While the American Left rose to the defense of Hilary Rosen’s smear of Ann Romney, the lobbying firm who pays Rosen’s salary was cashing in on her contacts with the Obama White House. According to Lee Fang of The Nation, among Rosen’s clients is Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst:
SKDKnickerbocker represents consulting for Students First, a lobbying group aimed at destroying collective bargaining, and replacing public education with a mix of charters, private schools, and online learning companies. According to documents revealed the blog At The Chalk Face, Students First helped craft bills in Michigan to break teachers unions by severely limiting collective bargaining.
Fang writes why Rosen’s access to the White House will prove troubling to Rhee’s detractors whom are Democrats.
SKDKnickerbocker is led by a team of former Democratic operatives and key White House figures. But instead of promoting a progressive agenda, or even an Obama agenda, these consultants score huge contracts by helping corporate interests lobby for policies that are not in line with the public interest. Many SKDKnickerbocker employees, including Anita Dunn, a former White House communications director, are also frequent White House visitors.
A controversial gaffe by an operative has unmasked something that Obama’s campaign doesn’t want to get out. While being fawned over and endorsed by AFT’s Randi Weingarten and the NEA’s Dennis van Roekel, Obama has been receiving countless visits from well-connected lobbyists who represent the person who threatens their membership most in Rhee.
The Rosen-Rhee relationship reveals that Obama has taken teachers and the union’s for granted. And this association with Rhee shows that in the education reform debate, he’s taken the side of the money.