UCOMM Blog: For Sale: Democracy

Date Posted: 
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
A new Super PAC is dropping millions of dollars into a few state legislative races throughout New York.  Mailers costing $3.17 million have begun to flood into primary campaigns in New York City and Long Island.  The independent expenditure campaign is targeting candidates that oppose charter school expansion in New York and are being funded almost exclusively by big money donors from outside of New York.
 
The elected officials that are targeted are all Black and Latino legislators who are opposed to charter schools and a school tax credit to give students the ability to get vouchers to go to private schools.  The targeted officials are State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) and Assembly members Phil Ramos (D-Suffolk County), Pamela Harris (D-Brooklyn), and Latrice Walker (D-Brooklyn).  The campaign is being funded by wealthy outside money, much of it coming from communities like Greenwich and Westport Connecticut where many Wall Street Hedge Fund types are from.  The furthest donation came from Alice Walton, of Walmart fame, who donated $450,000.  Walton has been a longtime advocate for charter schools, school vouchers and the destruction of unions at both Walmart and at your local public school.
 
These big dollar donors are using a loophole created by Citizen's United to pump dirty dark money into communities that they have never visited and have no interest in.  Although they are pumping the money into largely minority districts, the deep pocket hedge fund donors have a shady history of standing up for racists, ripping off immigrants and have attempted to cut the Medicare, Medicaid and similar benefits that help low income communities.  They are subverting our democracy with their big money interests and it is so obvious that it is sickening. 

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