In 2008, the now increasingly infamous Diane Ravitch “hater,” Jared Polis, ran for a seat in the United State House of Representatives.
He spent $7,353,503 to win that position and 81 percent of that amount or $5,992,550 came from his own pocket. By comparison, the average amount spent by Colorado’s other six successful congressional candidates that year was about 15 percent of what Polis spent.
While he donated an overwhelming majority of his own funds to his campaign, the man who called Diane Ravitch “an evil woman” and said that he couldn’t “think of anybody else who has caused more harm to public schools, except maybe Koch brothers,” was able to convince or trick some important national groups into supporting his candidacy.
Independent expenditures were made on Jared Polis’s behalf by the Colorado Education Association, Emily’s List and the United Food & Commercial Workers Union. One wonders how those groups feel about him now considering the incredibly insulting comments he made about Diane Ravitch this past week.
Meanwhile, although he calls himself a “progressive,” in true neo-liberal fashion, besides his own money, Jared Polis relied heavily on corporate funds to pay for his 2008 campaign.
Knowing his willingness to be a mouth-piece for the corporate education reform industry, it will come as no surprise that some of the corporations that gave to Polis’ first campaign are closely tied to the worst anti-teacher, anti-union, anti-public education charter schools in the country.
For example, Gotham Capital Investment shows up on Polis’ contributor list.
Gotham Capital’s Managing Partner, Joel Greenblatt is the co-chair of the notorious Harlem Success Charter School company. Harlem Success Charter School’s other co-chair is John Petry who was previously a partner a Gotham Capital and has since moved on to create Sessa Capital. Petry is also a founder of Education Reform Now, one of the most active charter school advocacy organizations in the nation and one that has spent millions trying to undermine teachers and the teacher’s union in New York City.
Perhaps even more telling is that in 2011 Jared Polis, along with Senator Joseph Lieberman introduced H.R. 1532, otherwise known as the Race to the Top Act.
But back in 2008, Polis’ corporate connections were already an important part of his campaign operation. But for $418,400 he raised through the national ACTBlue fundraising program, his remaining campaign funds came from a number of corporations that he owns, is connected with or willing to “invest” in his desire to become a congressman. Leading the list of corporate donors was his own company, Jovian P4 ($55,980), SPS Studios ($14,800), Bow River Capital ($13,500), Jovian Holdings, another of his companies ($13,500), Intensity Ventures ($9,200) and Sandler Family Supporting Foundation ($9,200).
Other corporate donors giving to Jared Polis included Panthenon Resources ($6,900), Genesis Health Care ($6,600), Citigroup ($6,100), Laffer Assoc ($6,100), Citizen’s Energy ($5,200), Baraboo Growth ($4,600), Gillemont Sunset Ranch ($4,600), Gotham Capital Investment Partnership ($4,600), HNTB Corp. ($4,600), Jove Partners ($4,600), KSI Corp. ($4,600), MDC Holdings ($4,600), Najafi Companies ($4,600), Palo Alto Investments ($4,600), Pancil ($4,600), PrimeCap Finance ($4,600), Pritzker Group ($4,600), Provide Comerce Inc. ($4,600), Roche Group, ($4,600), Space X ($4,600), Tantum Investment Management ($4,600), Valor Equity Partners ($4,600) and WKM Group ($4,600).
The more you look at Jared Polis’ campaign finance reports and his approach to politics, the more questions rise to the surface.
For more on Jared Polis check out: