“Stand For Children Louisiana” is an Evil and Malicious Corporate Front Group for Evil People and Organizations

I did not realize just how corrupt and connected the organization known as “Stand For Children Louisiana” was until I looked into some of their finances and their background.  I decided to do this after being told about this slanderous commercial attacking BESE member Carolyn Hill, on BESE member elect Jada Lewis’ behalf.  In case you didn’t see it, here it is:

Yes.

This is actually a campaign commercial (it’s hard to tell with all the flashing lights and rolling news feeds so I recorded it so you can pause the screen.)  This aired on a local channel, WBRZ.  You will note the call letters of the faux news broadcast are WBRD, so to a casual viewer it looks legit.  “Stand” even used the local background drop of our bridge across the Mississippi that our local news uses.  This commercial aired in the last week of the election and was responsible for tricking voters into thinking the police were after Carolyn Hill for numerous crimes.  The commercial even displays case numbers.

(Note:  I ran for BESE in the same market as Carolyn (EBR) but a different district and we are longtime friends and allies.  Carolyn was the first BESE member I met in the flesh after leaving LDOE when I attended a local community meeting on alternative forms of student discipline about 4 years ago.  She got me interested in trying to do more to help our children in this state and our community by her example.)

I know this commercial was effective because I had voters come to my Facebook page and tell me they wished they could vote for me for my stands on issues (which are basically the same as Hill’s) but all they could vote for was Lewis, or “the criminal” so they really had no good choice but certainly couldn’t keep a criminal in office.

This commercial is based on fictional information, at least about BESE member Carolyn Hill.  The case numbers are not legit (according to Hill’s staff who called all the DAs of all the neighboring Parishes they are only partial numbers or meaningless numbers and Hill has no outstanding warrants and never did.)  That’s not to say maybe some Carolyn Hill somewhere on earth might have some bench warrants, but there are over 100 Jason Frances in the US, here are the “top”25 Carolyn Hills just on LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Carolyn/Hill

The other accusations are BS too.  BESE positions come with a laptop or iPad to communicate with the State e-Mail system securely.  Would you want BESE members communicating private student info outside of a secure system like Hillary Clinton or Ash Carter? The position requires travel all over the state and reimburses BESE members for travel and also provides a per diem.

This is how Stand chose to stand for children, by lying and deceiving people about a real champion of children in their community.

Of course this behavior wasn’t limited to Stand but this was one of the more egregious cases.  In addition to the primetime commercials Stand also spent tens of thousands of dollars on direct mail to people’s homes, warning them about Carolyn Hill.

But not only does this organization not “stand for children”, it doesn’t stand for the “Louisiana” part of its title either! 98% of their funding came from corporations, tax exempt entities including one funded by the Sierra club (seriously), and billionaires outside of our state. Several of these organizations probably broke federal laws and should lose their tax exempt status for contributing to a purely political organization that spent all their money on attack ads and propaganda.

I compiled a list of Stand’s donors and clients after their February registration filings.  I investigated each one and I will do this for every other organization that overran our state with their dirty blood money.

Stand Funding and Expenditures BESe

Stand actually split into 2 separate “Stand for Children Louisiana” groups this year.  Both are controlled by former LDOE (a deputy superintendent to John White and Chief of Staff for Vallas of RSD) and John White/Paul Vallas loyalist, Rayne Martin.  It’s not clear why they split into two groups, but I suspect they may have been planning of using their separate identities to bypass state limits on PAC donations.

stand21

I have included the data as an Excel spreadsheet for you to do your own calculations and roll-ups, but I will also post some summaries.  First let’s look at donors.  Only Stephen Rosenthal (Leslie Jacob’s brother, the RSD’s chief architect, and Gray Parker, President of the Booth-Bricker fund which is funded by all the out of state ed reform all stars, are from Louisiana) about 98% of this 781,000 dollars worth of funding comes straight from out of state (to produce slanderous attack ads on behalf of charter school vampires.)

summary stand donors

Action Now Initiative is actually a 501c4 organization, a Tax Exempt non-profit and basically big time charter school supporters, Laura and John Arnold’s,  front organization from Texas.  Here’s this groups 2013 Tax return.  Don’t you think it’s time this “advocacy organization” started paying taxes instead of paying for slanderous attack ads?

Jim Walton of Arkansas, one of the Walmart heirs, dropped 250 gs here. Jim and his sister Alice shit all over our elections again this year with their obscene wealth and callous disregard for children or choices other than charter schools. I bet charter school chains will be opening up in between those  Walmart McDonalds and a Walmart hair salons in the near future.  One step closer to WALL-E!

The Sixteen Thirty fund gave 250k and access to their mailing list and phone numbers.  They are another tax exempt 501c org based in DC with a progressive agenda.  The Sierra club is one of their primary funders. Their primary mission is stated as environmental.

In addition to saving spotted owls the Sixteen Thirty Funds also pays to produce slanderous commercials and promote charter schools. Despicable.

Stacy Schusterman gave 250k.  She is an Energy magnate from Oklahoma and co-chair of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman foundation, a Jewish based group with the dual mission of saving Israel and apparently lying about innocent people around the workd and persecuting them with lies for the sake of the education reform movement.  Nice. https://www.schusterman.org/

We believe that by investing in the education reform movement and its leaders, we can do our part to better prepare today’s learners to be tomorrow’s qualified workforce and engaged citizens.

