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Obama Greeter-Labor Community Protest At Pres Obama's Visit To Mountain View Walmart
by Labor Video Project
Friday May 9th, 2014 3:37 PM
Workers and community members protested the visit of President Obama to the Mountain View Walmart on May 9, 2014.
Obama was helping to do publicity and advertising for Walmart about their good work in Mountain View.

Walmart Foundation head Sylvia Mathews Burwell to direct the Office of Management and Budget
Obama Appoints Burwell, Wal-Mart Foundation President, to Direct OMB

Posted on March 5, 2013 by Ashley Wright •
Obama has a history of appointing business leaders that come from companies withquestionable labor practices. And his recent nomination of Sylvia Matthews Burwell, president of the Walmart Foundation, as the director of the Office of Management and Budget seems in keeping with this legacy.

Should the nomination carry, Burwell will take a position that has substantial influence on policy, the office itself having the power to block federal regulations. This begs the question: will her appointment have the potential for a conflict of influence on federal policy? Walmart has attempted to influence the OMB throughout Obama’s administration, including an attempt to block a Department of Labor rule governing employee benefit plans proposed three years ago.

The previously appointed OMB director, Jack Lew, served as chief operating officer of New York University, which took away organizing rights from its graduate student employees. He was promoted to White House Chief of Staff and is now Obama’s Treasury Secretary nominee.

During his first term, Obama also chose members of Boeing’s board as commerce secretary, chief of staff, and export council chair after his own appointed officials at the National Labor Relations Board pursued investigations against the company for allegedly punishing strikers.

In addition to being troubling, the nominations are slow coming—especially for federal judiciary positions during Obama’s first term— something Republicans and some Democrats have criticized him for. Yet 2013 seems promising so far—he’s made three dozen candidates since January and is expected to name more over the next few months.

But, the lack of speed of the appointments has only been exaggerated by the lack of reform regarding the filibuster. And, the judiciary is suffering from both the lack of nominations and the blocking of the ones that are coming. According to a recent report from the Constitutional Accountability Center in Washington, the federal judiciary has had more than 750 days with at least 80 vacancies on the bench.

Ashley Wright is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.

Civil rights leaders demand Walmart’s foundation cut ties with ALEC
July 20, 2012
Washington – National civil rights leaders have signed a letter calling on the Walton Family Foundation to follow in Walmart’s footsteps and end their ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and specifically voice their opposition to “Stand Your Ground” and voter suppression laws. The leaders, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dr. Jeremiah Wright and Danny Glover, write that they are appalled that despite Walmart’s and the Walton Family’s attempts to create an image of supporting civil rights and community and civic participation, both the retail giant and the foundation have given more than $1 million to politicians with close ties to ALEC and its agenda.

“We are disturbed that, despite your company’s claim to support civil rights, you are funding an organization that has helped propel serious attacks on our communities,” says the letter.

ALEC describes itself as a nonpartisan organization of over 2,000 state legislators that favors “conservative public policy solutions.” Opponents describe it as “the ultimate smoke filled back room,” where the Koch Brothers, big tobacco, insurance companies and the drug industry pay a king’s ransom for access to the legislators to sell them on model legislation that puts their corporate interests over American workers and consumers.

RallA coalition of advocacy organizations, activists and national leaders protest the paid promotion by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) of deadly “Kill at Will” – or “Stand Your Ground” – legislation written by the National Rifle Association (NRA). They delivered a letter to ALEC headquarters in Washington, D.C., demanding that the group disclose all NRA funding and publicly pledge to end its promotion of “Kill at Will” bills
Civil rights leaders write that they are angered by the Walton Family Foundation’s support of ALEC’s agenda, including “Stand Your Ground” laws. They are also troubled by the fact that a Walmart executive co-chaired the ALEC task force that endorsed the “Stand Your Ground” law.
The letter states: “As the largest seller of guns and ammunition in the country, Walmart and your family may be blinded to the impact of guns and pro-gun laws on our nation and in our communities. The impact is very real.”

Leaders also address their concern about ALEC’s role in promoting voter suppression laws. The letter notes that supporters of voter suppression laws claim that they want to reduce voter fraud such as individuals voting illegally or voting twice. However, the letter points out that such fraud almost never occurs and never in amounts large enough to affect the results of elections.

The letter further states: “Voter suppression laws prevent large numbers of eligible voters from casting a ballot and could disenfranchise as many as 5 million people. And it is clear that these laws have the effect of disproportionately disenfranchising the low-income voters, people of color and the elderly. This runs counter to the Walton Family Foundation’s stated goal to increase opportunity and improve the lives of others.”

Making Change at Walmart is a campaign challenging Walmart to help rebuild our economy and strengthen working families. Anchored by UFCW, representing mainly food industry workers, we are a coalition of Walmart associates, union members, small business owners, religious leaders, women advocacy groups, multi-ethnic coalitions, elected officials and ordinary citizens who believe that changing Walmart is vital for the future of our country.

§Walmart Protester
by Labor Video Project Friday May 9th, 2014 3:37 PM
The Walmart Walton family owns more than millions of working people. In Silicon Valley workers cannot afford to live in the valley even on union wages.
§Value Our Labor
by Labor Video Project Friday May 9th, 2014 3:37 PM
Protesters said Walmart does not value the labor of it's workers
§Walmart Workers Marching To Work
by Labor Video Project Friday May 9th, 2014 3:37 PM
Walmart marched their workers into the store to see Obama.
§Benjamin Field, South Bay Labor Council
by Labor Video Project Friday May 9th, 2014 3:37 PM
Benjamin Field, the South Bay Labor Council Executive Director spoke.
§Riches To All
by Labor Video Project Friday May 9th, 2014 3:37 PM
Walmart protest called for the wealth being shared with all.
Hundreds of Walmart workers, trade unionists, students and community residents protested the visit of President Obama to the Mountain View Walmart in Silicon Valley. Fired Walmart workers also talked about discrimination they face

Walmart workers, trade unionists, students and community members
protested the visit of President Obama on May 9, 2014 to the
Mountain View Walmart store in Silicon Valley. Trade unionists said
it was like a slap in the face for Walmart to do PR for this company.
Many participants said Walmart is not paying living wages and
also uses public subsidies to pay for the workers since they are
not being paid living wages.
Many minimum wage workers cannot afford to rent an apartment
or home in Silicon Valley. Students from CSUSJ and Stanford
also participated in the protest. The action was also supported by the
South Bay Labor Council.
Additional video at:
WalMart Workers Fed Up! Richmond-San Leandro Actions In BA On 2012 Black Friday
Walmart Nightmare! Injured Worker Speaks Out
Fighting Wal-Martization
Production of Labor Video Project

Loud Protest Calls on President Obama to Challenge, Not Praise, Walmart
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – A noisy protest greeted President Obama as he arrived at a Mountain View Walmart to honor the company for environmentalism. Current and former Walmart workers, union members and community leaders carrying banners and signs rallied outside the barricades closing off the store parking lot.

“The President owes it to working families to keep his word about addressing the problem of income inequality,” said Ben Field, Executive Officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council. “It’s insulting that we elected this President and he’s praising a multi-billion dollar company that keeps its workers living in poverty.”

Walmart employee Pamela Ramos, who works at the Mountain View Walmart the President visited, is living in her car because low wages and medical bills keep her from covering the rent.

Pamela Ramos works at the Mountain View Walmart that President Obama visited.

“When I heard President Obama was visiting my store, I wanted to tell him what income inequality really looks like—right here working at the country’s largest employer,” said Ramos. ”What I make is not enough to cover the bills, and all I can afford to eat for lunch is a cup of coffee and a bag of potato chips. Even though the company makes $16 billion in profits, hundreds of thousands of Walmart workers are paid less than $25,000 a year.

In addition to the hundreds that rallied outside of the store, 32 groups including, Global Exchange, Jobs with Justice,, and Rainforest Action Network, signed onto the joint statement below:

“We are asking the President to challenge Walmart to help strengthen the American economy and protect our environment by becoming a leader in sustainability and creating better jobs. The country’s largest employer should not only be supporting the bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, it should be providing workers a minimum of $25,000 a year and full-time work.”

Walmart workers—part of OUR Walmart—have been taking the country’s income inequality head on by calling on the giant retailer to publicly commit to ending retaliation against workers and provide better wages for workers. While the majority of associates are paid less than $25,000 a year, Walmart makes $16 billion in annual profits and the Waltons—the richest family in the country—have a combined wealth of more than $148 billion. Many workers must rely on taxpayer-supported programs like food stamps and public health care just to get by.

Marketplace recently revealed that Walmart is the biggest beneficiary of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as food stamps. Walmart takes 18 percent of all food stamp dollars— or $13 billion in revenue. A Congressional report calculated that Walmart workers are forced to rely on $900,000 in taxpayer funded supports, including food stamps and healthcare, at just one of the company’s 4,000 stores.

