Sunday, April 24, 2011

Education PAC Fined $5.2 Million for Illegally Funneling Money to Ohio Republicans

On June 24, 2010 the Columbus Dispatch reported reported that the Ohio Supreme Court refused an appeal from All Children Matter, a political action committee, that was fined a record $5.2 million in 2008 for illegally funneling money from its Virginia PAC to Ohio Republican candidates.
Photo of David Brennan

"The Ohio Elections Commission found that All Children Matter illegally funneled $870,000 in campaign contributions through its Virginia political-action committee to its committee in Ohio in 2006," according to the Columbus Dipatch. That violated a $10,000 cap on what Ohio-based political-action committees could accept from any single entity.

"The group, which largely advocated for expanded charter schools, spent money to help a variety of Republican statewide and legislative candidates in Ohio. David Brennan of Akron, Ohio's biggest charter-school operator and a major GOP contributor, donated $200,000 to the group," wrote the Dispatch article. David Brennan's charter school operation is known as White Hat Management. Since 2000, White Hat Management has contributed more than $1.6 million to the Republican Party in Ohio. The state of Ohio pays White Hat Management more than $74 million a year to operate its charter schools--many of them run poorly. In fact, ten of White Hat's own schools have sued the management group.

All Children Matter is headed by former Michigan Republican Chairwoman Betsy DeVos and run out of that state. Betsy's brother, Eric Prince, was the CEO of Blackwater Security Consulting now know as Xe--the organization well-known for its government security contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Former Michigan gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos, Betsy’s husband, set up All Children Matter in 2003 to push vouchers in other states and advocate for tax credits for businesses that create scholarships for children to attend private schools. (Source: Charter Schools Scandals and Associated Press article that was picked up by the Washington Post but no longer available online.

Here is an update on this story: Ohio Charter Schools Receiving Payback for Political Contributions?

Link to the Dispatch Article:
PAC Appeal Refused by Ohio Supreme Court

Link to the Charter School Scandals Report:

Here is a link to the Ohio Supreme Court's Ruling: