The Sound of Ideas Reporter's Roundtable Talks Householder, Mask Mandates and More; July 24, 2020
The big story on this week's roundtable, of course, was the arrest of Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder on racketeering charges involving tens of millions of dollars in bribes. Four others, including former Ohio GOP Chairman Matt Borges, now a lobbyist, also were charged. Federal prosecutors are charging the Republican House speaker with conspiracy to commit racketeering in an alleged $60 million bribery scheme connected to the state's bailout of First Energy's nuclear power plants. Though the affidavit does not name First Energy, it says a "Company A" funnelled the massive sums of money through a nonprofit called Generation Now, which the affidavit alleges Householder controls. That will be our first topic today, but we'll also get to Ohio's statewide mask mandate as cases of COVID-19 keep rising. The governor's action on Wednesday adds Ohio to the growing number of states, now more than half in the U-S, requiring people to cover their faces in public places. We'll touch on an apparent federal law enforcement push meant to help Cleveland fight crime on its streets -- an initiative said the city knew nothing about when it was announced by the White House. We don't have much detail except that a law enforcement source in Cleveland said it's believed that this will be a furthering of another federal initiative announced for Cleveland and six other cities called Operation Relentless Pursuit. We'll also discuss he plan that the Cleveland Metropolitan School district will detail in about an hour for the upcoming school year. CMSD CEO Eric Godron announced that the district plans hold the first nine weeks of classes remotely, then to move to a hybrid model later in the school year. And the Cleveland Indians take the field for the home opener tonight. No fans are allowed in, but Native American protesters will be outside as they are for every home opener protesting the team's nickname. At the roundtable today, from his Cleveland home, is ideastream reporter Nick Castele, and from the Statehouse studios in Columbus, Bureau Chief, Karen Kasler.
Nick Castele, Reporter, ideastream
Karen Kasler, Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau Chief