Majority of Montanans Tell Daines: ‘No On DeVos’

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The calls pouring in are overwhelming the DC switchboard. In-state staffers for Senator Steve Daines can’t even keep up as the phone is ringing off the hook. I heard the phone ringing the entire time I stood in Senator Daines office yesterday. We were crammed in with 10 other Montanans to the Kalispell office as we expressed our grave concerns about Betsy DeVos’ nomination for Secretary of Education.

Over the last month many of us around Montana banded together and started organizing against Betsy DeVos’ nomination by doing the work of calls, office visits, letters, and emails to him. In the last week we really ramped up our efforts to engage as many people as possible. This was true grassroots organizing, just passionate citizens who wanted Steve Daines to listen. Groups around the state were part of this: individuals, teachers, activist groups on Facebook, contacts on twitter, county parties, Big Sky Rising groups, friends, and family. Thousands of calls have been made to tell Senator Daines that we, his Montana constituents, want him to vote no on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos.

The issues that were discussed yesterday deserve serious consideration and serious answers. Two former special education teachers who were in the Kalispell office with me were very concerned about the loss of funding for students with disabilities and special needs. Many were concerned about Betsy DeVos not having a plan to address the sexual assault epidemic ravaging college campuses. I personally expressed serious concerns about Betsy DeVos qualifications for the position.

Protestors at the Bozeman office of Senators Daines above demand that he vote no. “We’ll be outside Daines’ office twice a day, every day until his votes start reflecting the views of his constituents, not the folks topping his donors list.”

Betsy DeVos’ campaign contributions are not qualifications. DeVos’ family has donated over $46,800 to Senator Daines as well as over $200 million to the Republican party overall. That is not a misprint or an exaggeration. 200 Million Dollars.

Allegations of plagiarism of answers to her education committee questionnaire have been raised as well as her disconcerting answers to Senator’s questions in the committee. She could not show a clear understanding of the difference between proficiency and growth. These are basic terms in education administration.

This is not a partisan issue.
Betsy DeVos is not qualified to be Secretary of Education.

Senator Elizabeth Warren confirmed that DeVos has never personally had a students loan, nor has anyone in her family yet she will be tasked with administering the trillion dollar program of student loans with no experience of running a program of such a size.

One must ask, what are her qualifications?

DeVos has no certifications or experience to teach or administer children in a K-12 school.

DeVos has no certifications or experience to administer or teach in a college setting.

Her nomination is an affront to governance. It is a bald-faced attempt to buy a seat of power and President Bannon/Trump want to show us how little regard they have for government, the democratic process, and public education.

As was stated in the 1976 United States Supreme Court case of Buckley v. Valeo that established the reasoning for campaign finance limits,”large campaign contributions” are justified by the state’s interest in “the prevention of corruption and the appearance of corruption spawned by the real or imagined coercive influence of large financial contributions on candidates’ positions and on their actions if elected to office.” The Court further defined “corruption” to mean “large contributions … given to secure a political quid pro quo from current and potential office holders.”

Betsy DeVos’ nomination is a quid pro quo. She and her family donated hundreds of millions to the Republican party and she has been awarded a nomination to one of the most important, complex and crucial jobs in government and she’s not even qualified for it.

We need a qualified candidate. Senator Daines must vote no on Betsy DeVos.

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Nathan Kosted

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Pat Lueck
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Pat Lueck

$200 Million?? it may not be an exaggeration…nor a typo…but your figure comes with no verification. My research, on a thing called “Goggle..’ shows much lower figures.. from $2-$4 M.

James Conner
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Sweet Betsy herself confirmed the $200 million figure in response to a question by Sen. Sanders at her committee hearing. http://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2017/01/17/devos-says-its-possible-her-family-has-donated-200m-to-republicans/#30249ca64268

She’s utterly unqualified for any cabinet level appointment, and would be a marginal choice for a political appointment as ambassador to Cloud Cuckoo Land.

DGF
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DGF

Daines will vote for her no matter how many calls he gets against her. He knows his seat his safe in this so red state. I hope this well placed angry will turn into votes come this spring in the special election and vote for who ever is the democratic candidate . Maybe DeVos will be so incompetent as Elsie A.our OPI head that no harm may come. Well it will be a long 4 years and God help us.

Katie Clarke
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Katie Clarke

I am quite pleased with Tester representing Montanans and advocating for us out there. What can we do to show him we are noticing who is listening, and who isn’t?

Bill
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Bill

Is this just a battle between public schools and charter schools? Are educators worried about their rice bowels? Would this be a real shot in the arms for Montana Catholic Schools? Also, what about the inner-cites? What do the majority voters want? Not just the alt left. Danes is maybe doing the right job supporting the majority Montana voters and his party.

Don Pogreba
Admin

I have no idea what a rice bowel is, but gross.

And the public absolutely does not support siphoning money from public schools to fund private schools. Here in Montana, we specifically forbid it in the Constitution, so Senator Daines certainly isn’t representing us.

Steve Engebretson
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Steve Engebretson

Bill, Charter School ARE public schools. This would not affect Montana Catholic Schools, as the Montana Constitution prohibits public dollars from going to private schools. Montana does not have any “inner cities.” Even our largest city, Billings, is considered rural by the federal government. Betsy DeVos would harm schools in rural states where it is difficult for taxpayers to fund even one school, let alone an alternative school system. Her appointment would be devastating to Montana taxpayers, so No, I do not think a majority of Montanans, once they understand the implications, would support Betsy DeVos and her “vision” for… Read more »

Dave Lewis
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Dave Lewis

I have not seen a poll that shows majority of Montanans opposing any of President’s appointments.

Bill
Guest
Bill

My point is that all this spin about qualifications is nothing but smoke and mirrors. The real liberal opposition is against loss of funds for public schools because she supports vouchers for private schools. Why can’t the dems be honest. This approach of lies will not win you votes. I hope you can see through this as many voters will realize this, not if, but when she gets in office. The voters will determine if changes are required to make this happen. State Constitutions can be amended. The U.S. Constitution has 27 amendments.

Eric
Guest
Eric

To quote Barack Obama – “Elections have Consequences”

DeVos was just confirmed (of course)

Bill
Guest
Bill

bye bye Tester…….Yes this is Fox News. President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to be the Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, has committed an unpardonable sin. Yes, she has tried to help millions of disadvantaged families have the ability to send their kids to better schools. This is of course reprehensible behavior on her part that must not be rewarded. Oh, and there is one more thing, she has spent millions of dollars of her own money in order to try to help these kids be able to achieve their dreams. How awful. In Louisiana we enacted the biggest school choice statewide… Read more »

Pete Talbot
Admin

What Betsy DeVos wants is for my tax dollars to be spent at schools that teach kids the Earth is 6000-years-old.

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