EXPOSE: Hedge Clippers Expose Billionaires’ Attempt to Buy Control of Los Angeles Public Schools

Hedge Clippers, a group of political activists who work to reveal the unprincipled use of hedge fund money to influence politics and education, have posted the names of the billionaires (and millionaires) who have sunk large sums into the Los Angeles school board race in hopes of electing their favorites, Nick Melvoin and Kelly Fitzpatrick-Gonez.

Many of their financial backers are major Republican donors and allies of Trump and DeVos.

The California Charter School Association (CCSA), directly and through its network of entities, has been the biggest spender in the 2017 election for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) school board members to represent Districts 4 and 6, having spent over $4 million to-date. Nearly all of CCSA’s political campaign funding comes from millionaires and billionaires. Out-of-town billionaires make up the bulk of this funding.

Between July 2016 – December 2016, out-of-town billionaires like Doris Fisher, Co-Founder of The Gap, Alice Walton, heiress to the WalMart fortune, and Michael Bloomberg, New York financier and former Mayor, all made big political contributions to the California Charter School Association Advocates (CCSAA) Independent Expenditure Committee.

The combined net worth of these three out-of-town billionaires is $125.5 BILLION. Doris Fisher lives in San Francisco, Alice Walton lives in Bentonville, Arkansas and Michael Bloomberg lives in New York City.

Additionally, numerous contributors to the CCSAA political fund are Trump supporters, a position that puts them out-of-sync with the majority of Los Angeles voters.

Alice Walton and the WalMart family, for example, donated to the Super PAC that worked to elect Trump, donated to Mike Pence, Jeff Sessions, and to the Alliance for School Choice, an organization that Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos helped to lead. Richard Riordan, who gave $1 milion to CCSAA to then launch an independent expenditure committee working to elect Melvoin and Gonez, is a Trump supporter and donor. [i] Many other CCSAA donors are as well.

CCSA has poured money into these school board races directly through its Independent Expenditure Committee, [ii] and has also acting as a pass through for three other independent expenditure committees that are involved in the race.

CCSAA sponsors and funds[iii] the deceptively named Parent Teacher Alliance (PTA), also a big electoral spender.

The PTA, CCSAA helps fund[iv] the Students for Education Reform (SFER) Action Network, which also spent money on this election.

LA Students for Change Opposing Steve Zimmer for School Board 2017 is funded by a $1,000,000 donation[v] from former LA Mayor Richard Riordan that was received through CCSAA

According to available filings,[vi] CCSAA and the groups it funds have provided almost all the independent electoral spending on behalf of Nick Melvoin and Kelly Gonez in the hotly contested District 4 and 6 races.

To see the footnotes and the specific contributions attributed to donors, as well as their political affiliations, read the link.

It is shocking to see the combination of rightwing Republicans and Democrats-in-name-only who have gathered behind Melvoin solely to advance the cause of privatizing public school students and funding.

The only way to stop them is to be informed, inform your friends and neighbors, and if you live in the contested districts in Los Angeles, get out and vote for Steve Zimmer and Imelda Padilla. Bring your friends and neighbors out to vote. Stop the hijacking of the LAUSD.

from sarah http://ift.tt/2q044oL

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