Records: Ohio House office aided conservative group

Activists say the council improperly influences the state’s legislative process

Hundreds of emails were sent through an Ohio lawmaker’s office last year to arrange free meals and other perks for legislators from lobbyists at events sponsored by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, records show.

The Ohio House scheduler was asked to arrange session dates around council events and obliged, raising questions about the council’s sway at the Statehouse.

Seventy-two of 132 lawmakers serving at the start of this session — including every member of GOP leadership in both legislative chambers — are members of the council.

The state pays a blanket fee to belong to the council, and many member lawmakers — including Seitz — pay their $100, two-year membership through campaign accounts.

“Having the state pay dues is their loophole for not having to report these events,” Rothenberg said. “It clearly flouts the ethics law.”

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