Cincinnati nonprofit Generation Now has same name but no link to bribery investigation

A Cincinnati nonprofit that supports young professionals shares the same name as the group named in the $60 million alleged bribery scheme involving Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder.

Generation Now is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Cincinnati that offers advanced workforce training, professional development and networking opportunities to help young professionals navigate the workforce, Generation Now CEO and founder Renika J. Smiley stated in an email about her group.

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The Cincinnati-based nonprofit is not affiliated with another group, Generation Now, a 501(c)4 that was named in the criminal complaint that federal prosecutors are calling the largest bribery scheme in Ohio history.

Householder, R-Glenford, and four other men are accused of taking $60 million in exchange for pushing through a controversial energy bailout bill — House Bill 6 — that cost Ohioans more than $1 billion.

Federal investigators allege Householder secretly controlled Generation Now 501(c)4, which was created in February 2017 by his political strategist Jeff Longstreth, who also is charged in the case.

An unidentified energy company paid $61 million to the 501(c)4, which federal prosecutors said was so that Householder could line his pockets and build his power base to become House speaker in exchange for passage of House Bill 6, which provided a $1.5 billion bailout to utility companies.

What is the difference between a 501(c)3 and a 501(c)4?

A 501(c)3 nonprofit is for religious, charitable or educational purposes, and donations are tax-deductible, according to the Internal Revenue Service. A 501(c)4 is a social welfare group that can participate in more advocacy and in lobbying under IRS rules.