Environmentalists have also been calling on the company to take real steps towards sustainability, recently awarding the company the “greenwasher of the year” award for its efforts to talk the talk about sustainability, without taking real, meaningful steps towards even meeting its own goals – or standards in the industry. Just 3 percent of Walmart’s power comes from its wind and solar projects and its use of renewable energy has fallen 25% in the last two years. Walmart continues to lag behind many of its competitors including Kohl’s, Staples, and Whole Foods who are already using 100% renewable energy.

The President’s motorcade pulled into the Walmart on the opposite side of the store in order to avoid the protesters. He spent less than half an hour there before flying out of Moffett Field.
§Stanford Students Joined Picket Protest
by Labor Video Project Friday May 9th, 2014 9:26 PM
Stanford students joined the picket line supporting Walmart workers fight for better wages.
§Buses Blocked Walmart While Obama Spoke Inside
by Labor Video Project Friday May 9th, 2014 9:26 PM
While workers and community people rallied buses were used to blockade the store.
§Carrie Walton Penner
by Labor Video Project Friday May 9th, 2014 9:26 PM
Walton Billionaire Carrie Walton Penner who is privatizing schools in California lives in nearby Atherton. She is a major backer of charter schools in California and on the board of KIPP schools which is pushing privatization at the Rocket Schools.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by reposted
Friday May 9th, 2014 10:06 PM
American Oligarchs & the Influence They Wield
Meet the Waltons
American Oligarchs & the Influence They Wield
Meet the Waltons
The Walton family, descendants of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, is American oligarchs. Wal-Mart generates an estimated $400 billion in annual sales (U.S. sales over $274 billion, international over $135 billion), with its current stock valuation at approximately $300 billion. The family control 50.1 percent of the company’s stock. Based on Forbes‘ data, the Waltons are the richest family in the U.S., their collective personal wealth estimated at over $130 billion.Four Walton family members are currently in the top 10 of Forbes’ list of the richest Americans: Christy Walton ($35.4 bil), Jim Walton ($33.8 bil), Alice Walton ($33.5 bil) and Samuel Walton ($33.3 bil).

Like other plutocrats, the Walton clan lives high on the hog, with grand estates, luxury cars and major art collections. They maintain the Walton Family Foundation that, according to the Foundation Center, had an asset value of $2 billion as of December 2012; the Gates Foundation had assets of $37.2 billion. Family members also support local, Bentonville, AK, charities, including the Crystal Bridge Museum of American Art as well as colleges and universities in Arkansas and local initiatives in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

But more revealing then their charitable activities is how the Waltons’ vast wealth has been used to influence critical public issues, most notably charter schools. Walton contributions are made through: Wal-Mart employees and the company’s political action committee (PAC); through lobbying payments; and the largess of individual family members.

According to OpenSecrets, the Wal-Mart PAC dolled out $3.2 million in 2012, with money going to both Republicans and Democrats. Total lobbying expenditures in 2013 were $7.3 million and the largest payment was to the Podesta Group, co-founded by an Obama and Clinton operative, John Podesta. The Waltons also back two key conservative think tanks, the American Enterprise Institute and the Thomas Fordham Institute.

The Walton clan and foundation have made a special commitment – not unlike the Gates – to bankroll the charter school movement. The way each philanthropy uses it’s respective wealth to privatize public education reveals the difference between an oligarch and a plutocrat.

* * *

Sam Walton was a self-made man, confirmation of the great American myth – anyone can succeed. Born in 1918, he was the son of a small farmer near Kingfisher, OK, who gave up farming for a more profitable career as a farm mortgage broker. The family was prosperous enough for Walton to graduate high school and attend the University of Missouri during the Great Depression, holding part-time jobs to make ends meet. During WW-II, he served in the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps, reaching the rank of captain.

The post-war recovery – and family money – enabled Walton to succeed. His first retail shop, a Ben Franklin variety store franchise in Newport, AK, was bankrolled by a $20,000 loan from his father-in-law and $5,000 from personal savings; the investment would be equal to about $300,000 in 2013 dollars.

In 1951, after he lost the first store, he opened a second franchise shop in Bentonville, renaming it the Walton’s Five and Dime. This was followed in ’52 by his first non-franchise store in Fayetteville. In 1961, he became the majority owner of the Bank of Bentonville, since renamed the Arvest Bank. In ‘62, he opened the first Wal-Mart store in Rogers, AK, a stepping-stone to becoming the world’s largest retail operation, with stores in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the UK. (It remains unclear if Wal-Mart’s $230 million Mexican bribery scandal in 2011 is but the tip of the iceberg.) Walton died in 1992.

Walton’s business philosophy was simple and successful. Go down-market and reach the largest consumer public possible. To do this, he evolved a bulk purchasing strategy, thus forcing producers to drop their cost-of-goods so he could offer bargain prices, thus maximizing sales. Concomitantly, he aggressively pushed an anti-union policy, employing low-wage workers with no benefits and keeping stores open later than most competitors, especially during the Christmas season. The logic of this business philosophy was acutely expressed during the 2013 Christmas season when local Wal-Mart employees organized food-drives for themselves.

Walton’s remarkable success marks the intersection of two phenomena, a particular individual and an historical moment. He seemed to have a knack for retailing, the buying and selling of commercial products. His trajectory shadows that of Richard Sears, who in 1886 began selling watches at a train station in Minnesota. From this would emerge his legendary new-media innovation, an 80-page mail-order catalog. In 1925, the first Sears and Roebuck first retail store opened and in 1973 they proclaimed the dominance by building, Chicago’s the Sears Tower, then the largest building in the U.S.; in 2009, it was renamed the Willis Tower.

Walton’s children inherited his massive business operation and vast wealth. One of the slight-of-hand tricks that these 2nd-generation Walton plutocrats used was to pay little taxes in through what is known as a ”Jackie O.” trust. It’s a scheme to pass on money tax-free to heirs. According to Bloomberg’s Zachary Milder: “With a big enough spread between the actual performance and the IRS rate, a Jackie O. trust can theoretically save so much tax that it leaves a family richer than if it hadn’t given a dime to charity.”

* * *

The Waltons effectively leverage their enormous wealth for maximum influence. In “Distorting Our Democracy,” the website, Walmart 1 Percent, reports that from the 2000 to the 2012 elections, the Waltons and the Walmart PAC spent nearly $17 million in federal elections; some $11.6 million went to GOP candidates and committees, including $900,000 to super PACs in the 2012, of which $400,000 went to Restore Our Future, Mitt Romney’s super PAC.

It also found that the Waltons have worked closely with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) promoting anti-immigrations legislation (in Arizona), voter-ID laws and the “Stand Your Ground” law. It found that “from 2006-2010 alone, they gave more than $500,000 to the campaigns of ALEC alumni currently serving in Congress.”

They’ve supported candidates opposed to environmental regulations, civil rights, women’s rights (including abortion rights) and gay rights. Wal-Mart is the nation’s largest seller of guns and ammunition and, from 2005 through 2012, its PAC donated approximately $1.7 million to NRA-endorsed candidates.

It also found that “since 2000, members of the Walton family have spent at least $24 million funding politicians, political action committees, and ballot issues at the state and local level that favor their corporate approach to school reform.” In particularly, Walmart 1 Percent estimates “the family has dropped more than $1 billion toward efforts to ‘infuse competitive pressure into America’s K-12 education system.’” Their efforts have been directed toward promoting charter schools, school vouchers, teaching to the test, breaking unions, merit pay for teachers and opposing early childhood programs.

A recent New York Times investigative report noted, “the size of the Walton’s foundation’s wallet allows it to exert an outsize influence on education policy as well as on which schools flourish and which are forced to fold.” Among the education privatization groups it supports are: the Charter School Growth Fund ($101.6 mil); Teach for America ($67.2 mil); KIPP, the largest charter school networks ($58.7 mil); the Alliance for School Choice, a advocate for private school vouchers ($18.4 mil); GreatSchools Inc., an online information site ($15.5 mil); and the charter advocacy group, StudentsFirst ($8 mil).

The Waltons are quintessential oligarchs, not simply enormously wealthy plutocrats, but superrich advocates strategically employing their wealth and influence to advance an anti-democratic, rightwing agenda.

