Dear Commons Community,
Seeking to reshape a national political debate he finds frustratingly superficial, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York is plunging into the 2012 campaign in its final weeks, creating his own “super PAC” to direct millions of dollars in donations to elect candidates from both parties who he believes will focus on problem solving. Mr. Bloomberg’s move comes in the wake of the 2010 Supreme Court decision that paved the way for a flood of independent expenditures through super PACs, which are playing an outsize role in elections this fall. Though his spending is on a much smaller scale, he is joining other wealthy Americans by bankrolling outside groups to influence elections. These include the Koch brothers, industrialists who have backed conservative causes, and George Soros, the billionaire investor who has championed liberal ones.
“Mr. Bloomberg expects to spend from $10 million to $15 million of his money in highly competitive state, local and Congressional races. The money would be used to pay for a flurry of advertising on behalf of Republican, Democratic and independent candidates who support three of his biggest policy initiatives: legalizing same-sex marriage, enacting tougher gun laws and overhauling schools.”
The first two of his causes are fine but his views on education represent the corporate mentality that schools should be run as businesses. His over enthusiasm for standardized testing combined with his anti-union/blame the teacher sentiments and little patience for parental involvement in education policy decisions have not helped New York City schools.