Michelle “Buy Yourself An Election” Rhee returns to undermine democracy in Connecticut

Tomorrow, the voters of Windsor and the rest of the 5th Connecticut House District will be returning to the polls to vote in the run-off primary between Democrats Leo Canty,  and Brandon McGee.

In the first primary, the two democrats tied.  Tomorrow’s re-vote will determine who will represent the Democratic Party in the November election.

Under Connecticut’s public financing system, neither candidate receives more funds, so neither one can get use money to buy themselves any last-minute advantage.

While volunteers can work as hard as they want for their candidate, campaign spending is done.

However, in typical fashion, the corporate education reformers won’t let the Spirit of the Law serve as a barrier to their desire to win at all cost.

Late last week, the Greater New England Public Schools Alliance, Michelle Rhee’s front group in Connecticut, dumped $32,000 into the race in support of Brandon McGee.

Just a month ago, Michelle Rhee and Jeb Bush were hosting a screening of the new anti-teacher, anti-union movie, “Won’t Back Down.”

So why would Rhee, a leading force in the effort to privatize America’s education system show  up in Connecticut to back a candidate that she doesn’t even know?

The answer is that Rhee and her money have appeared in Connecticut, not so much to support McGee but to defeat Leo Canty, a longtime Democratic and progressive leader.  Why Leo?  Because Leo Canty happens to work for the American Federation of Teachers.

And that is reason enough to get the “education reformers” to try to buy an election.

Oh, and whose money is behind this outrageous effort?  Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Steve Perry, the CEO of Hartford’s Capital Preparatory Magnet School.

Under Connecticut law, the two candidates faced restrictions on what they could raise and spend in the primary, but a loophole in the law allows outsiders and “independent” groups to spend whatever they want.

StudentsFirst didn’t even have the decency to honestly explain why they were actually putting in the money.  Instead, a spokesperson for the Great New England Public Schools Alliance issued a statement saying, “the organization supports McGee because he is a, “pro-education, pro-student candidate who will continue to bring meaningful reform to Connecticut.”

But no amount of lying can cover up the truth.

Michele Rhee and those who are looking to make millions by allowing certain charter schools and other corporations to re-direct million in taxpayer dollars are here to make sure that a candidate who supports teachers and Connecticut’s public schools doesn’t get elected.

Rhee’s actions are more than disgusting.

They are unethical, immoral and offensive to our nation’s democratic principles.

If you know anyone who lives in Windsor or in the rest of the 5th House District, remind them that tomorrow is primary day and make sure they know what is really at stake in tomorrow’s vote.

  • Linda174

    Rhee is a pariah on public education. Take her money and you are tainted. Take her money and you support the demolition of teaching as a profession. You support creating a teacher churn of newbies who will never stay long enough to collect a pension. You support charter sweatshops where teachers work 12-14 hours a day.
    You support the loss of collective bargaining rights and the destruction of unions. Take her money and you support privatization and the demolition of our public schools.

    Rhee also supports the parent trigger laws highlighted in the propaganda flick, Won’t Back Down. If you agree with Rhee then you want parents to lose control of their schools and you support passing them over to profit making charter chains.
    If you take this money, then you must want to end all public sector unions, such as police and firemen.
    Certainly you are not against a union primarily comprised of female professionals, or are you, Mr. McGee?
    Please respond soon, so your constituents will know where you stand on these issues.

  • AM

    Did you get a comment from Steve Perry’s publicist? Yes he has one. What a con artist.

  • guest

    Can the Connecticut State Police arrest Rhee for breaking campaign financing laws in our state? Arrest her as soon as she crosses the border or steps foot off the plane and onto Connecticut soil. At the very least Canty should be filing campaign ethics complaints with the state. But then again there’s a strangle hold on complaints on ethics violations in Connecticut. Many laws have been violated in Bridgeport and Windham and yet nothing ever seems happen.

  • Sue
    • Linda174

      Won’t be back and Can’t fool us!

  • begtodiffer

    I would return the money with a note saying, “No thankyou.”

  • Linda174


    Has McGee stated publicly that he kept the money? Has he acknowledged the money from the Rheeject?

    • jonpelto

      The loophole only works if Rhee just spends the money and never asks him so she has purchased $32,000 (and no another $6,000) in tv ads, phone calling and paying people to go door to door. It is called an independent expenditure so it is for McGee but legally he can’t know about it until it is to late.

      Rhee did this in the State Senate primary down in SE CT and the candidate she was supporting didn’t want the support and went from what was expected to be an easy win to loosing because people were so annoyed. So hopefully the same will happen here.

      • Linda174

        Do the ads say paid for by GNEPSA?

        • jonpelto


          Sent from my BlackBerry please excuss typos

  • LisaB

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Have been working hard for Leo’s campaign and this was an outrage. Teachers need to wake up and follow the money. I know I have.

    • Linda174

      Hopefully this will be the kiss of death for McGee. Rheepugnant!

  • This is too funny. The Teacher Unions are the single largest political contributors to the Democratic Party and have averaged over 10% of the Delegates at the Convention over the last 20 years. They were mucking up CT politics early this year with 15K contributions to Murphy and Donovan.
    The incestuous relationship with Democrats and Public Sector Unions cost Chris Donovan his job. The appointment of AFT head Sharon Palmer as the state Labor Commissioner is typical of the graft in the Gold Dome. Palmer lobbied to cost CT almost $300 million in “Race to the Top” money over 3 years. In return Malloy appoints her to a 6 figure job .
    Rhee’s $32,000? Child’s play, Chicken Feed in this state when matched against the NEA and AFT payola

    • Last Tuesday, Romney took a jab at the teachers unions with the headline “Romney says teachers’ unions should be barred from
      making political contributions”

      • Guest

        Rich White, Yes you are.

  • Three self serving ZERO’S –Rhee,Perry and Bloomberg—send in the clowns–Tom

  • I missed the headline: “Rhee wins big in Windsor. AFT VP Canty ousted”.
    Their time has passed……support Romney in passing legislation to take away their ill-gotten political clout.