Charter Schools an Issue in Harlem State Senate Race
An article about Basil Smikle's (www.basilforsenate.com) campaign to unseat union-lackey-charter-hater Bill Perkins, which mentions DFER and quotes Joe:
Perkins has the backing of the Democratic establishment and labor unions. The state teachers union recently sued the board of elections, so that its political action committee could give him more than the $6000 campaign limit. The union lost and has declined to comment. Teachers unions typically help get out the vote for their favorite candidates. But with education reform in the headlines, new players are now emerging. Joe Williams is executive director of the political action committee Democrats for Education Reform.
"I think for the first time you're starting to see folks who are involved in the charter school side of things showing an understanding that because education is so inherently political they need to be engaged in the political process," says Williams.
Smikle has raised almost $160,000 since he entered the race in May, with help from Democrats for Education Reform. The PAC connected him with people in the financial and real estate world who give to charters. Perkins -- who's raised $260,000 -- notes that many of Smikle's contributors live outside Harlem. But the desire to improve education by giving to candidates isn't limited to a single district or type of person this year.