David Rosen can be reached at drosennyc [at]; check out
by Register Peace & Freedom or Green
Saturday May 10th, 2014 1:14 AM
This is an old show. A Democrat will show his true corporate face when they do not have to worry about elections, and the promoters of the Democrats will claim to be shocked, disappointed, maybe outraged, but will once again vote for the next Democrat and have the unmitigated gall to state these millionaires, like Obama, are more viable than any workingclass candidates for Peace & Freedom Party and the Green Party. THAT MUST CHANGE RIGHT NOW IF HUMANITY AND THE EARTH ARE TO HAVE A FUTURE! The Fukushima nuclear plants, brought to us by General Electric, an American company, suffered a MELT-OUT, meaning the core escaped the reactor and has spread AROUND THE WORLD, contaminating everything with radiation. We do not have much time as it may be possible to fool human beings, but you cannot fool Mother Nature!

You will notice that these wealthy companies give to both the Republicans and Democrats, the twin capitalist parties of war and fascism. They certainly do not give to Peace & Freedom Party or the Green Party.

The truth about Obama has long been known. See We have endured this millionaire fascist thug from a CIA family promoting war and fascism at home and abroad for over 5 years, yet the fantasy exists among workers that if they just beg this thug for decent wages, they will win decent wages. UNION PEOPLE SHOULD BE ORGANIZING FOR LOCAL, REGIONAL AND NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKES to increase all wages to what we need to buy a house, which is necessary to support a family. In the Bay Area, that wage is $60 per hour.

Stop supporting all Democrats! The Democrats only exist to make sure you never vote socialist or Green. That is why they mouth a few decent phrases on the campaign trail, but once elected, they carry out the same capitalist agenda as the Republicans because that is what the capitalist class pays both parties to do.

Change your voter registration to the 2 parties which are pro-labor, pro-environment, pro-peace and pro-civil liberties, Peace & Freedom and the Green Party. They need your registration, not just your vote, to stay on the ballot after 2014.

You can register online at:

For more information, see: (Cindy Sheehan for Governor Campaign)
Obama Shilling For Walmart-Labor Community Protests Union Busting Walmart In Silicon Valley
Walmart workers, trade unionists, students and community members
protested the visit of President Obama on May 9, 2014 to the
Mountain View Walmart store in Silicon Valley. Protesters said
Walmart is not paying living wages and also uses public subsidies
to pay for the workers since they are not being paid living wages.
Many minimum wage workers cannot afford to rent an apartment
or home in Silicon Valley. Students from CSUSJ and Stanford also
participated in the protest. The action was also supported by the
South Bay Labor Council.
Additional video at:
WalMart Workers Fed Up! Richmond-San Leandro Actions In BA On 2012 Black Friday
Walmart Nightmare! Injured Worker Speaks Out
Fighting Wal-Martization
Production of Labor Video Project
by Marge
Saturday May 10th, 2014 10:16 AM
3rd parties have no chance of winning the governors races. They do not have the financial backing to run a campaign to win. Voting for 3rd party candidates in large elections will only split the vote. Local elections are another thing, but a major election like California governor, please do not vote 3rd party. A vote for a 3rd party only leads to wins for the right-wingers despite rhetoric about them being the flip-side of the same system. There are profound differences between Democrats and Republicans.

by Register Peace & Freedom or Green
Saturday May 10th, 2014 7:45 PM
Here is the relevant quote on Walmart and its owners:
"According to OpenSecrets, the Wal-Mart PAC dolled out $3.2 million in 2012, with money going to both Republicans and Democrats."

IT IS RIGHT WING to be anti-labor, to promote war and fascism, to promote the prison-industrial complex, to promote solitary confinement as now exists at Pelican Bay for over 1,000 prisoners as well as other prisons in California, to allow the existence of the death penalty, to promote charter schools (King Jerry the Last supports anti-labor charter schools), to refuse to tax the rich with the progressive income tax to pay for schools so that California is once again the best in the nation instead of being 49th, in the same group as Alabama and Mississippi, to allow NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS IN EARTHQUAKE CALIFORNIA or anywhere else, to support fracking, to support the destruction of the Sacramento Delta, to refuse to tax the rich with the progressive income tax to house the homeless permanently in decent housing, and this is the short list. This website has constant articles on King Jerry the Last, the current reactionary Democrat in the state house. See

It is the Democrat-Republicans who split the vote FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEFEATING Peace & Freedom Party and the Green Party. THEY ALWAYS WORK TOGETHER. They PROUDLY ADMIT that they have NO DIFFERENCE IN FOREIGN POLICY, which is to say, the THEFT OF OUR TAX DOLLARS FOR THE WAR MACHINE. Since we cannot have guns and butter, that means they have no difference. That also means they both support the 5/2/14 MASSACRE IN ODESSA, and all the other horrors of the war machine, including the Nazi CIA. Here is what the Democrat-Republicans supported with $5 billion of our tax dollars in Ukraine at the Massacre of Odessa, perpetrated by the CIA:

CALIFORNIA IS WORSE TODAY than when King Jerry the Last took office almost 4 years ago because capitalism is in a greater state of decay and King Jerry the Last, a proud member of the capitalist class, benefits from the destruction of the workingclass and all we have fought for.

Register Peace & Freedom or Green today. We need you now to stay on the ballot after 2014.
by Register Peace & Freedom or Green
Saturday May 10th, 2014 8:38 PM
William Blum, a long time researcher and writer on the horrors of US imperialism, has written an excellent article on US imperialism in Ukraine. See
"The New Cold War: “The Russians are Coming … Again … and They’re Still Ten Feet Tall”, 5/10/14 at
Pertinent paragraphs:
"Getting away with supporting al-Qaeda and Nazi types may be giving US officials the idea that they can say or do anything they want in their foreign policy. In a May 2 press conference, President Obama, referring to Ukraine and the NATO Treaty, said:

“We’re united in our unwavering Article 5 commitment to the security of our NATO allies”. (Article 5 states: “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them … shall be considered an attack against them all.”)

"Did the president forget that Ukraine is not (yet) a member of NATO? And in the same press conference, the president referred to the “duly elected government in Kyiv (Kiev)”, when in fact it had come to power via a coup and then proceeded to establish a new regime in which the VICE-PREMIER, MINISTER OF DEFENSE, MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, AND MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, ALL BELONGED TO FAR-RIGHT NEO-NAZI PARTIES."

Democrat Obama OUTRIGHT LIED when he called the February coup an election and outright lied when he said Ukraine was a member of NATO. He did this AS HIS CIA BUDDIES IN UKRAINE MASSACRED THE PEOPLE OF ODESSA IN A TRADE UNION BUILDING on May 2, 2014. DEMOCRAT OBAMA IS SUPPORTING OPEN FASCISTS IN UKRAINE, ALONG WITH REPUBLICAN MCCAIN. This website has had numerous articles by Steve Argue and Steve Lendman on this subject. Democrat Obama is from a CIA family, promoting his CIA buddies in Ukraine, proud supporters of fascism, proud anti-Semites and anti-Communists. Democrat Obama and Republican McCain ARE RIGHT WING.

Thus, it should be no surprise that this RIGHT WING DEMOCRAT supports and is supported by anti-labor Walmart. There is no Democrat on the California ballot that is condemning Obama for his support of the fascist government of Ukraine or his support for the Massacre at Odessa on May 2, 2014. That is sufficient cause to CHANGE YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION TODAY to Peace & Freedom or Green Party.
"Of the donations made by both Walmart's PAC and the Walton family since the 2000 election cycle, nearly 70 percent went to Republican candidates and committees, the report found. Because in many cases the report combines donations from the Walmart PAC and the Walton family, the findings create a more conservative picture than Walmart's own data."

Also, "splitting the vote" is in reference to people who would normally vote Democrat; but if "tricked" into voting a 3rd party, that results in 1 less vote for the Democrats. The result would be a win for the Republicans. There's no such thing as "splitting the vote" of 3rd party voters.

A 3rd party has no chance of winning the governorship. Neither party has the funds to reach enough voters. The proof is the misleading posts here on Indybay which no one reads. It's free to post.
by reposted
Tuesday May 13th, 2014 3:05 PM
Marge seems to think the Democrats are fighting for working people yet they supported NAFTA, deregulation and privatization of educations. One of her heroes George Miller is pushing no child left behind and is backed by union buster slave labor operations like Walmart. Maybe she should wake up and smell the coffee.

Republicrats United In Pushing Education Privatization Through Charters-Union NEA/AFT Supported Democrat Miller Big Pusher Of Privatization "The bill authored by House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) and the panel's top Democrat, Rep. George Miller (Calif.), would consolidate the two existing federal charter school programs into one to award grants to state entities."

House Steams Ahead on Charter School Expansion
School choice has been a divisive issue, but both chambers are moving toward an agreement.

Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., speaks during a news conference in support of charter schools Wednesday on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

By Allie BidwellMay 9, 20142 Comments SHARE
A bipartisan bill that would free up more federal money to fund the growth of high-quality charter schools sailed through the House on Friday, just hours after the chamber also passed a bill to expand education research programs – a sign the logjam facing major education legislation could be subsiding.

The Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act – a bill introduced by Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman and ranking member of the House Education and the Workforce Comittee – passed on a 360-45 vote. It would streamline two existing charter school programs, combine grants to open new schools and renovate facilities, and ask for $50 million more in annual charter school funding, bringing the total to $300 million.

[READ: Cash-Strapped Catholic Schools Resurrect as Charters]

"A great education is the foundation that Americans need to climb the economic ladder of success, and to build a bright future," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Friday before the vote. "
For far too many children in our country, a quality education remains out of reach and kids without access to a quality of education struggle to even see any opportunity to get ahead."

"Fortunately, we have a chance today to bring more opportunities to students all over America who are looking for that chance to learn, to grow and to succeed," Cantor said.

Amendments to the bill approved on Friday include provisions to ensure foster and homeless youths do not face barriers to enrolling at charter schools, to require states to report on how they've worked with charter schools to foster community involvement, and to task the Government Accountability Office with reporting on whether the amount of funding for state administrative costs is appropriate.

"It is simple and straightforward, ensuring the millions of taxpayer dollars will go to classrooms, not caught up in bureaucracy," said Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who wrote the amendment on administrative costs. "We all know how easy it is for administrative costs in the public sector to balloon. This amendment helps to prevent this from happening."

Although Congress hasn't as of late made substantial progress on the two outdated major education governance laws – the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Higher Education Act – the House voted late Thursday to pass the Strengthening Education through Research Act, which would reauthorize the Institute of Education Sciences.

[SEE ALSO: Rand Paul's Latest Stop to Expand the GOP Brand]

And on Wednesday, a bipartisan group of senators – Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. – introduced their own version of the charter school legislation: the Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Act.
Following the House vote, Alexander praised the approval and encouraged his colleagues to take similar action on the bill he proposed.

"The House action on charter schools helps states give teachers more freedom and children more choices of schools," Alexander said in a statement. "With such strong, bipartisan support there is no reason not to enact a law this year that will help millions of children."

Still, some education leaders are hesitant to fully back the proposed legislation. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, joined several charter school leaders from across the country in writing a letter to Congress, urging lawmakers to adopt proposed amendments to the House bill that would enhance accountability and transparency.

"We know that when public charters are held to the same standards of accountability, equitable access and transparency as traditional public schools, all our students receive a better education," the letter says. "But when public charters are not held to these standards, student learning suffers and taxpayer money is wasted."

[MORE: New York and Illinois Head in Opposite Directions on Charter Schools]

The group pointed to a report released Monday that claimed charter school operators in 15 states were responsible for "losing, misusing or wasting over $100 million in taxpayer money."

"All institutions that receive public education dollars should be held to the same high standards, and we urge you to support improvements to this legislation that would ensure better financial oversight of charters, transparency with charter finances, and equitable access for and treatment of all students," the teachers continue in their letter.

One amendment to increase the accountability and transparency of charter schools – from Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla. – failed to pass. It would have required Education Secretary Arne Duncan to develop and enforce conflict-of-interest guidelines for any charter school receiving funds under the bill.

"The conflict-of-interest problems afflicting charter schools across the country endanger the outstanding work being done by many charter schools," Castor said Friday. "If charter schools are going to effectively carry out their mission for students using public funds, it is clear we need more accountability and better procedures in place to protect taxpayer investments."

But Kline strongly opposed the amendment, saying it would be a federal overreach and that the bill sufficiently addresses concerns about conflicts of interest.

[READ: AFT, Advocacy Group Want More Accountability for Charter Schools]

"Simply put, this amendment is unnecessary," Kline said. "We do not need the secretary of education getting more involved in these schools by layering on more burdensome requirements. These are issues best addressed at the state and local level, and the underlying bill already provides support for these efforts."

The American Association of School Administrators came out in opposition of the House bill, stating that while it is an improvement to current law, it lacks the necessary requirements to ensure federal dollars are being spent well. The group urged legislators to vote against the bill, even if certain amendments were adopted.

"To the extent that this bill affords charter schools flexibilities that are not available to traditional schools, it is inequitable," a letter from the group says. "To the extent that charter schools do not have to disclose the source/amount of private money, it is not transparent."

The organization said that rather than amending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – also known as No Child Left Behind – as the charter school bill would do, legislators should look for a way to come to a bipartisan agreement on updating the sweeping education law.

[RELATED: State Laws Need to Allow for More Charter School Growth, Report Says]

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., also urged her colleagues to work to reauthorize No Child Left Behind and called on them to place additional focus on improving traditional public schools, not just charter schools. Her amendment, which was passed, clarifies reporting requirements by asking states to include efforts to share best practices between charter schools and traditional public schools.

"We should also be focused on the sharing of best practices, and we should be especially focused on what we’re getting out of it," Bonamici said.

House passes charter school reform bill
May 09, 2014, 12:27 pm
House passes charter school reform bill
By Cristina Marcos

The House on Friday passed bipartisan legislation to expand access to charter school funding.

Passed 360-45, the vote came in sharp contrast to the bitterly partisan debates this week over creating a select committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attack and holding former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress.

A majority of Democrats — 158 in favor and 34 against — joined all but 11 Republicans in support of the measure.
The bill authored by House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) and the panel's top Democrat, Rep. George Miller (Calif.), would consolidate the two existing federal charter school programs into one to award grants to state entities.

The measure would also authorize the secretary of Education to maintain a federal grant competition for charter schools that did not win state grants.

Republicans have touted the issue of school choice and access to charter schools as a way of limiting the federal government's role in education policy. Charter schools receive public funding, but operate independently and therefore are not subject to federal regulations.

"Expanding education opportunity for all students everywhere is the civil rights issue of our time," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said. "I say we help those students by expanding those slots so they can get off the waiting lists and into the classrooms."

Teachers unions such as the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association raised concerns that the legislation would not subject charter schools to federal education requirements, such as reporting teacher attrition rates and student discipline codes.

But the unions, key Democratic party supporters, did say that the measure would include some improvements over current law such as creating weighted lotteries for charter school funding.

The House rejected, 190-205, an amendment offered by Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) that would require the secretary of Education to develop conflict of interest guidelines for all charter schools receiving federal funds, such as disclosing individuals with financial interest in a given charter school.

"There have been very serious cases all across the country over the past few years involving the conflict of interest in charter schools," Castor said.

But Kline said the proposal would be unnecessary.

"This amendment is an overreach of federal authority," Kline said.

Members also rejected, 179-220, an amendment offered by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) to require charter schools to publish data regarding student enrollment criteria, discipline policies and orientation materials on their websites.

"It is important to ensure that our parents have information. and certainly should have info regarding the kind of discipline atmosphere that is there. They should also know whether or not there are serious commitment to making sure that their child's holistic future is in front of them," Jackson Lee said.

Kline said that requiring charter schools to publish such information would impose an unnecessary workload not required of public schools.

"I don't think we should be adding additional burdens onto charter schools," Kline said.

The House gave voice vote approval to an amendment offered by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) to require the Government Accountability Office to audit federal funds given to charter schools for administrative costs.

"It is important we attempt to maximize the ability of the dollar to reach the classroom," Cassidy said.

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House passes bipartisan bill that would encourage charter school growth

In this May 7, 2014, photo, Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., left, gestures towards Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., during a news conference in support of charter schools on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House on May 9 passed a bill in support of charter schools that is part of a GOP-led push to promote school choice. Cantor has made expanding school choice options a priority, and in the area of charter schools the two political sides have found some common ground. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Associated PressMay 9, 2014Leave a Comment SHARE

By KIMBERLY HEFLING, AP Education Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Friday passed a bill boosting support for charter schools as part of a GOP-led push to promote school choice.

The bipartisan measure would provide $300 million annually to expand charter schools and consolidate two programs. It would provide state grants to expand and replicate high-quality charter schools and help fund the acquisition of buildings for the schools.

The measure passed 360 to 45.

"Clearly, these institutions are a valuable part of a successful education system," said Rep. John Kline, R-Minn, the chairman of the House Education Committee.

He said the federal charter school program is "in need of key reforms to enhance access and ensure continued educational quality."

There are more than 2.5 million students attending more than 6,400 public charter schools, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. The alliance says 1 in 20 students in America attends such a school, most frequently in New Orleans, Detroit and the District of Columbia.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has made expanding school choices a priority, and Democrats and Republicans have found common ground on charter schools.

The bill was opposed by the National School Boards Association. It says decisions about charter schools should be made at the local and state level, not by federal lawmakers.

This week a bipartisan group of senators filed a similar bill in the Senate where the chance of passage appears more uncertain.


