Betsy DeVos’ family gave $1 million to senators who’ll vote on her confirmation

In this last election cycle, billionaire Betsy DeVos and her family invested $1 million to help elect 21 U.S. senators who will now vote on whether she becomes Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education. The DeVoses have given Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson nearly $49,000.

Trump proposes spending $20 billion for vouchers and chartered schools for inner-city youth. In fact, DeVos and her family have spent $47 million since 2000 supporting politicians who advocate privatizing American public education.

How did DeVos get so rich? She earned her money the hard way:  A. She was born in the wealthy Prince family.  B. She married into the super-wealthy DeVos family (owns Amway).

She never went to public schools, does not know a lot about educational policy and laws but really wants to be secretary. If confirmed, she’ll certainly advocate to implement Trump’s effort to further privatize public schools.

Why do people who hate government want to work for government so much?

In our nation, schools for young children and colleges for older children have always been private and mostly church schools for those who had the money to pay for schooling. But in the 1800’s Americans advocated free, public, good educations for all. Over the last 200 years public schools have played a major role in the development of the middle class. Poor kids and all others have a chance to succeed.

On Monday, Feb. 6, the Senate may take its final vote on DeVos. Does the situation look like pay-to-playto you? Does the highest earner in your family even make $49,000 in a year? Does your whole family even make that in a year? Nearly half the families in Wisconsin do not even earn $49,000 a year.

Johnson should recuse himself from voting on her nomination. She did NOT give him the money because of his good looks. She and her family invested that money to get a payback. Will Johnson pay her back with his vote for her confirmation?

All the 21 senators who received the $1 million in total donations should recuse themselves and abstain from voting on DeVos’ nomination.

You probably cannot stop all the senators from voting.  But you may be able to stop Sen. Johnson from voting.  Call Sen. Johnson’s offices in Wisconsin at 920-230-7250 and 414-276-7282 and email him at

Calls/email to Johnson need to be made before Monday. Tell him to recuse himself because of the DeVos money and because she wants to privatize public education.

At this point 50 senators have said they will vote “no” (48 Dems, two independents and two Republicans), while 50 Republicans are being pushed to all vote “yes.” If a tie occurs, Vice President Mike Pence will cast the tie-breaking vote and DeVos will become Secretary of Education.

Urge Johnson to recuse himself from voting on DeVos’ nomination and hopefully help stop Mr. Trump’s federal effort to privatize public schools in WI and America.

Leslie “Buzz” Davis

Buzz Davis, formerly of Stoughton now of Tucson, is a long time progressive activist, a member of Veterans for Peace and a former VISTA Volunteer, Army officer, elected official, union organizer, impeachment organizer, executive vice president of Wisconsin Alliance4Retired Americans and retired state government planner. You can respond to him at