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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rhee finds her true calling at Scotts Miracle-Gro, killing many birds with one stone.

Michelle Rhee has decided to make a new start. After formally changing her last name to Johnson (she's married to Sacramento Mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson), Rhee has announced her departure from StudentsFirst for Scotts Miracle-Gro. It looks like the hedge-fund school reformers and power philanthropists are growing tired of Rhee and have decided to pass the union-busting torch on to Campbell Brown.

Although she will stay on the board of SF, Rhee appears to have given up on the potential of the organization she founded. The organization has also just pulled out of five states, including Florida where Rhee served as chief education adviser to Tea Party Gov. Rick Scott. Perhaps the corporate reformer who Salon writer Jeff Bryant calls "education's Ann Coulter" now has her sights set on becoming the new Queen of Fertilizer.
Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. has named the controversial former head of Washington, D.C., schools to its board of directors. Michelle Johnson, formerly Michelle Rhee, will serve on two of the Scotts board’s six committees – innovation and marketing, and compensation and organization, the Marysville lawn and garden company said Monday. -- Columbus Business First
IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT MANURE...Something you should know about Rhee's new company. The Ohio-based fertilizer and pesticides company is notorious for contributing to soil decay and water pollution. Think Toledo and Lake Erie. The company has only recently agreed to remove dangerous water pollutant, phosphorus from the Turf Builder line. But, as recent reports on Toledo's water problem shows, it's too little, too late.

The company has also violated US federal environmental laws by manufacturing and selling poisoned birdseed. The company entered guilty pleas to all charges in U.S. District Court in 2012.
According to court documents, Scotts Miracle-Gro was warned about the toxicity of these chemicals by two employees. One employee, a pesticide chemist, approached management about these dangers in the summer of 2007, whilst the other employee, an ornithologist, notified management in the autumn of that same year. The Scotts Miracle-Gro company ignored these warnings and continued to produce and distribute their poisoned birdseed products for at least another six months... According to court documents, Scotts Miracle-Gro sold more than 73 million packages of these poisoned bird foods nationwide to an unsuspecting public for a period of more than two years. Only 2 million of those 73 million units could be recalled.  -- The Guardian
In a separate civil agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scotts agreed to pay more than $6 million in penalties and spend $2 million on environmental projects under a settlement that resolves additional civil pesticide violations . The violations include distributing or selling unregistered, canceled or misbranded pesticides, including products with inadequate warnings or cautions. This is the largest civil settlement under FIFRA to date. -- U.S. Justice Dept.
Given Rhee's test-cheating experience as D.C. schools chancellor, should make her a perfect addition to the Miracle-Gro brand.  

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