Browse Month: November 2017

Fresh Candidates And Political Reform To End Citizens United

With the 2016 election almost a year behind us there are many lessons to be learned. One of those lessons, according to the committee End Citizens United, is to get special interest money out of politics and particularly our election process. ECU has been fighting for a constitutional amendment since March 2015 that would require donation transparency, thus eliminating the influence of Super PACs (corporations with inexhaustible donation power) and encourage small public donations. This change would give a voice to citizens, allow smaller campaigns a chance to thrive, and ensure a fair election process.

ECU has shown much progress, mainly with endorsing and promoting candidates who support their cause. The article “Randy Bryce Is the Perfect Fit for End Citizens United,” is just one example of their efforts to boost the right politicians in office.

Bryce, running for Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District, has already shown his support for ECU by only accepting small donations and refusing Super PAC funding. He also plans to run against Paul Ryan, the current Speaker of the House and a strong advocate and benefactor of Citizens United. Ryan supports the Supreme Court’s decision to define corporations as people, which gives them the right to donate anonymously and without limit. Bryce plans to alter our government’s priorities away from corporate influence and toward a system that listens to the concerns of ordinary citizens.


To succeed, the solution to restoring our elections and our democracy are to overturn Citizens United and replace bought politicians with candidates who refuse corporate handouts for return favors. ECU is doing both with a campaign that plans to raise up to $35 million to support honest contenders to replace bought politicians. They also work state-by-state to pass reform laws and gain local support from officials who can call for an amendment to end Citizens United.

Additionally, ECU brings campaign finance reform and corruption issues to the forefront in order to inform the public. They achieve this through massive polling drives, a large social media presence, sources for the average citizen to participate locally, and educational resources to find out who and what is being funded.

With these efforts in place ECU hopes to flip many seats in the coming local and general elections and eventually get money out of the political process.

For more information about End Citizens United, just click here.

Betsy DeVos and her Deep-thought Educational Initiatives

Betsy DeVos is known across the United States as the fighter for educational rights for decades before she assumed the office of Secretary of Education of the country, recently. Some people are less aware of her educational activism and express concerns about her vision of the American education. I can tell them that she is the most prominent activist and proponent of quality education for the last three decades. While I think of her contributions, Betsy is not just an activist, but she also devised many plans to improve the condition of the country’s education. She feels that every American child should get world-class education irrespective of their financial conditions, the region they belong, and access to resources.


I have noticed that she rolled out many education initiatives in the recent decades and some of them are School of Choice, Charter School System, Grading System for schools, and School Vouchers. I can confirm that these options are focusing on improving the quality of schools, both public and private, through structured programs and rigorous performance tracking system. While some of these options give greater autonomy to the schools, it also instills the responsibility of improving the education to the school management. It means that the schools who want to prevail have to work hard and there is a clear distinction between performers and non-performers. Also, the initiatives give better options for the parents to choose the right schools for the education of their children.


Another vital aspect that points out to her pro-poor policies is none other than her charity efforts to improve the lives. I was overwhelmed by the fact that she and her husband, Dick DeVos, contributed as many as $139 million to various nonprofit groups until today. A significant percentage of it was given to the uplift of the education sector. Interestingly, both of them set up a foundation called DeVos Family Foundation to efficiently manage the contributions. Forbes reported that they contributed at least $11.6 million in the year 2015. The DeVos family founded ArtPrize in Grand Rapids in 2009. It is an international performance competition held on a yearly basis to encourage talents around the world and nourish local culture.


Betsy was the Chairman of an investment advisory and management firm based in Michigan named The Windquest Group – a company founded by the DeVos family. She has over three decades of collaboration with Republican Party and was the chairman of the Michigan wing of the party four times. Betsy also collaborated with The Philanthropy Roundtable, American Enterprise Institute, American Federation for Children, Foundation for Excellence in Education, ArtPrize, and more and served on the boards. She completed her high school graduation from Christian High School Holland and secured her graduation from Calvin College, an arts college in Grand Rapids.


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