Denis Smith writes here about four elected officials, now standing for re-election, who stood by and watched (or helped) the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) as it drained money from the state’s public schools and its taxpayers. $1 billion since 2000!

If you vote in Ohio, watch out for these four:

As damaging as the charter school’s implosion was on the viability of Republican pols, the corresponding explosion ECOT’s demise is causing in state political circles continues to reverberate, particularly for four GOP ECOT stalwarts named Dave Yost, Mike DeWine, Keith Faber and Andrew Brenner.

They are not your friends. They are not friends of public education. They are not stewards of the public trust and treasury.

Rep. Keith Faber is the first case in point. [When the subject is term-limits and running yet again for some other office, you might want to get a scorecard to follow the runs, hits, and mostly errors of this Republican team.] The former Senate president and now House member is currently running for Auditor, seeking to replace current Auditor Dave Yost, who is, you guessed it, term-limited and running for Attorney General.

Faber’s way to brush off the radioactive fallout is to distribute more than $36,000 collected from ECOT to “high quality” charter schools.

Based upon past history, that’s an oxymoron, isn’t it?

Then comes Mike DeWine, a candidate for governor:

Then there’s the curious case of Mike DeWine. The term-limited Attorney General, who is now running for Governor, has decided to go after ECOT founder William Lager, his companies, and several others in high ECOT circles, including its former superintendent, treasurer, and accounting administrator.

Voodoo economics begets voodoo public policy begets voodoo charter schools begets voodoo accounting.

In DeWine’s case, his lawsuit seeks to recover from the ECOT hierarchy a portion of the $62 million ECOT is accused of over-billing the state in voodoo student attendance data.

Worst of all is Andrew Brenner, who called public schools “socialism.”

The third usual GOP suspect is House Education Committee Chair Andrew Brenner who is, you guessed it, term-limited and running for the Senate. Brenner has apparently learned the use of pejoratives from his idol, Donald Trump, the undisputed king for crafting pejoratives as a tactic to demean opponents.

Louise Valentine, Brenner’s Democratic challenger for the Senate seat asked in May if Brenner was considering returning the ECOT donations he’s received over the years. In his usual attack mode characterized by splitting hairs and deflecting the subject, Brenner said he never received any money directly from the school.

No, of course, Brenner didn’t get any money from ECOT. He got money from ECOT’s owner, William Lager!

His opponent calls him #ECOTAndy.

Last is the Auditor who claims to have brought ECOT to justice!

The final figure of the fast and furious foursome is Auditor Dave Yost who, like his colleagues memorialized here, served ECOT well as a commencement speaker, endorser, and proponent of the corrupt online charter school. In addition to scooping up more than $29,000 in campaign cash from ECOT, Yost is remembered for bestowing not just one but three awards for the school’s financial reporting.

According to a 2016 press release on the Auditor’s website, “The school’s excellent record keeping has qualified it for the Auditor of State Award with Distinction.”

There is something Orwellian in the fact that a public official offers praise for an entity which does not operate in the public interest, convenience, and necessity. Such an award demonstrates once again that voodoo economics begets voodoo public policy begets voodoo charter schools which begets voodoo accounting. Which begets an Auditor’s Award for Voodoo Accounting. With Distinction, no less.

Wow. You can’t make that one up.

Vote. Sweep out the scoundrels who stood by and applauded the raid on the state’s treasury.