Jim Lucas, Walmart, and Indiana Schools

By Doug Martin at Hoosier School Heist

As I detail in my book Hoosier School Heist, the so-called school reform movement in Indiana and elsewhere is led by billionaires who fund legislators to support bills to privatize public schools. Some political donors seek taxpayer money for their own charter schools.  Others have so much money they are merely using their wealth to chip away at public education until a completely free-market system replaces it, one often based on corruption, crony capitalism, and rightwing Christian fundamentalism.

Jim Lucas, the Indiana Republican lawmaker from District 69 in the Seymour area, has had his fair share of campaign money from those involved in this takeover of public education.

In 2010, Lucas received, in total, $24,650 from the Hoosiers for Economic Growth PAC.  For years, as I note in Hoosier School Heist , this PAC has been backed by Walmart, Amway, hedge fund managers, and several wealthy Indiana businesspeople, among others in and out of Indiana.

Walmart’s Walton family and many wealthy donors use a front-group called American Federation for Children to funnel money into the Hoosiers for Economic Growth PAC (see its new name below), which, in turn, funds the politicians who support school privatization.

To keep him onboard with the school privatization agenda, in 2012 the Hoosiers for Economic Growth PAC gifted Lucas $7,000 and another $1,000 in 2014. That year, Walmart’s Wal*Pac added $500 to Lucas’ campaign chest (see page 4). The previous year, Wal*Pac had only given Lucas $300 (see page 6).

Since the Hoosiers for Economic Growth PAC changed its name to Hoosiers for Quality Education recently, it has given over $400,000 to Indiana Republican candidates and committees since 2014.  One of these is the Indiana House Republican Campaign Committee, which also has been a chief Lucas funder.

Those in Jim Lucas’ Southern Indiana, please take note. School privatization is bad for students, teachers, and communities.  When Walmart moves into US communities with tax breaks from the government, the mom-and-pop shops close and Walmart workers, not able to making a living wage, need the help of taxpayers to feed their children. This is what Walmart and billionaires envision, too, for the schools, when veteran teachers are replaced by a temporary workforce, aides get laid off,  and corporate charter schools run by wealthy CEOs get build on every block.  When it gets so bad for the community school even the star basketball team goes, or worse.

BIO

Doug Martin is the author of Hoosier School Heist : How Corporations and Theocrats Stole Democracy From Public Education, a book being read in over 130 cities and towns and 79 Indiana counties, 25 states, and the District of Columbia.  A regular guest on national and Indiana radio talk shows such as Justin Oakley’s Just Let Me Teach and Amos Brown’s Afternoons with Amos, Dr. Martin’s research has been or will soon be featured in the Washington Post Answer Sheet , ABC’s Nightline, and the Associated Press

 

 

Pence’s Donor Has Ties to Kochs and Edison Schools

by Doug Martin at Hoosier School Heist

As Indy Star’s Tony Cook first reported a few days ago, one of Mike Pence’s newest funders is Republican donor John W. Childs, a chief official in the Club for Growth, a pro-business organization loosely aligned with the Koch Network.

In 2011, Childs was honored at a Koch Brothers’ retreat for giving at least $1 million to Koch causes.

A private equity firm CEO and Mitch Daniels supporter, Childs was an early investor in Edison Schools, now named Edison Learning.

Edison Learning has operated Gary’s Roosevelt Career and Technical Center every since former Indiana supt. of public schools Tony Bennett turned the public school over to the for-profit operator.

A major investor in Edison, Childs was a board member in the 90s alongside Democrat Reverend Floyd Flake–a main character in my book Hoosier School Heist–but it is unknown if Childs still has a financial interest in Edison.

Back in 1998, when Edison was taking off, Childs donated at least $100,000 to the Republican National State Elections Committee, according to Indiana campaign finance records.

John W. Childs was recently named by Business Insider as one of Wall Street’s top 16 political donors.

Whereas Childs gave Mike Pence just $50,000 for his reelection campaign, the Center for Responsive Politics finds that the private equity leader funneled over $4 million to outside funding groups in 2012 alone, with $1.1 million going to the Club for Growth, which proves what I have been saying for years—the Koch Brothers are only two of many people we have to be worried about in Indiana, and my book names many, many more.

