Corporate bosses against school vouchers

Douglas Hanson
WOAI radio, the flagship station of San Antionio-based media giant Clear Channel media, reports  that a powerful group of businessmen and former politicians have embarked on a project to fight school vouchers in the state of Texas.  The group proclaims that the idea is to fix what's wrong with the public schools, but the mechanism to accomplish this, is,
...to spread the message of the dangers that vouchers would do to the public schools.
The advisory board of the new group includes several heavy hitters in the South Texas corporate arena, such as HEB grocery chain Chairman Charles Butt.  Butt's net worth is over $2 billion; and has a long history of charitable giving including large contributions to help develop cures for diseases and other scientific research.

He has also given much of his pre-tax earnings to public education; an interesting choice of a "charity."  Butt has also given money to anti-school choice groups such as Texas Parent PAC.  He gave at least $133,000 to the group because we are told that he supports public education.  In reality, Butt and the PAC are fighting tooth and nail to prevent Texas taxpayers from having a say where their tax dollars should go to educate their children.

AT&T Chairman Ed Whitacre is also on the group's advisory board.  In a word, he has reversed the telecom breakup binge by successfully re-merging the "baby Bells" into the largest telecom company in the world.

On the other side of the battle line leading the fight for school vouchers is KCI Chairman, Dr. Jim Leininger.  A physician, Leininger founded Kinetic Concepts, Inc. (KCI), which initially specialized in manufacturing a critical care bed that gradually rotates patients from side to side to help prevent fluid build-up in the lungs.  In 1979, on the verge of bankruptcy, Dr. Leininger had a renewal of his Christian faith, and then,
...two key investors came forward and poured finances into KCI.  This investment pulled KCI back from the brink of bankruptcy and created a sudden, dramatic increase in sales.
Today, he still credits his faith in God, and God's faith in him for the miraculous turnaround in fortunes.  Dr. Leininger went on to found almost 50 other businesses and organizations.

Make no mistake; he is the main target of anti-voucher groups in Texas.  Carolyn Boyle, the chairwoman of Texas Parent PAC said,
"It's mostly head-to-head - Leininger and us."
Corporate heads falling in line with leftist causes is nothing new, but it still boggles the mind that those who have supposedly prospered within a free market capitalist system would turn on that same market in favor of increased government control.  Those of us who have elected to educate our children in private schools continue to pay twice for education.  Once for a generally superior product; and again via property taxes for a service that is rife with mediocrity at best.  Of course, people like Charles Butt and Ed Whitacre would never tolerate this situation in their own corporation; and for them to fight for this unjust status quo is the height of hypocrisy.

This is a clear indicator of how far we have perverted our representative democracy.  Successful corporate bosses would rather have congressmen legislate business advantages over competitors, rather than limit government intrusion into the marketplace.  One political party or the other makes little difference.  Influence must be gained with those politicians perceived to have the power to enable continued profitability of selected corporations, or to abet the bosses' long march towards corporate collectivism.

Ultimately, we allow it by voting with our pocketbook; and in the end, we'll pay for it with what is left of our freedoms.
WOAI radio, the flagship station of San Antionio-based media giant Clear Channel media, reports  that a powerful group of businessmen and former politicians have embarked on a project to fight school vouchers in the state of Texas.  The group proclaims that the idea is to fix what's wrong with the public schools, but the mechanism to accomplish this, is,
...to spread the message of the dangers that vouchers would do to the public schools.
The advisory board of the new group includes several heavy hitters in the South Texas corporate arena, such as HEB grocery chain Chairman Charles Butt.  Butt's net worth is over $2 billion; and has a long history of charitable giving including large contributions to help develop cures for diseases and other scientific research.

He has also given much of his pre-tax earnings to public education; an interesting choice of a "charity."  Butt has also given money to anti-school choice groups such as Texas Parent PAC.  He gave at least $133,000 to the group because we are told that he supports public education.  In reality, Butt and the PAC are fighting tooth and nail to prevent Texas taxpayers from having a say where their tax dollars should go to educate their children.

AT&T Chairman Ed Whitacre is also on the group's advisory board.  In a word, he has reversed the telecom breakup binge by successfully re-merging the "baby Bells" into the largest telecom company in the world.

On the other side of the battle line leading the fight for school vouchers is KCI Chairman, Dr. Jim Leininger.  A physician, Leininger founded Kinetic Concepts, Inc. (KCI), which initially specialized in manufacturing a critical care bed that gradually rotates patients from side to side to help prevent fluid build-up in the lungs.  In 1979, on the verge of bankruptcy, Dr. Leininger had a renewal of his Christian faith, and then,
...two key investors came forward and poured finances into KCI.  This investment pulled KCI back from the brink of bankruptcy and created a sudden, dramatic increase in sales.
Today, he still credits his faith in God, and God's faith in him for the miraculous turnaround in fortunes.  Dr. Leininger went on to found almost 50 other businesses and organizations.

Make no mistake; he is the main target of anti-voucher groups in Texas.  Carolyn Boyle, the chairwoman of Texas Parent PAC said,
"It's mostly head-to-head - Leininger and us."
Corporate heads falling in line with leftist causes is nothing new, but it still boggles the mind that those who have supposedly prospered within a free market capitalist system would turn on that same market in favor of increased government control.  Those of us who have elected to educate our children in private schools continue to pay twice for education.  Once for a generally superior product; and again via property taxes for a service that is rife with mediocrity at best.  Of course, people like Charles Butt and Ed Whitacre would never tolerate this situation in their own corporation; and for them to fight for this unjust status quo is the height of hypocrisy.

This is a clear indicator of how far we have perverted our representative democracy.  Successful corporate bosses would rather have congressmen legislate business advantages over competitors, rather than limit government intrusion into the marketplace.  One political party or the other makes little difference.  Influence must be gained with those politicians perceived to have the power to enable continued profitability of selected corporations, or to abet the bosses' long march towards corporate collectivism.

Ultimately, we allow it by voting with our pocketbook; and in the end, we'll pay for it with what is left of our freedoms.