Friday, October 14, 2016

Student$Fir$tNY Bankrolls GOP

StudentsFirstNY launched back in 2012, an Empire State spin-off of the StudentsFirst orgnization launched by former DC chancellor, She Who Will Not Be Named. She was always nominally a Democrat (check out this awesomely non-prescient article from 2012 that says she's taking over the Democratic Party), but the NY branch of StudentsFirst was formed by Jenny Sedlis, who worked with Eva Moskowitz (theoretically a Democrat) to build Success Academy, with an assist from Joel Klein (also theoretically a Democrat) for the express purpose of backing Mayor Mike Bloomberg (originally Democrat, elected as mayor as Republican, but later switched to Independent because when you're really rich, you just form your own party).

StudentsFirstNY has thrown lots of its weight behind busting the union more rigorous and punishing teacher evaluations and flexing its political muscles, as well as pursuing the Moskowitzian ideal of a world in which charter school operators don't ever have to answer to anyone about anything but can just sit on their giant pile of money, untroubled by the little people. Because the children really want to see folks get rich from education.

All of that appears to be continuing in the present election cycle, in which StudentsFirstNY has decided that what the children of NY really want is more Republicans in the legislature (who knew the children were so interested in party politics). The children of New York also wish that Bill DeBlasio wasn't mayor, and StudentsFirstNY has been working hard to speak up for all those children, putting together lots of tv spots about how DeBlasio is after your money and no Democrats should be sent to Albany to help him. So supporting GOP candidates by attacking Democrats. Because these are the things that children really worry about.

The Wall Street Journal reports that StudentsFirstNY has teamed up with the high-rolling Real Estate Board of NY, because children really want a more robust, free-wheeling and profitable real estate market. They have also hired Bradley Tusk ("Mayor Bloomberg's Secret Weapon") whose profession seems to be exerting power and making money. Because children want to be secure in the knowledge that hedge fund guys can afford as many nice cars as they want.

DeBlasio's office is aware.

A spokesman for Mr. de Blasio’s campaign said: “When Bradley Tusk says he wants to team up with hedge funds and real-estate developers to defeat Democrats and stop progressive ideas, believe him.” 

Meanwhile, WSJ reports that Democrats shooting for the state capital prefer that DeBlasio just go sit quietly in the corner. I'm sure none of this has to do with New York Governor (theoretically not the mayor) Andrew Cuomo (theoretically a Democrat, but the evidence is pretty thin). In the meantime, StudentsFirstNY appears to be dropping all pretense of being even sort of concerned about actual education issues, but is simply one more batch of folks with big bank accounts trying to game the NY political system so that they can get even more money and power.

Trying to work this stuff out by paying attention to actual party labels is rather a challenge these days. I would love to see someone make sense of it. Not for me, mind you. It's just that the children are asking.


  1. They should change their name to either PoliticsFirst or ProfitsFirst.

  2. Another name for $tudent$ 1st might be Pathways to Oligarchy.

  3. Agreed!
    However, sorry to say that Cuomo is governor not mayor of NY...