BIO

Doug Martin is the author of Hoosier School Heist : How Corporations and Theocrats Stole Democracy From Public Education, a book being read in over 130 cities and towns and 78 Indiana counties, 23 states, and the District of Columbia.  A regular guest on national and Indiana radio talk shows such as Justin Oakley’s Just Let Me Teach and Amos Brown’s Afternoons with Amos, Dr. Martin’s research has been or will soon be featured in the Washington Post Answer Sheet , ABC’s Nightline, and the Associated Press

Koch Brothers’ Friends Funding Mike Pence

By Doug Martin at Hoosier School Heist

(This is the first in a series of articles that will address the money behind Mike Pence’s quest to be reelected Governor of Indiana)

On June 25, just one day after the governor wrote a letter to president Obama saying Indiana would not comply with proposed Environmental Protection Agency rules against greenhouse omissions, Mike Pence’s campaign received a $10,000 gift from Marvin Gilliam of Bristol, Virginia.

Gilliam is the former VP of what was once one of the largest coal producers in America, Cumberland Resources, which was purchased by Massey Energy in 2010.

In 2013, Gilliam and Koch Industries, along with other wealthy donors, financed the gubernatorial campaign of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, a longtime Republican and anti-LGBT climate denier who “used his position to launch an inquisition against a former University of Virginia climate scientist.”

Owners of Koch Industries, a multinational oil and manufacturing corporation making money from toilet paper, fertilizer, and a long list of other things, the Koch Brothers are wealthy giants who have influenced everything from climate control to school board elections.

Marvin’s brother Richard, who founded Cumberland Resources and now directs the rare metals exploration company Endurance Gold Corp, gave Mike Pence’s campaign $25,000 in 2012.

Richard Gilliam is a major donor to Koch Brothers-supported groups and visited their secret retreat in June 2010 to discuss political strategy.

Richard and wife Leslie were listed as #33 in the top donors to Republican political campaigns, according to a study by the Center for Responsive Politics, spending over $520,000 in 2010 alone.

Richard Gilliam also handed money to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads super-PAC which spent over $104 million on the 2012 elections.

Another donor to Karl Rove’s PAC was Weaver Popcorn.  As I detail in Hoosier School Heist, Weaver Popcorn’s Mike Weaver was a chief Tony Bennet donor when the Republican ran for the Indiana supt. of public education slot in 2012.

BIO

Doug Martin is the author of Hoosier School Heist : How Corporations and Theocrats Stole Democracy From Public Education, a book being read in over 130 cities and towns and 78 Indiana counties, 23 states, and the District of Columbia.  A regular guest on national and Indiana radio talk shows such as Justin Oakley’s Just Let Me Teach and Amos Brown’s Afternoons with Amos, Dr. Martin’s research has been or will soon be featured in the Washington Post Answer Sheet , ABC’s Nightline, and the Associated Press

The Michigan Family Buying Indiana Education

Art by Clyde Gaw
Art by Clyde Gaw

By Doug Martin,  the author of Hoosier School Heist (find it on Facebook)

(cross-posted at Schools Matter)

If you haven’t read my book Hoosier School Heist, chances are you don’t know Betsy DeVos.  Without a doubt, Betsy DeVos and her family members are some of the biggest players behind school privatization in Indiana (and several other states).

Betsy DeVos is the wife of Richard (Dick) DeVos, Jr., the Christian Right leader of Amway and Right-to-Work  supporter who ran for governor of Michigan in 2006 and almost won.   As I explain in my book, Richard, in a video a few years back, detailed the family plan for Indiana public education and school privatization across the country.

Betsy DeVos’ brother Erik Prince founded the Christian military force Blackwater, known for its massacre, threats to a U.S. investigator, and big government payouts in the War on Terror.

Along with Walmart’s Walton family, Betsy DeVos heads the American Federation for Children, a front-group operating in several states, which funneled money into the Hoosiers for Economic Growth PAC which in turn handed tons of campaign donations to Indiana Republicans to pass anti-public education bills to benefit for-profit charter operators and rightwing free-market-promoting Christian schools.

Besides giving Tony Bennett $10,000 directly, the DeVos family has handed $940,000 to the American Federation for Children.

Mike Pence has received just $20,000 in campaign donations from the DeVos family.