Of course the National Stand organization backs lying about opponents “for the children”  and chipped in 50k for that cause.

Finally, what outrageous campaign of lies would be complete without at least one local Louisiana traitor, like Stephen Rosenthal, the brother to the Recovery School District “architect” Leslie Rosenthal Jacobs (Jacobs is currently  a member of governor elect John Bel Edwards k-12 education transition team. and has a Wikipedia page describing how awesome and important she is sourced with information from her own website, EducateNow!.

summary Stand Expenditures

Stand for Now actually spent at least 860 thousand (I didn’t get all the details from the Stand to Stand transactions so it was a bit more.)

MB Public Affairs is the California based “political vulnerability research” attack group that prepared the report on Carolyn Hill.  They are considered a beloved company. . . by Tobacco companies and Genetically Modified Organism (GMOs) producers hoping to prevent labeling of their products.  They research individual members of community organizations on these companies behalf’s to smear individual members and harass them into silence.  Jada Lewis ran as a Democrat against Democrat Carolyn Hill, but MB Public affairs is a well known republican attack dog.

The latest financial filings in California for the “No on 37: Coalition Against the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme” reveal a $7,500 payment to the Sacramento-based political consulting firm MB Public Affairs. Here is how The Los Angeles Times described the firm last year: “MB Public Affairs is headed by Mark Bogetich, a garrulous operative known to his friends as ‘Bogey,’ who has helped a number of Republican candidates neutralize their opponents. In recent years, MB Public Affairs has worked for Altria, once known as the Phillip Morris Cos.” Bogetich has also been called “the go-to guy for [the Republican Party]” and “the only game in town.” The Los Angeles Times article explains how last year MB Public Affairs filed more than 50 Public Records Act requests to dig up dirt on a small but effective group called the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy

Almost every FlipBESE candidate in the last BESE election was described as a Trojan Democrat in Republican clothing.  It’s pretty clear Jada Lewis is nothing more than a plant of the Republican party running as a Democrat in a primarily Democratic district.  She fooled them, with MB Public Affairs help, and Stand for Children Louisiana’s lies and misrepresentations.  The groups primarily involved in Jada’s Lewis’ media campaign were Clay Young Enterprises LLC and Innovative Advertising LLC.  My guess is Clay Young produced the commercial based on their advertised specialty and portfolio.

Other BESE candidates supported by this Out of State front organization were:

  • Gary Jones
  • Holly Boffy
  • Tony Davis
  • Kira Orange-Jones
  • and local Orleans school board candidate John Brown.

These are bad people funded by bad people to do bad things to Louisiana and our children for the sake of money and power. Stand for Children Louisiana is the vehicle for making this all happen.  Do not trust or believe any of these people.

Update: 12/19

As Dr. Mercedes Schneider pointed out in her recent blog, Rayne Martin is no longer listed as “formally” affiliated with Stand. Rayne passed the reins to Carrie Griffin Monica midyear.  However once a reformer, always a reformer.  Rayne is still affiliated with the same circle of education do-badders and it is not uncommon for them to go to a private “consulting” company for a larger payoff with less public scrutiny.

 

Education Reform in Louisiana: A PAC of Lies and Liars.

Education Reform in Louisiana: A PAC of Lies and Liars.

It’s been a few weeks since the final BESE elections wrapped up in Louisiana.

(BESE is Louisiana’s elected state school board. The board as 8 elected positions and 3 appointed by the Governor and is responsible for setting policy for all public schools, private schools, charter schools and homeschool programs in the state as well as defining the MFP, a funding formula for public schools. A BESE position does not come with a salary but does provide a small stipend and a laptop or iPad to communicate with the state e-mail system using the state assigned e-mail address.

BESE meets every other month for 2 days for regularly scheduled meetings and as needed for emergency agenda items. It’s not a glamorous job, no salary, no staff, a lot of filing/qualifying requirements and red tape, and a lot of public scrutiny – but that hasn’t prevented it from becoming the most contentious and expensive position in the state, second only to the Governor’s position in Louisiana.)

The 2015 elections were something of a watershed moment for Louisiana. It was the first year BESE board candidates opposing destructive Education Reform were able to unify across parties, geography (and any other line you can think of) and work to fight against the lies and money of the Ed Reform machine.  Education Reform is sold on the backs of lies about “success”, lies about goals of opponents, and through the perpetuation of firmly discredited myths.

This year, however, the lies and dishonesty were of absurd, even epic proportions; even for politicians; even for politicians from Louisiana!

The Ed Reform movement didn’t just lie, they built a campaign machine that ran on the exact diametric opposite of reality.

I will show several examples of how this looks and what it means in the next few posts on this subject. Fortunately I was able to document some of these lies to call people out over the years that follow, and for you, the public, to hold them to their pledges (or admit they were lying POS.)

Here is a commercial Lane Grigsby’s Empower PAC ran against one of the FlipBESE candidates I supported in the 2015 elections.  This was run against a veteran of the Ascension Parish school system who works with children with disabilities, and their families, named Kathy Edmonston.

