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Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, Former Ohio GOP Chair Matthew Borges, and 4 lobbyists were arrested for their alleged roles in a $60 million racketeering and bribery scheme.

 

US Attorney David DeVillers said, “[t]his is likely the largest bribery, money laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people of the state of Ohio. This was bribery, plain and simple. This was quid pro quo. This was pay to play.”

The complaint alleges Householder and his associates used money from an energy company to “expand their political power, enrich themselves and conceal their criminal conspiracy,” according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Borges served as the Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party from 2013-17. During the 2016 presidential election, the Ohio Republican Party openly supported Ohio Governor John Kasich for President and spent party funds on Kasich’s behalf. State parties generally don’t openly support or oppose candidates in a GOP primary.

Last month, Borges joined forces with former Bush administration officials to form Right Side PAC. The Super PAC was formed to encourage Trump supports and Republicans to support Joe Biden in November.

According to The Hill:

Founder Matt Borges, the former Ohio GOP chair, told the news outlet that the PAC aims to identify former Trump supporters across the country who are displeased with the president’s performance in office.

The plan is to lay out the former vice president’s record on free trade, states’ rights, federal spending and respecting U.S. diplomatic and military alliances, as well as his stance as a devout Catholic, according to Axios.

Borges has a history of playing fast and loose when it comes to politics and power. According to The Enquirer:

Borges was ensnared in a bribery scandal in 2004, when he was working with then-Ohio Treasurer Joe Deters, now Hamilton County’s prosecutor. He admitted funneling contributions to Deters’ campaign from donors seeking to do business with the treasurer’s office and pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge.

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