Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stand for grown-ups: Group hires anti-choice crusader

"An education advocacy group has agreed to pay a $10,000 penalty for failing to file reports with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission," the Tulsa World reports ("Stand for Children to pay $10,000 fine for ethics violation").
The group provided funds to support Melissa Abdo of Tulsa in her failed attempt to be elected to the Legislature. Abdo works for Stand for Children Oklahoma as its Tulsa city director. She was hired after her race, [executive director Amber] England said. The group also provided funds to oppose Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate, and Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City. Both were re-elected. Brecheen was the Senate author of legislation that repealed Common Core standards. Stand for Children Oklahoma opposed that legislation.

Stand for Children Oklahoma, which is run by a former Democrat operative, favors more government spending on the failed monopoly school system. This should come as no surprise. As I pointed out last year when national activist Jonah Edelman, founder and chief executive officer of Stand for Children, was in Tulsa to announce the launch of Stand for Children Oklahoma:

Unfortunately, liberals have a long history of spending money — "for the children," of course — on ineffective government programs.

According to the Tulsa World, Mr. Edelman "said he founded Stand for Children as a way to carry on his parents' legacy of service." His mother, Marian Wright Edelman, is president of the Children's Defense Fund. She is a former trustee of the Industrial Areas Foundation, which was established by community organizer Saul Alinsky to train people in the tactics of revolutionary social change. She considered Alinsky "brilliant" and delivered a eulogy at his funeral. As Kay S. Hymowitz writes:

"When the country debated welfare reform, [Mrs. Edelman] vigorously resisted work requirements — though she had seen with her own eyes that even the most destitute gain self-respect from hard work and orderly lives. Edelman was in high dudgeon when President Clinton, her former friend and ally, was on the verge of signing a welfare-reform bill: she called it 'national child abandonment' and 'a defining moral litmus test for your presidency' in an open letter published in the Washington Post. She organized the 'Stand for Children' march on Washington. And when the president signed the bill and her husband [civil-rights attorney Peter Edelman, who had been the issues director for Ted Kennedy's presidential campaign] resigned from his post as assistant secretary of HHS, she called it a 'moment of shame,' comparable to the worst human evils: 'Never let us confuse what is legal with what is right,' she reproached. 'Everything Hitler did in Nazi Germany was legal, but it was not right.'"

Indeed, that 300,000-person-strong march on Washington — which Jonah Edelman helped organize — was Stand for Children's founding rally. So I suppose it’s not surprising that the organization would continue to push for more government spending on ineffective government programs while continuing to resist reforms that are proven to work.

Reforms like parental choice, for example. During his visit to Tulsa Mr. Edelman was quoted as saying, "If you look at the research on vouchers, there is no indication of student achievement progress." (One can only hope Mr. Edelman was simply misinformed rather than lying.)

I can't say I'm surprised that Stand for Children Oklahoma hired Melissa Abdo, who opposes private-school choice with a vengeance. As the heroic American Federation for Children Action Fund, an influential First Amendment money organization, correctly noted during Mrs. Abdo's campaign, she is guilty of "surrounding herself with liberal lobbyists and special interests" and "supporting higher taxes and more government spending." One notable example: Mrs. Abdo — who wants us to "save the environment" by "going green!" — encouraged people to attend a teacher union rally in March calling for a 600 percent tax increase on Oklahoma oil and natural gas drilling.

I confess to having no idea what exactly Stand for Children is trying to accomplish. I thought it was odd and pointless and unwise to try to take out Brecheen. It's as if they didn't realize the anti-Common-Core freight train had left the station and was now unstoppable. What did they think toppling Brecheen would accomplish? As it turned out, they couldn't elect a Democrat even in that Senate district (of all places), just as they couldn't elect a parental-choice foe in Jenks, the very belly of the anti-parental-choice beast. They don't seem to realize that Oklahomans — and especially Oklahoma Republicans — favor parental choice.

The whole thing reminds one of Mr. Obama after his latest shellacking. He doesn't recognize that his circumstances have changed; he just keeps doing what he's always done.

UPDATE: The state's largest newspaper weighs in, saying "Stand for Children should take care lest its campaign tactics lead people to conclude that its Oklahoma agenda is more anti-Republican than pro-education."
Oddly, during his visit to Tulsa Mr. Edelman was quoted as saying, “If you look at the research on vouchers, there is no indication of student achievement progress.” - See more at:

No comments: