cross-posted at the Hoosier School Heist BlogWithout a doubt, Betsy DeVos and her family members are some of the biggest players behind school privatization in Indiana (and several other states, so see the end of this piece).
Betsy DeVos is the wife of Richard (Dick) DeVos, Jr., the Christian Right leader of Amway and Right-to-Work supporter who ran for governor of Michigan in 2006 and almost won. As I explain in my book Hoosier School Heist, Richard, in a video a few years back, detailed the family plan for Indiana public education and school privatization across the country.Betsy DeVos’ brother Erik Prince founded the Christian military force Blackwater, known for its massacre, threats to a U.S. investigator, and big government payouts in the War on Terror.
Along with Walmart’s Walton family, Betsy DeVos heads the American Federation for Children, a front-group operating in several states, which funneled money into the Hoosiers for Economic Growth PAC which in turn handed tons of campaign donations to Indiana Republicans to pass anti-public education bills to benefit for-profit charter operators and rightwing Christian schools.Besides giving Tony Bennet $10,000 directly, the DeVos family has handed $940,000 to the American Federation for Children.
Mike Pence has received just $20,000 in campaign donations from the DeVos family.
In 2014, the group gave the Hoosiers for Economic Growth PAC (now the Hoosiers for Quality Education PAC) $175,000.The American Federation for Children is still very actively raising money in Indiana through Citizens United lawyer James Bopp, Jr.’s Terre Haute office, with Jim Walton giving close to $40,000 this year alone. So far, the school privatization money is flowing into Florida and Oklahoma, but it’s a sure bet it will find its way to the Indiana statehouse doorsteps soon, too.