Open thread for night owls: Funded by 0.001%ers, charter school backers take over L.A. school board

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

Edwin Rios at Mother Jones reports—Los Angeles Just Had the Most Expensive School Board Race Ever—and Betsy DeVos Couldn’t Be Happier:

Charter school advocates landed a major victory Tuesday night, winning two seats on the Los Angeles Board of Education in the most expensive school board race in US history. Now, with charter supporters making up a majority of the board for the first time since 2010, the country’s second-largest school district could see a charter school expansion—just as it confronts a looming budget deficit and declining enrollment.

Charter-backed Nick Melvoin unseated board president Steve Zimmer, who was running for his third and final term, according to unofficial results. Kelly Gonez, a pro-reform candidate, declared victory late Tuesday night over Imelda Padilla.

The board election capped a long-standing battle between teachers’ unions and wealthy charter school proponents like former mayor Richard Riordan, Walmart heirs Alice and Jim Walton, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, philanthropist and major charter backer Eli Broad, and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who gave $5 million to the California Charter Schools Association Advocates, a pro-charter PAC. Both sides attacked candidates in brutal advertisements—as of Wednesday, outside spending on the school board races reached more than $14 million, twice the amount spent in 2013, according to Los Angeles Ethics Commission campaign finance data.



“At the risk of sounding really corny now, I’m a career prosecutor. I’ve been doing this for a very long time. And I believe in holding people responsible when they violate the law. But our sole responsibility is to seek justice. And sometimes that means a very lengthy sentence, for people who are dangerous and from which society must be protected. But it always means seeking a proportional sentence. And that’s what this sentencing reform is really about.”
~Sally Yates, interview on reforming mandatory minimum drug sentences, July 2015




At Daily Kos on this date in 2012Mitt, you dunce, you have to remember your lies:

Mitt Romney, who has a few months yet to stumble-tongue his way into another dozen or so memorable head-shakers before he actually gets the nomination, offered what may well turn out to be this campaign’s most blunderful word-blunder yet. It’s already viral, unrecallable:

Uh, I’m actually going to to, I’m not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was. And with regards to, uh, I’ll go back and take at what was said there.

What’s in evidence in this remarkable word salad is the mark of the bad liar.

We all know that Romney is a major liar. We’ve seen it over and over during this campaign. The pile of his lies already has grown enormously and the general election campaign is barely under way.

For someone with his assets, you would think he would have hired himself a better coach of effective lying. He can certainly afford it given the gobs of cash he’s sucked up by destroying jobs and being rewarded for it. But apparently he’s been a cheapskate on that front. Because he just isn’t very good at it despite all the practice.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: No fridge in history has ever treated me worse! The “i-word” is back. Greg Dworkin documents the breaking of the dam. Armando relates tales from CAP’s Ideas Conference. Joan McCarter reminds us what’s up on the Hill and how they’re taking Trump news.

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