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December 18, 2012

Ohio Senator's Legislation Aided Nonprofit He Co-Founded

A powerful Ohio lawmaker successfully sponsored a measure to create a local tourism agency that gave more than $400,000 to a nonprofit group he helped establish, according to The Plain Dealer.

Republican Sen. Chris Widener, who chairs the Ohio State Senate Finance Committee, said he severed ties with the Ohio Equine and Agricultural Association before his proposal to create a convention facilities authority for Clark County, Ohio, was adopted in July 2009. The association, which puts on an annual livestock show in Clark County, has received more than $400,000 from the authority.

"I think I separated myself from any and all conflicts by doing what I did in May of '09 prior to considering anything legislatively," said Mr. Widener, who helped launch the association in 2002.