American Federation for Children deceived public about how much they were spending to sway elections.
Dark money nonprofits spent hundreds of millions in the 2012 elections, but reported only a fraction of that thanks to an “issue advocacy” loophole that requires only limited disclosure for ads that don’t explicitly urge viewers to vote for or against a candidate. Federal and state elections officials have rarely probed whether a group’s so-called “issue ads” are really intended to influence elections — but in Wisconsin, a politically-active nonprofit exposed its issue ad charade on its own.
The American Federation for Children, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that supports school privatization through “vouchers” and other programs, told Wisconsin’s elections board it spent only $345,000 on state legislative races in 2012. Like many nonprofit groups active in the 2012 elections, the actual total spent around the elections was much higher, but it was never disclosed publicly because AFC claimed the spending was about “issues” rather than supporting or opposing a particular candidate.
In a document titled “2012 Election Impact Report” obtained by Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, AFC boasted that it spent $2.4 million in Wisconsin helping elect nine pro-privatization legislators to office. The disparity between what was reported and actually spent is likely attributable to the “issue advocacy” loophole. And most importantly, voters never knew who actually provided the funding for the ads.
This sound familiar to me because I did a study on how the evangelical right wing in America was saying things like rock music was satanic and that the peace symbol was really a witchcraft symbol with the upside down cross having its arms broken (this is a fact - I have books from the 70s from such evangelicals claiming this is the case) In reality the peace symbol is a combination of the semaphore signals for the letters “N” and “D,” standing for “nuclear disarmament”.
There was of course also from these evangelicals fears of black culture mixing up the whites so a lot of the “satanic” rock influence was linked to “African ritual” music. The famous story is that there was a white missionary family in Africa and the missionary’s kid started to play a rock song and the black natives who had become Christians came into the house and told the ignorant missionary that this music was like the music they used when they practiced their African paganism.
These stories I am sure still continue on the evangelical right but I am sure not as much as they used to with probably their last big push being during the late 80s and early 90s “Satanic Panic” and then after that I did not find much on this theory being pushed by prominent evangelicals.
These stories were before my time but are there any Lizards on here from these eras that recall evangelicals making such claims?
School textbook: Hippies were rude, didn’t bathe, worshipped Satan
A textbook used in one of Louisiana’s voucher schools has a lot to say about the 1960s counterculture
BY KATIE MCDONOUGH
PS: There was also a right wing claim not linked to religion that the hippie and peace movement was somehow a KGB anti-west operation. After the fall of the USSR there was no evidence the USSR ever was involved in peace groups and in fact they were scared of them coming over and influencing their youths (Thus the Beatles were considered subversive music).
Several church-state separation issues are coming up in the states. Here are a few highlighted bills that AU is working on:
Oklahoma On Tuesday the Oklahoma legislature held a hearing on HB 1918, a bill that provides a way for employers to side-step the federal mandate that the health insurance they provide to their employees cover contraceptives. This underhanded bill proposes state tax deductions for employers that receive federal tax penalties for refusing to provide birth control for employees. It passed the Appropriations and Budget Committee, and we’ll be watching it as it progresses.
Oklahoma: The House Judiciary Committee passed anti-Sharia bill, HB 1060, last Wednesday. The bill claims to prohibit the application of foreign law in Oklahoma, but Oklahoma Courts can already refuse to apply foreign law if it conflicts with U.S. and Oklahoma law. Instead, this bill targets the Muslim community, perpetuating the false claim that Sharia Law is being implemented in the United States. This bill only perpetuates anti-Muslim sentiment and should not pass.
Vouchers and Tuition Tax Credits
Vouchers and tuition tax credits - backdoor vouchers - funnel taxpayer money away from public schools and fund primarily religious schools, violating our country’s commitment to the separation of church and state. Vouchers do not work: multiple studies of the District of Columbia, Milwaukee, and Cleveland school voucher programs, students offered vouchers do not perform better in reading and math than students in public schools. Not only have these voucher programs been proven to be ineffective, they also often lack accountability and civil rights protections. Nonetheless, we are seeing several attempts to implement vouchers in the states.
Alaska: The Alaska House Education Committee held a hearing on Friday on HJR 1, which would repeal provisions of the Alaska Constitution that prohibit the state from spending taxpayer money for religious school tuition. AU submitted testimony opposing the resolution.
Nebraska: Richard Spellman, Omaha Chapter President, submitted testimony on behalf of AU opposing LB 14, a tuition tax credit bill.
New Jersey: Governor Christie made his Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Address on Tuesday, revealing a plan to put $2 million towards a pilot voucher program for children to attend private and religious schools. If you live in New Jersey, tell your legislators to oppose vouchers!
Tennessee: Last week The Tennessee Senate Education Committee placed SB 196, a voucher bill, on its agenda. AU submitted testimony opposing the bill. Only one witness was heard at the hearing, however, and the bill will be heard again in committee this Wednesday. The House Education Committee will hold a hearing on the House version of the bill tomorrow.