When I talked to Kathy about this commercial she was quite upset. The extras they use in this video make her out to be an idiot as did the hundreds of thousands of dollars in mailers sent out by local education reform mobster, Empower PAC founder and LABI chairman, Lane Grigsby.  This was just one piece of a out of state billionaire funded coordinated campaign to take part of statement she said during and interview completely out of context and claim she did not believe children should be taught to read or perform math until the third grade.

I suppose the depression era black and white photo of gloomy kids is supposed to represent outdated thinking?  I’m not really sure that was a belief back then, but they get points for using some ridiculous over-the-top scare tactics.  (FYI, Ascension Parish is one of our top rated school districts in the state by the ed reformers own grading scale, so I’m pretty sure they must be doing something right.)

Kathy provided the video where Empower and Grigsby chose to libel and slander her education stands from a Frances and Friends broadcast.

(Frances and Friends is a Christian television show on the SonLife network.  Bearing false witness against a Christian television show?  It doesn’t get much classier than that.)

If you listen to the clip, Kathy Edmonston actually says the complete opposite of Grigsby and his Empower PAC (funded by Michael Bloomberg, Eli Broad, Jim and Alice Walton) are claiming. She says it essential that kids learn to read and write before third grade and that most of our early efforts should go towards ensuring that goal.  Her observation and critique was that, under Common Core, many kids are getting to third grade unable to read or do simple math.

Selling the exact opposite of the truth: Education Reform’s specialty.

The Education Reform movement is a group of PACs and corporately funded puppet organizations that sell lies to the public.  They lie about their “successes”; they lie about their failures; they lie to create faux failures for others; they lie to support their agenda and attack their detractors to prevent any adult conversations or real critical analysis of their claims from happening.

When I met with Grigsby earlier this year to try and discuss his views and our differences candidly he told me that he doesn’t believe in Democracy because politicians can get entrenched and corrupted as he believes happened in New Orleans.  Lane explained to me that all that really matters these days is who has the most money and who can tell the most convincing lie.

I believe he proved that to be true for the most part in this election cycle.  That may be the most honest thing he’s said to anyone about politics and his worldview in a while. Grigsby and his allies poured more than 4 million dollars worth of lies into this year’s BESE races and won 7 out of the 8 elected seats that prior to the charter school movement were won for less than 10k.

This money is flowing here from supporters, and investors, of/in the charter school industry.  Whether you are a charter supporter or not, it is clear that money from the charter industry has drowned out any voices but their own.  Combine that fact with the compulsive and absurd lying, like that shown here, and you can see why all forms of education (not just public) are really facing a crisis these days. The Education Reform movement has created a real crisis with their policies to replace the faux crisis they sold their new policies on in the first place.

I’m not sure if that is irony, a self-fulfilling prophecy, or maybe just good business?

What I do know is that Education Reform responsible for teaching our kids all the wrong things, both in school, and outside of school by their example.

Unfortunately it’s not just children who are being taught very destructive things.  We are also teaching adults to disrespect Democracy and to defecate on truth as well.

 

 

 

How John White Will Use His Own Failures to Sink Governor Elect John Bel Edwards (If he stays on)

I have been writing for years about the numerous ways John White has been lying about the “progress” his agenda has brought the state of Louisiana.  White has inflated the graduate rate, inflated the matriculation rate, depressed the dropout counts, flipped the LEAP and End of Course test scores to show Louisiana students are doing better,  while they are actually doing much worse, sheltered RSD and charter schools from investigations, wiped out the Special Education department and forced his employees to commit fraud to keep their jobs on a routine basis and violated federal laws and policies in regards to funding allocations, shared data illegally with third party vendors and researchers that only favor his agenda while withholding data from independent researchers (for years) costing the state many thousands of dollars in litigation fees.  These are just a few of the underhanded and unethical practices John White has engaged in on a regular basis.  White even has one of his former lieutenants in place on the State’s board of Elementary and Secondary Education.  All of this bodes ill for John Bel if he is not able to remove John White promptly, and properly audit, recalculate and re-report the previous years’ fraudulently prepared education data.

John White has quietly amassed an enormous power base in Louisiana.  He has legislators, superintendents, super Pacs, LABI (Louisiana Association of Business and Industry run by a Grigsby figurehead), APEL  a pseudo teachers union run by a LABI/Grigsby promoted figurehead, The Times Picayune editorial board, The Advocate editorial board and management, Teach for America (who also has a BESE member, Kira Orange Jones that will support White unquestioningly), Stand for Children (run by a former White/LDOE staffer) ,CABL, BAEO (run by a former White/LDOE staffer), DFER (Democrats for Education Reform), and Lane Grigsby in his back pocket. That’s just to name of few of his instate supporter power players and organizations.

White also has the ability to draw down millions of dollars from out of state ed reform minded billionaires to wage war on John Bel Edwards on his behalf.  Billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, Eli Broad, Jim and Alice Walton, that spent millions defaming BESE candidates across the state (for unpaid positions) in the recent elections.  Unless John Bel wants to turn his entire education agenda over to these groups, he will be unendingly assailed by them throughout his term.  He will probably be attacked even then because:

  • LABI would like to find a way to remove him and put someone loyal to them on every issue.
  • John Bel have to renege on his promises to do something about John White, Common Core, and the corruptions and malfeasance at LDOE.

