Thanks to the Roberts Supreme Court, money plays an even bigger role in politics. In the McCutcheon ruling, the court basically encouraged influence peddling. In short, if you’re rich enough you can buy a politician to establish policies that will advance your business interests, especially if the politician you buy is willing to establish a policy that secures a market for your product or services.
This version of the capitalism Republicans believe in can result in harmful policies. But hey, the politician has his or her campaign money and his or her contributor has a guaranteed market for their business.
Greg Abbott’s denials of a policy to use standardized tests to determine which four year olds will have access to Pre-K and which children will be left behind have been a sore spot to the Abbott campaign. Obviously, a policy that will leave some children behind at the age of four is not going to go over well with parents in Texas. But Texas Republicans don’t really care about popular acceptance of their policies. They prove that time and again with policies that preserve a rigid social order in which white men hold the political and economic power and are kings of the castle at home.
Abbott’s pre-K policy of rewarding children who score well on standardized tests with access to pre-K and a decent future, while leaving other children behind reflects that social order. This suggests that Abbot had a different reason to initially deny that was his policy.
However, his plan fell apart when Wendy Davis exposed the facts, leading to the eventual admission by one of Abbott’s key advisers.
Now that the policy is on the record, the Davis campaign is investigating Abbott’s ties to businesses that would benefit from a policy of standardized tests for four year olds. On Wednesday, Wendy Davis’ communications director, Zac Petkanas, announced that the campaign filed an open records request on Tuesday so that Texas voters can follow the money behind Abbot’s policy of using standardized tests to screen four year olds out of a future.
In the interest of transparency, Greg Abbott should make all communication between his office and representatives of the standardized testing industry public. Texans deserve to know how the testing industry is influencing Greg Abbott’s controversial Pre-k plan.
It’s bad enough knowing that Abbott’s Pre-K policy will hurt a lot of children. So now the question is whose money made it worth Abbott’s while to sacrifice the futures of so many children in Texas. It’s bad enough that Republicans don’t want to help children have a better future, but denying them a future in exchange for campaign money is sinking to a new low.
Image: Daily Kos