In what might be a tight race for a less than glamorous job, this November Zack Space will have an opportunity to do what no Democrat has done since 1994 – win an election to the Ohio Auditor of State office.
Space, a former U.S. Representative for the 18th Congressional District – which comprises 16 counties in rural southeastern Ohio – sees the Auditor’s office as an opportunity to influence some key issues in the coming years. The office might not be as glamorous as other statewide positions but its influence is huge now and will expand soon.
Zack Space, a former Democratic congressman running for state auditor, is right to want further scrutiny of the failed Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow and other for-profit charter schools in the state.
Space announced earlier this week that if he’s elected to the job, he’ll create a specialized task force composed of investigators, auditors and educators to look into whether Ohio taxpayers were ripped off by charter school operators.
He plans to call it the “Stop Charter Abuse and Malfeasance” Special Audit Unit.
Democratic auditor candidate Zack Space says that if elected, he’ll audit all of Ohio’s for-profit charter schools and that he’ll take a thorough look back at the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow — a politically connected operation that collapsed in a wave of scandal earlier this year.
Space, a former congressman from Dover, plans to create a Stop Charter Abuse and Malfeasance, or “SCAM,” Unit.
“The for-profit charter school scam is the largest political scandal in Ohio’s history, affecting all 88 Ohio counties and virtually every single taxpayer,” Space said in a written statement.
FINDLAY -- Democratic state auditor candidate Zack Space on Tuesday portrayed his Republican opponent, Keith Faber, as too cozy with money interests to become the state’s chief financial watchdog.
Faber has received a lot of campaign contributions from the now-bankrupt, scandal-ridden online charter school ECOT (Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow), Space said during a campaign stop in Findlay.
Years ago, a bill came before the Ohio Senate to correct attendance reporting problems with charter schools. Faber, Senate president at the time, should have assigned the bill to the Senate’s Education Committee, Space said.
Democratic candidate for state auditor Zack Space was in Findlay Tuesday to talk about his campaign. Space said that his Republican counterpart Keith Faber is too cozy with money interests to serve the state as the auditor.
Space said that this cost public schools over 80 million dollars that went to the now-bankrupt ECOT.
Space added that he wants to use the position to help address the opioid epidemic.
Ohio auditor candidate Zack Space (D-Dover) came to Russell Township May 17 to talk about his race, as well as the role of the state auditor.
Speaking to a small crowd at the May 17 Geauga County Democratic Party “Spaghetti with a Hot Topic” event, Space said a lot of people in Ohio are disillusioned, disappointed and frustrated with politics.
“The feeling of having been left behind is real and justified,” Space said.
He told the group his grandparents came to the United States from Greece to escape Turkish occupation, and because of the opportunities America offered. The public needs to have an “honest conversation” about what has happened to those opportunities, he said.
COLUMBUS -- Former U.S. Congressman Zack Space last week received the endorsements of the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters, the Ohio State Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in his campaign for Auditor of State. Together, these labor unions represent tens of thousands of workers across Ohio.
Space also delivered remarks to union members at rallies in Youngstown and Marietta during last week’s “Take Back Ohio” tour, organized by the Ohio AFL-CIO.
“For generations, Ohioans could count on labor unions for good jobs, decent wages, and the ability to retire with dignity. Union jobs have propelled millions of people into the middle-class, yet ideological politicians like my opponent Keith Faber would rather curtail bargaining power than allow this prosperity to continue.
COLUMBUS – Former U.S. Congressman and Democratic candidate for Ohio Auditor of State Zack Space has released the following statement after PolitiFact determined that Republican nominee for Auditor of State Keith Faber misled Ohioans with a statement that claimed Faber helped shut down ECOT.
“Keith Faber has spent decades in the Ohio Legislature enabling the for-profit charter school industry and abetting the ECOT scam – the biggest political scandal in Ohio history. Faber had 18 years as a legislator, including four years as Senate president, to tighten accountability, increase oversight and protect Ohio taxpayers from ECOT’s fraudulent activity.
Former U.S. Congressman and Democratic nominee for Ohio Auditor of State Zack Space released the following statement today after Ohio Auditor Dave Yost’s audit of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) became public.
Yost also announced that he will donate the $29,395 he accepted from ECOT founder Bill Lager to charities in central Ohio.
“Auditor Yost deserves no credit for his long overdue audit of ECOT, which simply corroborates the allegations of criminal conduct made by a whistleblower over a year ago,” Space said in a news release to The Highland County Press.
COLUMBUS -- Former U.S. Congressman Zack Space, candidate for Ohio Auditor of State, released the following statement Monday afternoon in light of the Columbus Dispatch’s report that the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) spent public monies on political advertisements.