The latter would alienate many of the folks  I rallied to support him based on the belief JBE would have our backs.

LABI and these other groups would still angle to remove John Bel with outrageous lies and misrepresentations, like they did for so many of the BESE candidates in the last elections.

The most diabolical aspect of this is; John White could simply agree to everything John Bel asks him to do, he could cooperate in every way, and he could even release the actual data starting from day one of John Bel’s term.  Unfortunately, this would prove disastrous.

John White has built an enormous and unfounded success data bubble.  If this pops only during John Bel’s term in office, and the scores are not properly recalculated for previous years, it will be an easy claim to make and support, that:

  • John Bel ruined education in Louisiana.

I expect White and his staff, along with Lane Grigsby and Bridgette Nieland with LABI, are working on some plan like this right now at LDOE to propose to John Bel and his leadership team.

This will be a poisoned olive branch, much like the Common Core compromise turned out to be for actual anti-Common Core BESE candidates this fall.  LABI’s candidates also claimed to be against Common Core, and for Louisiana Standards.  They sent out mailers proudly proclaiming their disdain for Common Core, support for high standards, and embracement of the Common Core compromise.  Some BESE candidates, like the re-elected Holly Boffy, even ludicrously claimed to have led the fight against Common Core, while actually getting paid by CCSSO to support and promote it as a paid consultant.

Truth has no meaning to these people.  Lane Grigsby actually met with me and told me he was tired of all the education politics and was going to be sitting out getting heavily involved this year.  Instead he raised millions of dollars to launch misleading, continuous, and deceitful attack ads on his opponents while also donating and having all of his friends and family donate the maximum allowable amount to the candidates he supported.  Based on the similarity of all the produced commercials and mailouts for all 9 candidates he supported it is very likely he had a hand in running both candidates actual campaigns as well as the Super Pac that also promoted them.  This type of coordination is theoretically a no-no, but I have yet to hear of anyone ever sanctioned in any way for doing this.

I would recommend getting knowledgable and outspoken critics of John White and Common Core placed on the board as his appointees – from different political parties.  Fortunately there are quite a few great candidates for these jobs available – still sore from the lies John White and his allies used to assail them.  Motivation for counter-attacking and applying pressure to John White should not be an issue for these folks, as they already have lengthy track records in putting  students, teachers and parents before corporations and firsthand experience at how these shady folks work. I would also recommend putting someone like me in charge of education policy or LDOE’s IT department, which is now a division of DOA and not beholden to John White – thanks to Jindal’s statewide IT reorganization.  The governor has complete authority over DOA.  Once John White is removed, most of his unclassified executive staff should be jettisoned as well.  I would also recommend putting someone in charge of RSD who is not Patrick Dobard or his second in command.  I have had reports that Dobard’s mission is to acquire as many schools from as many districts as quickly as possible so they can be turned over to charter operators.  He has even expressed dismay when traditional public schools run by local school districts improve, because that puts a wrench in his plan to acquire them.  John White’s and Patrick Dobard’s mission is to eventually take over all public schools in Louisiana and run them from a statewide agency as a charter portfolio.

Baton Rouge is actually slated to be their next target for mass charter invasion and takeover.  It has been reported to me that before Edwards assumes office, on the December 2nd 2015 agenda, BESE is expected to vote to approve New Schools for Baton Rouge (run by a former LDOE executive staffer) as a type B1 charter authorizer.  This means the state board will vote to completely bypass local EBR school board authority in charter decisions and hand it over to a private, unelected organization to approve as many charter schools as they want, anywhere in the city, as New Schools for New Orleans does in New Orleans.  Next up will be New Schools for Lafayette, New Schools for Lake Charles, New Schools for Shreveport, and finally New Schools for Louisiana as they finally bypass local school boards entirely.

These folks never sleep.  It is important to get ground game going as soon as possible, because 4 years will go by before you know it.

 

Please Save and Forward Education Campaign Literature

Please save copies of mailouts, commercials still on your DVR, radio ads, etc. from this last election cycle. In particular I am interested in the literature of the BESE candidates who got elected running on bogus platforms with money from LABI and out of state billionaires.  The reformers are claiming their sweep of our elections is not because they outspent us 100 to 1, but a validation of their work and mandate for them to “stay the course.”  There one problem with that.  Not only did they outspend us 100 to 1, they also ran on our platforms with their campaign materials.

Namely: Local Control, End Common Core, eliminate unnecessary testing, pay raises for teachers (nothing about firing them or evaluating them on test scores),  and being representatives of the people.

Many folks not clued into the education scene already know this is total BS.

Stand For Children actually produced a fake emergency News Broadcast the last week of the election and made claims one sitting member had warrants out for their arrest and was breaking numerous laws, none of which was true. It was impossible to read the line it was paid for Stand for Children unless you slowed the commercial down and forwarded it frame by frame.  Rather than run on any issues they chose to falsly defame someone, the last week of the election, who actually does stand for some of the poorest children in our state.

You can thank Michael Bloomberg, and his enormous check to that organization, for that masterpiece.

That organization is evil, plain and simple and those who facilitate evil are just as culpable.