Follow Kimberly Hefling on Twitter at

KIPP Board Of Directors-Carrie Walton Penner
Carrie Walton Penner
Trustee, Walton Family Foundation
Carrie Walton Penner is an education reform advocate who is committed to dramatically improving K–12 student achievement in the United States, especially in low-income communities. Along with the other Walton family members, she guides the Walton Family Foundation’s education reform strategies and investments. The Foundation believes that the best way to achieve continuous and sustainable improvements in K–12 schools is to create competition among schools by empowering parents to choose among them.
Ms. Penner serves as a board member of several organizations including the California Charter School Association, EdVoice, the Alliance for School Choice, and the California Academy of Sciences. She earned a B.A. in economics and history from Georgetown University and master’s degrees from Stanford University in education policy and program evaluation. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband, Greg Penner, and their four children.
- See more at:

The Walmart's Education Agenda And Funding Of Privatization And Union Busting
“Before considering the specific goals and activities of these foundations, it is worth reflecting on the wisdom of allowing education policy to be directed or, one might say, captured by private foundations. There is something fundamentally antidemocratic about relinquishing control of the public education policy agenda to private foundations run by society’s wealthiest people.”[1]
- Diane Ravitch, education historian and Assistant Secretary of Education under President George H.W. Bush
When the richest family in the country inserts itself into the education policy debate, ordinary Americans have reason to be concerned. Why should one family’s overwhelmingly deep pockets give them the right to play such an outsized role in determining how the next generation of American students is educated? What are they really trying to accomplish?
Why do the Waltons care about education?
While John Walton said in February 2000 that he believed the greatest responsibility facing the country was to provide a “world-class education” for all children,[2] recent comments from his wife suggest that the family’s original motive for becoming involved in education policy may have been less lofty.
In a June 2011 speech to the graduating class of the private school her son Lukas attended, Christy Walton explained that her family became involved in K-12 education reform because their business—presumably Walmart—“was having trouble finding qualified people to fill entry-level positions” and because the family believed that “the education being provided [in public schools] had been dummied [sic] down.”
Who’s involved? Who are they connected to?
Through their foundation, the Walton family has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to promote charter schools and private schools, and family members are involved in many prominent national organizations pursuing this agenda. Get to know the family members most involved in this work:

• John Walton: Until his death in 2005, John Walton coordinated the education work of his family and family’s foundation.[3] Most notably, he and the late Republican financier Ted Forstmann co-founded the Children’s Scholarship Fund, which funds private school educations for low-income children[4], and he assisted in the creation of the right-wing advocacy group Alliance for School Choice.[5] He was also a shareholder in a for-profit school development company [6] that went bankrupt in 2006.[7]

• Carrie Walton Penner: Penner, who graduated from a private boarding school and attended two elite universities,[8] sits on the boards of the KIPP Foundation[9] (to which the Walton Family Foundation recently gave $25 million[10]) and the California Charter Schools Association.[11] She is also on the boards of the Alliance for School Choice[12]—a voucher advocacy group—and its lobbying and political affiliate.[13] Penner has a degree from the Stanford University School of Education, but has apparently never worked on the front line of education as a teacher.[14]

• Greg Penner: Greg Penner, Carrie Walton Penner’s husband, is on the National Board of Directors for Teach for America, and is a director of the Charter Growth Fund,[15] a “non-profit venture capital fund” investing charter in schools.[16]

• Christy Walton: Christy Walton is now the co-chair of the Children’s Scholarship Fund, which her late husband co-founded.[17]

• Annie Proietti: Jim Walton’s daughter, Annie Walton Proietti, works for a KIPP school in Denver.[18]
What are they trying to accomplish? What are they funding?
The Walton Family Foundation states on its website that it seeks to “infuse competitive pressure into America’s K-12 education system by increasing the quantity and quality of school choices available to parents, especially in low-income communities.”[19] Between 2005 and 2010, the Walton Family Foundation gave nearly $700 million to education reform organizations.[20] Specifically, the family provides lavish funding for voucher programs, charter schools, and policy and advocacy groups devoted to establishing and promoting alternatives to public schooling.
In addition, the Walton Family Foundation finances education studies whose findings reinforce the family’s positions on education reform. In January 2012, The Washington Post reported[21] on a new study done by Illinois-based IFF, a “regional nonprofit community development financial institution”[22] that identifies itself as a “stakeholder” in the charter school movement,[23] and funded with a $100,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation.[24] Considering the source of this study, it is perhaps unsurprising that the study called for the closure of over 30 public schools in the city and the expansion of charter schools.[25]
While the family funds charter schools, it seems clear that its real interest lies with voucher programs, a mechanism for school privatization through which public tax dollars can be diverted to private institutions. The late John Walton, son of Walmart founder Sam Walton, was recognized by Business Week in February 2000 as “a leading advocate for using ‘consumer choice’ to reform America’s schools”—that is, through the use of taxpayer-funded private school vouchers.[26] Indeed, the family apparently began working on charter schools as a sort of compromise, only after it became clear that privatization of schools was a very controversial idea.[27]
The family is active in education policy outside of its foundation, too—for example, by injecting money into local political races, often far from where they live:

• Wisconsin: Many of the Walmart heirs have furthered their interests in school privatization by funding Republican candidates for state office in Wisconsin, a state none of them lives in. As the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism reported in September 2011, six members of the family were among the top 10 individual contributors to winning state legislative candidates in the 2010 elections that put Republicans in control of the state government. Under the first budget passed by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-majority legislature, funding for public schools was cut by $800 million over two years, while funding for voucher programs that funnel public money to private schools increased by $17 million over two years. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has the first and largest voucher program in the country, and the Walton Family Foundation provides substantial funding to School Choice Wisconsin, the state’s primary advocate for vouchers.[28]

• Louisiana: In October 2011, Carrie and Greg Penner, who live in California, each donated $5,000 to Kira Orange Jones, a candidate for the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).[29] Orange Jones, the Teach for America head in New Orleans who was elected to the BESE in this fall’s election, is said to have “[run] as the embodiment of post-Katrina reform efforts in New Orleans”[30]—reform efforts that have been focused on charter schools and school privatization. Greg Penner is on the board of Teach for America.[31]

• California: In 2006, Greg Penner contributed $250,000 to a campaign against proposed Proposition 82.[32] The proposition, sponsored by actor and director Rob Reiner, sought to establish a universal preschool system in California for four-year-olds by placing an additional income tax on individuals making more than $400,000 a year, and couples making in excess of $800,000.[33]

Why is this a problem?
In her most recent book, education historian Diane Ravitch, Assistant Secretary of Education under President George H.W. Bush and a former supporter of charters and vouchers,[34] clearly articulates the problem with Walton-style education philanthropy:
These foundations, no matter how worthy and high-minded, are after all, not public agencies. They are not subject to public oversight or review, as a public agency would be. They have taken it upon themselves to reform public education, perhaps in ways that would never survive the scrutiny of voters in any district or state. If voters don’t like the foundations’ reform agenda, they can’t vote them out of office. The foundations demand that public schools and teachers be held accountable for performance, but they themselves are accountable to no one. If their plans fail, no sanctions are levied against them. They are bastions of unaccountable power.[35]
The Waltons and the Walton Family Foundation have gargantuan financial resources and can exert undue influence on politicians and public policy issues of their choosing. No matter where people come down on the issues of education reform or school choice, we can all agree it is unfair that the Walton family gets to dictate the future of public education because of the amount of money at its disposal, and to do so in a way that is unaccountable to the public.
Remember, too, that the Waltons—white, rural, and mind-bogglingly wealthy—pursue their education reform goals in low-income, urban communities where the student populations consist largely of children of color. When a profoundly privileged family seeks to engage in philanthropy in historically marginalized communities that they are not part of, the lack of accountability is even more troubling.
The Waltons and their foundation have reaped billions and billions of dollars from a ruthless business model that relies on Walmart jobs being insecure and unstable jobs, with low wages, skimpy benefits, and little respect in the workplace. Their company has helped create a world where parents have to work two or more jobs, with unstable hours to make ends meet. They’ve helped create a world where parents struggle with choices like paying rent, putting food on the table or taking a sick child to the doctor. And now the Waltons want to tell us how to fix our schools? The Walmart model has made its impact on much of the world. But, for many, the Walmartization of our schools is one step too far.

