The effort to shed more light on campaign contributions is gaining momentum with the support of Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio). He says these so-called dark money groups that donate millions of dollars into political expenditures need more transparency.
As DeWine points out, it's not against the law for independent expenditure groups to make political contributions. But he says Ohio should create a system that sheds light on who's funding these dark money groups.
"I would favor total transparency so the contributions that are given have to be disclosed," says DeWine.
Federal investigators say a utility company, widely believed to be FirstEnergy and its subsidiary, pumped millions of dollars into a dark money group known as Generation Now, which then allegedly took part in a bribery scheme to get a nuclear power plant bailout. House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) and four others have been arrested and charged with racketeering in connection to that investigation.
Two bills have been introduced to require dark money groups, like Generation Now, to report where the contributions come from.
DeWine says he wants to work with the legislature on this issue and plans to draft a proposal as well, "My commitment is to the people of Ohio that we will do whatever we can to have more openness and we will come back with a recommendation to the General Assembly."
DeWine says he's asked members of his administration to take a closer look at dark money transparency and come up with a plan that complies with "Citizens United," a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on campaign contributions.