I will be linking all the billionaires, by name, with their handiwork to show you how they are destroying education across the nation with lies and enormous bribes. They will be using what happened in Louisiana as proof that their agenda is popular. It is important for the rest of the country to understand just what they actually sold to people here. Maybe we can serve as a template for the rest of the nation, like education reformers want?  We are an example of what not to do and an example of the extent ed reformers are corrupt and will lie to get what they want.

So save those mailers and record those commercials (with your smartphones even) and youTube them for me.  You can send high res pictures of your mailers.  I want to keep a record of what was promised. 

The world needs bloggers because the mainstream media can’t or won’t report on outright lies.  Because maonstream media won’t fill this roll, people believe the ads and stories must be true, or have kernals of truth. They don’t. These are not just lies, they run on the complete opposite of what they stand for.  We can’t keep them honest, but at least we can show those who care just how dishonest and cowardly ed reformers are.  They aren’t just dishonest about their data, they are lying about every aspect of their agenda and even what agenda they are for, until after their elections.

I’m back. Did you miss me?

Hi guys!

I’m back from an outstanding cruise I did not warn you all I was taking for fear of being robbed whilst being out of town. Sorry about that, but I tried to keep my time away to a minimum and I had this planned for around 11 months.  I gave this to my wife as a Valentine’s Day present and since I attended I campaign event on our anniversary this year I really needed to make sure I followed through well on my pseudo-apology tour.

Fellas: I learned no matter how many times your wife tells you it’s okay to go to somewhere on your anniversary, even if you took her out the night before and bought her jewelry, it’s never okay. It’s a test and you are eternally doomed to failure if you believe her words and not your history together.  (If you catch yourself thinking, “wow, I never thought she would go for that!”  Chances are she didn’t and those clipped sentences and terse demeanor are your last warning before things go topsy-turvey –  so make sure whatever it is your are doing is worth the silent treatment and cold doghouse dinners you will be getting for a while.)

Ladies: we will probably promptly forget this advice for your birthday, my birthday, father’s day, mother’s day and some anniversary we met but we will ask you first and want to believe you are telling us the truth.  You can make this easier on both of us by just telling us “no.”  We probably shouldn’t have asked, but we really wanted to do whatever it was and want to believe you will tell us the truth.

Oh well, I doubt I’ve improved Martian – Venusian relations much, but I tried.

On the plus side, I may have had an impact on a local election.  Rickeem Jackson of the non-resident running for local elective office Rickeem Jacksons, who has never paid taxes or voted in an election prior to the one he was running for public office in, (I’m assuming he actually showed up and voted for himself – which might be a stretch.) has been defeated at the polls by an educator and pastor that actually lived in Jefferson parish, paid taxes and voted in elections.  Go figure!

http://ballotpedia.org/Rickeem_Jackson

I was planning on writing a piece on how ridiculous elections have become to have allowed someone so eminently unqualified to get elected based on his personal appearance and war chest, but I was pleasantly surprised.  This victory has flipped the Jefferson Parish school board away from the education Reformers.  Jefferson is/was LDOE’s biggest ally in the school reform movement.  They were given little oversight and wide latitude in how they operated.  Now that the Reformer superintendent has announced he is leaving, so this will mean the new superintendent will be selected by this new board.  I expect some hidden stories to be revealed that might explain Jefferson’s oft touted meteoric-rise in scores came to pass.  It appears the public does not buy the narrative education reformers are selling with hundreds of thousands of corporate and out-of-state of dollars.  The newspapers are reporting on thousands spent by Teacher’s Unions, they have been lax in their reporting of out of state billionaire’s and corporate funded Teflon child advocacy groups like the often sanctioned Stand For Children – which is run by former LDOE staffer Rayne Martin  I received this info from one of my regular sources. (Another source confirmed that Rayne Martin did run at least one Stand radio spot for Rickeem. It would not surprise me if this was not properly reported.)

We found some info about our old friend Rayne Martin’s Stand for Children outfit, and its support for Chamber of Commerce favorite Mark Jacobs.

·         Jim Walton and Michael Bloomberg contributed to the Stand for Children LA IEC in late October. Bloomberg gave $125,000 on October 20. Walton gave $25,000 on Oct. 17.

·         The biggest expenditure was $37,000 a few days after those contributions to Buisson Creative for a TV ad for the Jefferson Parish school board. Mark Jacobs, but not Rickeem Jackson.

·         We can track the spending a little further. The commercials ran on:

o   WWL  (~$15,000)<https://stations.fcc.gov/collect/files/74192/Political%20File/2014/Non-Candidate%20Issue%20Ads/Stand%20For%20Children%20La%20IEC/Stand%20for%20Children%20La.%2010-29-11-4-14%20%2814150520861707%29.pdf.>

o   WDSU (~$13,000)<https://stations.fcc.gov/collect/files/71357/Political%20File/2014/Non-Candidate%20Issue%20Ads/Stand%20for%20Children%20Amended%20October%2029-November%204%20%2814146084489527%29.pdf>

o   Not sure where the other $9,000 or so was spent. Probably on another station.

