The regulation of the public service must start with the PUCO ignition current


I recently announced that all members of the Ohio Public Services Commission (PUCO) should be fired. It has become clear that no one else running for governor is up for it.

We know the people of Ohio were robbed under the watch of Governor Mike DeWine, we know that FirstEnergy Corp. admitted to paying bribes to the person the governor put in charge of overseeing the utilities, and we know every member of the commission is now helping to cover up exactly what happened. It’s a scandal and the people of Ohio need a new government in Columbus – a government focused on bringing Ohio back, not money.

John Cranley was elected mayor of Cincinnati in 2013;  during his tenure, Cincinnati's population grew for the first time in 60 years.  He spearheaded an effort to invest in solar power, making the city a national leader in clean energy.  He also holds a law degree from Harvard and co-founded the Ohio Innocence Project, which used DNA technology to free dozens of wrongly convicted people.

It is disappointing but not surprising that Governor DeWine scoffed at the idea and Nan Whaley did not join my call to fire the commissioners. I will fire the whole board, but this is only the first step. The people of Ohio have lost confidence in their elected leaders. One of Ohio’s next governors is to restore public confidence.

Following:Costly debacle shows why PUCO should be reformed to protect Ohioans from corrupt public services

It is not without precedent. In fact, the last Democratic governor to be re-elected in the last century, Dick Celeste, pledged to fire the PUCO for embezzlement and corruption. Ohio law gives the governor the power to remove members of the PUCO for reasons such as inefficiency, neglect of duty, or wrongdoing.

Beyond the dismissal of the PUCO, we need a real reform in the regulation of public services. As Governor, I will make PUCO reform a top priority. Here is what I propose:

• Replace Ohio’s corrupt system of appointing PUCO members with one that limits the unbridled influence of public services and ensures the appointment of competent and ethical commissioners;

• Reinstate state budget cuts with the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC), the taxpayer watchdog that helps oversee regulated utilities;

• Require the PUCO to adopt strict policies to promote transparency, integrity and accountability.

Finally, we must return the energy profits to the families of the middle and working classes. Instead of raising energy bills to pay bribes to politicians in Columbus, I will return the energy profits to Ohio.

Following:Thomas Suddes: pro-utility lawmakers give Ohioans a lot of gibberish

I will start an annual energy dividend of $ 500 to Ohio families who earn less than $ 75,000 per year. I will pay for this by increasing the severance tax on energy companies, as they have done in Oklahoma, North Dakota, Texas, Louisiana and Montana.

Like other energy-producing states, the people of Ohio deserve to benefit from the wealth created by Ohio’s natural resources. My plan will reduce Ohio poverty and raise middle-class families, just like the Working Income Tax Credit does.

Ohio families have been ripped off by the one-party regime in Columbus. It’s time to make a change. We will never bring back Ohio until we fix the corrupt institutions of state government. I have a plan to do just that.

John Cranley was elected mayor of Cincinnati in 2013; during his tenure, Cincinnati’s population grew for the first time in 60 years. He spearheaded an effort to invest in solar power, making the city a national leader in clean energy. He also holds a law degree from Harvard and co-founded the Ohio Innocence Project, which used DNA technology to free dozens of wrongly convicted people.


Comments are closed.