Kunze Claims She Didn’t Know Who ECOT Founder Bill Lager Was While Taking $33K From Him, Her Biggest Donor

COLUMBUS — Asked during public office hours last week whether she would donate $33,000 in campaign contributions from Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow founder Bill Lager, state Sen. Stephanie Kunze indicated she would not and further claimed she did not know who Lager was — even though he was her largest individual contributor.

“How could Stephanie Kunze not have known that the guy who gave her $33,000 and the guy who founded Ohio’s largest scam charter school operation, which bilked Ohio taxpayers out of nearly $200 million, were one and the same? This doesn’t pass the smell test,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “With charter lobbyists now pushing the state to give them even more money, Kunze owes Ohio students and taxpayers a better answer than this. Where do her loyalties lie — with charter school operators and big-money donors or Ohio students and taxpayers?”

An audio recording of the exchange during Kunze’s public office hours last week can be found here.

Kunze’s ECOT-connected contributions rank her 12th — just behind Jon Husted and just ahead of Mary Taylor, Dave Yost and Keith Faber — in the amount of total contributions received from donors linked to the scam e-charter school.

Kunze voted in favor of the 2014-15 state budget under which “many public schools… get less because more money will go to poorly regulated charter schools,” according to Policy Matters Ohio.