[1] Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, pp. 200-201.
[2] “John Walton: ‘Making a World-Class Education Available to Every Child,’” Bloomberg
Businessweek, February 7, 2000,
[3] “A Quiet Family Fund Creates a Loud Buzz,” Caroline Preston, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, February 20, 2011,
[4] “Theodore Forstmann, Private Equity Pioneer, Is Dead at 71,” Andrew Ross Sorkin, The New York Times, November 20, 2011,; “Founders – Children’s Scholarship Fund,”
[5] “The Carnegie of School Choice,” Joanne Jacobs, Philanthropy Roundtable, September/October 2005,
[6] Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. proxy statement dated April 18, 1997, “Wal-Marting Philanthropy,” Bill Berkowitz, October 22, 2004,
[7] “Tesseract Group, Inc.,”
[8] 2009 Annual Report of Giving, for The Governor’s Academy:; “Carrie Walton Penner,”; “Teaching Arkansas Children Well,” Stanford Magazine, March/April 2002,
[9] “KIPP Board of Directors,”
[10] “$25 Million Investment in KIPP to Help Double Number of Families That Choose KIPP Schools,”$25-million-in-kipp-to-serve-59,000-students-by-2015
[11] “Carrie Walton Penner,”
[12] “Alliance for School Choice,”
[13] “American Federation for Children – Leadership,”
[14] Her bio for the California Charter School Association indicates that she has never held a teaching position: “California Charter Schools Association: The Association: Our Team: The Board,”
[15] “Charter School Growth Fund – Who We Are – Board,”
[16] “Charter School Growth Fund – Who We Are – Overview,”
[17] “Theodore Forstmann, Private Equity Pioneer, Is Dead at 71,” Andrew Ross Sorkin, The New York Times, November 20, 2011,; “Founders – Children’s Scholarship Fund,”
[19] “Education Reform,”
[20] Based on reports of grant funding in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 on the Walton Family Foundation website (and archived versions of the website from the Internet Archive,
[21] “Many public schools in D.C.’s poorest area should be transformed or shut, study says; more charters recommended,” Bill Turque, The Washington Post, January 26, 2012.
[22] “About IFF,”
[23] “Policy and Research,”
[24] “Many public schools in D.C.’s poorest area should be transformed or shut, study says; more charters recommended,” Bill Turque, The Washington Post, January 26, 2012.
[25] “Many public schools in D.C.’s poorest area should be transformed or shut, study says; more charters recommended,” Bill Turque, The Washington Post, January 26, 2012.
[26] John Walton: ‘Making a World-Class Education Available to Every Child,’” Bloomberg
Businessweek, February 7, 2000,
[27] See Christy Walton’s June 2011 speech: “So in California, where we were living at that time, we began to work on vouchers, and that’s the full choice, where money follows the child, so whatever public or private school you decide and determine that your child needs to attend. And there was such a battle that there was a compromise made, and that gave us the public charter schools that we have today, that are in many, many states. And these public schools offer some options to the conventional system. But they’re still not as innovative and successful overall as the majority of private schools.”
[28] “The selling of school choice,” Bill Lueders, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, September 18, 2011. Available online at
[29] Louisiana Board of Ethics Campaign Finance Portal search, 12/09/11
[30] “Kira Orange Jones elected to BESE,” Andrew Vanacore, the Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), November 19, 2011.
[31] “Boards – Teach for America,”
[32], California Contributions Report. Accessed 20 May 2011.
[33] Furillo, Andy, “Election Law Election law quirk spurs protests; Preschool initiative backers want to know where foes got funds.” Sacramento Bee. 3 May 2006.
[34] “Why I Changed My Mind, Diane Ravitch, The Nation, May 27, 2010,
[35] Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, pp. 200-201.
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Union Busting Walmart Foundation's grant will bring 700 new teachers to L.A. in TFA Scheme
Foundation's grant will bring 700 new teachers to L.A.,0,6222450.story
Walton Family Foundation gives $20 million to Teach for America, which recruits talented college graduates to teach for two years.

By Howard Blume
July 31, 2013, 12:05 a.m.
The Arkansas-based Walton Family Foundation announced Wednesday that it was donating $20 million to a nonprofit that recruits talented college graduates to teach in public schools for two years. The largest number of instructors, more than 700, is slated for Los Angeles.

The gift is a continuation of support that has totaled more than $100 million to New York City-basedTeach for America over its 24 years. Walton's cumulative contribution to the group in Los Angeles is more than $10 million, according to the foundation.

"Teach for America will be able to bring effective teachers into some of the most under-resourced classrooms in the country while simultaneously working to develop more of our talented corps members as long-term champions of educational equity and excellence," said Matt Kramer, co-chief executive officer of Teach for America, in a statement.

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Support from the Walton foundation has attracted notice because it is associated with funding and advocacy for "school choice" efforts across the country. These include independently operated, public charter schools. The foundation also supports government-funded vouchers to subsidize the tuition of low-income students at private schools.

The organization is funded by members of the family that founded Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which has opposed unionization in its operations. Most charters are nonunion.

For its part, Teach for America has always cast itself as politically neutral, and notes that its teachers join unions when they work in school districts with collective bargaining agreements.

The group lobbies both the federal and state governments to allow its teachers to enter schools as rated "highly qualified" under the law. That designation is important because schools with lower numbers of highly qualified instructors face possible sanctions.

The Walton foundation said the essence of its support for Teach for America has to do with the group's twin core missions: to provide effective teachers where they are needed for low-income students and to develop alumni who become leaders who care about education, whether they remain in school systems or enter other fields.

"Teach for America is doing a great job of recruiting highly talented invdividuals into education," said Ed Kirby, deputy director of K-12 education reform for the foundation. "It is a fabulous talent pipeline."

In the L.A. area, 42 Teach for America alumuni have risen to the position of principal or higher in a school district; 60 have done so in local charter schools.

In L.A. this year, 94% of the incoming corps found jobs in charters, which have been expanding in number. It's "a special value that TFA has embraced placement in charter schools," Kirby said. Many alums, he noted, become charter school leaders: "It's amazing when you get out into the charter school market to see the degree to which TFA alums populate the leadership throughout."

Walton is Teach for America's largest donor, but the group has a diverse funding base. The Walton donation will cover about 20% of the group's expenses this year in the L.A. region.

Altogether, Walton's donation will help recruit and train nearly 4,000 first- and second-year teachers in nine regions, including Denver, Milwaukee, Newark, New Orleans and Washington, D.C. Three cities — Detroit, Indianapolis and Memphis — are receiving direct support from Walton for the first time.

howard.blume [at]

Demo Leader Rep. Miller discusses charter school segreation and privatization
Uploaded on Jun 1, 2011
Rep. George Miller (D-CA), senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, discusses the issues segregation and privatization within charter schools at an Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee hearing entitled "Education Reforms: Exploring the Vital Role of Charter Schools" on June 6, 2011.

Charter Schools Fall Short on Disabled


• June 19, 2012, 10:55 p.m. ET

Charter Schools Fall Short on Disabled


A new government report shows that charter schools are not enrolling as high a portion of special-education students as traditional public schools, despite federal laws mandating that publicly financed schools run by private entities take almost every disabled student seeking to enroll.

Rush Jagoe for The Wall Street Journal
Kelly Fischer says she visited three New Orleans charter schools, and all told her that they couldn't provide services to her disabled son, Noah.

The report, published Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, is the first comprehensive study focused on charter schools' enrollment of special-needs students, which has been a central issue in debates over those schools' rapid growth in the U.S.

The report showed that special-education students—those with diagnosed disabilities from Down Syndrome to attention-deficit disorder—made up 8.2% of charter school students during the 2009-2010 school year. While that was up from 7.7% the year before, it was below the average at traditional public schools of 11.2% in 2009-2010, and 11.3% the previous year.

"These are differences that cannot remain. They are not acceptable," said Rep. George Miller (D., Calif), a charter-school proponent who asked the GAO to look into the issue. The House passed a bill last year that would make it easier for charter schools to expand, and "we want to make sure that all children—including those who are special ed—have a chance to participate in this revolutionary education reform," he said. The Senate hasn't yet voted on the bill.

Enlarge Image

Charter schools have been a flashpoint in the education wars since they began roughly 20 years ago. Run by companies or nonprofit groups using taxpayer funds, charters are free from many bureaucratic constraints of traditional schools and, typically, do not employ unionized teachers. Last year, more than 1.8 million students were enrolled in charters, more than five times the 350,000 enrolled in 2000, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Backers say charter schools offer a vital alternative to parents in districts with poorly performing schools. More than 45% of students in charter schools were eligible for free or reduced-price lunches in the most recent school year, compared to about 41% for non-charter public schools, according to the alliance. Teachers unions and other critics say that charters take the best-performing students with the most involved parents, and siphon funds from traditional public schools that are left to teach lower performers.

Federal law requires all public schools, including charters, to admit students with disabilities. Schools are legally required to carry out individualized plans for each disabled student, which could include extra reading help, or placement in a classroom with fewer students.

Critics have contended that charter schools refuse to enroll special-ed students, or push them out once enrolled, to save money or boost schoolwide test scores. Charter-school operators and supporters say their enrollment numbers are lower partly because many parents of special-needs children choose to enroll in traditional schools that often are more experienced providing such services, or in private schools that can give those students individualized attention.

