Betsy DeVos is the self-described neo-Calvinist and wife of the heir to the Amway fortune who's devoted her life to fighting against public education through a system of vouchers that allow for public funding of religious schools; in accord with the trumpian maxim of "a fox for every henhouse," she has been selected to serve as Trump's Education Secretary.
In 2006, All Children Matter, DeVos's anti-education PAC asked the Ohio Elections Commission whether it could transfer unlimited funds to its Ohio subsidiary, and were firmly told that the most they could transfer was $10,000 -- a ruling DeVos ignored, transfering $870,000 to the Ohio affiliate. This resulted in the bipartisan commission fining DeVos $5.2m, a ruling upheld by an Ohio court.
DeVos ducked out of the fines by shutting down the Ohio subsidiary and claiming that neither she nor her PAC were liable for its debts, including the whopping $5.2M fine.
Now, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) have published an open letter to DeVos, demanding that she settle her fines before taking office.
"The blatant disregard for the law that your PAC demonstrated is deeply troubling," the senators write. "However, when the organization's violations of law were punished by the Ohio Elections Commission, the PAC's refusal to take responsibility and pay the fines is unconscionable. If confirmed as Secretary of Education, you would be responsible for administering our nation's student loan programs and ensuring that borrowers repay their loans in a timely manner. However, the PAC that you chaired failed to pay fines that were imposed on it over eight years ago. This demonstrates a serious lack of judgment by the PAC's board and a willingness to avoid paying legally obligated public debts."
The senators observe in a press statement that "DeVos' leadership role in the All Children Matter PAC is one of her many activities as a longtime billionaire mega-donor for conservative causes, with DeVos stating her own goal to be 'buying influence.'"
"We expect a return on our investment," she wrote in a 1997 op-ed in Roll Call.
Letter to Betsy DeVos [Sanders, Udall et al/US Senate]
Sanders and Dems Demand Betsy DeVos Pay $5.3 Million Fine for Campaign Finance Violations
[Nika Knight/Common Dreams]
(via Naked Capitalism)