Posts in Category: Politics

Betsy DeVos: The Political Fighter

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos met with a gay and transgender representative with the Department of Education in the moments preceding the announcement on the part of United States President Donald Trump that he would repeal federal legislature allowing for transgendered students to use the bathroom of their choice while at school.

 

The representative was given reassurance that the move on the part of the president was resisted on the part of Devos as was previously reported.

 

Devos chose not to display any public displeasure with the President’s decision and joined President Trump while he made the announcement. DeVos is also on record attributing the rescinded policy to a necessary Trump response to an overreach on the part of former president Barack Obama.

 

Those in the know in regard to the personality of Betsy Devos warn not to think that the education secretary’s apparent resignation to the president’s decision is a sign that she will be a get along to go along type as part of the Trump administration. Though publicly gracious when faced with defeat, DeVos earned a reputation as a relentlessly driven political fighter in her home state of Michigan.

 

DeVos, it has been noted, has been known to use the vast family fortune afforded to her to thwart political foes and provide incentive for allies to remain loyal while working to pass legislature and defeat lawmakers that provided opposition to her goals.

 

Devos has arrived in Washington with little political experience and no real history with President Trump while taking the reigns of a department suffering from depleted leadership. These factors it is believed placed DeVos at a disadvantage in the cabinet debates over transgendered restroom usage. Her main counterpart on the matter, Jeff Sessions is a long-time Washington politician with a long history with the president. Learn more: http://www.betsydevos.com/education/

 

Betsy DeVos is a western Michigan native that grew up in the town of Holland, Michigan. Her father, Edgar Prince is a billionaire founder of an auto parts company and brother Erik is the founder and Chief Executive at Blackwater, a private security firm.

 

Betsy’s new last name comes by way of husband Dick who is also the product of a wealthy family. Dick DeVos’ father is the father of a multilevel marketing company named Amway and once made an unsuccessful bid to become the Governor of the State of Michigan.

End Citizen United: Bringing Politics Back To The People

Since it was established in March 2015, End Citizens United (ECU) has been relentless in its support for progressive political candidates and groups sharing similar views as ECU.

Though ECU started with the aim of ending the notorious 2010 Supreme Court decision that gave too much leeway to individuals, corporations, and unions with deep pockets in the political process, the struggle has now gone beyond overturning that decision.

In the last couple of years, funds, within the limits of the law, are regularly channeled to help certain politicians in their quest to win elections.

Supporting Jason Crow

ECU, along with other like-minded PACs, have thrown their support behind Democratic challenger Jason Crow in the 2018 6th Congressional District elections.

This is in a bid to unseat the fifth-term Republican Congressman from Aurora, Mike Coffman. So far, Jason Crow is in pole position to win the Democratic Party primaries.

Crow is clearly the favorites of political groups with progressive leanings as shown by the list of his top donors. Apart from ECU, other PACs favorable to Jason’s candidacy include, Serve America Victory Fund, Blue Rising, and Progressive Choices PAC.

So far this effort has seen the Attorney Jason Crow haul in more than $400,000 in campaign funds.

Going Against Speaker Paul Ryan

A major news to recently come out of ECU is the public backing given to Randy Bryce. Last month the ECU publicly announced that it is supporting Randy Bryce for Congress.

His opponent is no less a personality than Speaker Paul Ryan. This public backing by ECU has further raised the profile of Bryce and made him a very formidable candidate in the Wisconsin congressional race next year.

Backing Randy Bryce was a logical choice for ECU. Over the years, Bryce has made a name for himself consistently speaking out against the ills of Washington politics. He has come out strongly in support of reforms that would put the people first in the nation’s politics.

Paul Ryan, on the other hand, is a known Washington player beholden to big corporations, interest groups and extremely rich individuals. That has made it impossible for him to think of the people first. His politics are too far-rightist to bring the change clamored by ECU and organizations with similar interests.

Battle Ground 2018

In next year’s election, ECU hopes their advocacy would ultimately bring an end to money as an important factor in politics.

The first step is to support and help the election of many progressives who share these views to Congress. Then the process of lobbying for laws that would mitigate the impact of the Citizen United ruling would begin.

End Citizen United is not taking anything for granted. This is why in just two years of existence, ECU is now one of the most well-organized groups with an articulate vision to root out vested interests in politics.

ECU’s strong social media presence indicates they work hard at engaging with all like-minded individuals and groups no matter their locations.

The Facebook page has over 300k likes and is constantly updated with relevant information. The strong social media presence is also obvious on Twitter. Almost 40k followers and over 4k tweets indicate an organization determined to engage with all segments of the society.

For ECU, the battle for the soul of the nation’s politics is one that must be fought non-stop. Eternal vigilance and consistent tweaks to strategies are central to this battle. Watch:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpLmnN_7TxPdpGODs-JXxg

 

The Democracy Alliance, Including George Soros, Meets to Discuss Strategy

Prior to the November 8 election, the Democracy Alliance of liberal, Democratic Party donors George Soros helped found in 2005 scheduled a meeting at Washington DC’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel to discuss post-electoral strategies.

According to Politico, however, they have to drastically change the meeting’s agenda. A session on President Clinton’s first 100 days in office became a discussion on “what happened” on Election Day on Forbes. The session on advancing their liberal agenda forward in 2017 is now about how to combat the threat of President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress. They planned to push a liberal to the left. Now they’re discussing defensive strategies.

George Soros, Peter Lewis and some other wealthy liberals founded the Democracy Alliance in 2005 in the wake of President George W. Bush’s successful reelection campaign over John Kerry, whom Soros backed with millions of dollars. Their plan was to set up think tanks and advocacy groups outside of the Democratic Party. They had two goals. The first was to push Democratic politicians further to the left of the political spectrum. The second was to protect them in elections. The DA now has over 100 members, including Soros and various unions and foundations. They are required to donate at least $200,000 to groups the DA supports.

So far, the DA has spent over $500 million to such groups as Media Matters, the Center for American Progress and Catalist. After the defeat of his candidate in 2004, Soros scaled back his political donations, but recently ramped them up again. In 2016 he spent $25 million to support Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates.

Read more: @georgesoros

Also, although Soros has not been an active participant at DA meetings, he was scheduled to appear on November 15. This is a signal he plans to take an active role in opposing President Trump. According to Politico, the wording of the description of the meeting with Soros, reminding people that he experienced both Nazi and Communist rule, was designed to evoke the charge that Trump is a potential dictator. A Soros spokesperson said that’s Soros’s standard bio, and he doesn’t intend to compare Trump to Nazis. However, he also says it’s important to learn from the history of prior authoritarian governments.

The conversation with Soros was added to the DA meeting’s agenda on nybooks.com after Election Day, making it another indication that Trump’s election is forcing him into a more active role than he planned to have under President Clinton.

The Politico article also discusses how some liberals are questioning the role of DA in the wake of the election. Should a small group of wealthy white donors have so much power to influence the Democratic Party? Exit polls showed that issues the DA favored, such as climate change and the role of money in politics, didn’t matter to many voters.

Charles Koch Supporting Clinton for President?

Libertarian billionaire Charles Koch has never been shy when  it comes to sharing his opinion on politics, and he’s done just that when it comes the presidential race and his disillusionment with what the Republican party has to offer for the most important job in the nation.

Charles Koch and his brother David have long been at targeted for scrutiny due to their frequent investments in political campaigns that seemingly align with their conservative leanings. Yet both brothers remain a constant source of fascination within the media when it comes to politicians running the country.

During an interview with ABC, Charles was asked on his opinion regarding the tenure of presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and which of the two he found to be more effective in bettering the country. While he did not agree with everything under the Clinton administration, Charles cited the expansion of the government and the increased spending as egregious under Bush and cited Clinton as the better of the two.

This of course sparked some curiosity, considering Charles’ continued displeasure with the Republican candidates for president, and was asked if Hillary Clinton was preferable to those candidates. To this, Charles stated that such a sentiment was possible.

This, however, did not translate to unwavering support for the former Secretary of State, whose policies are not exactly in line with his own. In order to receive his support for her bid for the presidency, Koch stated that a President Hillary Clinton would have to have actions that differ from the campaign rhetoric she’s delivered over the past year or so.

News of this quickly made the rounds on the media, and the Clinton campaign responded with a tweet that emphatically stated her disinterest in any support from the billionaire industrialist.

Will Hillary regret rejecting his support? It’s estimates that the Koch network has gathered about $400 million in funds to support down-ticket races as well as the presidential run. But so far their main concern has been Senate races, especially where Republicans stand a chance to remove Democrat seats.

As for his disagreements with Trump, Charles has said that the race lacks role models, which has made him disinterested in the Republican race for president. He doesn’t see himself supporting them come November.

Charles Koch is the co-owner, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Koch Industries along with his brother David, the executive vice president. Both inherited 84% of the company from their late father Fred Koch. Under his tenure, the company has expanded its focus from oil refining to including trading of commodities, polymers, minerals and even fertilizers.

Charles has been ranked as the 9th richest man int he world with a net worth of $36 billion, and Koch Industries is listed as the second-largest privately held company in the United States.