One of the largest independent expenditures in Washington state elections this year has come in the race for schools chief: the education reform organization Stand for Children's PAC has bought $164,887 worth of mailers for the Erin Jones campaign for Superintendent of Public Instruction. The PAC spent another $12,809 yesterday on last-minute robocalls for Jones's campaign.
As Reykdal notes (and I agree) that out-of-state money is troubling. Reed Hastings, head of Netflix, has massively tried to change the course of public education in California and now he's trying in Washington state?Stand for Children WA PAC is funded almost entirely by just a few players: Connie Ballmer, wife of former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer; Reed Hastings, the California-based founder of Netflix; Washington State Charter Schools Association's WA Charter Action PAC, which is itself funded primarily by Connie and Steve Ballmer; and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's company, Vulcan.
Yes, these are ed reform folks and Erin Jones is their candidate (and that's for a good reason.)Along with deep pocketbooks, the donors to Stand for Children WA PAC share in common a history of supporting charter schools. Hastings, Ms. Ballmer and Vulcan were among the largest contributors to the state’s charter school initiative four years ago. The Stand PAC has also given heavily to defeat the state Supreme Court justice Barbara Madsen, who wrote last year’s decision finding that charter law unconstitutional.