Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Friday, February 7, 2014

Billionaire corporate school reformer Mandel, buys a 'pipeline' to CT Gov. Malloy

Stephen Mandel, Jr. Net Worth $1.8 B (Forbes)
If you're a billionaire hedge-funder and corporate school reformer like Stephen Mandel, and you want a direct line to the governor's office, you buy one.

Mandel, the founder of the Lone Pine Capital hedge fund in Greenwich, is one of the biggest financial backers of CT Gov. Malloy, having  spent over $500,000 supporting the governor's agenda.

He's also chairman of the board of trustees at Dartmouth College and a member of the Harvard Business School’s board of dean’s advisers as well as member of the board of directors at Teach for America. Mandel, a one-time Goldman Sachs analyst, became a managing director at Tiger Management, a now-closed hedge fund whose especially high returns often made headlines. Business writers as a result often have referred to him as a “tiger cub” since his founding of Lone Pine Capital in 1997.

Gov. Malloy
His private foundation is paying three “fellows” to develop public policy in Malloy's office and two state departments. The foundation and its executive director, Meghan Lowney, has played a major role in shaping Connecticut’s education policy — particularly in the state’s failed takeover of the Bridgeport Board of Education.

That's the one that led to the illegal hiring and then un-hiring of Paul Vallas.  

Writes Wait, What? Blogger Jonathan Pelto:
Mandel and his aide, Meghan Lowney, played the pivotal role in the creation of Excel Bridgeport, Inc. the corporate funded education reform advocacy group that supported Malloy’s education reform bill, worked to pass Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch’s failed charter revision proposal to do away with an elected board of education in Bridgeport and has been the biggest boosters for Paul Vallas and Kenneth Moales Jr, the disgraced former chair of the Bridgeport Board of Education.
Lowney, together with Nate Snow, the executive director of the Connecticut chapter of Teach for America, had founded Excel Bridgeport, a proponent of the state takeover. One of the biggest opponents of that move, retired state Superior Court Judge Carmen L. Lopez, dubbed Lowney “the conspirator in chief”’ of the “coup that led to the illegal removal of a democratically elected Board of Education by the state.” 

The foundation claims its fellowship program is designed to select “emerging leaders from across the nation” so that they can have “the opportunity and support to further develop leadership skills while working in high-level projects in Connecticut.”

Those chosen receive annual salaries of between $50,000 and $70,000 plus medical and other benefits and function as “employees on loan, in-kind to the partnering public office,” according to the foundation. 
“Fellows work with senior officials on policy projects that address ever-changing issues and challenges,” it says, adding that they “may perform research relative to legislation, serve as an intermediary between different agencies or offices, or lead special projects.”
The foundation adds that one of its goals is to “develop a sustainable public leadership pipeline in Connecticut,” and that another is to “provide ad hoc support for the office in which they are placed.”

Yes, sustainable -- big time. 

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