I am posting this to ad to the conversation started by this article:
Creationism Spreading in Schools, Thanks to Vouchers
Religious anti-education getting more public funding
To me this is more evidence that the right wing/GOP/Republicans are stuck in the 1970s fighting the same old issues you saw on “Archie Bunker” be it women’s issues, gays or race. It is as if the GOP has been trying all they can to reverse those issues they lost out on in the Nixon era.
The reason I wanted to post this article is that a right winger on here mentioned “bussing” in the above thread. Bussing…as if that is still a hot button issue and this is 1974 again. But it shows they never got over this program and that resentment against it (and other culture war losses) has simmered on into the 21st century.
Racism lies at heart of school vouchers
School vouchers may be the most disingenuous and hypocritical program produced by America’s right-wing ideologues since their attempts to portray Martin Luther King, Jr., as an opponent of affirmative action (Read King’s discussion of compensatory treatment in ‘Why We Can’t Wait’ in 1964 for his defense of what wasn’t yet being called affirmative action). Vouchers for private schools divert funds from public education, subsidize unaccountable private — and often religious — schools and uphold racial segregation.
In another conservative experiment with tax dollars there are vouchers going to some highly questionable religious schools, and a lot of Catholic Schools. 8 years later it’s time for the Feds to stop bailing out religious schools and instead invest more in public schools.
When Congress created the nation’s only federally funded school voucher program, advocates said the plan would improve the education of some of the poorest urban youths.
Eight years later, it seems clear that things haven’t gone as planned.
A lengthy investigation of the Washington, D.C., voucher program by The Washington Post showed that many parents use the voucher money to send their children to schools that are unaccredited and unaccountable.
In addition, the program has become a type of bailout for Catholic schools. More than half of 1,584 students who receive vouchers use them to attend Catholic institutions.
Some of the schools examined, which include a K-12 school operating out of a storefront, a Nation of Islam school based in a converted house, and a school built on the teachings of an obscure Bulgarian psychotherapist, could not survive without federal funds, The Post said. In some cases, more than 90 percent of a school’s students pay with federal vouchers.
Congress allocated $20 million for the D.C. voucher program for this year, The Post reported, and since 2004 the federal government has set aside $133 million for the program. Students who meet the household income requirements can receive about $8,000 per year for elementary school and around $12,000 per year for high school.
And yet, the schools are not accountable to the taxpayers who are forced to fund them. No government official has say over the curriculum, academic quality or management of the schools.
In fact, the only requirements for D.C. schools that accept voucher students are that the institutions must have a certificate of occupancy and employ teachers who are college graduates. One requirement that is glaringly absent from that list is accreditation. D.C. private schools aren’t required to be accredited in order to enroll voucher students, and The Post found that at least eight of the 52 schools that accept vouchers lack accreditation.
If you retire in 2022 or after, Ryan and Romney want to hand you a voucher instead of Medicare coverage. Studies show most seniors then paying 1,000—6,000 more every year of their retirement after that.
What would U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget mean for Michigan families? Using nonpartisan data, the bottom line is stark. If the Ryan budget passes, a tiny proportion of Michiganders would benefit, but millions would lose.
The biggest winners in Michigan would be households making more than $1 million a year. An analysis by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center finds millionaires would pay an average of $265,000 less in taxes.
To make room for new tax cuts for the very rich, the Ryan budget eliminates middle-class tax breaks and cuts social programs. With the tax cut the plan gives to a single Michigan millionaire, communities could pay the salaries of five firefighters earning the state’s median household income of $48,000 a year.
Michigan senior citizens would pay more for less security. Medicare guarantees health care for about 1.5 million Michigan senior citizens. But the Ryan budget would end Medicare as we know it.
The plan would require Michigan seniors retiring 10 years from now to use a voucher to help pay for private insurance or accept less Medicare aid. The value of the vouchers would decline over time, falling behind rising health insurance prices. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that senior citizens, or their families, would have to find an additional $6,000 each year to buy the same coverage seniors have now.
Mother Jones goes through the text books so you don’t have to:
Thanks to a new law privatizing public education in Louisiana, Bible-based curriculum can now indoctrinate young, pliant minds with the good news of the Lord—all on the state taxpayers’ dime.
Under Gov. Bobby Jindal’s voucher program, considered the most sweeping in the country, Louisiana is poised to spend tens of millions of dollars to help poor and middle-class students from the state’s notoriously terrible public schools receive a private education. While the governor’s plan sounds great in the glittery parlance of the state’s PR machine, the program is rife with accountability problems that actually haven’t been solved by the new standards the Louisiana Department of Education adopted two weeks ago.
For one, of the 119 (mostly Christian) participating schools, Zack Kopplin, a gutsy college sophomore who’s taken to Change.org to stonewall the program, has identified at least 19 that teach or champion creationist nonscience and will rake in nearly $4 million in public funding from the initial round of voucher designations.
