The Seattle School Board Incumbents, Stand for Children and Other Corporate Reform Backers

As I posted previously about Stand for Children (SFC) and their support of school board candidates in the article Stand for Children, School Board Elections, Washington State PTA and Charter Schools, Jonah Edelman, co-founder of Stand for Children,  states in regards to school board and legislative candidates that SFC supports:

I’m being quite blunt here, the individual candidates were essentially a vehicle to execute a political objective…

Later in the post I write:

By the way, during my information search, I came across this on the Stand for Children website. Three of our very own school board incumbents are receiving financial assistance and on-the-ground support from SFC. Buyers beware. From the Stand for Children website:

A number of our chapters have developed endorsement committees to support education champions running for school board this fall. These committees created an endorsement process, developed questionnaires, and interviewed candidates for these important public service positions. Check out the profiles of our education champions below:

Seattle Announcement:

Sherry Carr

Harium Martin-Morris

Steve Sundquist

And now more information on the financing of the Seattle School Board incumbents.

I have been receiving a flurry of e-mails, making my life easier in terms of research, on the moneyed connections between the Seattle School Board incumbents and the corporate reformers. (Please do keep those cards and letters coming. I appreciate and review all information sent my way.)

These are the major contributors of the incumbents’ campaigns.

Steve Ballmer:

We’ll start with Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Corporation.

Steve Ballmer contributed $425,000 to the Defeat Initiative 1098 campaign. This initiative was a proposal to establish a trust fund dedicated to education and health services and to be funded by the excise tax on joint incomes of $400,000 or more. The state of Washington does not have an income tax. I’m guessing that if he couldn’t pull the strings in terms of education in our state, he wouldn’t want to have anything to do with it. Or would he rather not be taxed fairly and instead use his money, pennies compared to what he makes, on what he thinks is best for the rest of us. One would think, though, that his wife, Connie Ballmer who sits on the Advisory Board of Stand for Children, would have thought it appropriate to help promote such an initiative. Hmmm.

Steve Ballmer gave $5,000 to Peter Maier’s campaign in 2007 but a paltry $750 to Maier’s 2011 re-election campaign. Connie Ballmer also donated $750 to Maier’s current campaign.  I’m guessing that they figure he’s going down in flames after stating that he knew about Pottergate and did nothing about it, but they want to hedge their bets just in case.

The Ballmer’s have also contributed to Sherry Carr’s re-election campaign.

As an aside, the Ballmer’s also contributed heavily to the Seattle Foundation to pay for the first year’s additional cost for Teach For America, Inc. recruits to be hired in Seattle. The fee that is to be forked over to Wendy Kopp, CEO of Teach for America Inc., is $4,000 per recruit per year just to have untrained and ill-equipped teaching temps in our schools. Other wealthy individuals who have donated to Maier’s campaign and who also donated to Defeat Initiative 1098 and helped pay for the TFA, Inc. temps to be in Seattle are Matt Griffin, Evelyne Rozner, John Stanton, and James Faulstich.

Oh, what a web.

Matt Griffin:

Matt Griffin, a wealthy developer in Seattle, donated $1,000 to Defeat 1098 in 2010. He has also donated to all of the incumbents’ campaigns. Mr. Griffin gave Peter Maier and Steve Sundquist $1,000 each and Sherry Carr and Harium Martin-Morris, $2,000 each.

He also contributed to the Gates backed Seattle Foundation to cover the Seattle Public School district’s cost of hiring Teach for America, Inc. temps. His wife, Evelyne Rozner contributed $6,000 in 2007 to Peter Maier’s campaign, and $1,000 to the 2011 campaign.  Ms. Rozner also gave Carr and Martin-Morris $2,000 each and Sundquist $1,000.

Needless to say, all four incumbents voted for Teach for America, Inc. to “teach” in our Seattle Public School system.

John Stanton

John Stanton was listed as #82 in the Forbes 2001 “Richest People” study. It’s estimated his net worth is $1.1 billion. He does not live in Seattle but in Bellevue, WA. Mr. Stanton, as with everyone else in the state of Washington, pays no state income tax.

John Stanton contributed $2,500 to Peter Maier’s 2011 campaign, $6,000 to Maier’s 2007 campaign and $53,500 to Defeat Initiative 1098.  Stanton sits on the Seattle Foundation board.

