WV has benefited enormously from time and energy from talented people who move here and fight for the values we hold dear.
Unfortunately, we’ve been often harmed when people move here to advance their own ambitions and end up subverting our values. We see that now happening with S.B. 451, the so-called education reform bill making its way through the Legislature.
Raised in the Washington DC metro area, Senator Patricia Rucker settled in Jefferson County. That’s keeps her close to DC, where she works with the American Legislative Exchange Council (better known as ALEC), a conservative Washington DC lobbying group dedicated to cutting funding for public schools and redirecting it to private schools.
Rucker is betraying her neighbors, and West Virginians throughout the state, by using her position as Chair of the WV Senate Education Committee to push through extreme legislation supported by ALEC.
ALEC is known for pushing for extreme policies, so much so that major corporate supporters like Exxon and Ford have cut their ties with the group. Last year Verizon dropped out of ALEC with the comment "Our company has no tolerance for racist, white supremacist or sexist comment or ideals”. after ALEC invited controversial David Horowitz to speak.
For more about ALEC, see this article from Mother Jones.
Observers in Charleston have wondered why Rucker, and Senate President Mitch Carmichael, have been pushing a bill that so many in West Virginia, including Governor Justice, are opposed to.
Sadly, the answer may come down to out-of-state political contributions. Wealthy people who give money to ALEC also give a lot of money to politicians who push ALEC's policies.
It seems that Rucker’s betrayal of West Virginia is yet another example of how out-of-state dark money is corrupting our political process and damaging prospects for young West Virginians.