While Douglas Storm and I were exposing the corporate assault on our schools on WFHB radio on Eugene V. Debs’ birthday during the Zinn Read-In at Purdue, Tea Party front men were spreading misinformation in Muncie, Indiana, which stopped a property tax referendum vote from passing, leaving public school children after this year without bus transportation to schools.
Eckerty does not like gay people. In fact, he was one of a few Indiana lawmakers who signed a letter to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to stop the LGBT Youth Group from having license plates in the state. Eckerty's campaigns have been funded, in part, by oil interests, Nestle (which believes the human right to water is a socialist plot to destroy the wealthy), and the Hoosiers for Economic Growth (see page 10 in PDF), the anti-public school/voucher front group led by Walmart, Amway, and hedge fund managers. Mike Pence was in Muncie in 2010, campaigning for Eckerty.
The Tea Party has gained steam in Indiana, since Mike Pence was elected. The majority of the money the Koch brothers have funneled into the state has gone to Pence, even though the brothers may be handing money through front groups. Pence got $400,000 from David H. Koch in 2012, and Koch Industries has given another $5,000 to Pence’s governor campaign in Indiana. The Indiana Tea Party, in its various forms and branches, has not even filed tax forms since it has been in the Hoosier state, so there is no way of completely knowing where this money is coming from.
At OMB’s Department of Government Efficiency and Financial Planning, Gloria Downham wears the Tea Party Americans for Prosperity hat. Downham’s husband, Chase, heads the Americans for Prosperity’s Indiana branch. Chase, a former Mike Pence intern, helped elect Republicans for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Chase and Gloria are parishioners at the St. Monica Catholic Church which operates its own Indianapolis school receiving "choice scholarships."
And I guess Hiatt forgot, also, that the corporate-run newspaper the Star Press he believes is a socialist mill helped his buddy Eckerty win election which helped load his own pockets with campaign money for his printing business. Hiatt conveniently also fails to mention, as Todd Smekens does, that the Star Press gives Tea Party operatives a voice non-stop.
Meanwhile, Southside residents are holding a rally tomorrow to help save their school. You can find them on facebook and read an excellent take on the Tea Party school bus hijack at the truly democratic Muncie Voice. As for all those people who will lose jobs driving kids to school and for all of those children without bus transportation, the ride is over.