Strange Politics: Tracing Campaign Donations Part I

18 Comments

Examining who someone gives political donations to will often tell you a fair amount about their relationships, ideology, politics or priorities.

Now that the 2012 campaign season is kicking into high gear, we’ll begin a new semi-regular segment called…

Wait, What?  They Gave to Whom?

Somewhat tongue in cheek, we’ll start by examining the contributions records of some of Connecticut’s leading “education reformers.”

Paul G. Vallas, Part-Time Superintendent of Schools, Bridgeport

Vallas doesn’t give very often.  In fact, according to the national website followthemoney.org, he has only given one donation at the state level in the past decade.  The recipient was himself, the amount was $100,000 and it was to pay off the debt of his losing campaign for governor of Illinois in 2002.

Steven Adamowski, Special Master, Windham and New London

Adamowski also doesn’t donate often.  He also has only one state level contribution of record and it occurred in 2010.  The amount was $250 and the recipient was the losing candidate for governor in Connecticut, Tom Foley.   [Wow, imagine the powerful positions he would have gotten had he donated to Dan Malloy].

Stefan Pryor, Commissioner of Education

Pryor is a bit more active, he has made a total of two campaign contributions.  One recently for $250 to Rob Bonta, a Democrat who is running in the 18th Assembly District of California and a contribution in 2010 for $1,000 to the winning candidate for State Treasurer in Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo.

Dacia Toll, CEO, Achievement First

Like all good CEOs, Toll donates more often.  In fact, more than 25 donations to state level candidates show up, including 2010 campaign contributions of $100 to Hartford State Representative and charter school advocate Doug McCrory, $100 to New Haven State Representative Gary Holder-Winfield and $100 to New Haven State Senator Toni Harp.  Toll also gave $1,750 to that State Treasurer candidate in Rhode Island and $250 to a losing auditor candidate in Ohio.  Others she has given to in the past include State Representative Andrew Fleischmann, losing gubernatorial candidate John DeStefano and winning gubernatorial candidate Jodi Rell.

In federal level races, Toll has also given to Richard Blumenthal, Rosa DeLauro and Massachusetts Democrat Alan Khazei.

Next time we’ll examine a different set of Connecticut public figures.  If you have a recommendation as to whose donation patterns should be spot-lighted here, send the names on in.

  • guest

    What a great idea!
    Stephen Colbert could not have made me laugh more than the top item on Vallas!  I guess he’s not bipartisan, nor even non-partisan, but auto-partisan.  (It seems like this should sound more like masturbation…)
    Adamowski, you dog!  I guess he didn’t need to donate to Perez.  I wonder if Vallas and Adamowski use family members or household pets’ names when they donate.  But as ALEC-created cyborgs, they will probably succeed no matter what.
    For now, I would just like to say to Malloy–in your face, buddy!  Your special master lackey didn’t even donate to your campaign!
    As for Pryor, I will be checking out that relationship.  Isn’t Rhode Island a new site for Achievement First?  Funny how both Pryor and Toll had an interest in that particular race.

    • Linda174

      “It seems like this should sound more like masturbation”…..mmmmm…..this gives new meaning to “Special Master”.

    • jonpelto

      so funny! 

  • guest

    Some people in Rhode Island get it!  And check out the related blogs:  http://www.rifuture.org/achievement-first-secret-4-nothing-says-21st-century-education-like-segregation.html

  • guest

    So, Raimondo’s husband Andy Moffitt roomed with Cory Booker at Yale Law school.  And our girl is quite the fundraiser!  http://blogs.wpri.com/2012/04/30/raimondos-war-chest-tops-600k-fox-raises-more-than-96k/

    • jonpelto

      I not only have the best readers in the world – but – the smartest and best researchers too!

      • guest

        You inspired it!  Check it out, Andrew Moffit is–gasp!–an education reformer!  I can’t wait to read this one:http://books.google.com/books/about/Deliverology_101.html?id=6yc08Sx6iTcC
        He probably hired Achievement First. 

