Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3, 2011 - Follow The Students First PAC Voucher Money


"The legislation Sen. Williams and I will introduce in the next session will be somewhat broader than the bill he introduced last session," Piccola said. "Our bill, which will be Senate Bill 1, would provide opportunity scholarships to low-income children across the Commonwealth who wish to attend either a private school or a public school in a school district other than where they reside."

Ultimately, the scholarships would extend to all low-income students, Piccola said, but initially it would apply only to those attending the lowest-performing 5 percent of public schools. The bill would also create an opportunity scholarship program for private schools and moderately expand the current Education Improvement Tax Credit given to corporations that create educational scholarships which facilitate the ability of students to attend a school of their choice, he said.

According to the PA Department of State’s Campaign Finance Reporting website, during 2010 the Students First PAC, a voucher advocacy PAC, contributed $5,956,913.07 to Pennsylvania candidates, including 6 members of the Senate Education Committee.

A September 15th 2010 Philadelphia Inquirer article described how a trio of wealthy Bala Cynwyd businessmen with a passion for school choice gave a combined $5 million to Senator Anthony Williams, then one of three Democrats running against Dan Onorato in the Democratic primary.  The three - Joel Greenberg, Jaffrey Yass, and Arthur Dantchick, all of the Susquehanna Investment Group - funneled most of their contributions through the Students First PAC

Two members of the Susquehanna Group, Joel Greenberg and David Pollard, were subsequently appointed to Governor-elect Corbett’s Education Transition Team, with Greenberg appointed as Co-Chairman.

While gubernatorial candidate and Senate Education Committee member Senator Anthony Williams received the lion’s share of $5,077,413.07, it is worth noting who received some of the rest.  Over $400,000 went to Legislative Leadership and Education Committee Members:




10/28/2010
$100,000.00
Friends of Joseph Scarnati
Senate President and Senate Ed. Committee Member
10/28/2010
$100,000.00
PILEGGI, DOMINIC FRIENDS OF
Senate Majority Leader
10/18/2010
$50,000.00
Citizens to Elect Dwight Evans
Former Chair of House Appropriations Committee
10/8/2010
$50,000.00
TURZAI, MIKE FRIENDS OF
Incoming House Majority Leader
7/1/2010
$20,000.00
DINNIMAN, ANDY FRIENDS OF
Senate Ed. Committee Minority Chairman
10/15/2010
$20,000.00
FOLMER, MIKE FOR STATE SEN
Senate Ed. Committee Member
10/15/2010
$15,000.00
Citizens for Pat Browne
Senate Majority Whip and Senate Ed. Committee Member
10/15/2010
$10,000.00
Citizens for Jake Wheatley
House Ed. Committee Member
10/7/2010
$7,500.00
QUIGLEY, TOM COM TO ELECT
House Ed. Committee Member
10/18/2010
$7,500.00
YUDICHAK, JOHN CITIZENS FOR
House Ed. Committee Member
11/16/2010
$7,500.00
TOMLINSON, ROBT FOR STATE SEN
Senate Ed. Committee Member
10/15/2010
$7,500.00
BOSCOLA, LISA FRIENDS OF
Senate Minority Caucus Administrator
11/3/2010
$7,500.00
O'PAKE, MIKE FRIENDS OF
Senate Minority Whip(deceased)
10/14/2010
$5,000.00
KIRKLAND THADDEUS FRIENDS OF
House Ed. Committee Member
10/17/2010
$5,000.00
ADOLPH, BILL JR., FRIENDS OF
Incoming House Appropriations Chairman

$412,500.00



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