- Several business executives and wealthy donors helped fund groups targeting critical race theory, which was a hot-button issue during this fall’s elections, campaign finance records show.
- The fight over critical race theory, an academic concept taught primarily in college and graduate-level courses, was particularly hot in the Virginia gubernatorial race.
- One of the groups attacking critical race theory, the Fight for Schools PAC, is based in Virginia and run by a longtime GOP operative.
Several business executives and wealthy donors helped fund groups targeting critical race theory, which was a hot-button issue during this fall’s election, campaign finance records show.
Battle over Critical Race Theory, an academic concept taught primarily in college and graduate-level courses, was particularly prominent in the Virginia gubernatorial race. Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated former Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe after he insisted on banning the teaching of critical race theory in Commonwealth schools.
The battle over the concept is likely to intensify with the mid-term elections due next year. Republican officials have already indicated that education issues such as the teaching of critical race theory will be a campaign focus. Critical Race Theory, also known as CRT, is an academic approach to studying the effects of racism. Conservatives recently used the term to refer to any anti-racism discussion or even . done to describe No mention of caste in schools,
One of the groups attacking critical race theory, the Fight for Schools PAC, is based in Virginia and run by longtime GOP operative Ian Prior. “Welcome to the original revolution,” declares the group’s website as it encourages visitors to donate.
While critical race theory is the group’s primary concern, according to its website, it also states: “Schools across the country remain only partially open, students are suffering from despair and despair, and children with special needs are falling through the cracks.” Huh.”
The PAC is also supported by a number of affluent Republican financiers. businessman and beneficiary Sharon Wirts is the top donor to the PAC, contributing $11,000 to date, according to data from the Virginia Public Access Project.
According to his LinkedIn page, Properties, is Founder and CEO of FCI Federal. According to Businesshala, the company “provides operations management and professional services to federal government agencies.” He was Acquired by technology company PAE in 2017,
A website promoting the Verts Foundation says she and her partner Scott Miller have focused their philanthropic efforts on education, health care and restoring historic sites. In 2016, the couple purchased a sprawling property called Selma, which is located in Leesburg, Va. According to the local newspaper Loudown Now, They Spent About $1.2 Million To Buy Historic mansion consisting of 20 rooms.
NS couple and their house Was featured in Washington Life Magazine in 2019. He said at the time that he had spent $5 million to restore the property. Data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics shows that Verts contributed more than $44,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee in 2017, and subsequently donated to Trump’s 2020 election campaign.
Verts did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
1776 Action, a separate black money group who also opposes the Critical Race Theory and is supported by those associated with former President Donald Trump, such as Newt Gingrich and Ben Carson.has donated $10,000 to Fight for Schools PAC. The Presidential Coalition, founded by longtime Trump ally David Bossi, has given $5,000 to fight for schools.
Another anti-CRT organization, the 1776 Project PAC, has supported school board candidates in various states, including Virginia, Colorado, New Jersey, and Ohio. group was established by Writer and political commentator Ryan Girdushki,
1776 Project PAC received a $1,000 donation from Pete Farrell, president and founder of the medical device company ResMed. Eric Gray, vice president of insurance company Gray & Co, donated the same amount to the committee.
Before the Battle for the Schools, Girdusky of the 1776 project both noted in separate statements to CNBC that their committees were largely funded by small dollar donors. Records show that PAC has raised more than $735,000 combined.
“The vast majority of donations to Fight for Schools are from small dollar donors who are parents, grandparents and taxpayers who are frustrated with school boards being cooperative and accountable to their constituents – Loudon County in particular. school board,” the former told CNBC. a written message.
“As I said there were over 17,000 donors and the average donation was less than $100. To my knowledge, no one has donated more than $10,000. But it all came again either online or via direct mail And not by personal solicitation,” Girdushki told CNBC in a Twitter message.
There are many other business leaders who are helping in the financial battle for schools.
Nicole Hall, president of fundraising company HSP Direct, contributed $5,000 to the PAC in June. According to Virginia-based records, HSP Direct has been paid more than $30,000 for their services by the Fight for Schools PAC. During the 2020 election cycle, HSPs saw more than $6 million in payments from GOP campaigns and affiliated committees, according to CRP data.
Alexander Marcus, founder and managing director of fuel supply company ESI Total Fuel Management, gave $1,000 to PAC in August. Marcus did not return a LinkedIn message for comment.
Amord & Associates, a law firm that focuses on constitutional law, contributed $1,000 to the PAC in September. Firm president Jonathan Amord did not return an email seeking comment.
John Whitbeck, founder of the law firm Whitbeck Bennett, donated $1,000 to the committee in August. Whitbeck did not return calls and emails for comment.
A business leader who contributed to Fight for Schools cited COVID policies as the reason for her donation.
Pete Snyder, founder of venture capital firm Disruptor Capital and former Republican candidate for governor of Virginia, donated $2,000 to FIAT schools in July.
“Because our schools are a complete mess,” Snyder said, explaining why he contributed. “At that time our schools were closed and there was no idea to open them.”
Snyder also donated $15,000 to the OpenFCPS Coalition, a group of parents in Virginia that supports in-person learning.