In 2014, the group gave the Hoosiers for Economic Growth PAC (now the Hoosiers for Quality Education PAC) $175,000.

The American Federation for Children is still very actively raising money in Indiana through Citizens United lawyer James Bopp, Jr.’s Terre Haute office, with Jim Walton giving close to $40,000 this year alone.  So far, the school privatization money is flowing into Florida and Oklahoma, but it’s a sure bet it will find its way to the Indiana statehouse doorsteps soon, too.

BIO

Doug Martin is the author of Hoosier School Heist : How Corporations and Theocrats Stole Democracy From Public Education, a book being read in over 130 cities and towns and 78 Indiana counties, 23 states, and the District of Columbia.  A regular guest on national and Indiana radio talk shows such as Justin Oakley’s Just Let Me Teach and Amos Brown’s Afternoons with Amos, Dr. Martin’s research has been or will soon be featured in the Washington Post Answer Sheet , ABC’s Nightline, and the Associated Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

Republican Bill Fine is Fine with the Billionaire Crowd

by Doug Martin at Hoosier School Heist TV

When word broke recently that Indiana Republican state representative Bill Fine’s daughter–a Mitch Daniels-pick and Mike Pence-reinstated state board of ed. member–may become the new co-chair of the state board to share powers with supt. of public instruction Glenda Ritz, many were outraged.  Bill Fine had, in fact, “backed the bill to create the position of vice chairwoman” to the state board of education, and his daughter seldom agrees with Ritz.

As I expose in my book Hoosier School Heist, the whole so-called school reform movement in Indiana (and elsewhere) is a billionaire’s playground to buy legislators to privatize public schools.   And crony capitalism and conflicts of interest are the rule and NOT the exception.

And Bill Fine has money from those involved in the takeover of Indiana public education.

In October 2012, Fine received $5,000 from the Hoosiers for Economic Growth PAC detailed in Hoosier School Heist (see page 5 in this PDF).  For years, this PAC has been backed by Walmart, Amway, hedge fund managers, and several wealthy Indiana businesspeople, among others in and out of Indiana.

Since the PAC changed its name to Hoosiers for Quality Education recently, it has given over $400,000 to Indiana Republican candidates and committees since 2014.  One of these is the Indiana House Republican Campaign Committee, Fine’s chief funder.

AN INTERESTING TIMELINE:

Out of the $275,000 the Walmart-Amway front-group American Federation for Children handed the Hoosiers for Quality Education PAC in 2014, $50,000 came on October 10 and $100,000 in September (see page 4).

On October 22, 2014, the Hoosiers for Quality Education PAC gave the Indiana House Republican Campaign Committee $25,000 and another $25,000 on October 24, 2014.

The Indiana House Republican Campaign Committee handed Fine $7,100 on October 24, 2014 and $13,500 on October 17, 2014.

Yes, it is obvious, Bill Fine is doing his best to do what the extremely wealthy want so that he can open up that campaign chest and sing.

BIO

Doug Martin is the author of Hoosier School Heist : How Corporations and Theocrats Stole Democracy From Public Education, a book being read in over 130 cities and towns and 78 Indiana counties, 23 states, and the District of Columbia.  A regular guest on national and Indiana radio talk shows such as Justin Oakley’s Just Let Me Teach and Amos Brown’s Afternoons with Amos, Dr. Martin’s research has been or will soon be featured in the Washington Post Answer Sheet , ABC’s Nightline, and the Associated Press

 

 

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Hoosier School Heist Hype

Dear Public School Supporter-

     In well over 150 cities and towns and 80 Indiana counties, 25 states, and the District of Columbia, Doug Martin’s book Hoosier School Heist : How Corporations and Theocrats Stole Democracy From Public Education is exposing the billionaires, theocrats, corporations, scandals, corruption, and money behind so-called school reform in Indiana.

In Hoosier School Heist , Dr. Martin shockingly ties school vouchers to torture, shows people breaking Open Door Laws, describes felons, plagiarists, crony banksters, Wall Street Democrats, Walmart/Amway Republicans, people who did time in prison (and many more who should have), liars, hypocrites, dictators, and even child abusers.

