By Doug MartinAfter Indiana House District 42’s Republican Alan Morrison appeared at a crackerbarrel session in the small town of Clinton over the weekend, someone noted on facebook that “Morrison was very condescending and argumentative to some of the citizens, especially to a couple of local school teachers.” This is no surprise to people closely following the school privatization movement in Indiana, but the good citizens of Clinton (and those in Vermillion, Vigo, Clay, Warren, Fountain, and Parke counties which make up Morrison’s district) probably don’t know that Morrison, like his comrade and fellow Republican Bobby Heaton, have been bought by billionaires who want to turn Indiana schools over to for-profit companies (some of which have funded Indiana Republican campaigns) and give money to religious schools.
Morrison, like local basketball hero Heaton, has a background in sports, not playing them but as a corporate executive of the Flint Generals hockey team. He now works directing recreational services for Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.And like Heaton, Morrison has been bought by 13 extremely rich people out to privatize Indiana public schools. In 2010, Morrison received $72,000 from the Hoosiers for Economic Growth PAC (see page 2 in PDF), by far the biggest contributor to his campaign. The Hoosiers for Economic Growth PAC is funded by the Walmart/Amway Corporation DeVos family/hedge fund manager/school voucher/charter school millionaires and billionaires who run the American Federation for Children and All Children Matters, front groups which I detail in my upcoming book Hoosier School Heist.
Here is how the Walmart and DeVos/Hoosiers for Economic Growth PAC's school privatization agenda went down. Using heavy funding from 13 donors which included Betsy DeVos, Walmart’s Alice and Jim Walton, Pennsylvania hedge fund managers, two leaders of charter schools in Indiana (John Bryan and J.C. Huizenga), and Jeb Bush friend John Kirtley, the American Federation for Children’s Indiana-registered PAC in 2010 funneled over $4.6 million into the Hoosier state (through the Hoosiers for Economic Growth PAC) and six other states using the Terre Haute office mailbox address of Christian Right lawyer James Bopp Jr., the man behind the Citizens United case which gave rights to corporations to fund campaign super-PACs without publically disclosing their donors and who also handed Morrison some money (see page 4).
In 2010, the American Federation for Children gave various Indiana corporate school front groups $375,000 to attempt to swing eighty-five primary and general elections, using millionaire Fred Klipsch, School Choice Indiana, and Hoosiers for Economic Growth to elect a super-majority of Republicans to the Senate and take total control of the House to pass anti-public education laws in 2011.In April 2012, Klipsch even wrote a letter endorsing Morrison again (or someone on the DeVos/Walmart family payroll wrote it).
On his website, Morrison says “I value family, education, individual freedom and limited government as major components for success.” But the family he values most is the Amway/Walmart family. Limited government, for Morrison and all Indiana Republicans, translates into handing taxpayer money over to the school privatizers.
Morrison however, believes it is not the for-profit charter schools run by Jeb Bush’s friends who are destroying schools in Indiana; it is the illegal immigrants who are “a drain on education.”
There’ s not a whole lot of illegal immigrants in Clinton, Indiana, draining funding from the schools, but Walmart moved in a few decades ago and helped close down all the local businesses. And people like Morrison won’t rest until Walmart-funded charter schools close down a few community schools in his district, too.