TV ads and sending mailers that push Sen. Schumer to oppose the nomination with the mysterious name of “Use your Mandate” as the return address. I’ve received two of these large glossy mailers in the last week.
Who is Bradley Tusk and why is this relevant to NYC education?
Tusk is the former Lt. Governor and right hand man to former Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, who is now serving a 14 year sentence for corruption. Subsequently, Tusk became the manager of Bloomberg’s 2009 mayoral campaign, which spent $109 million and won by only 4.5 percentage points, after inundating NYC voters will hundreds of mailers like those being sent out about Hagel. Tusk’s website also takes credit for running the campaign that lifted the cap on charters for DFER/ERN and the hedgefunders, and states that he now works for Michelle Rhee’s StudentFirst NY and Eva Moskowitz’s chain of Success Academy charters:
With StudentsFirst, led by Michelle Rhee, we have played an integral role in the first comprehensive attempt to pursue and implement education reform across the country. This includes launching full campaigns in target cities and states across the nation. With the Success Charter Network, Tusk Strategies has helped introduce high performing charter schools to new neighborhoods across New York City.
Tusk was also paid $1.5 million of $2 million of the Facebook money for “community engagement”, that was supposed to go towards improving Newark’s schools. [Community engagement with whom, one wonders. Michael Bloomberg, Michelle Rhee and the hedge fund community?].
His website brags that he helped organize an education forum in October 2011 during the Presidential campaign, with four GOP candidates, co-hosted by the College Board and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation: “While all of the GOP candidates were invited to participate, only former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum attended in person, with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Cain speaking via satellite.” Who moderated? None other than our former chancellor, Joel Klein.
As the mayoral campaign heats up, expect Tusk to engage in similar tricks, either openly or secretly on behalf of Bloomberg, Rhee, Eva and the charter lobby, to try to ensure they keep and enlarge their control of education policy and hold on real estate in NYC public school buildings.