        • Linda174

          We need to create a new definition for educational leader or reformer…attend Yale or any elite college, never taught or dabbled for a few years, moved on to something more important as it was too time consuming, attended a weekend leadership conference, read a few books, hooked up with an old Yale buddy and poof…you are a leader in the reform movement.

  • guest

    Okay, okay, I should stop but Moffit is on the board of Stand For Children!  Get me my airsick bag!  Next we’ll see that Vallas was godfather to the Raimondo/Moffit kids…  http://standleadershipcenter.org/national/about-stand-children-leadership-center/leadership
    As they say, follow the money.

    • guest

      Okay, so Moffit was TFA, then roomates with Cory Booker… now he works for a Global Education Practice group and is on the board of Stand for Children–obviously if his wife is running for a big state office, all his buddies are going to contribute.

  • guest

    By the way, Moffit also donated to Bonta in California!  must be another yalie reformer/TFA.

  • Buygoldandprosper

    Dan rasied so little one can say that noboby gave to him.It was almost all on the publics dime (typical Dan) and the margin was so slim that he really represents nobody in this state.
    THAT will change!
    Expect a Dan-Pac. Everyone will eventually be using them so that the public will not be able to see who really pulls the strings. 

    • Linda174

      I really can’t see him getting reelected. 50,000 teachers and he only won by 6,000 votes. There is little difference between a Democrat and Republican in terms of education in our country nowadays. We will be treated like crap either way.

      • Buygoldandprosper

        I would disagree. Connecticut compensates educators well for the most part. And for the most part they do a pretty good job considering what they have to work with.
        All one had to do was look at Dan’s record…not what HE said was his record,but what he did in office over the years in Stamford. A little homework would have paid off. It always has.
        Foley was the best of two bad choices,sorry to say.And yes,there is very little difference in the two parties now but what are you going to do? Toss in with Tea-Party kooks? 

  • guest

    So, it turns out the Rob Bonta of California also attended Yale, Oxford, and Yale Law School; his wife, MiaLisa Bonta is a consultant for Partners in School Innovation–supported by New Schools Venture fund… yes, we are talking School Reform, charters, achievement gap, all the usual suspects.
    It’s the new fast track into politics.  Why leave all those tax dollars to be spent on children?

    • guest

      NewSchools venture Fund also funds–you guessed it–Achievement First, ConnCAN, RI-CAN, etc.
      So Bonta, Raimondo, Cory Booker, and many others are all connected and interconnected through school reform.
      http://www.newschools.org/ventures

  • Buygoldandprosper

    Ok. I bit, but regret it and can’t take any more!
    WENDY KOPP,Ceo&Founder of Teach for America.
    Married to Richard Barth,ex-Edison Schools and current KIPP Ceo.
    Mixed minor giving, (very small considering that they make close to a million a year between them based on stale income reports) mostly to ALAN KHAZEI founder of BE THE CHANGE when he had a failed run for senate. Barth is on the board of BE THE CHANGE along with several managing directors from BAIN CAPITAL.
    So KOOP-BARTH donations are not that large but the links revealed are sort of frightening (and endless),more so now that reporting donations is sort of a moot point due to Pac’s and Super Pac’s.
    One good one…Laura Smith,Teach for America,Wilton Connecticut gave $250 to Newt Gingrich! She was VP of “leadership gifts” and THAT list is spooky!  Ewwwwww!
     
    Ahhh! The knowledge Industry. And to think I used to believe that our biggest internal threat was the military industrial complex!

    • Linda174

      And many of the same serve on the Broad Academy Foundation…see here. This is the weekend training to become a superintendent…many non teachers, TFA dropouts, wealthy business people. Same circle of vultures:

      Officers:

      The
      Honorable Joel I. Klein, Chair
      CEO, Educational Division and Executive Vice President, Office of the Chairman,
      News Corporation
      Former Chancellor, New York City Department of Education

      Members:

      Richard Barth
      Chief Executive Officer, KIPP Foundation

      Wendy
      Kopp
      Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Teach For America

      Michelle
      Rhee
      Founder and CEO, StudentsFirst
      Former Chancellor, District of Columbia Public Schools

      http://dianeravitch.net/2012/07/27/does-the-public-have-a-right-to-know-about-broad-academy/