I suppose I ought to front load this: In the Democratic Party Primary in New York State, I voted for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. My reasons for the doing so were various, but they focused heavily upon how well Senator Sanders articulated what I consider to be a genuine crisis in our time: the out of control growth in income inequality and the consequent damage to opportunity and justice that comes with it. Senator Sanders’ ability to make a genuinely competitive campaign outside of the system of large donor politics was also inspiring, and it pointed to another vital issue – how our campaign finance system grants large donors more access and more voice to the point ofcommanding far more attention than the voters.
In contrast, former Secretary of State and Senator Hillary Clinton, while acknowledging such issues, has spent the last quarter century at or near the very highest offices of political power in the country. While I did not doubt that she recognizes these as problems, I did question her ability to give full critique to them while running a campaign that is fully enmeshed in big donor politics, especially when given the choice of Senator Sanders’ avoidance of typical large donors. Further, as an advocate for public education and full-throated critic of the current reform environment, Secretary Clinton’s long standing connections to education reform was, and remains, a real difficulty for me. Secretary Clinton has been supported by Eli Broad, whose education “philanthropy” has been consistently aimed at aggressively favoring charter schools over fully public schools. Secretary Clinton’s PAC received a massive donation from Alice Walton, and the Clinton Foundation has been a financial beneficiary of the Walton Family Foundation whose education efforts are geared towards privatization and hostility to teachers’ unions. “Democrats” for Education Reform, anorganization founded largely by Whitney Tilson in a effort to convince Democrats to support anti-union and pro-privatization policies that are more typical of Republicans, greeted Secretary Clinton’s campaign with enthusiasm. Secretary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chair is John Podesta who is President Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff and the founder of the Center for American Progress (CAP). CAP, while often progressive and innovative on a range of issue, is reliably on the wrong side of education reform. If there is a bad idea being A Teacher’s Case For Hillary Clinton | Daniel Katz, Ph.D.: