From Scathing Purple Musings, by Bob Sykes
It’s rare that an elected public servant moves to the same position as an appointed one as former Indiana Superintendent of Public Education, Tony Bennett seeks to do in Florida. Bennett’s hasty, last-minute entry as a candidate for Florida Education Commissioner didn’t allow for proper vetting by state media. But Bennett, who clearly wont be running from his record as Indiana’s ed boss, doesn’t want to be asked about the people who financed his political rise. An overview of those can be found here
. We will look at a few of them in this space as, some of them do business in Florida and will continue to do so with an appreciative Bennett making decisions on their contract.
McGraw-Hill and Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt education publishing and printing corporations:
Both already do business in Florida. The later was awarded a contract
to provide services involving Florida’s teacher evaluation law, SB 736.
Koch Industries & Koch Development: While it’s unlikely that either Koch entities will do direct business with the FDOE, its understandable why they would donate to Bennett. As Indiana’s boss, Bennett drove policy. In Florida they donate to state legislators.
Followers of the education privatization movement will recognize other names among the list of contributors to Bennett’s campaign. What money Bennett didn’t use is his and his last-minute entry – only days before the selection – into the pool of candidates for Florida’s education commissioner post serves as stealth attempt by backers like those listed above to get their man in there.
It rare that such a candidate for public service been discredited by such vast conflicts of interest. Such potential mischief has been witnessed that so easily filters accusations of cynicism and paranoia.