Democratic Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sent a letter to Trump’s Education Secretary nominee, Betsy DeVos, to pay the $5.3 million in fines that have been levied against her super PAC for election violations.
The Senators wrote in their letter:
The bipartisan Ohio Elections Commission unanimously found both the federal and Ohio All Children Matter PACs to have violated the state’s campaign finance laws and imposed fines of $5.2 million. An Ohio court subsequently upheld the fine and imposed additional late fees for failing to pay. Rather than pay the fines for violating the law, the All Children Matter PACs simply ceased operation and never paid the significant sum it owed to the state of Ohio.
The blatant disregard for the law that your PAC demonstrated is deeply troubling. However, when the organization’s violations of law were punished by the Ohio Elections Commission, the PAC’s refusal to take responsibility and pay the fines is unconscionable.
If confirmed as Secretary of Education, you would be responsible for administering our nation’s student loan programs and ensuring that borrowers repay their loans in a timely manner. However, the PAC that you chaired failed to pay fines that were imposed on it over eight years ago. This demonstrates a serious lack of judgment by the PAC’s board and a willingness to avoid paying legally obligated public debts.
In other words, Trump has nominated a person in his own image to run the Education Department. DeVos has been one of the top enemies of the nation’s public education system for years. If the shoe was on the other foot, and a Democratic nominee had millions of dollars of unpaid fines and violations, Republicans would be screaming from the mountain tops that the nominee lacked the moral character needed to run the Education Department.
We now live in Trump’s America, where Republicans in Congress turn a blind eye to violations of every value which they once proclaimed to hold near and dear. A serial violator of the law who doesn’t pay her debts shouldn’t be Secretary of Education.
However, DeVos will likely sail through her confirmation process because Republicans are not inviting corruption. They are embracing it with both arms.