An effort to circulate petitions to repeal Ohio’s nuclear bailout law known has brought out a high-profile opposition campaign with ads and mailers.
Despite repeated calls to reveal their donors, neither the bailout's supporters nor the group that wants to overturn the law will say where they're getting their money.
Frank LaRose, the state’s top elections official, says anonymity is not warranted in campaigns like this.
The Ohio Secretary of State’s Office takes in campaign finance reports, and LaRose says it’s unfair that these groups are allowed to keep their donors private for now. However, the referendum group Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts will have to disclose their donors in a few weeks.
“This whole thing about anonymously going out there and filling the airwaves with nonsense,” LaRose says. “It’s bad government. It’s bad democracy and it needs to stop.”
LaRose says most changes would need to be done at the federal level, but he'd support a state effort to require campaign that spends money in Ohio to reveal its donors.
So far, no legislation has been proposed to do so.