First Energy campaign contributions go to charity

Political campaign contributions related to First Energy are being donated to charities by both state
Sen. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, and Rep. Haraz Ghanbari, R-Perrysburg.
In the wake of the the arrest of Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder for bribery allegations
related to the First Energy nuclear plant bailout, questions regarding campaign contributions are being
asked statewide and locally.
Ghanbari’s campaign made a donation on Wednesday to the Brown Bag Food Project, a food pantry in Bowling
“After learning of the allegations involving Speaker Larry Householder and others, I instructed my
treasurer to review all financial contributions to my campaign. My campaign received two small donations
from First Energy — one on Oct. 16, 2019 for $1,000, and a second on Feb. 26, 2020 for $1,500. I
instructed my treasurer to donate the total $2,500 contribution from First Energy to the local Brown Bag
Food Project here in Wood County, and that was completed on Wednesday. I did not receive contributions
from any others named in the investigation,” Ghanbari said.
He did not return funds to the First Energy political action committee.
“The decision to donate to charity was made in consultation with my treasurer. I felt it best to donate
these funds to an organization here in Wood County that makes a positive impact everyday,” Ghanbari
The Gavarone campaign also received contributions related to First Energy, and those are being donated to
“Immediately, when the news broke I decided to donate funds from First Energy, from 2019 and 202o, to
charity in my district,” Gavarone said. “Details are still in the works right now … but I am looking
into charities across my five-county district.”
According to the most recent campaign finance reports with the Ohio Secretary of State, the Citizens For
Gavarone campaign has received seven contributions from the First Energy Political Action Committee FSL
totalling $8,500 since Jan. 1, 2018.
There have also been two returns to the PAC totalling $3,000. One return of $500 was made May 9, 2019 and
a second return, of $2,500, was made June 8, 2020.
“Davis-Besse is in my district and it is extremely important to my constituents. My focus at all times is
on doing what’s best for the constituents I serve. It employs hundreds of people across my district and
the tax revenues help fund our schools and emergency services and these are good paying jobs in our
district,” Gavarone said.
She is calling for the resignation of Householder after his arrest last week.
Householder, R-Glenford, was arrested Tuesday on federal bribery charges. He and four others were
allegedly part of a $60 million federal bribery scheme related to House Bill 6, a bailout of Ohio’s
nuclear power plants. One of those plants is the Davis-Besse plant, which is in Gavarone’s Senate
district, but outside of Ghanbari’s House district.