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

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Charter patron, union basher Whitman buys into the Clinton campaign

An actress dressed as union basher, "Queen Meg" greets members of the California Nurses Association (CNA) during a rally at the CNA offices in Oakland.

I may live to regret these words, but I will unabashedly be voting for Hillary Clinton in November. Having said that, let me point out that many fellow Clinton supporters give me the creeps. Oh well. Strange bedfellows and all that.

If Hillary loses to neo-fascist Trump in November, it won't be because she ran out of cash. Lately, in a backlash against Trump's continued spewing of disgusting anti-immigrant and anti-woman garbage, there's a growing group of conservative Republican Wall Streeters throwing their money behind Clinton.

The latest GOP billionaire to endorse HC is former eBay and Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman who revealed that Clinton, had reached out to her in a phone call about a month ago, one of the first indications that HC was aggressively courting Republican leaders.

Whitman has called Trump a "fascist", a "demagogue" and "a threat to American democracy" (she's obviously been paying attention) and tells NYT:
“I will vote for Hillary, I will talk to my Republican friends about helping her, and I will donate to her campaign and try to raise money for her.” 
Hillary getting millions in Wall St. cash comes as no surprise to anyone. Bernie Sanders made it a central issue in his primary run. But for Californians, who overwhelming voted against her in her own run for governor, and for educators in particular, any Whitman influence in the Clinton campaign or a position in a Clinton regime, would especially odorous. 

Whitman, who backed Romney in 2012, has spent millions and much of the past decade pushing for expansion of privately-run charter schools and other privatization initiatives. In her losing run (paid for with $144M of her own money) for governor against Jerry Brown, she made lifting the cap on charter school expansion a centerpiece of her campaign. 

In 2011, she bankrolled Silicon Valley charter schools to the tune of $5 million through her Whitman-Harsh Family Foundation. One of those schools, Summit Preparatory Charter High School, was featured in the anti-public-school 2010 documentary “Waiting for Superman.” 

Whitman also sits on the board of Teach for America (TFA). 

She is virulently anti-union. Her position on immigration is more closely aligned with Trump than with Clinton. And Whitman has been a leading voice for abolishing the state's capital-gains tax which accounts for more than $11 billion in state revenue. 

Now $11B may not sound much these days, but to put it in context, the estimated cost to CA taxpayers for free UC tuition for every in-state student (Bernie's much maligned campaign centerpiece) is $3B. 

Should this make Clinton supporters uncomfortable and vigilant? Yes indeed. Should it keep us from voting against Trump in November. Absolutely not.

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