Given what we know thus far, this seems as if it’s worth a try….
Durham, N.C., February 3, 2017: When North Carolina residents Eunice Chang and Lekha Shupeck realized the only way to get Senator Richard Burr’s attention was to buy it, they launched a GoFundMe campaign to do exactly that: www.gofundme.com/buy-senator-richard-burrs-vote.
Betsy DeVos gave $43,200 to Senator Richard Burr’s reelection campaign, and is getting Burr’s vote for a Cabinet seat in return. Meanwhile, as many North Carolina citizens know first-hand, Burr consistently fails to answer constituent concerns.
He refuses to hold town hall meetings because they “don’t work for him.” It’s near impossible to get in touch with staffers in his offices: phones are “busy,” voicemail boxes are full, and emails and letters are largely ignored. Burr’s office has called his own constituents, trying desperately to get their senator’s attention, “out-of-state[rs]” and “lack[ing] civility and decorum” simply for voicing their opposition to his policy decisions. In the case of the phone campaign against DeVos’ nomination, Burr himself stated that the opposition was a “strategy hatched a long time ago” rather than a genuine outpouring of concern from North Carolina citizens.
Clearly, that $43,200 means that DeVos gets Senator Burr’s attention and vote, while the citizens of North Carolina get dismissed and ignored by the person who is supposed to represent their interests. So if money is the only thing Senator Burr listens to, we want to put our money to work!
Since we believe that what DeVos did by donating to Burr’s campaign was tantamount to bribery and unethical, we won’t be trying to buy his vote directly. Instead, our fundraiser donates directly to Public School Forum of North Carolina, an organization that does important work advocating for better public education in our state’s schools.
The Public Forum’s policy work will be essential in the coming years to help protect public education in North Carolina from DeVos and the regressive efforts of the NC state legislature, whose policies have ensured that North Carolina is 47th in the nation for teacher pay and 45th in overall public school funding according to the NEA.
We hope that by donating to efforts to protect NC public education from an unqualified opponent of public education like Betsy DeVos, we can send a strong message to Senator Burr: if money is the only message you understand, we’re speaking your language now.