Charter schools are a complicated issue for Beto O’Rourke. His wife, Amy O’Rourke, founded one.

Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke and his family officially launched his 2020 campaign in El Paso last weekend.

The presidential candidate is walking a fine line on a tricky political issue. His wife, Amy O’Rourke, once launched a charter school and continues to be an advocate for the controversial education model.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke stood on a table at a brewery here on a recent Friday night fielding questions from inquisitive Democrats giving him their first once-over. For a few women at the front of the effusive crowd, one issue was at the top of their minds: school choice.

O’Rourke described the idea long touted by conservatives as a threat.

“We will not allow our public tax dollars to be taken from our classrooms and sent to private schools,” he said.

His answer took three full minutes, during which he addressed his support for increasing teacher pay and implementing universal pre-kindergarten, as well as his aversion to standardized testing. But one aspect of the American educational system went unmentioned: charter schools.


OPENSECRETS NEWS: Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family, under scrutiny for role in opioid crisis, are big political spenders

perdue pharma

With the company increasingly in the crosshairs of the courts and 2020 presidential contenders like Sen. Bernie Sander, for its role in the Opioid Crisis, Purdue Pharma stepped up its Congressional lobbying efforts the past two years.

At the same time, the family that owns the company has contributed heavily to politicians in Washington.



OPENSECRETS NEWS: Ted Cruz’s FEC lawsuit could give special interests more power in federal elections

Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has sued the FEC in an attempt to overturn rules that limit how much money a candidate can raise to reimburse themselves for campaign loans. Current rules allow candidates to raise up to $250,000 from donors to repay personal loans to their own campaign.  

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OPENSECRETS NEWS: Linda McMahon, Trump donor and Cabinet member, to head pro-Trump super PAC

Linda McMahon, super PAC

Linda McMahon, currently the head of the Small Business Administration (SBA), is resigning from her position on April 12 to become the chair of America First Action, one of the primary pro-Trump super PACs. McMahon was a significant financial supporter of Trump’s campaign in 2016.  Read, share, discuss, learn more


Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) helped found the House Joint Strike Fighter Caucus and has received thousands from Lockheed Martin. (LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Even with all the controversy regarding the plane, bipartisan members of Congress this week asked their colleagues to adjust President Trump’s 2020 budget request to include more F-35s. As Lockheed has invested millions in congressional candidates and created jobs in nearly every U.S. state, the political support of the project remains strong.  

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Gender, Race and Money-in-Politics Looking at the intersection of identity and campaign finance

Identity is as influential as ever before in U.S. elections and policy-making, and understanding the roles gender and race play is essential to being able to fully assess its implications for our political system and diverse populations. Use our candidate identity tool to explore the intersections of race, gender, and money in politics in the 2018 cycle. The candidate identity tool combines fundraising data reported to the FEC with identity information CRP collected using self-identification techniques for every federal candidate in the 2018 cycle. The values shown are averages calculated by CRP.

Examine the data here

Read about our methodology here

Defining “Educator” During a Teacher Shortage and the Privatization of Public Education

by Nancy Bailey

Define educator for America’s schools.

It’s critical to nail this down during a teacher shortage and when there are attempts to privatize public schools. We don’t want people with inappropriate or no credentials teaching America’s children and directing their public schools. Ensuring that teachers and administrators are qualified used to be required.

Since NCLB, alternative […]

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THIS DAY IN HISTORY April 5, 1979: Boston University Strike

BU on strike.

#tdih 1979 When Boston University refused to approve the faculty’s negotiated contract, the faculty union call a strike with Howard Zinn as committee co-chair. Professors were joined on the picket line by clerical staff and librarians – themselves demanding union recognition. Read more below. Photo by Spencer Grant.