Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Republicans of Democrats for Education Reform

The Republicans of Democrats for Education Reform:







What is Democrats for Education Reform?

Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) is an education privatization group started by hedge fund managers who wanted to influence Democrats' education policies just as the Wal-Mart family had influenced Republicans'. In the words of one of DFER's founders, in order to get Democrats to emulate Republicans on education, it would have to be an "inside job,"and they needed a group that would be named Democrats for Education Reform.


Charles and David Koch

In 2012, DFER became the face of the most anti-public education and anti-union referendums in California's history. DFER helped promote ALEC-like legislation to make it harder for labor unions to advocate for working Californians. DFER's California was part of the face for a joint campaign that also ran tens of millions of dollars in television ads against Proposition 30, which raised taxes on millionaires to fund California schools. The right-wing campaign against Proposition 30 and for Proposition 32 raised tens of millions of dollars from the Koch brothers' network.


Rex Sinquefield

The apparently defunct DFER group in Missouri has two ties to right-wing financier Rex Sinquefield, the president of the Show-Me Institute and a member of the right-wing State Policy Network. Rodney Hubbard, the former president of DFER-Missouri, was fined by the Missouri Ethics Commission for concealing campaign contributions, including several large contributions from Sinquefield. DFER-Missouri's Web page uses the same Google Analytics code as several organizations founded by Sinquefield, including the Children's Education Alliance of Missouri, the Missouri Council for a Better Economy, Pelopidas and United for Missouri’s Future, and several expired domains related to Sinquefield’s Show-Me Institute.


Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch, owner of FOX News and numerous right-wing newspapers across the globe, was revealed to have donated $1 million to Education Reform Now, the 501(c)(3) arm of DFER.


Walton Family Foundation

Even though DFER co-founder Whitney Tilson once said, "Because the moment we take any Wal-Mart money—that's anti-union, etcetera, etcetera," DFER has accepted $5,739,600 from the Walton Family Foundation since 2010.


American Federation for Children

In 2010, when the American Federation for Children was praising Scott Walker's regressive education agenda, DFER donated $25,000 to the right-wing voucher group. The American Federation for Children is run by Betsy DeVos, a major Republican benefactor and the sister of Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater. The American Federation for Children exists to promote vouchers, which subsidize education at private schools — including schools that teach creationism and non-scientific nonsense.

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