Betsy DeVos Distinguishes Herself as a Skillful Politician

Upon arriving in the nation’s capital as Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, some initial controversy as well as misconceptions abounded about Betsy DeVos. A major misconception arose from the thought that DeVos was not politically savvy. People in D.C., and elsewhere around the country are learning that nothing could be more untrue than the idea that Betsy DeVos is not politically savvy.


The reality is that even her own nomination battle underscores that DeVos is a talented political tactician. While it is true that the Vice President needed to cast a tie-breaking vote to confirm DeVos as Secretary of Education, she nonetheless was approved to join the President’s Cabinet against what many people contended was an impossible goal for her to achieve. This is how underestimated DeVos was when her Senate confirmation hearings commenced.


After being confirmed at taking the helm at the U.S. Department of Education, DeVos again demonstrated her skill as a politician. Fairly early on during her time in office, President Trump began rattling about his desired to rescind the Obama Administration’s rule about transgender people using restrooms that best reflected their own gender identities.


Some individuals were surprised to learn that DeVos did not initially favor this policy change. Indeed, she lobbied her boss, Donald Trump, to maintain the Obama Administration policy.


In the end, Trump made the decision to rescind the Obama policy regarding restrooms in public schools. When he made the decision, DeVos joined the President in supporting his policy. Indeed, directly after this decision, she spoke on behalf of the Administration at a large conservative confab. She specifically, and convincingly, explained the policy change and demonstrated no daylight between her position and that of the President. In other words, she lobbied for her position regarding this issue, but when a decision was made, she became a full team player, as a member of a presidential administration really is expected to become more often than not.


Also early in her time in office, DeVos reached out to the heads of the two largest teachers unions in the nation, to begin a course of dialogue. She has demonstrated a willingness to connect with individuals from all segments of the political spectrum.


Many Americans have yet to come to realize that DeVos has been an effective, skillful politician long before coming to Washington and becoming Secretary of Education. She served as the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. She has headed up a myriad of political campaigns, both for candidates and issues. Her husband ran for Governor of Michigan, a campaign in which she played a large role.


When it comes to issues, DeVos has been particularly effective, and committed, when it comes to school choice. She has headed up a number of successful campaigns to bring about a change in laws to permit parents and students broader choice when it comes to schools and education. For example, she was a person primarily responsible for a major change in Florida law that gave rise to one of the broadest school choice programs in the United States at this time.


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The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Is Working To Keep The GOP From Shutting Down DACA

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals DACA program has recently come under attack by some of the most extreme in the GOP. The program helps undocumented young people who meet certain criteria the chance to work in the United States for two years; which can be renewed, a break from being deported, and a social security number. The majority of states also allow the youth to get a driver’s license and grant them the right to the lower tuition fees that come with living in a specific state.

Legal action was threatened by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton if the Trump administration does not take action to abolish DACA by early September. Their hope is that they can taper the program down slowly until it fades away. A letter addressed to the Trump administration was signed by a governor and nine different attorneys from Republican-led states, but this didn’t stop the Hispanic Caucus to have some of its members meet with John Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security. He revealed that DACA was in trouble and that it was already being challenged by the legal system.

This is all too bad, because DACA has clearly been beneficial as over nine out of every 10 of the people who benefit from the program are in school or have a job. Many who complain will be surprised to discover that many DACA beneficiaries are raising their incomes and contributing higher levels of taxes to the United States. A lot of their money goes to universities and other colleges all over the country, and a good amount of the youth who have benefited from DACA give back by starting up businesses, purchasing homes, or buying cars.

The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund is helping people to better understand how to fight against the injustice of those who are working to shut down the DACA program. The fund started when Michael Lacy and Jim Larkin received a multi-million dollar settlement from their illegal arrest by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. They were both, literally, taken out of their homes in the dead of night and thrown into unmarked SUV’s with Mexican license plates on them. This happened because they disagreed with the illegal methods that Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies were using to profile Latinos and Hispanics in Arizona. On top of their arrest, Arpaio used his influence with his friends in the Justice Department to issue subpoenas for the identity of others who worked with Larkin and Lacey at the Phoenix New Times newspaper.

Now, the Frontera Fund works to support organizations and groups that stand up for basic human rights, civil rights, and migrant rights. Some of the organizations that the fund supports include Aliento, 1070, the American Immigration Council, Justice That Works, Arizona Justice Project, Can The Border Divide Us?, Justice For Immigrants and Families Project, Phoenix Immigrant Justice Project, Promise Arizona, Trans Queer Peublo, Puente, The Colibri Center For Human Rights, Center For Neighborhood Leadership, and so many more. With the Frontera Fund in place, there is hope for a brighter future for every single person who calls the United States home.