Reineke isn’t alone in accepting contributions
Recently it was reported by TiffinOhio.net that Ohio Representative Bill Reineke accepted contributions from First Energy of Ohio in the amount of $1,500 prior to his voting for HB6, the proposed legislation that would provide up to $2 Billion in subsidies to First Energy and several other electric utilities for at least the next five years, including two coal based power plants. Those subsidies are to be paid by Ohio rate payers and effectively cover the losses suffered by First Energy related to its two Ohio nuclear power plants, as well as the coal plants operated by American Electric Power and Duke Energy. Mr. Reineke is not alone as his Republican colleagues in the House, beginning with the Speaker, Mr. Larry Householder, has reaped tens of thousands in campaign contributions from the electric utilities industry. It is an open secret that Mr. Householder is an enthusiastic supporter of HB6.
This latest demonstration of pay to play by our elected representatives in the General Assembly comes as no surprise really, since the Supreme Court ruled in the now famous Citizens United case that corporations are people too. Nowadays, Ohio politicians can honestly claim they are representing the people by meeting exclusively with company representatives and ignoring the rest of us simple folk. Mr Reineke has never held a town hall meeting with constituents since being elected to the House in 2011.
Further evidence of Mr. Reineke’s disdain of us commoners is his fundraiser for a State Senate run next year, a golf outing at a private club that is stipulating contributions ranging from $2,500 to $250. Oh, he will reluctantly accept contributions of $150 that presumably gets the lowest contributor a bag of tees and a three pack of golf balls but don’t expect them to be personally autographed.
Folks, this is what true arrogance represents in Ohio politics today. With gerrymandered districts making them nearly election proof, representatives like Mr. Reineke need not account for themselves in any manner to the people they purportedly represent. Now Mr. Reineke wants to take his political nonchalance to the Senate as he prepares his run for the 26th State Senate seat to be vacated by Sen. Dave Burke, who is term limited. Term limits that were originally meant to broaden democracy in Ohio are now just an excuse for the majority to play their version of musical chairs wherein one member simply slides over to the other chamber like in this case except the chairs always remain in place and the music never stops.