Betsy DeVos Continues to Buck Trends as Secretary of Education

It was more than fifty years ago when a writer named Milton Friedman made his first principled argument for school choice. Friedman went on to become a rather formative writer on several major topics. Having said that, Friedman’s words hit their mark when they were consumed by Betsy DeVos during her time at Calvin College. When we say ‘Betsy DeVos’ we are, of course, talking about THE Betsy DeVos, the current Secretary of Education of the United States of America. Betsy DeVos took Friedman’s words to heart and she would use them in order to become the advocate and philanthropic leader that she is today.

 

As a young, recently married, adult, Betsy DeVos would spend hours on the grassroots campaign trail in order to stump for school choice. DeVos was an advocate in the 90s for education reform, long before it became the center of any major discussion in Washington D.C. During this period of time, Betsy and her husband Dick were constantly visiting schools throughout the country. Their goal was to raise awareness for school choice, the concept introduced by Milton Friedman. The idea of school choice has existed quite a ways outside of the political mainstream, that is until Betsy DeVos came along. Thanks to Betsy’s tireless work, more people than ever are up to speed on the idea of school choice. What does this mean? Well, let’s take a look at the numbers.

 

Since Betsy DeVos became a school choice advocate, more than 17 states have adopted some level of school choice program within their borders. Due to this surge in school choice adoption, more than 250,000 students have found their way into publicly funded, privately owned facilities. From Louisiana to Michigan, and everywhere in between, school choice has begun to drop an anchor in the mainstream political discussion. All of this progress can be laid at the feet of Betsy DeVos. What’s most impressive about this progress is that DeVos accomplished these tasks without having a title next to her name. Now, Betsy DeVos works directly under the President of the United States of America. Who knows what is coming next?

 

Despite having a high-level federal position, Betsy DeVos has certainly not allowed it to go to her head. Betsy DeVos is on the road as much as ever as she continues to advocate for school choice. As a dedicated reformer, Betsy DeVos knows that she has a lot of work to do before her mission is accomplished. Betsy DeVos is always flying to Florida and the surrounding states in order to speak on the subject of school choice. With this continued enthusiasm, Betsy DeVos has a real chance at making changes that impact schools on the national level.

 

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End Citizens America taking measures to Save the Johnson Amendment

The past decade has been one of the most active in the American political scene. Several events in this decade have had a great impact in the direction that American political discourse has taken and will take for many years to come. Before President Donald Trump’s election to the highest office in America, the other most stunning event in the political scene had occurred in 2010. In a case pitting Citizens United against FEC, the Supreme Court of America determined that unions and corporations bore the same rights as individual citizens. Further, the highest court in the land ruled that spending money by these unions and corporations was a form of expression which is protected under the bill of rights. This effectively made it possible for such bodies to contribute money to political campaigns anonymously. Visit facebook to know more.

Realizing the potential harm that this decision could have on American political discourse, concerned citizens came together to form End Citizens America. End Citizens America is a PAC whose main mandate is to prevent the entrance of dark money into political campaigns as this Supreme Court decision had opened loopholes for this to happen. They achieve this goal by fighting against policies that threaten the stability and growth of American democracy and supporting those which enhance it.

New challenges keep coming up, especially under the current administration. The latest of these has been the current regime’s sustained attempts to either weaken the Johnson Amendment or repeal it altogether. Emboldened by a president who promised a repeal of this amendment as a part of his campaign promises, and who has already signed an executive order weakening it, Republican legislators have been making attempts to have the Johnson Amendment repealed. Such efforts are being made by slipping language into bills being introduced into Congress such as the House Financial Services appropriations bill and the tax reform bill which is currently on the table.

End Citizens America has expressed strong opposition to these attempts to repeal or weaken the Johnson Amendment. This amendment, made in 1954, makes it illegal for tax-exempt non-profit organizations to openly and publicly engage in a political campaign. Organizations which fall under this bracket risk being stripped of their tax-exempt status should they be found to be in contravention to this law. Republican legislators have been making attempts to make it possible for religious organizations to be exempted from this law while the other organizations remain bound by it. This would be catastrophic to American democracy.

With the Supreme Court decision of 2010, repealing the Johnson Amendment would create a loophole for dark money to find its way into political campaigns, tax-free. Further, organizations and individuals that make contributions to tax exempted organization benefit from tax exemption as well. This would become, undoubtedly, the preferred channel for pumping dark money into political campaigns. That is why End Citizens America has vowed to save the Johnson Amendment. Read more:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/as-mueller-probes-russian-facebook-ads-our-elections_us_59cd238fe4b04575111f390d

 

Charles Koch and the Myths that Surround Him

Charles Koch was born on November 1st, 1935. He has survived WWII, and the latter half of the Great Depression. Charles Koch and his brother, David, run Koch Industries. After inheriting the business from their father, who kept it strictly involved in oil, the brothers decided to expand the company’s horizons. Now, they have holds on the Dixie Cup, Quilted Northern, and Lyrca.

Charles Koch has now expanded his influence beyond the products that are bought on a day to day basis. Since 2003, he has spread his influence through the world of American politics. This is already a very hard thing to navigate, since it seems like the only people who have any influence have the money.

This network that he has set up has come under fire recently from the media. When once they were able to operate in the shadows, now they must live with the media’s ability to make rumors spread like wildfire. No one is truly free from this, no matter how much good they are doing.

One such rumor is that the Koch network operates completely separately of the Republican GOP. Along those same lines, the media also believes the network is meant to work like an entirely separate third party. This is not true. For that much influence to be given to one network, the network has to be a parasite. A parasite is any creature that cannot survive without a host.

Without the GOP, there is no Koch network. That is a very bad thing for the Republicans, since many are now agreeing with the extreme stances that the Koch family is trying to push through. They want to cut back government involvement in day to day activities of the American people.

Another thing on their agenda is to block or destroy any environmental protective measures. As mentioned earlier, Charles Koch is well known for their work in the oil industry. When measures are taken to protect the environment, it makes it harder for the Koch family to do their work.

However, with all the money the network gathers, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that there are many who are receiving that money. What shouldn’t surprise anyone, as well, is that the money is given out in small amounts, and is usually a one time thing.

No matter what the Koch network does, its influence sure won’t go away any time soon.