‘By 2013, Gina Raimondo had raised more than $2 million, a staggering sum for a still-undeclared Gubernatorial candidate in a thimble-size state. Donors from Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital and JPMorgan Chase showered her with money, with more than $247,000 coming from New York contributors alone. A shadowy 501(c)4 public-advocacy group called, EngageRI was especially created for her run for Treasurer – spending $740,000 promoting Raimondo’s ‘national’ pension reform agenda, of which her husband, Andy Moffit is still a board member.
Immediately upon assuming office in 2011, Raimondo spearheaded a plan to move billions of dollars of pension money into higher-risk, higher-fee alternative investments, resulting in Rhode Island paying higher fees to Wall Street.
At the time, The Providence Journal reported that the move generated roughly $70 million in fees for the financial industry — the same industry that had made major contributions to Raimondo’s political campaigns. Also, according to GoLocalProv, documents from the Treasurer’s office showed that before Raimondo took office, Rhode Island “investment fees were among the lowest of any state pension fund in the country,” but that “under Raimondo, the cost of investment fees nearly tripled.” A union-financed investigation estimated that fees increased almost 700 percent under her brief control.
According to the Journal , some of those fees from the $7.7 billion Rhode Island pension system are paid to Point Judith, a financial firm created by Raimondo that Rhode Island loaned money to under the previous treasurer, Frank Caprio (D) – for her to start. Raimondo’s personal blind trust fund still periodically earns income from its Point Judith holdings. However, Raimondo’s spokesperson told IBTimes that the Treasurer has taken all “recommended steps to assure that potential conflicts of interest would be avoided during her administration.”
No one knew that part of Raimondo’s strategy for saving money involved handing more than $1 billion – 14 percent of the state fund – to hedge funds, including a trio of well-known New York-based funds: Dan Loeb’s Third Point Capital was given $66 million, Ken Garschina’s Mason Capital got $64 million and $70 million went to Paul Singer’s Elliott Management. The funds now stand collectively to be paid tens of millions in management fees every single year by the already overburdened taxpayers of our flat-broke state.
Still, the confluence of new investments, increased fees, below-average returns for Rhode Island taxpayers and Wall Street campaign contributions inevitably raised questions. Seeking to investigate the pension investment shift initiated by Raimondo, the Providence Journal in April of 2013 asked Rhode Island’s government to release details of deals between the state’s public pension system and major financial firms. Raimondo’s office denied and fought the request.
So, why did Raimondo fight so hard to keep secret the hedge fund managers compensations?
“Major Wall Street firms have poured campaign contributions and sent lobbyists into states where they have pension business. According to the Institute on Money in State Politics, the intertwined relationships are perhaps easiest to see in Rhode Island, where the state treasurer’s office openly demands secrecy as a way to protect the financial industry, which in turn spent big on Raimondo’s political campaigns.”
The New York Times reported that in the few years since Raimondo assumed office, “the Rhode Island pension system has ramped up its investments in hedge funds, private equity and venture capital from zero to almost $2 billion, or more than one-quarter of its assets under management.”
A 2013 Maryland Public Policy Institute report found that “state pension systems that pay the most for Wall Street money management get some of the worst investment returns” — and Rhode Island seems a case in point. As the Times noted, Raimondo’s move has delivered below average returns for Rhode Island’s pension fund, but has been a fee jackpot for the financial industry.
SHE SHOULDN’T BE ELECTED…SHE SHOULD BE INDICTED!
‘Not only did Rhode Island’s middle-class workers lose huge chunks of their retirement money to huckster financiers, but they were forced to sit by and watch helplessly as Loeb or scorched-earth takeover artists like Bain Capital were put in charge of their retirement savings.’
“It’s a scam of almost unmatchable balls and cruelty…”
BUT WAIT…IT GETS BETTER!
Before the pension trial even begins (conveniently scheduled for after the election), Gina’s Wall Street financiers liked so much what she was able to do for them as Treasurer, they now need her to move up to the Governorship – so she can wield greater havoc in implementing their next globalist agenda in taking over our public educational system along with her husband – Andy Moffit, a key principle of McKinsey and Company.
A key player in all areas of so-called educational reform, (her husband) Andy Moffit of McKinsey has situated himself to be the delivery boy, and financial recipient of billions of education dollars for that delivery. Although Gina would have us believe that hubby is a teacher – as in classroom.
Those involved in the charade of education reform know the names of the elite (aka Billionaire’s boys club) like Rhee, Murdoch, Broad, Walton, and Gates. But there is another BIG key player: McKinsey and Company, the most powerful “behind the scenes” operation you’ve most likely never heard of, but its stake in the game of education reform is huge.
