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

 

 

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