Presented with a “Supporting Public Education” award from the North Central Indiana School Study Council and honorary membership in the Montgomery County League of Women Voters, Dr. Doug Martin has spoken at union events, libraries, universities, and on national and state radio shows like Just Let Me Teach , the Rick Smith Show, the National Council on Educating Black Children’s program, and Amos Brown’s Afternoons with Amos .  Martin’s work even has been or will soon be featured in the Washington Post Answer Sheet , ABC’s Nightline, and the Associated Press .  It also is being used by a private detective from Illinois and the FBI .

PRAISE FOR HOOSIER SCHOOL HEIST:

  In her blurb to the book, Diane Ravitch, a New York University research professor of education, best-selling author, and former US Assistant Secretary of Education, says that Doug Martin’s Hoosier School Heist is “one of the most frightening works I have read about the corporate reform takeover of public education” ever. 

“If you’re on blood pressure medicine, take it before you read this book!”  Heidi Miller, ISTA UniServ director in North Central Indiana

A documented exposé in the tradition of Upton Sinclair and Sinclair Lewis. A great guy in the same mold toiling sometimes thankless to identify embarrassing, alarming, and corrupt cancers in government, private enterprise, and their nexus in education. If Doug Martin runs for governor we should make sure the political-capitalist structure doesn’t make allies with “liberals” to avoid the reckoning, the way they did when Upton Sinclair ran for governor of California in the 1930’s.” Michael Kendall, former Indiana state senator

________________________________________________________________________

Praise from media people for Hoosier School Heist

(some of these links below take you to radio interviews with the author, too)

“Folks on Facebook & the community have been telling me about this book Hoosier School Heist for months. When I finally read it a few weeks ago, I couldn’t put it down. It’s a scathing, blistering blast at the big money and powerful forces, on the conservative and liberal sides, driving school reform in Indiana. In his first major Indy media interview, I interviewed the author Dr. Doug Martin on his book that the school reform crowd doesn’t want to you read.” Amos Brown, radio host of Afternoons with Amos, member of Indiana’s Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award Finalist

“Mr. Martin’s book is alarming and damn good.” Mark Small, Civil Discourse Now radio show

“Martin is Indiana’s loudest and most knowledgeable critic of for-profit charter schools and school vouchers.”  Steve Kash, Tribune Star

“I can say Dr. Martin has spent a very long time researching this absolutely horrendous information about what is happening to Indiana public schools … and how much money many people are making from this theft and it goes practically unnoticed because of the power of the politicians who back this.” Ron Mott, legendary radio show host for WAXI 104.9 True Oldies and columnist for Tribune Star

“Doug Martin has a picture perfect cautionary tale that mimics another Titanic!  It felt like I had just read a murder cover-up and was following the blood trail of corporate $$$$.  A must-read for all involved in education in Indiana and across the globe.”  Justin Oakley, AFT Indiana and host of Just Let Me Teach radio show

“Doug Martin is the Eugene V. Debs of public education.” Patrick Hill, IU-Kokomo labor studies professor, Anderson school board member,  and co-host of The Workers Voice radio show

“Doug Martin has had enough.”  Dan Bimrose, Liberal Fix radio

Maybe it’s the legacy of Eugene V. Debs or the memory of coal-field union wars, but Western Indiana progressives say what they think. Martin’s give-‘em-hell approach reminds me of United Mine Workers members I met while writing about coal strikes 30 years ago. Steve Hinnefeld, School Matters

“Doug Martin offers readers facts rather than just more opinions from one particular “side of the aisle,” he follows the money, and he names names: from the Indy Pharm giant Eli Lilly, to politicians like Mitch “Daniels and Tony Bennett, to the out in the open oligarchs at the Walton and Gates Foundations, and finally he names the lower level soldiers these groups plant on school boards and grant funding organizations and who write op-eds in local newspapers under the banner of independent ‘Policy Reviews.’ That is, Martin relentlessly exposes every evil practice and every evil act whether performed by politician or business person.” Douglas Storm, WFHB Interchange radio show, Bloomington

“Doug Martin has written an excellent book called Hoosier School Heist which is available to purchase and read. You won’t find reviews about it in most Hoosier newspapers, and you need to ask, “Why Not?” Why are our ‘newspapers’ refusing to educate Hoosiers about the truth?”  Todd Smekens, Muncie Voice

Doug Martin

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