Friday, November 1, 2013

Dear John King - This is What Special Interests Look Like

When John King was sitting in his office with an ice pack on his head and another on his arse after the Spackenkill Massacre, he ballsily if cluelessly tried to pin the beatdown on "Special Interests." Naturally that blew up in his face about as spectacularly as all of his other rhetorical dodges, lies and end runs did. 

Not a Special Interest

The guy on the left is Mr. McCrea. I think he might be one of the people King tried to claim was a special interest after he annihilated King's fumbling of the CCSS,  general shoddy performance as a Commissioner and told the legislators and anyone one with ears that King should be relieved of is duties. I have since learned this man is also a teacher and a parent. In today's parlance he's what they love to call a "stakeholder" and as both teacher and parent he holds two very important stakes. 

Today Diane Ravitch offers us a very instructive piece of the true nature of Special Interests in the Seattle School Board election. Moneyed folk, none of whom are teachers, none of whom have kids attending Seattle Public Schools have targeted a board member who happens to have had kids attending Seattle Public Schools for the past ten years.  Again, by definition, Ms. Peters is a stakeholder. Please have a look at what real special interests are and how they do business by trying to buy elected seats on School Boards in the hope that their candidate can forward the for profit corporate agenda at the expense of kids and their education : 

Sue Peters, an activist parent running for the local school board in Seattle, has been targeted for defeat by some of the wealthiest people in Seattle. She has raised $31,000. She has been a public school parent for 10 years.

Her opponent has raised over $100,00. In addition, some of the wealthiest people in the state created a PAC and added another $100,000 to the campaign chest of Sue’s opponent.

$200,000 vs. $31,000. Can this seat be bought?

Recently, the PAC released a flyer criticizing Sue Peters as a”conspiracy theorist” for pointing out the obvious: The “billionaire boys club” wants to make sure she is not elected to the Seattle school board. What a coincidence: Not a single contributor to the PAC to beat Sue Peters has a child in the Seattle public schools.

PAC contributors include:

Matt Griffin – real estate developer with no children in Seattle Public Schools $30,000
Christopher Larson – businessman and co-owner of Seattle Mariners baseball team, with no children in Seattle Public Schools $30,000
DFER (Democrats for Education Reform) – Corp ed reform political lobbying enterprise $10,000
Nicholas Hanauer – Venture capitalist with no children in Seattle Public Schools $20,000
CASE (Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy), the PAC of the local Chamber of Commerce $7,750

PAC is currently at $103,550

Top contributors to the anti-Peters campaign fund include:

Steve and Connie Ballmer (CEO of Microsoft Corp.) $1800 each (maximum allowed)
Jeff and Patricia Raikes (CEO of Gates Foundation) $900 each
William Gates, Sr. (father of Bill) $900
CASE, the PAC of the local Chamber of Commerce $900
Matt Griffin & Evelyne Rozner real estate developer with no children in Seattle Public Schools $1800 each (max allowed)
Nicholas and Leslie Hanauer, Venture capitalist with no children in Seattle Public Schools $900 each
Christopher Larson, businessman and co-owner of Seattle Mariners baseball team, with no children in Seattle Public Schools $1800 (max)

In the future, Mr. King, please familiarize yourself with such terminologies before you use them erroneously and make a fool of yourself. 

Below is a comment left on Diane's blog by a resident of Seattle. Now that we've identified who Special Interests are, let's have a look at the kind of lowlife shit they'll resort to -- in this case a personal smear piece on the candidate -- just so they can make some more money. 

Puget Sound Parent 
November 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm
Diane, I’ve lived in Seattle since the late 70′s and I’ve never seen a more vile and egregious “Campaign Hit Piece” than the one that Suzanne Estey’s people sent out roughly 48 hours ago against Sue Peters.

Although I’ve always been a strong supporter of Sue Peters, I’ve met with, and spoken to Suzanne Estey on several occasions. And despite some nuanced disagreements with ideas and approaches, found her to be a decent and respectable person.

With the issuance of this—the third straight, slanderous and mendacious “Hit Piece”—I no longer have any respect for Estey as a candidate, or as a person. And her dubious claims of deniability—”I don’t know anything about any of these mailings and to criticize them would be denying people their first amendment rights” is what she recently told the Seattle Times!—just aren’t credible.

Seattle isn’t New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, at least not yet. It is, relatively speaking, a Big Small Town. Most politically involved citizens know each other, at least casually, and its specious for Estey to claim that she has no knowledge, involvement or connection to the producers of this truly scurrilous attack mailer.

However, the very fact that Estey’s people felt that they had to print and mail this attack piece demonstrates how close this race truly is: Estey has—as of last night—11 times as much money as Sue Peters.

Eleven times as much? And they STILL feel they need to resort to this type of mud slinging and gutter politics?

I have always thought of this type of thing—a last minute hit piece trying to discredit a candidate by attacking them personally—as a desperation tactic. A “Hail Mary” pass, if you will, hoping for some kind of last minute miracle, despite the overwhelming odds against you.

But normally, it’s the poor campaign, the vastly outspent campaign, that is way behind in the polls that has to resort to this shameful, contemptuous behavior. This is the first time I’ve seen the campaign with all the resources and advantages crawl this low.

I hope their tactic doesn’t work; the mailer is so crude, so juvenile in its design, language and execution, that it backfires and has the opposite effect from the intended one.

Suzanne Estey claims that one of her great skills is bringing people together and that, if elected, she’ll somehow unify the various factions on the Seattle school board and make them mutually trusting and effective.

If this is Estey’s idea of “bringing people together”, I shudder to think what she’ll be like once she has a little power to yield. I fear for our children, our schools and our families.


  1. Does Phil Rumore have kids in BPS? What about his endorsement of Mayor Brown? Does that help the BPS?

  2. As a policy I don't allow trolls to spew their nonsense but this comment is so singularly stupid I wanted to show both of my readers how someone can read a thorough indictment of special interests and come away as ignorant as they were when they logged on. Phil Rumore is a union president who represents the interests of teachers. That's his job. Wanna try again troll boy? Lay off the bath salts, get your step mom to plug the basement modem in again and have at it. Weeping Christ.

  3. This little troll sounds like another one of those EdDeform wunderkinds with a cute degree from a big name college who sadly ended up working for a corny "non-profit".
    You are living in a little bubble, troll. Maybe do some community service in our city and see for yourself what life is like for children and families living in unceasing deprivation. Seriously, your focus on Phil Rumore speaks volumes on your lack of understanding of the issues. You have nothing to say. Goodbye!

  4. Please stop with your sanctimonious BS about the "children" and the "community." When you and your fellow "educators" stop using millions of tax dollars on face lifts and breast augmentations while living in "McMansions" in the suburbs than you can talk about "special interests." Please answer my question. Why did Phil (It's all about the children") endorse Mayor Brown. Does this beg the question? Is the BTF a special interest? The Troll

  5. I hope you enjoyed your run trolly. Now you need to give a name or you are done.I know more people out on medical leave from student assaults than I do who who've had cosmetic surgery. But then again I teach in the city so I actually know what the fuck I am talking about. What's the name of your blog?

  6. Funny I re-read my post and I don't see the phrases "the community" or "the children" in anything I wrote. Must have been some other blog, numbnuts.