Sam Randazzo

Sam Randazzo, the former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio chairman indicted for corruption by federal and Ohio prosecutors, spent much of his career fighting renewable energy projects.

One of his longtime collaborators was Kevon Martis, the roving anti-renewable energy activist who will appear Saturday at an anti-solar rally in Mount Vernon, Ohio.

During a May 2017 event in Ohio, Randazzo went so far as to call Martis a “hero” for his work fighting renewable projects.

Randazzo and Martis appeared together in a 2014 event in Greenwich, Ohio, in which Martis repeated undocumented claims that residents living near a wind turbine had to sleep in their basement because the turbine made too much noise.

Checks & Balances Project reported in 2018 about Randazzo’s work with Martis and other renewable opponents.

During that time, Randazzo was being paid by FirstEnergy Corp., which he failed to report on his state financial disclosure forms, according to the Feb. 9 indictment of Randazzo by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

False claims dominate Martis rallies

As C&BP has reported, anti-renewable energy rallies led by Martis routinely feature provably false accusations about wind and solar projects. During a Feb. 5, 2022, rally in Trufant, Mich., one speaker blamed a nearby wind turbine for a home’s lower property values; C&BP showed that home was across the street from a notorious commercial animal feed lot licensed to release 5.4 million gallons of animal waste.

Kevon Martis

The website for Martis’ Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition touts a 2010 study by Illinois property appraiser Michael McCann, which claims a 25 percent to 40 percent decrease in value for properties inside of two miles from a wind farm.

However, further analysis of that study shows that properties near the Mendota Hills and Shady Oaks wind farms in Illinois’ Lee County have risen steadily in value since McCann’s study.

Ray Locker is the executive director for Checks & Balances Project, an investigative watchdog blog holding government officials, lobbyists, and corporate management accountable to the public. Funding for C&BP is provided by Renew American Prosperity and individual donors.

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False claims common at Martis’ anti-renewable rallies

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