Also of interest, Stand for Children has been dinged recently (ahem, seriously reprimanded by government bodies) for campaign finance violations. Stand for Children, in its zeal to support pro-Common Core candidates, illegally attack Core opponents, failing to properly report its independent expenditures. http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/e7f9b1df42d14f10adb8ba67d0d3a633/OK–Education-Ethics-Violation/. I’ve also attached the file (3 files because it loaded one page at a time) with the actual settlement agreement so we have a primary source.. By the way, Stand for Children spent nearly $365,000 in Oklahoma and lost. Earlier this year in Oklahoma, Stand for Children was caught delivering a pro-Common Core petition with fake signatures:<http://www.news9.com/story/25071850/fake-signatures-found-on-okla-common-core-petition>.

Back in Louisiana, Stand for Children modified its WDSU request. At first, it had Stand for Children in the  “Candidate” line. One day later, that was whited out and Stand for Children was put in the “Committee” line with its address added. Also, the amended filing fills in a box that had been left blank: “Spot makes reference to vote for six Jefferson Parish candidates up for election primary on 11/4 because they are for children’s education.” This may have been a correction of an oversight, or it may have been an attempt to tighten up or cover up once they knew they were going to get hit with an ethics violation in another state.

So, Mark Jacobs is being supported by out-of-state billionaires funneled through the independent expenditure committee of Stand for Children, an organization that violated campaign finance laws in Oklahoma.

Are Jefferson Parish Judges Corrupt?

I thought I would provide an update to my Jefferson Parish School Board Race post. I received a lot of feedback from the public about how outraged they were as well as how fed up they were with the corruption in the parish. I honestly had no idea although I had my suspicions based on how Jefferson became the poster parish for education reform.

Education reform flourishes in corrupt places because of all the opportunities for money to change hands.

I have been working on a number of stories simultaneously, that are requiring a lot of research and interviewing. Some of the groups I am investigating have a record of suing or threatening to sue whistleblowers, so I’m trying to piece together public records and witness statements that back up my claims.  Incidentally I believe that intro segues into my next point and a comment from a reader from Jefferson Parish and what they had to say about my story on Rickeem:

This makes so much sense to me with recent experience I had with the group that runs the campaign for these guys who are clearly not qualified.

Byron Lee is the puppet master here and has his hands in everything and controls Mark Spears, (controlled) Derik Shepard and some judges.

Just research Byrons construction company and see how the money trickles through everyone’s hands due to awarded parish contracts. Byron lee and judges I won’t mention have control of all the churches and with money not accounted for and sheep following baptist church members, push these puppets into office.

Just check Adrian Adams'(newly elected judge) campaign report. He is affiliated with this secret group (Byron, Mark, Derrick Zeno) and to this day has not filed a campaign report that shows where he got over $25,0000 (in 15 days) to cover radio, tv, two billboards, several mail outs. It took him 3 months to raise that much and used at least that much more in the final two weeks of election.

So sad Jackson will win. This group will not be stopped. They almost control the black community as a whole because you have to listen to pastor and vote for who they say. Very sad and frustrating.

Will this reader’s comment be prophetic? I hear Rayne Martin and Stand for Charters have gotten on the Rickeem Bandwagon from this reader:

While traveling yesterday, I heard a radio campaign add for Mr. Jackson on WWL. Guess who paid for it? Stand on Children led by Rayne Martin. So predictable.

Below is a link to the judge that made the ruling in the Rickeem Jackson case, Judge Lee Faulkner Jr. He is also probably connected to Derrick Zeno since Faulkner replaced a “Melvin Zeno”, according to his bio. That seems like a unique name but I was not able to find much online. (Can anyone clue me in on the Zenos?)

http://louisianajudgesnoir.org/lee-v-faulkner-jr

 

Judge Lee V. Faulkner, Jr.

Faulkner

The Honorable Lee V. Faulkner, Jr., was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and is a life long resident of Jefferson Parish. He graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana and the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Following law school, Judge Faulkner entered into private practice, handling personal injury, criminal, civil and domestic cases.  He also served as a public defender for the Parish of Jefferson.

Prior to being elected as Judge, he was appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to serve as Judge Ad Hoc for Second Parish Court for the Parish of Jefferson.  He also served as a Traffic Hearing Officer for Second Parish Court.

He was elected as a District Judge in 2008, following the retirement of the Honorable Melvin C. Zeno.

He is a member of numerous social, judicial and legal organizations, including but not limited to the National Bar Association, American Judges Association, Past President of the Jefferson Bar Association, Louisiana State Bar Association and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.

I wonder if any reporters from Jefferson Parish will look into these tips?

I also wonder how Judge Faulkner determined his own “life-long” residency in Jefferson Parish? In Rickeem’s case he appears to have decided “intent” to live there is enough to meet the 2 year residency requirement for school board candidates.

For some reason this situation and these reports brought to mind this bible passage. Matthew 7:15 and 7:16

15”Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16”You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?

Matthew is definitely my favorite apostle.

This seems an appropriate passage for Stand for Children and Education Reformers and the cess-pool of corruption I’m told Jefferson Parish has become. What fruits do you see them bearing?

Lies, Money, and Deception in the District 2 Jefferson Parish School Board Race

Lies, Money, and Deception in the District 2 Jefferson Parish School Board Race

rickeem candidate

The Jefferson Parish Chamber of Commerce and other moneyed interests have taken the unusual step of endorsing and supporting a young man from out of state named Rickeem Jackson, in a local School Board Race.

This 25 year old had never voted in an election himself (although according to testimony he submitted under oath he admitted others may have illegally voted on his behalf before.)  Rickeem claims (as far as he can recall) he was never legitimately registered to vote prior to qualifying as a candidate for the Jefferson Parish School Board.  He has never paid taxes, although he has admitted to collecting paychecks from his father for running a non-profit charity (a charity his father set up so his son could have the title of executive director.)  Other than working for his father at a charity that may or may not exist, this young man has never worked at a real job, never collected a real paycheck and never paid taxes – by his own admissions.  He is in a rough spot here.  If he ever admits to collecting a paycheck, he’s already admitted to not paying taxes the last two years on his notarized sworn qualifying papers, and in a court of law under oath.  The more he talks and the more one investigates his claims it appears impossible to conclude that he is not violating several laws in his pursuit of an elected position in Louisiana.  He’s well on his way to being a corrupt politician before even getting elected.

In addition to not paying taxes (which is still a legal requirement as a US a State citizen as well as to be a candidate for an elective office – even if you dad gives you checks to run his faux charity).  Rickeem has claimed he is a resident of Jefferson Parish, meeting the two year residency requirement to run for the local school board.  (2 years ago he was actually playing football in Pennsylvania.) However Rickeem can produce no documents to prove this.  When challenged in court, Rickeem could produce no lease agreement, no utility bills, nothing.  The first  driver’s license Rickeem produced was issued in August of 2013 (which would give him a year of residency).  His prior license was issued by Florida.  In Louisiana you only have 30 days to obtain a license once becoming a resident.  If Rickeem met the two year residency requirement, he was in violation of state law for a minimum of a year.  He actually claims he’s been a resident since 2009 so by that claim he violated the law to obtain a state license for 4 years.   In court, Rickeem claimed he lived at various residences owned by his father, and that his father “is really wealthy and pays all his bills.”

09:51:11  17        A(Rickeem)        My dad pays all the bills.  He’s very supportive of me.  He doesn’t charge me anything to live with him.

09:51:23  20        Q (lawyer)    — you have no bills, no documents  reflecting bills you’ve paid as far as household  notes, leases, gas, electric?

09:51:33  23        A(Rickeem)        My dad is Rickey Jackson.  He’s really wealthy.  He doesn’t charge me anything to live with him.  I’ll say it again.

This young man’s residency status was challenged in court, but the judge made a very strange ruling.  This judge ruled that candidates do not have to prove residency, that the determining factor is a candidate’s intent. Apparently this intent can be determined upon the day you decide to run for office in this state and applied retroactively.  Of course his intent was never documented prior to deciding to run for school board.  His actual hometown is listed as Orlando Florida and his prior school is a California University.  Rickeem did not seem to find it important to list anywhere in Louisiana as his Hometown when he was playing football. (Of course by his own admission that would have been odd since he never attended school anywhere in Louisiana and just visited his father there sometimes during the summers.  He actually lived with his mother in Georgia and Florida prior to his retroactive discovery of his intent. He could have also “intended” to run as a candidate in Pennsylvania or Florida by this strained logic.)

rickeem college

Imagine for a moment how this strange decision could play out in races across the state and nation. . .

As long as you never register to vote, and never pay taxes, you can “intend” to be from anywhere.  This ruling should be appealed to a higher court, on principle if nothing else.  I have to wonder if this judge was connected in any way to the Rickey Jackson family?

I don’t expect to change the course of this election by revealing the results of my research.  Lots of money and advertising was plowed into this young man who lived most of his life in in Georgia and Florida, until he moved to California for a year for college and then to Pennsylvania for 3 more years.  This is just one of many crazy school board elections I heard about this year.  I will probably cover a few more of them to show you how the Education Reform Movement and charter schools and their operators have made Chambers of Commerce around the state.

So when did this “intent” to become a Louisiana resident suddenly take place?

Rickeem was playing football at Robert Morris University in 2012 and was still attending school and living in Pennsylvania through May of 2013 by his own testimony.  His plans were to find another university to play for in 2013-2014 but presumably no other university would have him.

https://robertmorris.rivals.com/content.asp?cid=1437439

 Wide receiver Rickeem Jackson has been asked not to return to the Robert Morris football team in 2013, and the redshirt junior is not happy about it.

In the statement, Walton said Jackson is welcome to continue working towards his degree and continue rehabbing his ankle at Robert Morris, and that he’s welcome to pursue other options.

“I’m trying everything in my power to land in the NEC next year so we have a chance to meet again,” Jackson said.

rickeemfootball

But that was then.  Rickeem had not earned his degree, but he was welcome to remain at the university to study, just not play football.  By his own words, Rickeem had every intention of searching for a new place to ply his craft, football, in 2013-2014 school year.  Apparently that did not work out, and instead he ended up as an Executive Director of a “charity”.  Coincidentally this “charity” went online in 2013 according to a WayBack Machine search of the domain name http://www.rickeyjacksonhopecenter.org/, the same year that Rickeem was booted from his football team, and the school year he would graduate Robert Morris University, and need something to do afterwards.

