Playmaker for Team Householder
Written by Brian Massie – Concord Township
[LFC Comments: We take no joy in writing this article, but we would not be true to our mission, or our readers if the truth was not revealed.]
We are following with great interest the ongoing saga of the $60 million bribery scandal in the Ohio House of Representatives. It is going to be very interesting to see who the F.B.I. finds in their nets that they are casting all over the State of Ohio.
Here is an article from Cleveland.com calling out Jamie Callender, State Representative for District 61.
Excerpt from the article:
Callender, an attorney from Lake County, served as a state representative from 1997-2004. He ran again for the Ohio House in 2018, winning a primary against a candidate backed by Ryan Smith, who was competing with Householder to be speaker.
[LFC Comments: The candidate backed by Ryan Smith was John Plecnik. Politics is a very dirty business, and the First Energy dark money probably cost Mr. Plecnik the election.]
He received $13,700 from the FirstEnergy PAC during the 2018 election. Householder gave him $7,707. The Householder-aligned Growth and Opportunity PAC spent at least $45,000 on ads supporting him, according to Medium Buying, a Columbus political ad-tracking firm.
[LFC Comments: We have seen other reports that $93,000 was spent on Mr. Calender’s political run for State Representative. Regardless of the amount, it was ill gotten gains. This is not meant to imply that Mr. Callender did anything wrong other than decide to become a member of Team Householder.]
After winning the general election, Callender introduced House Bill 6, serving as a co-sponsor and chairing the committee that held preliminary public hearings on the legislation before it came up for a full House vote.
[LFC Comment: Cleveland 19 News does a nice job of discussing the involvement of State Representative Jamie Callender in the following article.]
‘I feel betrayed’: Northeast Ohio lawmaker, sponsor of HB6 claims he knew nothing of corrupt plan
Representative Jamie Callender said he sponsored House Bill 6 to save jobs in Lake County.
Statement from Representative Jamie Callender:
“If the allegations in the affidavit are true, I feel a very good bill is being slandered by the acts of some bad people, and I personally feel betrayed.”
By Dan DeRoos | CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -When Ohio Rep. Jamie Callender (R) decided to run for office again in 2018 he said it was to save jobs at the failing Perry Nuclear Power Plant, and not to become a member of “Team Householder,” as described by a federal affidavit that is rocking Ohio politics.“ [LFC Comment: Please read listen to the audio or read the transcript we have posted below.]
This was an important thing for my district,” Callender said by phone today. “Regardless of who was speaker I would have sponsored the bill.”
An 81 page affidavit spells out exactly how the alleged bribery and corruption scam worked.
More than $60 million was put into a fund called Generation Now, allegedly by FirstEnergy with the goal of getting House Bill 6 (HB6) passed, which is legislation described as a billion dollar bailout of nuclear power plants.
Getting that accomplished is much easier as Speaker of the House.
To do that, Householder and his team (four of which have been indicted) needed people to get elected who would join “Team Householder.”
To do that, they allegedly helped 21 people run for office in 2017 and 2018.
Most of them won, then all of them voted for Householder for Speaker.The next step, according to court filings, was to complete the agreement with FirstEnergy and get HB6 passed.
“Freshman Representatives, Representatives 3 and 4, who were elected in November 2018, sponsored HB6. Both were ‘Householder’ candidates and Generation Now spent money sponsoring both by paying for advertising, campaign strategy and staffing,” the affidavit reads.
Who sponsored HB6, a major piece of sweeping energy legislation with a billion dollars at stake?
Freshman lawmakers Rep. Jamie Callender (R) and Rep. Shane Wilkin (R).
Callender served in the Ohio house from 1996-2004, and after a 15 year absence thought about running again.
By phone, Callander said he wanted to run again to help Lake County keep the Perry Nuclear Plant jobs.
He said he did so after a conversation with Householder and other house members. When I asked if it was Householder who called him and asked him to run, or the other way around, Callender said he didn’t remember. [LFC Comment: Listen to the audio below]
Callender won election in November of 2018, took office Jan. 1, 2019 and was quickly named to the powerful Finance committee and chair of the Public Utilities committee. Appointments were made by Householder.
HB6, a multi-million dollar piece of legislation, was introduced just four months after Callender was back in office. He was the sponsor.
He denies allegations in the affidavit that his election staff was paid for with dirty money, but does remember the advertising on his behalf.
[LFC Comments: Here is a link to Householder’s Facebook page. It shows a picture of Householder signing H.B. 6 with Callender looking over his shoulder.
[LFC Comments: Mr. Callender’s memory was a little suspect when he was interviewed by Mr. DeRoos of Cleveland 19 news. We found audio of Mr. Callender speaking at the Lake County Liberty Coalition Candidates Forum on April 16, 2018. He clearly stated that Larry Householder asked him to come out of the private sector and go into the public sector.
Here is a transcript of the audio:
“Because of that, even though I am in private practice, private sector business for the last fifteen years, Larry asked me to come out of… ret…out of private sector and go back into the public sector to make a difference. So I’m supporting Larry Householder for Speaker of the House, and I’m proudly part of Team Householder. I think someone who empowers individuals rather than forces everyone to go in lockstep is better for Lake County and, quite frankly, much better for conservative issues.”
[LFC Comments: Accepting the job as playmaker for Team Householder does not mean that Mr. Callender was involved in the bribery scam. However, he certainly is guilty of poor judgement in aligning himself with Householder.
We will let the F.B.I. investigation play out, and not serve as the judge and the jury without having all of the facts. We are trying to get the Secretary of State to be truthful and transparent about the complaint filed with the Elections Board against Mr. Callender (Representative 3). We will keep our readers informed about what we hear from S.O.S.Frank LaRose’s office. To date, we have not been impressed with their honesty and transparency.]
Here is the complete audio of the Lake County Liberty Coalition Candidates forum held on April 16, 2018.