Sunday, April 3, 2011

Why Does Kenneth Brody Want to Remove Link to $100,000 Donation to Anti-Teacher Group?

Since its dramatic entry into Illinois in October 2010, when it donated more than a half million dollars to Illinois politicians prior to the November 2, 2010 election, Stand for Children has tried to push legislation through that most closely resembles the union-busting Republican laws that are now being passed in states from Wisconsin to Ohio. Stand for Children's Illinois law, called "Performance Counts," tries to make teacher strikes illegal and would bar the Chicago Teachers Union from negotiating over anything other than wages....  Substance

How does this tie into The NY Times Sunday Styles lead article today is Erasing the Digital Past about hiring online reputation managers to help recast their web profiles? It reminded me of an email I received last week.
Good afternoon,
I’m writing to inquire about your opt-out policy for your service, so my information does not appear in searches? Please let me know what the procedure for doing so? Thank you,
After asking for the link, I get this:
Thank you so much for your prompt response. Here is a link to the information I would like to have removed If you could remove the name Kenneth Brody, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you very much.
So here is what Kenneth Brody wants removed:
Brody, Kenneth (Manager, DRW Trading Group). $100,000 (on December 23, 2010).
And what organization did Kenneth Brody give 100 grand too? Stand for Children. Instead of actually putting all that money into a school, Kenneth Brody joined other millionaires into funneling money into an anti-teacher campaign. Screw you Kenneth Brody.

The information was based on work done by George Schmidt of Substance in Chicago exposing Stand for Children. The April 1 edition of Substance had an article on a debate between Chicago Teacher Union president Karen Lewis and a shill for SFC. For a change from what we saw in NYC for so long and continue to see nationally, Lewis refused to play nice as she stood up and refuted the false facts SFC and all ed deformers are spewing.

Stand for Children Illinois Director Letoy Ridgnal tried and failed to repeat the organization's cliched answers to major questions about the public schools, while Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis continued to emphasize facts that Stand for Children and its wealthy supporters are trying to dismiss or ignore.

It took Phillip Jackson (right) nearly one minute to stop a tirade from Letoy Ridgnal (above left) when the "facts" Stand for Children had been quoting in Illinois were exposed as fabrications by CTU President Karen Lewis (center). Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.

Read the entire report.

Here is what George wrote to me on Jan. 22, 2011:
Below is the lead of a story I'll be putting up at tomorrow and then expanding on through various investigations over the next months. In my opinion, it's the most important investigative story I've ever done. I think a similar story is probably in front of you in New York, but based on our experience here, we have to do this story ourselves, since our corporate media won't touch it or anything near it.
The amounts given by the individuals who were organized to finance the Stand for Children PAC in December 2010 are far beyond what any teacher or typical citizen could afford, leading to the observation that the Plutocracy (a government by the richest people) is trying to bash Illinois public schools and teacher unions behind a smokescreen of disinterested "school reform" groups. Stand for Children was based in Oregon at the time it made its initial contributions to Illinois politicians during the month before the November 2, 2010 election and finally opened a Chicago office in December 2010. One of the unanswered questions is how a group of the wealthiest people in Chicago and the suburbs learned about Stand for Children and decided to donate huge sums of money to it.
George Schmidt
Here is the lead:
Two of the world's wealthiest families, both from Chicago (the Crowns and the Pritzkers), and several of Chicago's wealthiest individuals (including Kenneth Griffin and Sam Zell), poured more than $3.4 million into the newest Political Action Campaign (PAC) fund in Illinois during the last months of 2010. Most of the money was contributed during December 2010. The result was that "Stand for Children Illinois" — which didn't exist four months earlier and only opened its Illinois offices in Chicago in December 2010 — had nearly $3.5 million in its PAC at the end of 2010. Stand for Children Illinois opened its first office in Illinois (at 300 W. Adams St.) in December 2010. The office was finally opened two months after Stand for Children began operations in Springfield with huge contributions to several Illinois politicians during the month prior to the November 2, 2010 election.

The pre-election campaign contributions totaled more than $600,000. They are in addition to the money now in the Stand for Children PAC and came through the Oregon headquarters of the group.

Stand for Children — along with the Illinois Business Roundtable, Advance Illinois, and the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago — sponsored and lobbied for the controversial legislation called "Performance Counts" during the lame duck session of the 2010 Illinois General Assembly. "Performance Counts" was defeated despite intense lobbying by the four powerful business groups in December and January 2010 - 2011 by a coalition of unions and community organizations committed to improving the public schools. Public school improvement in Illinois and elsewhere is now in stark distinction to corporate "school reform" of the type promoted by Stand for Children, a distinction that will become more clear during the years ahead. Stand for Children and its four allies have vowed to bring "Performance Counts" back, whole and in its parts, for 2011.

Nearly identical bills have been introduced in other states.

The contributors to the Stand for Children PAC in December 2010 are two of the world's wealthiest families, both of which are based in Chicago (and the Chicago suburbs), the Crowns and the Pritzkers. Others who added their wealth to the Stand for Children PAC during December 2010 include Sam Zell, the real estate speculator who bankrupted the Chicago Tribune Corporation, and several private equity chiefs. The private equity and hedge fund millionaires who put their money into Stand for Children include John Canning and Paul Finnegan (Madison Dearborn Partners), Kenneth Brody (DRW trading group), Kenneth Griffin (Citadel Group), and Matthew Hulsizer (PEAK6 Investments).
I have the entire list at the original posting on Norms Notes.

Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: And make sure to check out the side panel on right for news bits.

1 comment:

NYC Educator said...

Dear Mr. Scott:

Would you kindly refrain from revealing true and easily accessible public information about me? All the corporate owned TV stations and newspapers do it, so I fail to see why you should find it such an issue.

I'd also appreciate it if you could find a way to praise my failed programs. Please ignore dropout rates, erasures, doctored statistics, and outright falsehoods. That's pretty much standard procedure.

I realize you've probably not studied journalism formally, but these tips ought to do much to further your writing career.

Very Sincerely,

Reform Type Person