Now this kid from Georgia, Florida, California, and Pensylvania, Rickeem, has made the runoff in a Louisiana school board race against a long time local community leader, resident and teacher.  Rickeems’s only qualifications for office seem to be his pretty face (which he modestly claimed as one of his key assets on the stand) and the vast sums of money that have poured into his coffers.

09:45:49   3        Q (lawyer)    First of all, do you recognize the individual in the document?

09:45:52   5        A(Rickeem)    Absolutely.  It’s a nice looking young man.  It’s a nice looking young man on the picture, me.

09:46:01   8        Q (lawyer)   Nice looking young man?

09:46:02   9        A (Rickeem)   Oh, yeah.

09:46:03  10        Q (lawyer)   Is that what you believe, or is that what  you’ve been told?

09:46:06  12        A(Rickeem)    Both.

 

rickeem donations

 

It appears Rickeem did not file any of his paperwork himself or do anything but show up a few times at a few places.  He had a campaign manager, Councilman Mark Spears (who is not a stranger to ethics issues), his lawyer and consultants provided by the chamber to handle everything.  Rickeem is theoretically still responsible for these filings complying with campaign finance laws, which would include providing addresses for his contributors.  That means you can’t submit reports with blanks for the address spot and be in compliance with the law.  Of course, why start worrying about laws now?

My guess is Rickeem is a puppet and he enjoys his role.  He has been “handled” his whole life that was lived in Georgia, Florida, California and Pennsylvania, so it makes perfect sense that he would fall into that arrangement as an agent for the business interests that want to see more business opportunities for charter school construction and expansion in the parish.

When searching for events that his charity had sponsored, run, or endorsed I found zero evidence online.  When I visited their website for this “charity” I noticed the site was hastily put together from a template, with no specific details.  There was no event info or contact information for other employees.  Rickeem is apparently an executive director of himself.  The address of this “charity” is not even a valid address.  Seriously.  The website has the street name misspelled everywhere, and is listed as a Drive instead of a Boulevard.  However the map a Google provides knows what Rickeem’s site designers meant, even if he didn’t.

rickeem charity1

 

Rickeem is a rootless transient without any experience to hold down a real job, let alone be trusted with the care of children of Jefferson Parish.  This is exactly the kind of person The Jefferson Chamber wants on the school board.  They don’t want someone who cares about the community, the children, their personal reputation or the parish’s schools.  They want someone malleable and amenable to anything they suggest; someone they can control.  If the voters of Jefferson Parish want that too, they couldn’t find a better candidate than Rickeem Jackson.

And based on the Rickey Jackson Community Hope Foundation website, Rickeem really needs something else to do with his time.  This foundation does not seem to sponsor any events.  Their “services” are randomly capitalized  in ways that change their meaning, and their mission statement makes very little sense.   Do they really have an Art Computer Center?

rickeemcharity2

Rickey Jackson Community Hope Center [Misson Statement]

Rickey Jackson Community Hope Center, (RJCH) is a facility that provides support and quality care for at-risk youth and abused children and their families in the Greater New Orleans area.

RJCHC is committed to eliminating barrier that would compromise healthy, person growth and development. We will raise public awareness and support child abuse prevention with our radio public service announcements. Our relationship with the Courage House Network, NFL Teams, NFL Network and other national media outlets will spread our message. “The Youth is our Future”

RJCHC mission is to develop caring relationships with participants that provide support and guidance in his or her personal, academic, and career path development. High school aged participate in Mentorship, after school tutoring, and career path and leadership development services that are designed to empower and enhance their individual ability to develop into healthy productive citizens and avoid behaviors that can jeopardize their own health and well-being and threaten the well-being of their families and neighborhoods as well.

 

I have no doubt this exactly the kind of person the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce wants on the school board.

They want:

  • Someone who lets other people vote for him
  • Someone with no real ties to the community
  • Someone without any real job experience
  • Someone with no experience in education
  • Someone who seems to disregards laws with abandon
  • Someone who will allow others to do his work
  • Someone with a pretty face
  • Someone who is already pretending to help children for his own enrichment
  • Someone from outside, who lives in a castle, who won’t be influenced by the poor constituents around him

 

So the Chamber’s message is this: Vote for Rickeem Jackson. We gave him money, like others have done his whole life, and he’s here now.

 

Here’s Rickeem’s ethics filing in case someone wants to tip off the IRS. It’s probably time Mr. Rickeem was introduced to the adult world where you pay taxes and suffer real consequences for lying. If he’s been running his foundation, as he’s claimed, since he returned home in August of 2013 and earning 25,000 to 100,000 a year, he should have paid taxes in 2013. He claimed on these forms he did not. He told the judge he did not. He claimed he was receiving paychecks in court too as well as on his campaign filing for Jefferson Parish School Board. Can all of these things be true? If Rickeem wins, his claims should be investigated and appealed. He should also be investigated by the State and Federal government for tax evasion. He wants to run public schools, which are paid for by taxes. He wants to get a stipend as a school board member, paid by taxes. It appears he just doesn’t want to pay taxes. I wonder if having a “really wealthy father” and being a darling of the Jefferson Chamber of commerce makes that choice a real option for him?

 

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