I mention Todd Rokita, the Indiana US congressman from the 4th district, in my book Hoosier School Heist because of his role with the Muslim Gulen charter schools recently raided by the FBI (see more on this at the end of this article).
Since Rokita is up for election this year, I decided to peek into his campaign funding ("peek" because I merely touch the surface with what is below).
Unsurprisingly, Rokita and Tony Bennett have a lot in common. Rokita is tight with the main players who have turned our schools over to privatizers in Indiana.First off, in 2010, Fred Klipsch, Walmart and Amway’s main school privatizing operative in Indiana, rolled $1,000 into Rokita’s campaign.
Simon Property Group’s Herbert Simon gave $1,000 to Rokita in 2011. Simon Property Group, as I note in Hoosier School Heist, helps run dozens of public schools in its shopping malls across the US so students can incorporate consuming into their course loads.
George Bush partner and Tony Bennett donor Al Hubbard, who works for Simon Property Group, funded with millionaires IPS board member Caitlin Hannon, and orchestrated many parts of the public school takeover in Indiana with Jeb Bush and Amway’s Betsy DeVos, gave Rokita $2,000 (see here and here for his funding in 2010 and in April of this year).
Then there’s scandal-ridden Mitch Daniels’ buddy Jerry Slusser, who is also in my book. Slusser loaded Rokita’s campaign chest with $6,600 in 2010 (see here, here, and here).
When online K12, INC’s founder Bill Bennett wanted to hang out in Indiana to promote his various corporate school projects, Tony Bennett attempted to use Slusser to fly him to a Jeffersonville fundraiser.
Slusser, besides being very rich, is best known for being fined “$600,000 by federal regulators for defrauding German investors in the late ‘90s.”Tony Bennett donor and popcorn prince Michael Weaver, also mentioned in Hoosier School Heist, gave Rokita $2,000 (here and here) a few years ago.
Another Tony Bennett mega-donor, Dean White, gave Rokita $5,200 in 2013.
And let us not forget the Muslim Gulenists from Turkey who wine, dine, and buy lawmakers across the country and get millions of our tax dollars. They operate several charter schools in the Midwest (Indy, too) that have recently been raided by the FBI.
Hasan Yerdelen, who once ran the Gulenist American Turkish Association of Indiana, handed Rokita $1,000 in 2010.
In 2010, the Indiana Math and Science Academy’s Aynur Aytekin’s slid Rokita $1,000.
Unbelievably, this year on June 30, Gulen’s main man in Indiana, Bilal Eksili, who has or still sits on several Indiana Math and Science Academy charter school boards in Indianapolis (including its North campus,*) slipped Rokita $2,500. The FBI raided Gulen's Indiana Math and Science Academy North campus school in Indy on June 4th.
Indy RTV's Derrik Thomas wanted to interview me about the FBI raid but backed out. We wouldn't want the public to know too much, now would we?
* The Indiana Math and Science Academy North board of directors, according to the group's website, also lists Brenda Shaheed as a member. Brenda is the mother-in-law of another Indiana Gulen-lawmaker, Andre Carson.