Friday, August 8, 2014

Progressive Groups Launch Campaign To Paint Campbell Brown As A "Right-Wing Elitist"

The former CNN host has become a high-profile activist for charter schools and against teacher tenure.

Campbell Brown / Via Facebook: OfficialCampbellBrown

Progressive groups in New York are launching a targeted attack campaign Friday against education activist and former CNN host Campbell Brown in an effort to discredit her as she pursues a legal challenge to teacher tenure.

The campaign, dubbed "The Real Campbell Brown," attempts to bash Brown for her ties to charter school advocate and former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, her marriage to Republican political operative Dan Senor, and for dodging questions on Stephen Colbert's show about her donors.

Over the last year or so, Brown has become a high-profile activist for charter schools in New York, and against teacher tenure and other protections for unionized teachers, including those given to teachers accused of sexual abuse. Brown and her group Partnership for Educational Justice recently helped several parents file a lawsuit seeking to gut teacher tenure in New York, similar to the Supreme Court decision earlier this year that dismantled teacher tenure in California. The lawsuit has earned the ire of progressives nationwide over the past few weeks, but this campaign is the first focused attack from leading local groups with strong ties to teachers unions and the de Blasio administration.

"Teachers always used to say follow the money — I so totally get that right now," said Zakiyah Ansari, advocacy director for the Alliance for Quality Education, one of the chief groups leading the campaign. "The people that have the money are pushing this agenda. And we have to call that out."

Though Ansari served on Mayor Bill de Blasio's transition team, she says his administration isn't involved with their efforts against Brown.

Along with AQE the campaign is also run by New York Communities for Change, the advocacy group that replaced the now-defunct ACORN.

"It's about time the world sees the real Campbell Brown for who she is: a right-wing elitist with zero credibility on education," said Renata Pumarol, who is helping run the campaign and also runs communications at NYCC.

Along with the report, the campaign launched a website and parody Twitter account to mock her.

From the campaign:

From the campaign:

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