big money


Let’s take big money out of politics starting with Ruth Kagi.

There is a race in the 32nd Legislative District in Seattle where an educator, Wesley Irwin, is running against an establishment Democrat who has been in office for too long.

This post will be about the incumbent, Representative Ruth Kagi, who I have mentioned briefly in two previous posts, The Proposition 1B “Preschool for All” Wheel of Fortune: Same players, new game and Money for charters but nothing for public schools? It’s time for a recall in Washington State.

First, let’s look at Kagi’s record on public school education.

On charter schools:

In the Washington State Democrat’s platform is the statement “We oppose charter schools”. This plank in the platform was hard fought throughout the state as one Democratic legislative district after another passed resolutions stating that charter schools are unconstitutional and undemocratic and yet Ruth Kagi voted for Bill 6194 allowing state funding to keep open a handful of charter schools that were deemed unconstitutional by the Washington State Supreme Court. Her constituents voted unanimously against Bill 6194 and against charter schools in any form. See Resolution passed unanimously by the 32nd District Democrats regarding any and all legislative bills that would authorize charter schools in Washington State.

But the chronic under-funding of our public schools did not come to a resolution in that same session.

So much for representing the people.

On class size:

Initiative 1351 reducing class sizes was opposed by Kagi  

On a cost of living wage increase for teachers:

Rep. Kagi also voted to suspend the much needed “Teacher Cost of Living Adjustment” (COLA) in 2013, yet she voted for a tax cut that gave the Boeing Company billions of dollars (Bill 2294) and then received the maximum contribution allowable from Boeing the following year.

On the Common Core Standards:

Kagi voted for the Common Core Standards and the related SBAC tests.

So how could Ruth Kagi consistently vote against the will of the people for several years now?

Well, let’s take a look at some of her contributors:

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife: Donated $500,000 to push the charter school initiative and contributed to keep the charter schools open after the Supreme Court’s decision that charter schools are unconstitutional in Washington State.

Amazon CEO Jeff  Bezos and his wife, big financial supporters of charter schools.


Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) , push for the privatization of public schools.

The Community Center for Education Results (CCER): Mary Jean Ryan

For a cumulative view of Kagi’s contributors, see

Ruth Kagi is endorsed by the League of Education Voters (LEV) (not to be confused with the League of Women Voters). She even gave LEV money in 2014.

And, LEV gave her a big thank you for voting to fund charter schools on their website.

If you’re pro public schools, you do not want to be associated with the League of Education Voters. For more on LEV, see A look back at the League of Education Voters.

Even though Ruth Kagi touts that she is all about the children, her actions say something entirely different.

For additional information on the subjects mentioned in this post, see:


The Charter School Bill 1240 and the 1%: An Analysis

A case study of how the ultra-wealthy spend millions to get what they want in school reform

The Proposition 1B “Preschool for All” Wheel of Fortune: Same players, new game

Race to the Tots: Universal (for profit) Pre-K, DFER, KIPP and the suits

Lisa Macfarlane with WA DFER wins the Walton Award for privatization.

The Road Map Project, Race to the Top, Bill Gates and your student’s privacy

Common Sense Questions About the Common Core Test

Video: Clinical Child Psychologist: The Common Core Standards are developmentally inappropriate

Study shows the Common Core PARCC test does not determine college readiness

Dora Taylor