COLUMBUS — Dave Anderson, the San Francisco-based Energy and Policy Institute’s policy and communications manager, said bankruptcy filings show lobbying firms were getting paid by FirstEnergy Solutions with the permission of the court. Then FirstEnergy Solutions and the lobbying firms were launching pro-bailout coalitions like the Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Alliance.
'It provided a rare window into the inner workings of what are supposedly grassroots campaigns,' he said.
The almost $50 million in spending is separate from the millions spent on both sides of the Ohio fight on TV and radio ads and mailers. A pro-bailout group, Generation Now, is a dark money super PAC that is estimated to have spent more than $9 million on TV and radio ads. It will eventually have to reveal the sources of its money to the IRS.
The Ohio Consumer Power Alliance financed a series of radio ads and mailers in opposition to the bill.
House Speaker Larry Householder (R., Glenford) said the entities funding Generation Now are 'people who are employees who want to keep their jobs in the state of Ohio and corporations that are headquartered in the state of Ohio that want to stay in the state of Ohio…'
He also said that Generation Now was acting defensively in its spending after the natural gas industry started to attack house members’ efforts to pass the bill."
— Jim Provance, The Blade