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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, September 09, 2018 1:00 am

Indiana ties run deep for DeVos

It required a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence to confirm Betsy DeVos as secretary of education. The former Indiana governor intervened not just on behalf of the new administration, but also on behalf of a longtime political supporter: He is among dozens of Indiana Republicans collecting a share of $3 million in campaign contributions made by the DeVos family or by the American Federation for Children, the organization Betsy DeVos helped establish to promote school privatization.

The American Federation for Children, in contributions funneled through the like-minded Hoosiers for Economic Growth or Hoosiers for Quality Education, was the financial muscle behind Indiana's 2011 school voucher law and continues to promote school choice here. The DeVos family contributed $95,000 to Gov. Eric Holcomb's 2016 campaign. 

Businessman Fred Klipsch, founder of Hoosiers for Quality Education, told the Indianapolis Star last year that DeVos' American Federation for Children helped his group understand how voucher legislation should work so it could relay that information to Indiana lawmakers.

“They are a source of grants to us, us being the (Institute for Quality Education), and ... from the very beginning, both she, her husband and the organization have been unbelievable partners in helping us do in Indiana what we do in Indiana to improve education,” Klipsch told the Star.

– The Journal Gazette