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:
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 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.
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.)
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!.
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.
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.