“With each passing week, Ohioans are treated to ever more disgraceful details about ECOT’s scam to defraud taxpayers. Last week the Toledo Blade reported that ECOT attempted to use taxpayer funds as hush money to silence departing employees. Today, we learned that ECOT likely violated state law by funding political TV ads with taxpayer money. These latest revelations add to the imperative need for a broad and wide-ranging criminal probe into ECOT and [ECOT founder] Bill Lager.”
ZANESVILLE, Ohio - A Democratic candidate for Ohio Auditor spoke outside of Zanesville High School.
Former U.S. Representative, Zack Space spoke about former Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow also called ECOT. Space said ECOT is a prime example of money corrupting Ohio politics.
“The auditor is a critical role in the integrity of government and (if elected) I intend to make sure everybody, regardless of where you’re from, what your zip code is, how big your bank account balance is, how much money you’ve given to politicians, everybody should be represented by their government in Columbus. And I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that happens,” said Space.
COLUMBUS -- Former United States Congressman Zack Space, candidate for Ohio Auditor of State, released the following statement on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 -- the one-year anniversary of the ECOT whistleblower contacting the Auditor of State’s office to report misdeeds by the failed for-profit charter school.
“Yesterday’s news that the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow pushed departing employees to sign non-disclosure agreements is yet another indication that school officials knew their actions were suspect and perhaps illegal. Ohioans should be outraged at ECOT’s use of taxpayer monies to silence potential whistleblowers.
A candidate for state auditor was in Lima Thursday afternoon, talking what he called "corrupt culture" on Capitol Square.
Lima was one of the stops that Democrat Zack Space made over the day, traveling around the state to talk about the resignation of Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, and the recent accusation of the "Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow defrauding Ohioans millions of dollars, and how that tied back into state government.
"I feel that places like Lima have been left behind by this political process that cares more about how much you donate to the politicians than it does about doing the right thing - it’s giving people a reason not to believe in the process of democracy, I think that’s dangerous, and I’m committed to trying to fix this problem," said Space.
LIMA — Zack Space, Democratic candidate for Ohio Auditor, visited Lima Thursday afternoon as part of his tour around the region speaking about the misuse of the state’s online charter school, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, and the failure of state politicians in persecuting the company for allegedly intentionally fudging enrollment numbers for larger state payouts.
According to a story by the Associated Press, a whistle blower had called attention to ECOT officials allegedly padding enrollment numbers more than a year ago, which education regulators are currently reviewing.
COLUMBUS -- Former U.S. Congressman Zack Space today reported raising $351,839.66 on the Pre-Primary Finance Report filed by his campaign for Ohio Auditor of State -- the most raised by any Auditor of State candidate in the Pre-Primary period on record. Since forming his campaign committee just 10 months ago, Space has raised more than $705,000.
“By setting a new Pre-Primary fundraising record in the race for Auditor of State, and by outraising Keith Faber for the second straight period, Zack Space has again proven our campaign’s momentum in this race,” said Campaign Manager Matt Hennessey.
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio — A Democratic candidate running for Ohio auditor is calling for a criminal investigation after a whistleblower's complaint about a now-closed charter school.
Former Congressman Zack Space said ECOT, or the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, is shown to have altered its attendance books to get more in state funding. Space said incumbent Auditor Dave Yost should have done more when the whistleblower came forward.
"This is an intentional act to manipulate data designed to generate money from the state of Ohio,” Space said. “This is theft. This is a criminal act. The state auditor's office has known about this whistleblower now for a year and the Ohio Department of Education has known about it since August, and nobody has requested or referred this matter for a criminal investigation. And we're here to call out the need for a criminal probe."
COLUMBUS --Former U.S. Congressman Zack Space announced Tuesday afternoon press conferences in five cities across Ohio scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday to call attention to the pervasive culture of corruption on Capitol Square. On Monday, the Associated Press reported that officials at the now-shuttered Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow manipulated software to inflate attendance figures and defraud Ohio taxpayers.
“Ohioans need only pick up a newspaper or turn on the news for proof that a culture of corruption has invaded their state government,” said Zack Space.
Celina -- Two attorneys seeking top positions in the state government railed against what they described as a culture of corruption and incompetence in Columbus.
Steve Dettelbach, a candidate for attorney general, and Zack Space, a candidate for state auditor, delivered fiery stump speeches on Thursday night at a packed Celina Eagles hall, whipping attendees of the Mercer County Democrats’ spring dinner into a frenzy.
The two keynote speakers, whose grandparents had come from overseas to pursue the American Dream, played as a tag team, each decrying pay-to-play politics, gerrymandering, and for-profit charter schools and vowing to foster a fair playing field in Ohio government.
COLUMBUS -- Former United States Congressman Zack Space announced the endorsement of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus in his race for Auditor of State on Thursday morning. Space is a former Board Member of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, serving from 2016 to early 2018.
