Monday, August 23, 2010

Backing Basil

One important race to keep an eye on is the battle for a NY State Senate seat between Basil Smikle and Bill Perkins. Earlier this year, Perkins drew the ire of the pro-charter crowd for his hearings on various issues related to charter schools. Opponents promised to raise funds to unseat him.

They have a candidate (Smikle), and they've provided him with over $100,000 in donations. Carl Campanile of the NY Post reported that "hedge fund managers and other charter-school financiers have donated about $60,000 of the $150,000 raised by Smikle." Well, Campanile is off by only $40,000 or so. Need proof?

I tallied the donations to Smikle's campaign over at DFER Watch. You'll noticed a number of DFER supporters are tossing in some cash, a donation from a Scholastic VP/Deputy General Counsel, a thousand dollars from the Executive Director of TFA-NY, and a donation from Jonathan Sackler. If the name Sackler rings a bell, it's because Jonathan's daughter, Madeleine, is the director of "The Lottery" (Jonathan is also on the board of directors of Achievement First). Another $25k or so comes from real estate moguls. Norm Scott over at EdNotesOnline says only $4,100 has come from people residing in the district.

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