Remembering Neil Clark, Controversial Powerbroker
In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the political legacy of Neil Clark, a powerful lobbyist and a defendant in the $60 million nuclear plant bribery case, who was found dead this week in Florida.
Dayton Daily News Statehouse investigative reporter Laura Bischoff joins the show.
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In this week's episode:
Ohio’s 34th Senator
Although he was never elected to public office, Neil Clark was one of the most powerful people at the Ohio Statehouse. He started his career as a top Republican aide who knew the state budget inside and out. Later, he formed one of the largest lobbying firms in Ohio.
He had huge, big-name clients and political allies, one of whom was state Rep. Larry Housholder. The two worked on getting Householder elected House Speaker, and then fought to pass the now-infamous $1 billion nuclear power plant bailout. That led to both men's indictment by federal prosecutors in a nearly $61 million bribery scheme.
This week, Clark was found dead near his home in Florida. Authorities say a handgun was found nearby. Clark's cause of death is still unconfirmed, although Cleveland.com reports that investigators are treating it as an apparent suicide.
Snollygoster Of The Week: Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp
For eight months now, the Ohio House of Representatives have had a member who was indicted on bribery charges. Larry Householder was removed as Speaker but kept his seat, winning re-election in November.
State Rep. Bob Cupp is Householder’s successor as Speaker, and has been reluctant to hold a vote on whether to expel Householder completely.
Cupp has often cited House bylaws when defending his decision not to hold a vote, but the truth may be that he just doesn't have enough Republican votes to remove Householder from office. And Householder says he won't resign from the legislature even as he awaits trial.
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