John Stanton contributed to the Defeat Initiative 1098 fund.

James Faulstich

James Faulstich,  former President and Chief Executive of Federal Home Loan Bank, who is also a supporter of Teach For America, contributed $250 to Maier’s 2007 campaign and $250 for the 2011 campaign. Mr. Faulstich also gave Carr, Martin-Morris and Sundquist each $250.

Mr. Fautstich contributed to the Seattle Foundation to pay for the Teach for America, Inc. temps and to the Defeat Initiative 1098 fund.

Peter Maier has the largest campaign fund at $37,000, followed by Steve Sundquist at $28,000, Harium Martin-Morris at $22, 000 and Sherry Carr at $20,000. All of the challengers are well under $10,000 except for Michelle Buetow who is at $13,000.

A point that someone noted is that none of these donors have children in the Seattle Public School system and most of them live on the eastside of the Puget Sound, meaning that they do not live in Seattle but across the water in wealthy communities.

And what is the connection between defeating Initiative 1098 while supporting Teach for America and Stand for Children?

Sharon Peaslee’s answer is that “It’s all about limiting public funding while privatizing and profiting from public education.”


Post Script: This just in from the New York Times:

Top Earners Doubled Share of Nation’s Income, Study Finds


3 thoughts on “The Seattle School Board Incumbents, Stand for Children and Other Corporate Reform Backers

  1. Go To The Gate$ of The 1% and Maybe You’ll Get Through the Gate$ Of The 1%

    I actually gotta give ’em credit on this marketing of this book – ya know how “get the government off the backs of the people” had NOTHING to do with the truth of Raygun’s policies?

    To think that all the 6 figure a year PARASITES of DFER, LEV, and SFC are actually helping kids in the class more than they’re helping their yuppie $ocial cla$$ is laughable.

    Since before I was 20 in 1980, the Democratic Party has been completely totally incapable of combating the lies of the right wing over lords when it comes to fighting for good tax policy, or when it comes to fighting against our pensions being used by rigged wall street casino sharks, or when it comes to fighting against our health care access being ripped off so insurance execs can have jets mansions yachts and hookers,


    the Arne – Upper Middle Cla$$ Queen Anne “Democrats” can muster great messaging to blame teachers and teacher unions!

    To think that all the 6 figure a year PARASITES of DFER, LEV, and SFC are actually helping kids in the class more than they’re helping their yuppie $ocial cla$$ is laughable – oops! I repeated myself!


    “The League of Education Voters in partnership with Democrats for Education Reform, Excellent Schools Now and Stand for Children present an evening with journalist Steven Brill.

    Brill’s latest book – CLASS WARFARE: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools…”
    Seattle Public Library – Microsoft Auditorium
    1000 4th Avenue
    Seattle, WA 98104

  2. Thanks so much, Dora, for calling out the men and women who gave huge money to defeat 1098 while at the same bemoaning the sorry state of Washington’s public schools. What part of 44th in the nation don’t they understand?

    I’d like to say, as I’ve said before, that I think these people do believe they’re helping us – saving the great unwashed from our own incompetence – and are not out simply to make a profit (though many lesser “entrepreneurs” are and I’m sure the top dogs applaud them). But it hardly matters because I don’t loathe them any less for their ignorant sincerity. Their arrogance is foul enough for me.

    Here’s (abridged) Wikipedia on Pride:

    “In almost every list pride, or hubris, is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and the source of the others. It is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others, and excessive love of self….”


    As a mother, I can’t find words that could be printed here to express what I feel about the super-rich manipulating my kids’ lives as if they were playing a particularly absorbing round of The Sims. Pride is supposed to go before the fall, but they dabble with no consequences to themselves. They’ve learned how to make others do the falling for them.

    Is this bit from Wiki any consolation?: “(as punishment for pridefulness), in Dante’s Divine Comedy, the penitents were forced to walk with stone slabs bearing down on their backs to induce feelings of humility.” They’ll go to Hell. Too little, too late.

  3. Teach for America was planted here long before the School Board voted. This was at least as big a finagle as the fire sale priced sale of MLK school to the AME.

    This is another scam from the TOP.
    Here is the background story

    Here is the legal appeal.

    Here is the Recall filing for Randy Dorn.

    Latest email string with OSPI Associate Director of Certification
    October 25 =>

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