Monday, January 23, 2017

City Paper with a long article on Ashley Carter, new Tea Party-aligned school board member

I wrote a few times during the campaign about Ashley Carter, who ran a pretty innocuous campaign for Board of Education -- she was for smaller classes, closing achievement gaps and the like. If you recall, her website didn't have much detail about her proposals or herself.

And for good reason -- the City Paper has a long article about Carter, talking about her campaign and how she hid her true political leanings to win the election against incumbent Mary Lord. And it worked. Carter, it turns out, supports Donald Trump and is very conservative. She worked on far-right Ken Cuccinelli's Virginia governor campaign, who fought against climate science, gay rights (who he called "perverted"), abortion rights, gun control, and more as Virginia's attorney general. He also tried to ban divorce.

Her day job, which was described on her campaign site as "a nonprofit for women and families" was with the Independent Women's Forum and Independent Women's Voice, both right wing organizations that the Nation magazine described as "doing the Koch brothers' dirty work." The IWF was founded to support the candidacy of Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court and the IWV is a PAC founded later.

Kellyanne Conway is on the board of the IWF, for example, and the group has advocated against Obamacare, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, food stamps, Title IX, and many other things. Carter spoke at a Women for Trump event and during her campaign someone using her account on a message board called her opponent "old and crazy" who "dressed like an old homeless lady" and had a "turkey neck." She's also a Republican, not mentioned by her campaign -- one in which Hillary Clinton received 94% of the city's vote.

The IWF is also in favor of school choice (i.e. public money for private schools), supports the positions of Betsy Devos, the Trump nominee for Secretary of Education, and opposed to the Women's Educational Equity Act, passed in 1974 prevent gender discrimination in schools. The IWF's website is also full of articles critical of public schools and in favor of private and charter schools.

It isn't clear what Carter stands for in particular, and what she thinks about supporting public schools versus school choice or charter schools. I reached out to Carter asking for more info on these and other issues and she didn't respond.

But to her credit, she campaigned hard. She had a slick website and a number of my friends voted for her because she was out talking to people, something her opponent Mary Lord did not do. After they found out what she stood for, they were not happy. Carter also had a big budget, with the majority of her donors coming from outside DC, according to the city's campaign finance site -- a little fishy, if you ask me.

In the City Paper article, Carter says she ran as a non-partisan candidate and won because she appealed to people who are disenfranchised and didn't like the current system.

So we'll see what Carter will do now. If you have kids or care about DC schools, contact her and tell her what you want to see. If you don't support the IWF's policies, tell her that. Her email is ashley.carter@dc.gov and the Board of Education's phone number is (202) 741-0888 if you'd like to talk to her. Here's the board's website.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

How was she 'hiding her true political leanings' if she was speaking at Trump events and the details of her employment were easily Google-able? Maybe she didn't mention she was Republican because the city is one that votes 94% in one direction. (That's also a little fishy, if you ask me)

Andrew W said...

That was the City Paper's quote, but she definitely didn't include it on her campaign. She actually made the same argument in the CP article.