Few individuals have been as involved in Ohio political giving than ECOT founder Bill Lager and his cohorts. Since 2000, over $2.8 million dollars in campaign contributions have been given out from ECOT associated individuals to state and federal candidates. The overwhelming majority of these contributions went to Ohio Republicans. The primary source of these campaign dollars was almost certainly the more than $1 billion in taxpayer funds that were funneled to the school over its 18-year existence. ECOT-related contributions brought considerable influence along with them, which allowed the e-school to operate despite being the nation’s largest dropout factory and receiving 46 Fs out of a possible 53 grades on state report cards over the years.
As politicians now scramble to donate this tainted money to sympathetic causes, this issue is unlikely to go away as it is now being reported that the FBI is investigating Lager for a possible “straw-donor scheme” designed to work around campaign finance laws by giving money to ECOT employees who in turn made political donations at his behest.
As further details of this investigation become known, it is likely this list will be edited to include additional donations by Lager that may have been done illegally at his request.
IO’s comprehensive spreadsheet of ECOT campaign contributions