Friday, May 15, 2015

Super PAC spends $7 Million in Philadelphia primary

3 Libertarians Fuel $7 Million Super PAC In Philadelphia's Mayoral Democratic Primary - Paul Blumenthal, Huffington Post:

May 14, 2015 - "Voters will cast ballots in the Democratic primary for Philadelphia's mayoral race on May 19, but three libertarian donors from the suburbs could really influence the contest.

"According to city campaign finance records, Arthur Dantchik, Joel Greenberg and Jeff Yass – heads of the trading firm Susquehanna International Group – have pumped almost $7 million into the American Cities super PAC, which backs state Sen. Anthony H. Williams (D). The total contributed by the three financial executives through May 4, the cutoff for the latest reports, not only dwarfs the amount spent by each candidate in the race, but also is nearly equal to all candidate and other super PAC fundraising combined.

"The contributions come amid a continued uptick in large campaign donations from financial investors to city, state and municipal elections sent through super PACs in recent years. The funds are largely given in support of market-based education reforms including the privatization of public schools, the diversion of public school funds to charter schools and the breaking of teachers unions....

"In the state Senate, Williams was the architect of an expansion of the state tax credit diverting public funds to charter schools by allowing corporations and wealthy individuals to be refunded with public money when they pay for a scholarship, or 'voucher,' for a public school student to attend a charter school. He also served on the education commission created by former Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, a proponent of charter schools and vouchers.

"Williams is not a new commodity for the investors based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Dantchik, Greenberg and Yass spent at least $6 million through their Students First PA PAC to support Williams' bid for the Democratic Party's gubernatorial nomination in 2010."

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