However, in reality. if you peel back the layers of legislation, policy, reports from “think tanks,” relationships between and across education “non profits,” and political wrangling you will find the central players: the same folks who brought you the financial crisis of 2008 now – behind the scenes – spear heading education reform, along with billionaire’s selling new technological materials. There are two central themes to all of this: Profit (to them) and surveillance (of our children). Profits to be made in surveillance disguised as accountability, and surveillance is used to make profits. Privatization disguised as “choice.”
So, If you think that Treasurer Gina Raimondo becoming a Governor is somehow going to make her treat public employees and taxpayers in Rhode Island with the same respect as she has for her Wall Street friends. Think again. The evidence suggests it would only get worse… much worse.
So, Let’s look at the evidence. Why Rhode Island? Ask husband of Gina Raimondo, (democratic candidate for R.I. governor in 2014, architect of R.I.’s reduced pensions for teachers, former hedge-funder and darling of neo-liberals) Andy Moffit who specializes in school projects for McKinsey. In education reform, McKinsey & Company appears to be a kind of Skull and Bones club, with the McKinsey firm involved directly and with former McKinsey employees in key roles.
Their names can frequently be seen in the white papers of non-profits and other institutions with a statement like, “According a study done by McKinsey and Co. …” Their studies have laid the groundwork for perpetuating the greatest heist of our generation: the theft of childhood and public education. And they have enormous financial interests as well.
Former McKinsey partners can be seen cast across the constellation of education reform efforts. David Coleman, one of the main architects of the National Common Core Standards, was a former partner at McKinsey. Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Advisor for Pearson is a former McKinsey and Co partner, and Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal, who formed policies to privatize public education for the entire state of Louisiana, along with Rupert Murdoch who has undue influence on data collection via testing in k-12 education.
But Murdoch isn’t the only hedge-fund, venture capitalist, free market, data-collecting giant on the block. Meet Andy Moffit’s BFF’s at McKinsey & Company. Murdoch’s Wireless Generation (funded by Gates) who joined his consulting firm McKinsey, which led the first reorganization of Moffit’s Children’s First in 2003 (which included dissolving the district structure-contrary to law-and totally writing off and banning parent input).
Andy Moffit of McKinsey Management Consulting hires the elite to serve the elite. According to one report “McKinsey has a reputation for prioritizing profits over people, and for doing so opaquely and without public accountability.” Sound familiar? Yes, that is the same mo we’ve come to know of Raimondo in protecting the elite of Wall Street whether in hedge funds or 38 Studio bonds, the philosophy is the same.
While their finger prints can be found everywhere in educational “research” and education policy, the constellation of influence cast by their key players are conveniently located in necessary “hot spots” of educational reform. McKinsey and Co. was a key provider for research and support for the voucher model system as early as 2008 and their philosophy on education reform comes right out of a playbook by ALEC.
McKinsey & Company has followed the steps to privatize public education to the letter. First, use “research” to create a crisis. Then, promise to bring solutions to this crisis, advocating the “need” for more data. They then become the central warehouse for storing and using that data for their own purposes. There is a great deal of money to be made by McKinsey and the clients they serve every step of the way. And there is great power in being the holder of that data. The goal is to place public data, test scores from children among the most valuable data sets, into private hands for corporate profit and control.
And who are their clients? Not children. They do not provide services for us. Our children are providing services for them.
This data is needed to propel education into a free market enterprise, where hedge fund managers (once stuffing their faces at the trough of the housing and banking markets) now feed off of education. They use brilliant marketing strategies, using key terms to sell their markets and services under false pretenses. For example, streamlined data collection via online learning (which benefits for-profit online educational companies like Connections Academy and Bill Gates) is marketed as “individualized learning.” School turnarounds, using vouchers and corporate model charter schools, are promoted in the name of “equity” and “access” (never mind that this surge of charter schools has increased racial segregation in many cities). Uniform and accessible data sets needed to create big data sets, created through a National Common Core, standardized testing, and the Teacher Professional Assessment (all in contracts with Pearson) are touted in the names of “accountability” and “quality control.”
But the Common Core and the mandatory standardized tests, as profitable as they are, are not the ends. They are the means. The ends are much larger. The ends lie with owning personal student data. And this is their area of greatest expertise.
“What will it mean for these state-level data systems when these tests are all nationalized through the Common Core? It seems as if we will then have, in effect, a nationwide data system with detailed information about every single person enrolled in a public school.”
Hedge fund managers love this stuff too. “Some of the best brains and biggest names in the hedge fund industry have put their philanthropic might behind charter schools in an attempt to redefine public school education in the U.S., giving millions of dollars to the effort.” They need those big data sets provided by McKinsey, because “in this world, measurements, reporting and data, including the notion of philanthropic return on investment, count.”
