The campaign dollars continue to flow from out of state into Superintendent Tony Bennett's re-election coffers. His latest large contribution report shows a $40,000 contribution from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The mayor's war on teacher unions likely explains his interest in the schools chief race in Indiana.
Another contribution, for $25,000, comes from the Hoosiers for Economic Growth Political Action Committee. While its name would suggest the money comes from Hoosiers, that's not the case. The PAC's first-quarter report of receipts and expenditures shows it collected $175,000 this year, from just two contributions made by the American Federation for Children Action Fund, a pro-voucher group using Terre Haute attorney James Bopp's law offices as a mailing address.
So where does the American Federation for Children Action Fund get its money? The $1.2 million it has raised so far this year comes from three Pennsylvania hedge-fund managers – Arthur Dantchik, Jeff Yass, Joel Greenberg – with a history of funding pro-voucher candidates.
Hoosiers for Economic Growth's other campaign cash beneficiaries have education interests, as well. The PAC gave $25,000 to Rep. Robert Behning, chairman of the House Education Committee, and Todd Huston, a Republican candidate for Indiana House, chairman of the Indiana State Charter School Board and former chief of staff for Bennett.
"Hoosiers" for Economic Growth? Not so much -- Pennsylvania Voucher Supporters for Hoosier Voucher Supporters is probably a more accurate name.