Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Batchelder's Turn As ECOT Lobbyist Raises Questions About Buffer

Critics are sounding off about news that former Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder, who left office in December, is now working for a lobbying firm that’s representing ECOT,the state’s largest – and poorest performing – charter school. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.  

Batchelder is a school choice supporter, but will serve in an advisory role, and won’t lobby his former colleagues. But there’s nothing to prevent a lawmaker from leaving office one day and becoming a lobbyist the next. A law passed in the '90s that banned ex-lawmakers from directly lobbying their colleagues for a year was struck down in 2010. Catherine Turcer from the government watchdog group Common Cause Ohio says she’s concerned about the closeness between lobbyists and lawmakers.  

"Clearly, having some type of buffer between lobbying and legislating is really important because it can be really confusing in this age of term limits.” 

The so-called revolving door prohibition remains in place for the governor’s office, though.

The Statehouse News Bureau was founded in 1980 to provide educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations. To this day, the Bureau remains the only broadcast outlet dedicated to in-depth coverage of state government news and topics of statewide interest. The Bureau is funded througheTech Ohio, and is managed by ideastream. The reporters at the Bureau follow the concerns of the citizens and voters of Ohio, as well as the actions of the Governor, the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio Supreme Court, and other elected officials. We strive to cover statehouse news, government issues, Ohio politics, and concerns of business, culture and the arts with balance and fairness, and work to present diverse voices and points of view from the Statehouse and throughout Ohio. The three award-winning journalists at the bureau have more than 60 combined years of radio and television experience. They can be heard on National Public Radio and are regular contributors to Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Marketplace. Every weekday, the Statehouse News Bureau produces in-depth news reports forOhio's public radio stations. Those stories are also available on this website, either on the front page or in our archives. Weekly, the Statehouse News Bureau produces a television show from our studios in the Statehouse. The State of Ohio is an unique blend of news, interviews, talk and analysis, and is broadcast on Ohio's public television stations. The Statehouse News Bureau also produces special programming throughout the year, including the Governor's annual State of the State address to the Ohio General Assembly and a five-part year-end review.
Related Content