Friday, February 3, 2017

A Call to Action: My Note to Senator Bob Corker on Betsy DeVos

Tom draws inspiration from Wendy's "A Call to Action" series and urges you to follow his lead in contacting the wavering Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee. 

The nomination of Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education is in trouble.  Two Republican Senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Linda Murkowski of Alaska, have announced they cannot and will not support her.  If every other Senator voted along party lines, DeVos would squeak by on the strength of Vice President Pence breaking the 50-50 tie.  So we need one more GOP vote to doom her candidacy.  Senator Corker (R- TN) has yet to announce (nor has Senator Rob Portman, R- OH).  Both are said to be wavering

I sent this email to Senator Corker and I urge you to follow suit.  (I've already written Portman.)

Senator Corker, I urge you to please vote against confirming Ms. DeVos for Secretary of Education, following the lead of your esteemed colleagues Senators Collins and Murkowski.  DeVos is simply unqualified for the position.  I can only assume you are wavering because you already know this, but are uncomfortable with the politics of not supporting your President.  But we must put the interests of our nation's children before those of your party or president.  THANK YOU for considering this NO vote -- our children's futures are at stake.

You can email this note (simply copy and paste it in) or write your own version (it can be as simple as "Please vote against DeVos!") to Senator Corker here:

You can also call his office.  Here is a tweet that is making the rounds, with phone numbers:

REPORTS: Corker wavering on DeVos , his office IS TALLYING CALLS! Tell him Knox: 865-637-4180 DC:202-224-3344

Here is Senator Collins' statement, in part, on her decision:

"Mrs. DeVos is the product of her experience. She appears to view education through the lens of her experience in promoting alternatives to public education in Detroit and other cities where she has, no doubt, done valuable work. Her concentration on charter schools and vouchers, however, raises the question of whether or not she fully appreciates that the Secretary of Education’s primary focus must be on helping states and communities, parents, teachers, school board members, and administrators strengthen our public schools.

While it is unrealistic and unfair to expect a nominee to know the details of all the programs under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education, I am troubled and surprised by Mrs. DeVos’ apparent lack of familiarity with the landmark 1975 law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, known as IDEA, that guarantees a free and appropriate education to children with special needs.

The mission of the Department of Education is broad, but supporting public education is at its core. I am concerned that Mrs. DeVos’ lack of experience with public schools will make it difficult for her to fully understand, identify, and assist with those challenges, particularly for our rural schools in states like Maine.

In keeping with my past practice, I will vote today to proceed to debate on Mrs. DeVos’ nomination, but, Madam President, I will not, I cannot vote to confirm her as our nation’s next Secretary of Education."

For extra credit, here is Portman's info as well:


phone:  513-684-3265

1 comment:

  1. I emailed Corker using your letter! Thanks!


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