Jeb Bush Sure Picked a Strange Time to Raise Money

Apparently, Bush’s number one policy wonk Patricia Levesque is quarterbacking the PR campaign to hold off growing opposition to parent trigger legislation.  For some reason,  Levesque and Bush see this as an opportunity to raise cash. Reports Dara Kam in The Palm Beach Post:

The controversial “Parent Empowerment” proposal isn’t just causing a bipartisan kerfuffle in the Senate where critics say the measure is a cash cow for for-profit charter schools and private management companies.

But the “parent trigger” measure could also make hay for Gov. Jeb Bush’s non-profit Foundation for Florida’s Future. Bush is backing the bill, pushed by Los Angeles-based Parent Revolution and education reformer Michelle Rhee and fiercely opposed by a teachers’ unions and a Florida coalition of parent-led groups, including the PTA.

Patricia Levesque, executive director of Bush’s Foundation, sent out a blast e-mail asking supporters to contact their senators to urge them to vote for the bill. But that wasn’t all.

“Additionally, won’t you help us in our efforts to fight those opposed to parents’ rights? Please consider making a one-time contribution of $500 or $1,000 or a monthly contribution of $50 or $100 to the Foundation for Florida’s Future. With your support, we can ensure that parents have representation and more options as it relates to their child’s education,” Levesque wrote.

Levesque is obviously used to rubbing elbows with rich folks. She’s targeting people who have cash and doesn’t have time for an actual grassroots supporter who might be able to scrape together a one time donation of $25. Perhaps Bush is running out of money. He reportedly had $1 million in assets at the end of 2010. Maybe he spent it all on his the Bus Way US tour of state legislatures.

Talking points for parent trigger advocates utilizes “conspiracy theories and outright lies.” Both Levesque and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson used them in the last 24 hours. While I’m not big on the involvement of the Koch brothers here – Parent Revolution helped Senator Benacquisto write SB 1718 – I want to know what “outright lies” they’re talking about.

Challenging a specific point would be extremely effective and would take a lot of steam out of the opposition. A seasoned pol like Levesque knows this, so its crystal clear she’s using “outright lies” as a rhetorical tool. Characterizing opposition as supportive of “the status quo” is boilerplate ed reform and so five years ago.



About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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