Add Michelle Rhee to the list of top players in Florida’s education hierarchy who gave money to Tony Bennett in his Indiana reelection campaign. One of the nation’s top education reporters, Alexander Russo was able to get a copy of the tax returns of Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst from a source inside Rhee’s organization. Writes Russo:
A few months ago it was being noted that StudentsFirst’s candidate endorsements skewed overwhelmingly Republican, which was surprising to some and disqualifying to others.
But no one seemed to know about its candidate contributions, which are an even more powerful indication of the organization’s focus (and the state of education reform).
Now, thanks to a source inside StudentsFirst, I can share some interesting (if self-reported) information about the organization’s 2012 election cycle contributions, which balance out pretty evenly for 2012 at 42 percent Democratic / 58 percent Republican.
Russo notes that “8 of the 14 states where SF was active in 2012 were strongly, some of them smaller states where dollars go further.” Florida obviously isn’t a small state but it’s legislature is dominated by republicans. Rhee spread around $87, 900 in the state last year. Only $9400 went to democrats. Scathing Purple Musings had this in August.
Rhee’s contribution to Bennett’s Indiana campaign places her among his top contributors. Among his contributors from Florida were three members of Florida’s board of education, Jeb Bush, Patricia Levesque and charter school giants Charter Schools USA and Academica.