“I greatly value the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus for its work in the General Assembly and in communities of color across Ohio,” said Zack Space. “I sincerely appreciate the support of these community leaders and I will continue to consult their expertise throughout my campaign as I proactively and meaningfully engage communities of color.”
COLUMBUS — Former U.S. Congressman Zack Space announced the endorsements of the Ohio Education Association and Ohio Federation of Teachers in his campaign for auditor of state March 29. OEA and OFT represent approximately 125,000 and 20,000 members across Ohio, respectively.
“Educators provide an invaluable service to our society, yet they remain undervalued by politicians in Columbus,” said Space. “Despite providing such meaningful public service, Ohio’s teachers have been victimized by austere state budgets, attacks on collective bargaining rights, and scams by for-profit charter schools such as ECOT which drain funding and erode faith in traditional public schools.”
Zack Space, a native of Tuscarawas County and candidate for Ohio auditor of state, addressed the Highland County Democratic Party spring dinner Monday, March 26.
Space has been traveling across Ohio since announcing his candidacy for auditor last August. The former two-term Congressman began his address by detailing the Space family’s immigration story, in which his grandfather, Zacharias, left Greece – then under oppressive rule by the Ottoman Empire – for the promise of democracy in America.
Space explained how the democratic system his grandfather risked everything for has been corrupted by the influence of money in politics and by political greed.
MARIETTA — The annual Washington County Democratic Party Spring Dinner was held Saturday evening at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Marietta.
There was a feeling of energy fresh off the “March For Our Lives” rally in Marietta earlier in the day and across the nation in support of doing something about safety in schools. Many in attendance at the dinner felt a sense of energy and hope, feeling that getting involved can make a difference. ...
“I can feel the energy in the room. A lot of Democrats are very excited this year. I’m excited too and I’ve been seeing this energy all over the state,” said Zack Space, a candidate for State Auditor.
XENIA — Zack Space, a former two-term United States Congressman and candidate for Ohio Auditor of State, addressed a crowd of 25 at the Greene County Democratic Women’s Club March 22.
Space began by pointing to an American flag hanging in the room at the Greene County Democratic Party Headquarters on South Detroit Street and asking the audience to consider “what it means to you.”
Space explained that to him, the flag means democracy and freedom, but that those things have become corrupted by the influence of money in politics and by political greed. Space then continued by discussing his campaign for auditor, which is focused on ending the influence of campaign contributions in politics and eradicating extreme partisan gerrymandering.
The state's largest labor organization, the Ohio AFL-CIO, is backing Zack Space for auditor of state.
Space, a former congressman from southeast Ohio, will be the Democratic nominee in November against Republican Keith Faber, a state representative from Celina, Ohio.
Here is the Space campaign's news release:
“Zack Space understands the economic issues facing Ohio’s working families because he’s one of us,” said Tim Burga, President of the Ohio AFL-CIO. “As a Member of Congress, Zack valiantly stood up for working people and we know that as Auditor he will protect the integrity of government by exposing schemes to cheat taxpayers and eliminating partisan gerrymandering.”
COLUMBUS -- Former United States Congressman Zack Space, candidate for Ohio Auditor of State, released the following statement on the passage of Ohio House Bill 87 on Wednesday.
“The Ohio House of Representatives deserves credit for allowing the return of public funds misused by charter schools to local school districts. In acknowledging the fault of these charter schools, such as the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), state legislators should do more: they must return all campaign contributions from ECOT founder Bill Lager and his associates to the public school districts they represent.
ECOT swindled Ohioans out of more than $1 billion over the last decade, delivering abysmal results while enriching Lager.
The Democrat hoping to be Ohio’s next auditor calls ECOT the prime example of the corrupting influence of money in Ohio politics. And Zack Space says the current auditor could have done something about it long before millions of dollars were lost. For Ohio Public Radio, WKSU’s ML. Schultze has more from his speech to the Akron Press Club today.
Much of the speech by – and questions asked of -- Zack Space focused on policy issues well beyond the direct control of the state auditor – things like guns, the environment, job creation. But on the issue of privatizing government, Space said the auditor can ensure public money and responsibility are protected.
COLUMBUS -- Former U.S. Congressman and candidate for Ohio Auditor of State Zack Space released the following statement Monday morning upon receiving the endorsement of Ohio’s senior U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown.
“I’m truly honored to receive the endorsement of my friend, former Congressional colleague, and America’s finest Senator, Sherrod Brown in my campaign for Auditor of State,” said Zack Space.
“In addition to being a committed champion of working families, Sherrod Brown understands that Ohioans desire and deserve to feel connected to the political process, not excluded by wealthy special interests and self-interested politicians. I’m proud to stand with Sherrod in the effort to reclaim our democracy for the people of Ohio."