As the New York Times states: “Charters have attracted benefactors from many fields. But it is impossible to ignore that in New York, hedge funds are at the movement’s epicenter.”
Privatization is their goal and a compelling reason why Gina Raimondo wants to be Governor. Because once again, she can use the power of that office for her private gain if she is elected
THE ONLY THING STATE DEPARTMENTS OF EDUCATION PROVIDE ANYMORE IS THE MONEY (TAX DOLLARS) AND THE BODIES (OUR CHILDREN).
State Departments of Education will be the vehicle through which corporations can be handed millions of children. If the latest corporate brain child, the e-learning craze, is any indicator, teachers and schools will no longer even be needed– just a child with a corporate-owned product or service in their hands, spitting back endless streams of personal data which the corporations can then use to sell the children even more of their products, and sell their personal information to other corporate entities who can use that data to serve their own ends.
In their promotional flyer “Transforming Learning through mEducation”McKinsey and Co. promote the values of hand held and mobile devices so that they can now have direct access to children as the consumers of their learning products with no messy overhead or interference from a teacher, peers, or a community of learners. They state “the market for mEducation products and services today is worth 3.4 billion dollars.” They add that, “By 2020, mEducation may address up to 70 billion” of the anticipated 8 trillion dollars spent globally.
What I discovered was how deeply entrenched the free market ideology of education reform has in common with the efforts of the World Bank. And clearly, they have the political and financial power to get pretty much whatever they want.
McKinsey and Company plays a deeply influential role in shaping education reform in this country. The links between McKinsey and the World Bank, by individuals and by sharing of education-related research and recommendations, are too many to mention. But this one statement here suggests much about their possible motives:
“McKinsey & Company conducted a series of surveys to discover how shareholders perceive and, importantly, value corporate governance in both developed and emerging markets. Undertaken in co-operation with the World Bank and the Institutional Investor’s regional institutes, the surveys gathered responses about investment intentions from over 200 institutional investors, who together manage approximately US$3.25 trillion in assets. Forty percent of the respondents were based in the U.S.”
So this might explain some of the World Bank’s interest in connecting U.S education reform to the global education reform agenda. And mind you, large globs of unified, large-scale, systematic, and consistent data are needed to “manage” education as a source of “big data”– to manage education as a private investment. The National Common Core Standards, the collection of student data into the hands of third party private corporations.
Such third party groups are not only the makers of learning products. Other interested parties in “big data” include the Department of Defense (note their direct influence on overseeing the national common core standards, discipline records, and drop-out rates), insurance companies (ever wondered what State Farm’s interest was in contributing huge sums to promote the Common Core? It’s big data baby), and the prison pipeline (hell, they already anticipate how many prisons to build based on the test scores of third graders, so is this really a stretch to imagine?).
The Department of Defense contracts with McKinsey & Company as well. The Department of Defense has expressed direct involvement with the collecting and tracking of all student data as is indicated by their participation in GradNation, and calling for a “national security audit.”
Our children’s futures, their education, and our tax dollars (funneled through “vouchers”) are now being used as the latest playthings of billionaires whose previous toys, banking and real estate, are now broken. And those policies and practices which broke those systems, but continue to line their pockets, are now being transposed onto educational policy. And McKinsey, safely pocketed in central locations within Pearson, The National Common Core, charter schools, and higher education, will be able to deliver education to them on a silver platter.
Every test our children take, every ounce of data we allow them to collect on our children, our teachers and our future teachers in universities, serve as the noose we hand them to hang us with. And we pay them for the service of being able to hang us.
So here we are: following the end of federal funding in 2014 with Gina Raimondo ironically running for Governor, while her husband, Andy Moffit is positioned to make billions from public education takeovers with his company – McKinsey Consulting. Ironic? I think not.
Raimondo and hubby give new meaning to “special interests”!!
Because many of the same names are associated through the generous contributions to Gina’s political endevors that are also tied to her husband’s professional endevors, it is impossible to tell if she is being paid to perform for special interests while she has been holding public office?
Understand, outsiders are running this election who represent the dark side of politics – the influential and powerful elites who not only think they can buy your votes with their money, but our educational system too!
It’s laughable to think that any Rhode Islander can imagine for an instance that Gina or her husband Andy who’s annual base income is almost $600,000. care a rats ass about any of us or our children. They only care about big money and the power it personally brings them. They represent the 1 percent of the 1 percent! They do not know our stories or the struggles of our lives – nor do they care to.
How much more do we need to witness? How much more can we bear to take? How much more can we be insulted, until we wake up…
AND TELL THEM TO GO AWAY ON NOVEMBER 4TH!
If you need more information, please read the full articles and the fine print. As they say, “the devil’s in the details.”