healy, the husband of Alicia Healy, an also-ran candidate for Franklin County GOP chairman.
The latter Healy was soundly rejected by party members in April.
Together, the Healys run the “Trump Club of Columbus and Central Ohio” on Facebook, a group with the self-designated purpose of serving as “a grassroots Army to reclaim America.”
The impeachment movement has been a hobbyhorse for state Rep. Nino Vitale (R–Urbana), as well. Vitale became infamous for his beliefs that wearing a face covering would constitute blasphemy against God, as humans are made in His image. Vitale is also known for referring to Dr. Amy Acton, a Jew, as a “globalist Health Director.”
When he’s not attacking appointees of the Republican governor as tools of the Illuminati, Vitale is a fan of bailouts for First Energy. Vitale—the chairman of the Ohio House Energy and Natural Resources Committee—received $7,707.79 from the Friends of Larry Householder slush fund used to launder First Energy’s bribes and received $2,000 from FirstEnergy PAC itself. I’m sure it’s a mere coincidence, Vitale voted to approve the Householder Tax on Ohioans’ energy bills and helped shepherd the legislation through the General Assembly.
Since the revelation of Householder’s crookedness—shocking, I know!—Vitale has not returned the bribe money. So much for standing up for the little guy, I guess.
Becker openly admits that his attempt to impeach DeWine doesn’t have enough votes to get anywhere, so it’s probably best thought of as a distraction.
The heat has been turning up on the old Householder crew and those who supported him—Becker, Vitale, Weinstein, and others—to cough up the crooked cash behind House Bill 6 and apologize for selling out their voters, and this is a flash in the pan meant to throw voters angry about House Bill 6 off the trail.