Campaign for a Fair New York for Jacobs


Wal-Mart. Save Money. Live Better. Underwrite school privatization efforts. 

The mailers reached Republican homes in the 60th Senate District Shitshow this week, and were paid for by “Campaign for a Fair New York”. I had never heard of it before. So, I looked it up. Here’s the back side of that mailer shown above: 

The Campaign for a Fair New York is, hilariously enough, based out of Connecticut. 

Mr. Phillips’ home is a lovely 3 bedroom that was sold in late 2015 for just under $400,000 – a bargain in Milford, a town on the Long Island Sound and the New Haven Line. The committee now has a P.O. Box in Buffalo, and is operated by the Northeast Charter Schools Network, of which Mr. Phillips is a trustee. The NCSN bills itself as,

…the membership and advocacy organization for charter schools in New York and Connecticut.  Formerly known as the New York Charter Schools Association, the organization was established in 2000. 

Our mission is to support and expand the high-quality charter school movement in both states. We work to advance pro-charter school legislation at the State Capitol in Albany and Hartford, and our team of veteran charter school experts is always available to assist our member schools with services designed to help them operate more effectively. 

Our advocacy staff understands that despite tremendous promise and performance, charter schools often need defending. The NECSN team has been successful on many fronts, bringing significant victories to the charter school movement despite tough budget cycles. We continue to fight for charter kids to close the funding gap between charter and district schools.

We communicate with our members often, providing immediate updates to schools on policies and proceedings in Albany and Hartford, circulate legislative updates, help organize advocacy visits for schools and parents, and tell you stories in the press and on digital and social media.

It also, apparently, endorses and makes independent expenditures on behalf of candidates for public office and echoes the Trump slogan with, “Make Buffalo Proud Again”, which is interesting because I think Buffalo is pretty damn proud already. #Buffalove, right? 

This NECSN PAC has one source of funding: a $75,000 contribution from Alice Walton, of the Wal-Mart family. (Click to enlarge)

So far, the “Campaign for a Fair New York” PAC didn’t see fit to use any vendors actually located within the state of New York, instead opting to spend half of Ms. Walton’s contribution on direct mail services with a company in Cornwall, Connecticut. (Click to enlarge)

The question on everyone’s mind at this point, however, is this. Is the Charter School lobby supporting only Republican candidates, and do they get their funding solely from billionaire philanthropists, or from other sources? If Jacobs doesn’t mind his image next to a Trumpian phrase, does this mean he endorses Trump the candidate, or just that he’s willing to exploit the obvious rhetorical connection for electoral gain, while not directly addressing the issue? 

It bears mentioning that Jacobs was a named principal of this lobbying group in 2009, and again from 2011 – 2014. The circumstantial evidence here points to the Jacobs campaign being a bit spooked by his primary opponent, Kevin Stocker. Stocker has been doing a lot of retail door-to-door politicking for years, and came close to winning two years ago. Like Jacobs, Stocker isn’t afraid to spend gobs of his own money to go to the execrable state Senate. Rumor has it that the race is tight; there’s been some heavy polling activity lately, and these early mailers – Connecticut made with Arkansas money – from a previously unknown committee underscore what must be a sense of unease within the Jacobs effort. 

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