Many of these schools, Kopplin notes, rely on Pensacola-based A Beka Book curriculum or Bob Jones University Press textbooks to teach their pupils Bible-based “facts,” such as the existence of Nessie the Loch Ness Monster and all sorts of pseudoscience that researcher Rachel Tabachnick and writer Thomas Vinciguerra have thankfully pored over so the rest of world doesn’t have to.
My personal favorite:
“[Is] it possible that a fire-breathing animal really existed? Today some scientists are saying yes. They have found large chambers in certain dinosaur skulls…The large skull chambers could have contained special chemical-producing glands. When the animal forced the chemicals out of its mouth or nose, these substances may have combined and produced fire and smoke.”—Life Science, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2007
Learn more about Romney and Ryan: OFA.BO
Paul Ryan is the mastermind behind the extreme GOP budget plan. It’s a plan Mitt Romney endorses.
But what does that budget mean for America? The GOP budget plan hurts seniors, it hurts middle-class families, and it hurts students. All to pay for tax cuts for those at the top..
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: back to the failed top-down policies that crashed our economy.
Learn more: OFA.BO
Coming to a voucher school near you…..
11 Eye-Opening Highlights From a Creationist Science Textbook
A few months ago, I was reading about homeschooling, because I do things like randomly reading about homeschooling. I read an article that mentioned a family using science textbooks produced by Bob Jones University. (If you’re not familiar, that’s a large, for-profit, evangelical Christian university in South Carolina.) I had to see what one of those textbooks was like. I bought one for a few bucks on Amazon and a few slow shipping weeks later, I had my answer.
I purchased a copy of Science 4 for Christian Schools, an evangelical-written and -approved science textbook published in 1990. According to the stamp on the inside cover, my copy was previously owned by The Country Church & Country Christian School in Molella, Oregon. So, thanks guys!
I read through the entire thing (it’s quite short) and picked out these 11 pages and excerpts to share. Let’s call this an adventure in anthropology. Here are 11 highlights from an evangelical-written science textbook, written and approved by the Bob Jones University young-Earth creationism team.
A couple of low-lights (see link for the other 9 points):
I want to pick this apart, I really do — but all I could think of when I saw this one was the famous Who Wants to be a Millionaire? screenshot…
This Cargo cult explanation of electricity is my favorite too, taking stupidity, deception, and superstition to a whole new level:
Magnets — how do they work?
I saved this page for the penultimate point because it’s my favorite in the book. Let’s ignore the weird, weird photo of the girl for a second and focus on the text. “Electricity is a mystery. No one has ever observed it or heard it or felt it … We cannot even say where electricity comes from.”
The reason this page bugged me is because it doesn’t come back to “God created it.” I would actually accept that. This one is just misinformation for misinformation’s sake.
We know exactly where electricity come from. Scientists don’t disagree. And no one’s saying electricity comes from the planet/universe being millions of years old or from dinosaurs or from the spirit generated by the Earth’s religious diversity. This page is just the evangelical textbook equivalent of trolling.
Although, in their defense, perhaps if they make our heads explode that will generate electricity.
In the Orwellian doublespeak of Catholic Bishops, the ability to exclude, discriminate, and prohibit is a religious liberty that somehow trumps our constitution.
The new effort will become an adjunct of the bishops’ powerful and finely tuned lobbying machine in D.C. Last year, the Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life surveyed the leading faith-based lobbyists in the nation’s capital. The USCCB was near the top at $26.6 million.
In addition, the bishops have the well-heeled Knights of Columbus covering their backs. Based in New Haven, Conn., the Knights’ budget was an astounding $1.7 billion in 2009, and they’ve signed on to be “advisors” to the project.
The effort is calculated to resonate with the public. There’s a reason Dolan and other bishops throw around the term “religious liberty” so much: It sounds positive to most Americans.
But to the bishops, “religious liberty” has a very specific meaning. The church hierarchy tends to use the term when seeking to have church dogma written into law for all Americans to follow or when they’re demanding exemptions from general laws that apply to all groups.
For years, church lobbyists in Washington and in state capitals have argued that Catholics have a “religious liberty” right to educate their children in Catholic schools at taxpayer expense. This led to demands for vouchers and other types of public aid for the church’s parochial school system.
Now that concept is being expanded to cover a host of other issues. Church leaders argue, for example, that the “religious liberty” of Catholics is violated when governments recognize same-sex marriage - even though no churches are required to sanction or perform such ceremonies.
Similarly, Catholic pharmacists and other health care providers are increasingly asserting that their “religious liberty” is violated if they are expected to provide certain medications (such as Plan B) or take part in certain medical procedures (emergency abortions and sterilizing operations, for example).
Announcing the formation of the new lobbying arm, Dolan listed six areas of concern: a requirement in the new health care bill that private insurers cover birth control; a requirement that groups providing services to refugees provide reproductive services to victims of trafficking and minors; demands that HIV-prevention programs include condom distribution; the administration’s support for overturning the Defense of Marriage Act; the U.S. Justice Department’s stance in favor of abolishing the “ministerial exception” that gives religious groups broad leeway to discriminate in hiring and passage of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in New York.