Began in 2017, Companions for Progress is a 501(c)4 group, which is required to publicly disclose its financials yearly in an IRS Type 990 and don’t need to disclose their funding sources.
DeWine’s chief lobbyist, Dan McCarthy, resigned as its president when McCarthy left The Success Group lobbying agency to affix the governor’s administration in early January 2019. McCarthy declined to remark.
McCarthy’s former enterprise associate at The Success Group, McKenzie Davis, changed him on the Companions for Progress board. The Success Group has lobbied for FirstEnergy for greater than a decade.
Companions for Progress launched its 2019 IRS 990 kind to the Dayton Each day Information this week. It exhibits practically $14 million in contributions to seven different 501(c)4 nonprofits:
$13 million to Era Now, which labored to move Home Invoice 6, a controversial bailout for nuclear vegetation that DeWine signed into regulation in July 2019.
$300,000 to Securing Ohio’s Future, which labored to drive voter turnout for the DeWine-Husted ticket within the 2018 election.
$200,000 to Customers In opposition to Misleading Charges, a bunch vital of Cleveland Public Energy.
$150,000 to Liberty Ohio Inc.
$100,000 to Rebuilding America, a progressive suppose tank whose board contains Democrat Rhine McLin, former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill and Ron Malone, a member of the Ohio Democratic Social gathering’s government committee. The group just lately modified its title to Fashionable America Venture.
$85,000 to Jobs and Progress Fund Inc., which relies in West Chester.
$75,000 to Defending Ohio Inc, which advocated for Alice DeWine to win the GOP main for Greene County prosecutor this yr. She misplaced the race.
“It’s an out of doors group and I didn’t know the way it was funded,” Alice DeWine stated.
Dan Tierney, spokesman for Mike DeWine, stated: “Securing Ohio’s Future is an unbiased expenditure committee. It’s due to this fact not affiliated with the governor’s marketing campaign.”
McLin referred inquiries to Peter Mellinger, who’s government director of Fashionable America Venture. Mellinger stated the group’s board members will not be compensated and it hasn’t obtained any funds from Companions for Progress in 2020.
“It’s all being shut down by the top of the yr,” he stated. “Fashionable America Venture is being closed as nicely.”
McKenzie Davis, a FirstEnergy lobbyist and Companions for Progress director, referred questions concerning the group to its authorized counsel, Fritz Berckmueller, who didn’t reply to messages in search of remark.
In July U.S. Legal professional David DeVillers alleged that Householder and 4 associates took greater than $60 million filtered via these nonprofit teams to place Householder in energy after which move and defend Home Invoice 6, a controversial vitality bailout regulation.
These nonprofit teams have been a part of Ohio’s political panorama for years and have gotten extra frequent in state and native contests, consultants say.