Sunday, October 19, 2014

Big Money Finances Stand For Children-Backed IPS School Board Candidates

UPDATED: While we have no idea how much money the out-of-state nonprofit organization, Stand for Children, is dumping into the IPS school board race to buy the election for the education profiteers it represents, we can see who is donating directly to their campaigns. Not surprisingly, the candidates raising the most money for their campaigns are the same three candidates backed by Stand for Children.

Mary Ann Sullivan, an at-large candidate, collected the most with her contributions topping $51,000. Her largest contribution came from the Indy Chamber's PAC, which amounted to $14,400 or over a quarter of her campaign receipts. Another $10,000 came from money left over from her losing state senate campaign. Christel DeHaan of Christel Academy charter school grade-fixing infamy, kicked in $5,000 to Sullivan's campaign. San Francisco venture capitalist and LinkedIn founder, Reid Hoffman, and his wife, Michelle Yee, kicked in $1,000 each. Shiel Sexton executive Richard Hennessy gave Sullivan $2,500. Republican businessman and former Indiana GOP Chairman Al Hubbard (also college roommate and presidential advisor to George W. Bush) gave the supposed life-long Democrat $5,000. Dennison Parking heir, Perry Griffith, Jr., added $1,000 to her campaign. Interestingly, she paid almost $16,000 to Jennifer Wagner's Mass Ave PR for consulting work. Wagner's husband, Gordon Hendry, is the supposed Democrat that Gov. Mike Pence appointed to the state board of education to become one of the biggest thorns in the side of Supt. of Education Glenda Ritz, a real Democrat.

Former IPS school board member and tool for Democrats for Education Reform, Kelly Bentley, raised over $41,000 in her bid to win the board seat in District 3. Like Sullivan, Bentley's biggest campaign contribution comes from the Indy Chamber's PAC, which gave her $7,000. Republican businessman Al Hubbard gives another supposed Democrat $5,000. Stacy Schusterman, a Tulsa, Oklahoma heiress to the Samson Oil fortune, gave Bentley $1,500. She also collected $1,000 each from San Francisco venture capitalist Reid Hoffman and his wife, Michelle Yee. Bentley's brother, Stephen Suess of New York, who made his fortune in developing Internet porn gay dating sites, donated $2,500 in services for her campaign's website. Her mother, Sheila Suess Kennedy, who constantly rails on her blog about the influence of independent expenditures by billionaires like the Koch brothers, wants you to know that she can vouch for her daughter despite all of the out-of-state money being dumped into her otherwise uneventful local school board race. Can we say the empress has no clothes?

Political novice and Carpe Diem Dean of Students, LaNier Echols, pulled in over $32,000 for her bid to represent District 5 on IPS' board. San Francisco billionaire businessman, Arthur Rock, who made his fortune in Silicon Valley, gave $5,000 to Echols. He also sits on the board of Teach for America. Tulsa heiress Stacy Schusterman kicked in $1,000 to her campaign. Elizabeth Edersheim from Scarsdale, New York, a former partner of McKinsey & Co. and management consultant to Fortune 100 companies, gave her $1,500. Emma Bloomberg, daughter of New York's billionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg, donated $650 to Echols' campaign. Like Sullivan and Bentley, she also collected $1,000 each from San Francisco venture capitalist Reid Hoffman and his wife, Michelle Yee. Echols collected $7,000 from the Indy Chamber PAC. The Washington-based Leadership for Educational Equity gave $1,225 to her campaign.

The only other candidate who came close to the Stand for Children-backed candidates was the Rev. David Hampton, an at-large candidate. He raised about $22,000. Ice Miller lobbyist Lacy Johnson, who is a best friend of fellow lobbyist and IPS board member, Sam Odle, gave Hampton $5,000. Republican businessman Al Hubbard is hedging his bet in this race by giving $5,000 to Hampton as well as his opponent, Sullivan. Similarly, Christen DeHaan decided to kick in $3,000 to Hampton's campaign, in addition to her generous contribution to Sullivan. Lobbyist Greg Hahn, who hired IPS board member Sam Odle to work at his firm, donated $1,000 to Hampton.

Editor's Note: The blog's author was introduced to Stephen Suess many years ago, who told this author that he didn't have to work because he had made so much money from developing gay dating and porn sites. I left out the gay and dating site part, but he now claims it's untrue that he developed porn sites; he now says that he only developed gay dating websites and didn't make that much money from them. Suess bragged to the author about his ability to travel all over the world rather than work at the time because of the money he made from whatever that Internet-related work involved. His response to the "misunderstanding" is to post on his personal blog and accuse the author of being a child molester, which reveals a lot about his character.


Anonymous said...

Impeccable research, Gary. Thank you for these details.

I especially enjoyed to finally see someone accurately call out Sheila Suess Kennedy for the dual-faced political hack she has always been... and correctly labeling her as the "empress with no clothes" is the icing on the cake.

I look at these liberal Democrats like Mary Ann Sullivan and Kelly Bently who suck money in from the (usually out of state) monied left and am once again informed by the actions of the Democrats that the Gregorian Chant of the Democrat Party is always their pockets before the people.

Anonymous said...

Things are a bit askew when you see W's old roomie and close adviser donating that kind of money to help elect Sheila Kennedy's daughter to any office, even if it just the school board. I know I will never look at Kelly Bentley the same way again. I knew Mary Ann Sullivan was a Republicrat, but I had no idea Bentley was cut from the same cloth.

Anonymous said...

I had to chuckle when I read in the Star today where Rep. Woody Burton was defending an out-of-state junket hosted by ALEC. He says he's going to introduce legislation on e-learning after having a long conversation with Newt Gingrich at the conference. Is he that stupid or does he not know that Gingrich has a financial stake in a business that makes money from e-learning?

Flogger said...

The Public School System like the Prison System has become one big target for Parasite Capitalism. The Public School System must resemble a Virgin Forest to these Parasites. They want to clear cut the forest, grab the profits and leave a devastated wasteland of stumps. The Religious Parasites want their own piece of action too.

The Pre-K Scheme hatched by these parasites is to use a system separate from Public Schools.

I remember decades ago in College my University Instructors joking about the bribery that was endemic in many countries around the world. The expectation was you paid off certain people to do business there. Our political system of Campaign Financing means that even School Boards are not beyond the reach of the moneyed interests.

Anonymous said...

I guess I've been asleep the past few years. I had no idea this kind of money was being passed around by PACs and people from all over to win seats on the IPS board. It's very unsettling to say the least.