In addition, charters in some states don't have access to regional cooperatives, which school districts join to provide costly special-ed services. And charter schools, on average, receive 20% less funding than traditional schools under some state funding formulas.

The GAO report said the reasons for the enrollment disparity weren't clear. It said "anecdotal accounts suggest" that some charter schools discourage disabled students from enrolling or deny admission to students with more severe disabilities. But it also said that traditional public schools tend to be larger and often have more resources for special-needs kids.

Eva Moskowitz, who runs the high-performing Success Academy Charter Schools in New York, said one reason for the enrollment disparity is because some charter schools try to move students out of special education through intensive instruction. About 7% of disabled students at Success Academy move out of "special education" classification, compared to 1% for the school district, she said.

In New Orleans, where charter schools have the biggest presence of any major city, enrolling about 75% of all students, a group of special-ed parents and advocates, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, filed a federal lawsuit alleging discrimination in 2010, based on complaints that several schools—charter and traditional—refused to enroll disabled students, kicked them out or neglected to provide proper services. The suit says that special-ed students made up 12.6% of the total population in non-charter schools, but only 7.8% of charter-school enrollment in the 2008-09 school year.

Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White said he didn't want to comment on pending litigation, but said that the state, which oversees the schools covered by the suit, is taking steps to improve the system. He cited a new common enrollment process allowing students, for the first time next year, to select schools on one form.

Kelly Fischer, a plaintiff in the New Orleans suit, said she enrolled her blind, autistic son, Noah, in two traditional schools in 2009 that failed to provide adequate services. At one school, she said, teachers gave him the same printed worksheets as other students. The next year, she visited three charter schools and all of them turned her away, saying they couldn't provide services to her disabled son, now 11 years old--a violation of federal law.

Eventually, she enrolled him at Lafayette Academy Charter School, where, she said, her son is doing well.

In a letter included in the GAO report, the U.S. Department of Education said it would provide more guidance to charter school on their legal responsibilities for special-needs students, and said it would review state policies and charter-school enrollment practices to discern what might be causing the skewed enrollment figures.

Jim Shelton, who oversees charter school initiatives for the Department of Education, said the enrollment gaps between charters and traditional schools are a "relatively small difference," and that it was difficult to draw conclusions based on the information provided. But he said his office would takes steps to address the issue.

Write to Stephanie Banchero at stephanie.banchero [at]

Rep. George Miller supports charter bill

By Theresa Harrington
Thursday, September 8th, 2011 at 11:56 am in Education.

Rep. George Miller delivered the following remarks on the House floor today in support of the Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act, according to a news release I just received.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act.

This legislation is the first bipartisan piece of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

It passed the Education committee with bipartisan support, and I’m hopeful it will receive similar support from the full Congress.

This country is facing a severe education crisis. Our schools are simply not meeting the educational needs of our students. This is a threat to our global competitiveness and our economic security.

Charter schools began 20 years ago as a laboratory for innovation to help tackle the stagnant education system at that time and give options to parents who felt helpless.

These schools often become the myth busters for what’s possible for a demographic of children that was written off.

Currently, they serve about 4 percent of all public school students. In urban areas, that number is much higher.

Charter schools are not a silver bullet and won’t solve all our education challenges. But they have become an important part of our education system. We need to update the law to reflect that reality.

The Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act encourages effective reforms that will help transform schools and communities.

First, this bill makes significant improvements to the existing Charter School Program and addresses issues we’ve heard from education advocates across the country.

It rightfully returns charter schools to their original purpose – public schools that identify and share innovative practices that lead to improvements for all public schools.

It requires that charters be brought back into the traditional public system as opposed to running in a parallel system.

And it requires charters to actually serve all student populations and therefore provides more parents with real choices.

Second, this bill prioritizes accountability.

It puts student achievement first. And it greatly increases the accountability of charter school authorizers.

Third, this bill addresses a recurring problem in charter schools, which is the lack of service to students with disabilities and English Language Learners.

In this bill, we dramatically improve access for underserved populations. We require better recruitment and enrollment practices for underserved populations.

Lastly, this bill is rightly focused on our students and what they need to succeed.

In many states, high performing charter schools are a great option for some students.

These schools are closing achievement gaps and shattering the low expectations that have stood in the way of student success.

Charter schools have been on the forefront of bold ideas and innovation in education. They’ve shown that given the right tools, all students can achieve at high levels.

We’re learning from great charter schools about works for students and what students need to be able to compete in a global economy.

Replicating this success will help our students, our communities and our economy.

With this legislation, we can help replicate that the positive reforms happening at some charter schools will happen at all charter schools. We can help ensure best practices are shared within a school district.

But this legislation is only one piece of the education reform puzzle.

Unfortunately, we’re not taking on the whole Elementary and Secondary Education Act today, just one part.

This country is in the midst of the most dynamic education reform atmosphere I’ve seen in my tenure in Congress.

The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act presents an opportunity to take hold of that momentum and finally bring our education system to the future.

The bill before us today is good, but we need to do much more.

It will be a tremendous disservice to our children and our country if we don’t provide relief for schools who are struggling under an outdated law.

This relief should come in the form of a full, comprehensive reauthorization of ESEA.

To do that, we have to take on ALL of the real issues facing all our schools, not just charters.

We need to address accountability, data, assessments and college and career ready standards and modernizing the teaching profession.

And we have to hold true to the reason that the federal government has a role in education in the first place – to ensure equal opportunity for every student in this country to a great education.

We know what it will take to fix our schools – it isn’t a mystery. But accomplishing that goal isn’t easy. It takes real political will to overcome ideology and to stay focused on what’s best for kids.

I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this bill. And I hope that we can get to a much more comprehensive reauthorization of ESEA in the near future.”

44 Responses to “Rep. George Miller supports charter bill”

• School Teacher Says:
September 8th, 2011 at 3:10 pm
That is beautiful bureaucratic politico-speak. “shattering”, “bipartisan support”, “threat”, “dynamic”, “tremendous disservice”. Sounds very authoritative, and ominouts at some spots, but, he really doesn’t say anything. He says we know what it will take to fix our schools- it isn’t a mystery. Well, what is it? The solution is never mentioned. Does anyone think that legislating things fixes schools? I would say no.

• Doctor J Says:
September 9th, 2011 at 12:15 am
School Boards are between a rock and a hard place when asked to approve a Charter proposal. Charter proponents feel that school board hasn’t been meeting the needs of their children, and the Board feels that approving a Charter petition would be an act of tyranny. Most school boards have denied the petitions only to have them approved at the County BOE or State BOE. In the end, the School Board has only postponed the inevitable and angered a whole lot of voters who still vote for or against school board members even though their children go to the Charter.
We see the same thing happening in MDUSD — the Board taking pre-emptive action to take away “leave of absence” from the teachers, subtly threatening retaliation at any teacher who goes with the charter, and playing hide the ball with the budget numbers. The Supt even hired his long time sidekick as principal at the charter-to-be, and she had cut red tape like an old fashioned master butcher to get things “done” that have been in the clogged bureaucracy for years. Impressive. But her next job is being held for her at the district office, where ultimately she has been promised an “Asst Supt.” job like she held with the Supt in their last district. Frankly, its not a national security secret.
This charter effort is exemplary. They have the support of the entire city council of Clayton, Congressman George Miller, a champion of education for decades, and an overwhelming majority of the citizens of Clayton. That kind of support is like a Tsunami. Its not going away, and it could do some huge damage if it strikes. No one in the charter circles have ever seen such strong support for a charter in the community.
What should the school board do ? Board President Gary E. is a fighter — he would rather fight than switch — remember that old cigarette commercial. Sherry W. usually follows Gary’s lead but she is smart in her own way. Linda Mayo has always until recently put students ahead of politics — recently its been a little less defined than that. Lynne Dennler champions herself as the teacher representative — this charter is a “teacher trigger conversion” and should gain her support. Cheryl Hansen is a dyed in the wool public school servant but has been in enough rodeos to know the reason for the charter conversion is unhappiness with the status quo in the district she once worked in but is practical enough to know the charter will ultimately be approved.
The district office wants some certainty about which teachers will go with the charter and which won’t earlier than later so they won’t be interviewing all summer — can you imagine the Dent Center working in July ? Teachers by contract don’t have to disclose until June 15. The district wants February 15. Board Math tells me that the middle point is April 15: 6-2=4. The district deep sixed the teachers right to a year leave of absence. Unless there is compromise, I suspect the teachers will let the district office know on June 15 and the District will get to sweat out the summer at the Dent Center, reading applications, checking references, and conducting interviews — hope the Air Conditioning is working well and the school administrators don’t have summer plans !
What ALL parties need to understand is there is a win-win for everyone. The Board doesn’t have to agree with the Charter to approve it — it just has to acknowledge that it has crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s and it can approve it. It can say to the charter: “We don’t agree with your motives or methods, but its your choice and the choice of parents who send their children to the charter. If it doesn’t work out, we welcome you back.” The charter can say to the District, we understand you need to know who is teaching next year, and so let’s agree on an April 15 deadline, but District you must allow the teachers to have a one year leave of absence to return if they want. The fact of the matter is that it will take the charter a couple of years to either succeed or fail.
Let’s remember that two of the five Board members from MDUSD are up for re-election next year. EVERY Clayton voter will be voting for MDUSD school board members, regardless of whether their son, daughter, neighbor or friend is a student at the charter or not.
Let’s find a “win-win” for everyone. Let the charter succeed or fail. Its the parents choice for their children.

