It all started in earnest last year, when I stumbled across the fact that a member of the S.C. Education Oversight Committee, Karen Iacovelli, had signed an anti-public school pledge. No big deal though, I guess. Stranger things have happened.
A little later, I came across an article about a bogus grass-roots group called “Missourians in Charge” that was funded by a mysterious, libertarian New Yorker named Howard Rich - a situation I thought sounded vaguely familiar. That “vague familiarity” turned out to be more than just a coincidence. I began to understand why a ‘grass roots’ group like South Carolinians for Responsible Government was so coy about revealing its funding ... despite Paul Simon's clear admonition that you don't need to be coy, Roy.
Then, earlier this summer, after some surmisin’ and triangulatin’ and whatnot, Gervais found that the official blogger of SCRG, the “Voice for School Choice,” was actually a
Finally, we examined numerous
So why does Gervais do it, anyway?
Well, I enjoy it. The poking around in the darkest corners of the internet, the anonymous irate comments, the stamping out of fraud and fabrication perpetrated on the good folks of
But another reason is that there is so much dang material out there. It’s hard to find a single facet of this operation that isn’t tainted with some sort of detestable behavior, whether it’s circumventing our state’s contribution limits, sending phony letters to the editor, or simply signing a blood oath against SC schools.
The conclusion I was headed toward was that there wasn’t a single “voice” for vouchers in the
So naturally, I was a little suspicious of the voucher group “Clergy for Educational Options,” which got some ink in the Sunday paper. CEO, created in 2005, purports to be a grass roots organization of black ministers and churches. It has a killer website. According to founder Rev. Richard L. Davis, the group’s membership is comprised of over 300 of our state’s churches.
That’s a lot of people, people.
But, seeing as how only one African-American lawmaker supports Howard Rich’s voucher plan, and that Democratic legislator's seat was bought and paid for with out-of-state money, I couldn’t help but ask the question… Is Clergy for Educational Options another prop-up group funded from out-of-state? Is it just another Rich-funded SCRG affiliate?
Or is this finally an independent, authentic, grass roots voice for voucher-izing the
Gervais wonders, and you should too.