Trump Signals CommitmentÂ to Further Strangling Public Education
Betsy DeVos, an anti-public school activist who has spent years advocating for school voucher programs that deplete tax dollars that should go to public schools, to be his Secretary of Education. DeVos, a conservative Republican active in Michigan politics, chairs the Windquest Group, and the American Federation for Children. She also is chair of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, a faith-based non-profit.
â€œThe status quo in education is not acceptable,â€ DeVos said in a statement announcing her nomination. â€œTogether, we can work to make transformational change that ensures every student in America has the opportunity to fulfill his or her highest potential.â€
She has donated millions to conservative politicians and causes.Â
DeVos has “zealously worked” to expand school voucher programs “on a state-by-state basis for decades,” education website Chalkbeat reported Tuesday.
“When Michigan lawmakers this year were considering a measure that would have added oversight for charter schools in Detroit, members of the DeVos family poured $1.45 million into legislatorsâ€™ campaign coffers â€” an average ofÂ $25,000 a dayÂ for seven weeks. Oversight was not included in the final legislation.”
The DeVos influence is one reason that Michiganâ€™s charter sector is among the least regulated in the country. Roughly 80 percent of charters in Michigan are run by private companies,Â far more than in any other state. And state authorities have done little up to now to ensure that charter schools are effectively serving students, eliciting concern from current federal authorities.
â€œThere are a lot of schools that are doing poorly and charter authorizers do not seem to be taking the necessary actions to either improve performance or close those underperforming charters,â€ current U.S. Secretary of Education John KingÂ told ChalkbeatÂ about Michigan last month.
The DeVos family fortuneÂ â€“ the family is among the wealthiest in AmericaÂ â€“ comes from Amway. Her husband, Dick DeVos, is an heir to the DeVos billions, which various membersÂ of the family have used to oppose the civil rights of LGBT people.
Raw Story reports “Betsy and Dick DeVos also led the effort to place an anti-marriage amendment on the Michigan ballot and gave more than $200,000 to the successful effort to change the state constitution.”
Here’sÂ a map of the DeVos family and their relationship to groups like the anti-gayÂ Focus On The Family and the ultra-conservative FreedomWorks andÂ American Enterprise Institute.
UPDATE I: 3:28 PM STÂ â€“
Joe.My.God. notes that Betsy DeVos’ “family is one of NOMâ€™s most massive contributors.” He points to this 2012 ABC News article that reports Betsy’s husband Dick’s parents’ foundation “donated $500,000 to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), an anti-gay marriage group that was one of the leading advocates against same-sex marriage initiatives in eight states.”
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Watch: Merrick Garland Calls Trump’s Bluff, Strikes Back at MAGA World’s False Claims in Mar-a-Lago Raid
Attorney General Merrick Garland in an exceptionally rare public statement told the American people Thursday afternoon that he personally approved the search warrant used to enter Mar-a-Lago and confiscate the 10 to 12 cartons of federal government property, which reportedly included classified documents. He also called Donald Trump’s bluff, announcing he has asked a federal court to unseal the search warrant, which will allow the public to know what laws DOJ believes he has violated.
Noting that Donald Trump made public the raid on Mar-a-Lago and the Dept. of Justice did not, Garland cited “the substantial public interest in this matter,” in announcing his move to have the documents unsealed.
“The department did not make any public statements on the day of the search,” Garland stated. “The former president publicly confirmed the search that evening, as is his right. Copies of both the warrant and the FBI property receipt were provided on the day of the search to the former president’s counsel, who was on site during the search.”
That statement refutes the false claims made by many on the right that FBI agents refused to hand over the search warrant or inventory list.
“The search warrant was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause, the property receipt is a document that federal law requires law enforcement agents to leave with the property owner,” he added, making clear that a federal judge did agree there was probably cause to execute a search.
“Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy. upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly, without fear or favor, under my watch that is precisely what the Justice Department is doing. All Americans are entitled to the even handed application of the law, to due process of the law and to the presumption of innocence.”
“I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” Garland announced, which was largely assumed.
Merrick Garland: “First, I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter. Second, the department does not take such a decision lightly.” pic.twitter.com/q6h0BbNBrY
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 11, 2022
Garland also responded to the growing chorus of far right wing extremists, pundits, and even and GOP lawmakers who are attacking DOJ.
“Let me address recent unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors. I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked. The men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated, patriotic public servants every day. They protect the American people from violent crime, terrorism and other threats to their safety, while safeguarding our civil rights. They do so at great personal sacrifice and risk to themselves. I am honored to work alongside them. This is all I can say right now.”
Watch Live: Attorney General Merrick Garland to Make a Statement This Afternoon
Attorney General Merrick Garland will deliver a statement Thursday afternoon at 2;30 PM ET, the Dept. of Justice has announced.
The subject of his address was not included. A gunman threatened and attacked an FBI Field Office in Ohio earlier Thursday, and the far right and Republicans have been outraged over the execution of a search warrant by the FBI Monday at Mar-a-Lago, which resulted in the confiscation of classified materials and federal government property.
Watch live below.
DOJ website feed:
PBS News feed:
Nearly Half the Country Supports FBI Mar-a-Lago Search – Only Republicans Are Opposed, New Poll Shows
Americans on the right are so outraged the FBI, having probable cause and a federal judge’s signature on a legal and valid search warrant, showed up at Mar-a-Lago Monday to confiscate what we now know were between ten and 12 cartons of federal government property, including classified documents.
Trump supporters upon hearing the news almost immediately began calling for civil war, with right wing media including Fox News and other far right outlets reinforcing those attacks.
But a brand new poll just released finds that, as with most issues, Republicans stand alone in their opposition and outrage.
“Just about half of registered voters approve of the FBI search of Trump’s Florida compound,” reveals Politico’s Morning Consult polling, published Thursday afternoon.
Specifically, 49 percent of registered voters support the raid. 37 percent, slightly more than one-third, oppose it, and 13% don’t know.
But the political breakdown reveals what many would expect.
84% of Democrats support the FBI’s execution of the search warrant on the former president’s home.
47% of independents also support the raid, with just 33% opposed.
But a whopping 72% of Republicans are opposed to the FBI’s actions, and just 15% are in support.
The Morning Consult poll also finds that a “majority of voters believe Trump either ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ broke the law while he was president.”
That includes 90% of Democrats, 59% of independents, and 24% of Republicans.
We’ve got an exclusive snap poll with Morning Consult that was conducted on Wednesday with some early reaction to the FBI’s search of DONALD TRUMP’s Mar-a-Lago compound. See the findings in today’s Playbook PM: https://t.co/WG3q4dEL7X pic.twitter.com/HS57ErPw9q
— POLITICO Playbook (@playbookdc) August 11, 2022
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