Thursday, February 03, 2011

It's Official, the LA Weekly is Ben Austin's personal public relations firm

"There's nothing the matter with teachers that a little less unionization and more COMPETITION couldn't cure." — Ann Coulter (racist reactionary right wing pundit)

"It would force the district to learn how to run great schools by forcing them to COMPETE." — Ben Austin (Executive Director LAPU/PR)

Defend Public Schools from Corporate Charter-Voucher Charlatans
Caroline Grannan's latest brilliant article exposing the nightmare caused by pariah Ben Austin and his band of paid organizers trying to establish corporate charters in Compton is Powerful "Parent" Trigger operators target vulnerable school; attack misfires. In it she links to yet another of right-wing reactionary journalist Patrick McDonald's cheerleading pieces for the Walton Foundation and Gates Foundation funded corporate charter front group Parent Revolution.

One of the lies in McDonald's article, discussing the foppish millionaire from Benedict Canyon and his paid staffers, was so egregious, I was compelled to write an open letter.

Open Letter Re: Parent Trigger Showdown in Compton Gets Increasingly Heavy; Jerry Brown, Kamala Harris, and Barack Obama M.I.A.?

(By the way LA Weekly have begun moderating their comments and won't allow any evidence against Parent Revolution to be posted on their site.)

Mr. McDonald:

In your Jan 24, 2011 piece you write: "McKinley Parents for Change, a parent group that arose late last year, after the Parent Trigger effort had gathered enough signatures to take over McKinley, is demanding that the signatures gathered in 2010 be honored."

That's absurd and incredulous! You know as well as I do that McKinley Parents for Change is a fake group formed out of Austin's office. You saw my articles and emails attesting to that. Is that how right-wing libertarian reporting works, ignore well documented facts that don't support your ideological goals? Or is it that you think Parent Revolutions' own Yuritzy Anaya was lying to me when she explained how that group was founded?

Update on the veracity of McKinley Parents for Change

Do you recall my email to you on Dec 17, 2010 where I wrote:

As a long time social justice writer, public education advocate, and immigrant rights activist I’m not fearful to search for the truth. As soon as a Compton parent sent along a copy of the fake McKinley Parents for Change flyer via a substitute teacher, I called the number and left a message. Yuritzy Anaya of Parent Revolution called me the next morning, spoke with me, and told me that their Deputy Director Gabe Rose created the flyer.

Also, why no LA Weekly coverage on how Gibson Dunn & Crutcher's Danielle Katzir mysteriously dropped off "Parent Revolution's" board as soon as Austin's lawsuit was announced? Conflict of interest much?

I left her voicemail today to see if she withdrew from their board for obvious reasons related to conflict of interest. However, her Gibson Dunn & Crutcher biography still lists her as being a board member for LAPU/PR. To wit:

Ms. Katzir serves on the firm's Los Angeles-Area Diversity
Committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the
Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Los
Angeles Parents Union...
She also works closely with Green Dot Charter Schools and
the Los Angeles Parents Union in their collective efforts to
implement statewide education policy reforms, including,
most recently, representing them in connection with the
"Parent Empowerment" legislation, signed into California law
in January, 2010.

It's in the public's interest that such facts be reported on.

Mr. McDonald your paper is well known for yellow journalism, but your own articles clearly show that your no stranger to that either.


Robert D. Skeels


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