Betsy DeVos is Publicly Polite, but a Political Fighter

www.nytimes.com/2017/02/23/us/politics/education-secretary-betsy-devos-donald-trump.html

 

While Betsy DeVos privately supported an Obama Administration policy that allowed students to use school lavatories consistent with their gender identities, President Trump disagreed and reversed the rule. Still, the recently confirmed Secretary of Education gave no public sign of discord existing between Trump and herself. Instead, she voiced support for the decision. Some took that as a sign that she would be a weak and demurring Secretary of Education. Her “motherly” appearance and temperament reinforced that perception.

 

Her supporters say nothing could be further from the truth. Apparently, hardball politics is her game. She’s a billionaire, and she’s not afraid to use her money to reward supporters and steamroll opponents. Even the pro-Democrat president of the American Federation of Teachers said, in effect, “She may speak softly. But she carries a big stick.”

 

Ms. DeVos’ confirmation hearings were anything but smooth. She seemed confused about federal laws requiring public schools to serve students with disabilities and had little or no knowledge of the long-standing debate in the education community on whether to use standardized test scores to measure a student’s proficiency. She even suggested that protecting students “from potential grizzlies” was a reason guns should be allowed in schools. Still, her appointment was confirmed by a margin of 51-50. Vice President Mike Pence had to step in and cast the deciding vote. Friends say that while she was annoyed at being made to look incompetent, she remained unbowed.

 

The education philosophy of Ms. DeVos boils down to one word: choice. “Parents no longer believe that a one-size-fits-all model of learning meets the needs of every child,” she said. “And they know other schooling options exist, whether magnet, virtual, charter, home, faith-based or any other combination.”

 

Ms. DeVos has long been in favor of diverting funds away from public schools and into privately run schools of choice. She is said to be ambivalent about what form schools should take, but she is fiercely committed to the idea that allowing parents to decide where their children, and their tax dollars, go to school is the ideal free-market solution to improving educational outcomes. She has expressed a desire to issue publicly funded vouchers so that parents can send their children to whatever schools they see fit –- even schools run by for-profit educational companies.

 

In her home state of Michigan, she mustered all of her resources, political and financial, to oppose state lawmakers pushing for rules to govern the formation of new charter schools and the shuttering of failing ones. Again, she believes winners and losers should be determined by the free market, not legislative forces.

 

Certainly, there’s nothing sacred about public schools in the eyes of Ms. DeVos. She has gone on record saying the failing public schools in the state’s largest city cannot be salvaged and should be shut down. Her supporters say she understands what too many Americans do not: that even “good” U.S. public schools under perform relative to the schools found in other developed nations. Learn more: http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2017/06/ex-british_pm_david_cameron_pr.html

In His Quest For A Just Society, Liberal Mindedness, and Accountability, George Soros Resurface to Support Hillary Clinton

George Soros, one of the world’s richest entrepreneurs, made headlines in 2004 when he pumped a record $27 million to the anti-Bush campaign. Even though President Bush defeated his Democrat opponent, Soros had made a resounding announcement of how far he can take his political giving. But after 2004, the Hungary-born American made a sabbatical from actively participating in campaigns, only to resurface last year in the run-up to the presidential vote. It was confirmed that he had made donations to Hillary Clinton’s campaigns to the tune of $25 million by July. However, his confidants revealed that the figure could have risen to over $50 million. Apparently, Soros and Hillary have known each other for over 25 years. As for Donald Trump, his policies and stand on some social as well as governance issues were not rubbing Soros in the right way. http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/george-soros-democratic-convention-226267

Unrelenting Support for Hillary

Some issues, such as religious tolerance and immigration reforms that Trump seemed to demean openly are so dear to Soros that he wasn’t willing to leave anything to chance. He wanted Trump’s march to white house stopped through the ballot. Were it not for some business commitments, George Soros had shown his interest in attending the Democrats convention last year. It was in this convention that Hillary was officially unveiled as the Democratic presidential candidate. Soros’ entry into Hillary’s campaign was seen as a blessing for by her supporters. Unlike other donors who usually make donations and then stop at that, Soros can mobilize other billionaires to jump in and make donations as well. Some of the other notable donors that were supporting Hillary include Tom Steyer, an environmentalist from San Francisco, Don Sussman, a hedge funder from New York, and Fred Eychaner, a top investor in the media industry. This could explain why there were more pomp and color in Hillary’s camp as compared to Trump’s.

The Ferguson Movement Protest

George Soros has also had a hand in the success of the Ferguson movement protest. Washington Times reported in 2015 that the billionaire was pumping millions in support of the movement through his organization, Open Society Foundations. It was estimated that Soros had given a figure in the region of $33 million to activist groups that were doing grassroots mobilization for the movement. According to Open Society Foundations’ director, Mr. Kenneth Zimmerman, the foundation remains focused on bringing organizations together so as they can together bring the much-needed accountability in the American societies. Read his profile at Washington Times.

Liberal Mindedness

Organizations supported by George Soros tend to be more lively and aggressive in their campaigns than other society groups. They mobilize people from the ground, to the social media, and to all other online platforms. The research capacity of these groups is also unmatched, something that makes their articulation of issues convincing. Some of the organizations that made the Ferguson movement protest gather such a huge momentum included the Drug Policy Alliance, the Advancement Project and Center for Community Change, and Equal Justice USA. The Drug Policy Alliance, for example, receives an annual funding of $4 million from George Soros. This is part of Soros’ support to liberal-mindedness. It is estimated that he his organizations, The Foundation to Promote Open Society and Open Society Institute, manage almost $3 billion annually. Know more on cnbc.com about George Soros.

End Citizens United is more active than ever in 2017

End Citizens United (ECU), which is a Political Action Committee (also commonly called PAC), received a lot of attention in the spotlights of this year. The organization is devoted to combating the constitution law called “Citizens United,” held on 2010, which dealt with the way organizations were able to spend money in supporting campaigns during elections. They consider the effects of the Citizens United disastrous and have raised $4 million on the first three of 2017. Currently, with more than 3 million members and 270,000 donors, this PAC promises to have a lot of impact for the elections to come, gaining new donors each week.

 

The big numbers are still about to come: Besides the $4 million raised, they are expecting it to reach $35 million by 2018 midterm election. It is significantly more to the amount raised by the Committee in the election of 2016. The contribution that End Citizens United was able to gather was superior to 100,000 supporters, and there are much more to come for the rest of the year. The United States is very divided about the election of Trump, and more unsatisfied citizens are supporting them every day.

 

The PAC was able to achieve a lot just in the beginning of the year. More than $650,000 was raised for the campaign of the Democrat Jon Ossoff. They were also able to convince a couple of Republican senators to refuse to vote for the recently announced Education Secretary in Trump’s government, Betsy DeVos, because of the unethical donations her family had done to convince the senators to vote for her. These high achievements are possible because of their donors that have made ECU one of the most relevant electoral groups in American history.

 

The campaign to support Jon Ossoff was initiated because of how he “isn’t afraid to stand up to those in power and fight back against the rigged system in Washington,” according to Tiffany Muller, Executive Director of the PAC. Not only was the Committee able to raise tons of funding to the campaign, but they already released to the public the first ad to run for the Democrat in the election date of April 18th. The campaign is strengthened by the immense number of devotees that are backing up the fight against the current finance system that was allowed through Citizens United.

 

The ad that will endorse Ossoff’s campaign aims to cover his record as a reformer and his desire into changing the political system as well. He seeks to raise attention to the problem of raising money to politics as well as raise awareness of how this system has rigged previous elections. Democrats are the leading force against Citizens United, and more changes are going to be made during the rest of the year.