With Michelle Rhee’s effort to bust the teachers unions falling flat from incompetence and corruption, the privatizing crowd wanted a new face for the brand and found one with former news anchor Campbell Brown. Brown, who is married to former Bush apparatchik Dan Senor, is ready for her debut as the new face of “ed reform.” But can a new facade fool the people?
Campbell Brown recently went on the Colbert Report to promote the group she heads, the Partnership for Educational Justice (PEJ). During the interview it became clear that Brown was not interested in revealing who was funding the group. First she tried to claim it was the law firm handling the case, Kirkland Ellis, but eventually admitted she would not be disclosing the donors.
Colbert: The Partnership for Educational Justice has not raised any money so far?
Brown: Yeah we are raising money.
Colbert: And who did you raise it from?
Brown: I’m not going to reveal who the donors are –
Colbert: I respect that because I’ve had a Super PAC!
Brown: I hear you. But part of the reason is the people who are outside today, trying to protest, trying to silence our parents who want to have a voice in this debate.
Colbert: Exercising their First Amendment rights…
Brown: Absolutely. But they are also going to go after people who are funding this.
Using Brown’s logic no political contributions should be made public for fear that people will be criticized for funding candidates and initiatives others find objectionable. The rich and powerful should be able to buy elections and candidates freely – that’s none of the public’s business.
Rarely is the backwardness and venality of the movement to privatize public education made so obvious.