Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
ABOUT THIS LETTER & BETSY DEVOS
I’ve been sending out a lot of mail to Senators lately to protest Betsy DeVos’s nomination to become Secretary of Education. You’ll see a lot of those floating around the site. Since sending this note, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins (who I also wrote to, among others on the committee) voted to confirm Betsy DeVos’s nomination and got her to the Senate. Meaning, all the Republicans have to do is vote along party lines and she’ll be confirmed for Secretary of Education.
But, they came out after that and said that they might switch their vote because of the huge constituent protest: phone calls, in-person marches, and mail. This is definitely great news, and keep the work up. Keep calling and writing to their offices, and get in touch with other Republican committee members and pressure them, too.
Here’s what makes me angry, though: these politicians get to have it both ways. They don’t rock the boat because they voted for her confirmation, meaning they don’t fall out with their party when DeVos is mostly likely confirmed. But they also get the false recognition and phony satisfaction that they “listened to the people” and considered changing their views. (I will update this post when we get the final tally.)
DO NOT LET THEM FORGET THEIR HYPOCRISY. They successfully and safely got Betsy DeVos to the Senate, where they knew she’d be confirmed by the Republican majority, then recanted their beliefs once the danger was over. I’m glad that they’re seeing the light – and hopefully this means they’ll keep listening to people – but this is a really sucky, cynical move that represents so much that is wrong with Congress.
Learn more about Betsy DeVos –> The BBC talks of her lack of qualifications (she’s essentially a wealthy lobbyist with no education credentials or experience) while the right-wing Breitbart sees her policies as less extreme than liberals make them out to be. Make up your own mind. You can also watch her confirmation hearing here – this really deserved more than three and a half hours.
I wish I had better news. The Senate voted to confirm Betsy DeVos (Dolores Umbridge-lite) to become the Secretary of Education. This wasn’t completely unexpected but this was supposed to be in the Democrat’s favor – and we still lost. But we can’t give up. It was close – a 50/50 split, with Vice President Pence breaking the tie. I firmly believe now is NOT the time to sink back. KEEP GOING. Also, on the bright side, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins both kept their word and voted against her.
I re-wrote to Senator Murkowski to thank her for defying the party and to ask her to continue the fight:
Here are some sources about Betsy DeVos and what it means for the future:
- The Washington Post talks about the unsettling past of Betsy DeVos in Michigan, and her lack of qualifications.
- The Post also examines aspects of her life and personality that have not been as widely publicized.
- The Guardian looks into the grassroots campaign that rallied against DeVos – and why we should continue.
- Information on Betsy DeVos and charter schools from The Christian Science Monitor.
- An Op-Ed from The Los Angeles Times warns against DeVos’s incoming reign.
- Tips on how to keep fighting the new Administration’s appointment of DeVos.
- John Oliver made a really strong informational piece about charter schools, which are promoted aggressively by DeVos in favor of money going to the public school system.
Photo: Flowers in Williamsburg, Virginia