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Sen. Daines should recuse himself from a vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as education secretary.

According to EveryVoice.org, a non-partisan organization that researches the role of big money in politics, Sen. Daines has received donations from her and her family. She once wrote that she expects a “return on our investment,” when she and her family make political donations. Neither she nor her children ever attended public school. She has never worked in a public school. She has lobbied for decades to funnel public education funds to private, religious schools, which is surely a violation of the First Amendment. “A ballot initiative she led to establish vouchers in Michigan failed in 2000.” (NYT) Her efforts there to expand charter schools and to fight efforts to establish standards or oversight have “created what even charter school supporters call chaos.” (NYT)

Are the hundreds of millions of dollars she and her family have donated to the Republican Party her primary qualification? Will Sen. Daines “return” her out-of-state “investment” in him? America needs a qualified, experienced educator as secretary of education. Betsy DeVos is neither. She does not merit confirmation, regardless of how much money she has paid. 

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Joy LaClaire

Bozeman