• Sue Berg Says:
September 9th, 2011 at 1:49 pm
Dr. J, Those trying to identify you can now stop looking for someone who works in the Dent Center. Your question, “–can you imagine the Dent Center working in July?”, shows you do not. Having worked in that office for 9 years, I can say that summer is an incredibly busy time for staff there, putting closure on the year just ended and getting everything in place so schools can open the new one as prepared as possible.

For the conscientious folks in Personnel the summer months are critical if schools are to open fully staffed. The sooner they know what positions will be vacant, the better the pool of candidates they have to choose from and the more time for the recruiting and hiring process of each new employee. Most school job changes, in any district, occur in July and August. The imposition of furlough days and reduced staffing have only made work during these months more stressful. Site administrators with positions to be filled also work during the summer, even if it’s not on the clock.

In my long career in education, I’ve worked in all areas of a school district, including in a high school as a teacher. I can say that the people who work in the support positions, at sites and in district offices and the maintenance yard, get far too little credit for the hours and efforts they put in to make sure teachers and students can focus on learning. Your snide comments about them are unwarranted, and unnecessary to your main issue: your disdain for the superintendent and the Board officers.

• Anonymous Says:
September 9th, 2011 at 3:37 pm
Hi Sue,

Do you think your old cronies are going to vote yes on the Charter?

• Anon Says:
September 9th, 2011 at 6:07 pm
The 9/13/11 Board Meeting Agenda has been posted on the Electronic School Board section of the district website.

• Theresa Harrington Says:
September 9th, 2011 at 6:12 pm
When I click on it, it says: “Agenda has not been approved for public viewing.”

• Anon Says:
September 9th, 2011 at 7:00 pm
I found it on the website. It’s a very roundabout way of viewing the agenda, but it’s there.

• Theresa Harrington Says:
September 9th, 2011 at 7:05 pm
Yes, now it’s showing up:
So, staff is giving trustees three options: approve, deny, or approve with conditions:
by Marge
Wednesday May 14th, 2014 11:07 PM
Look back at where the "anonymous" poster claimed Walmart gave campaign contributions to the democrats and Republicans equally. Then, I posted the fact that Walmart's political contributions were 70% Republican. Then, "anonymous" poster posts a long red herring.

Zeltzer and company are trying to establish the faulty premise that Democrats and Republicans are one in the same with their "twin parties of capitalism" rhetoric Then, they go on with their attack against the Democrats.

These political shysters use their lies based on a fictional foundation to lure voters away from voting Democrat; which if successful, hands the win to the Republicans.
by Register Peace & Freedom or Green
Sunday May 18th, 2014 7:26 PM
It is life itself and careful reading of the record that has taught this writer that there is NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS and that they are the TWIN PARTIES OF WAR AND FASCISM. Above were listed many examples. There are many more. IT SHOULD BE ENOUGH THAT BOTH SUPPORT THE NAZI COUP IN UKRAINE, where the friends of Obama and McCain proudly support the NAZI AND CONFEDERATE FLAG WAVERS and there is NO DEMOCRAT ON THE CALIFORNIA BALLOT THAT HAS CONDEMNED THE FASCIST COUP IN UKRAINE. This is absolute proof that the Democrat-Republicans are the RIGHT WING which exist to keep the LEFT WING, socialist and Greens, out of office.

Some more examples, although absolutely no more are needed, should educate the young people on this website:

1. Democrat Truman dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to warn the US ally, the Soviet Union, that the 20th Century was to be the American century, just as the Soviet Union was poised to attack Japan on August 9, 1945, which threat of invasion was the cause of Japan agreeing to surrender, not the racist holocaust perpetrated by Democrat Truman against Japanese civilians, as well as American prisoners of war imprisoned in Hiroshima.

2. Democrat Truman framed Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Morton Sobol to make Jew, Communist and traitor synonymous so as to build US support for his anti-communist war against Korea, and a subsequent invasion of China, which failed. The result of the war against Korea was the deaths of 3 million Koreans, 1 million Chinese, 33,000 American soliders and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who never conspired to build any atomic bomb, the phony charge on which they were framed.

3. One of my favorite examples: Roe v Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the US, when Republican Nixon was president, which majority decision was written by Justice Blackmun, a Nixon appointee, and a Kennedy appointee, Justice White dissented. Nixon was certainly reactionary, but it was our mass movement under the umbrella of the peace movement against the war against Vietnam that made possible this victory.

4. Cecily McMillan, a 25-year-old pro-labor Occupy activist was sexually molested by a cop and, instead of charing the cop for his illegal anti-women actions, Cecily was arrested and charged her with felony assault on a cop because her elbow inadvertently jerked back to just below the cop's eye, not seriously injuring it, when he caused black and blue bruises on her breasts. To see her injuries, go to
DEMOCRAT DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF NEW YORK CITY, CYRUS VANCE, JR. pressed charges, and had a judge and prosecutor illegally work together to force a jury to convict this young woman on a false charge, who now faces sentencing to a possible 7 year sentence on May 19, 2014. THE COP ALSO KICKED CECILY IN THE HEAD AND CAUSED HER TO BLACK OUT DURING HER ARREST.
Cyrus Vance, Jr. is the son of Democrat Cyrus Vance, who served as Secretary of the Army under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and Deputy Secretary of Defense under President Johnson, then Secretary of State to President Jimmy Carter. You will recall that under Kennedy and Johnson, the US military engaged in a war of anti-Communism in Vietnam, killing 3 million Vietnamese, 1 million Cambodians, 58,000 Americans, and thousands of other people.

DEMOCRAT CYRUS VANCE CLAIMS TO BE SOME KIND OF LIBERAL. For more on Cecily's case and a form letter that you can send to the judge, see

Both the Democratic and Republican parties are viciously anti-labor, pro-war, racist, anti-women, and in sum staunch supporters of WAR AND FASCISM because war and fascism maximize profits of the capitalist class, and both of these parties by definition, exist to maximize the profits of their patrons, the capitalist class, the primary goal of capitalism being maximization of profits.

We are never voters for Democrats. If there are no Peace & Freedom or Green Party candidates available for a given position, we skip that position. Perhaps Marge needs visual explanations. Just imagine the Nazi and Confederate flags next to the names of every Democrat and Republican.

We are not third party supporters; we are second party supporters. The Democrat-Republicans are one capitalist, war and fascism party. The socialist and Green parties in this country are growing.
by Register Peace & Freedom or Green
Monday May 19th, 2014 3:12 AM
Mumia Abu-Jamal, former president of the Black Journalists association, was framed for killing a whistleblowing cop, which whistleblowing cop was killed by a hit man hired by the corrupt police of Philadelphia. The frame-up was perpetrated by Democratic district attorney Ed Rendell, later chair of the National Democratic Party. Mumia is clearly a political prisoner. The moniker for district attorney is Sending Poor People to Jail. Most big cities are run by the Democratic Party election fraud machine and thus most district attorneys in these cities are Democrats, sending poor people to jail, usually black or brown, and all workingclass.
by Marge
Wednesday Jun 11th, 2014 8:34 PM
See how the poster (probably Steve Zeltzer and crew) posted all that right before elections. It's designed to split the vote for folks who would normally vote Democrat. The result is a higher percentage of votes for the Republicans. But the common retort is to equate the 2 parties as the "twin parties of capitalism" which is a lie. The differences are profound. Walmart is primarily Republican. ALEC is primarily Republican. Privatizers, that Zeltzer frequently criticizes, are primarily Republican. But folks like Zeltzer always attack the few right-leaning Democrats while completely ignoring the Republicans.

Also, check the red herrings to muddy the waters, like making a post about Mumia Abu Jamal which has nothing to do with Obama's visit to Wal-Mart.

As predicted, the PF party has no chance of winning. The PF party does not have the resources to win. Winning a major election like California state governor requires lots of money to get the message across to mainstream voters which they are unable to raise. The only people the PF crew has communicated with are folks that are marginalized on the left.
by Marge
Wednesday Jun 11th, 2014 8:44 PM
Sheehan has no credibility whatsoever. The left has marginalized her and made sure of that.