Corrupt Politicians and Tools of the Gulen Movement

Corrupt Politicians and Tools of the Gulen Movement
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Gulen Charter Schools- Tennesse follows Oklahoma for amendment for charter schools

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A conservative group that has warned of the growing influence of Islam is promoting a bill that would limit how many legal immigrants charter schools can hire, drawing opposition from charter school and immigrant groups.
The Tennessee Eagle Forum, an organization that has criticized U.S. immigration policy and last year pushed for passage of the so-called “Shariah bill,” is pressing Tennessee lawmakers to pass legislation that would cap the number of foreign workers charter schools can hire.
The bill has drawn bipartisan support but has raised the concerns of charter school advocacy and immigrant rights organizations, which say it would place unfair and unnecessary limits on who can be hired or volunteer with charter schools.
The Putting Tennessee First Act, which is scheduled to be heard in two committees this week, makes no reference to religion. But it comes amid worries from some groups about the involvement of Islamic organizations in running charter schools elsewhere in the country, although there are no such schools in Tennessee.
The measure, Senate Bill 3345, says chartering authorities may not approve schools that plan to have more than 3.5 percent of their staff made up of legal immigrants with visa work permits. The bill also calls on authorities to revoke schools’ charters later if they exceed the cap, and it requires schools to disclose the source of all donations from overseas.
There is no record of any schools in Tennessee exceeding that limit, in part because records aren’t maintained on employees’ nationality.
The Tennessee Eagle Forum, which drafted the bill, is affiliated with the Eagle Forum, a national organization that wants to reduce the number of visas available to foreign-born workers and opposes the use of textbooks that it sees as favorable to Islam.
Last year, the Tennessee Eagle Forum urged lawmakers to pass the Material Support to Designated Entities Act, which would have declared some followers of Shariah to be terrorists. Muslim groups vigorously opposed the bill, arguing that Shariah covers a broad set of Islamic traditions, many of which have nothing to do with warfare or secular law.
Legislators later stripped out references to religion.
Like the Material Support to Designated Entities Act, this latest bill is sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tempore Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, and Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro.
Supporters say the measure is meant to encourage the hiring of Tennessee and American-born teachers by charter schools.
“The state of Tennessee is stating a preference that charter schools look to hire U.S. and Tennessee workers as a priority,” said Joanne Bregman, an attorney for the Tennessee Eagle Forum.
But charter school advocates fear the bill’s broad provisions could limit the ability of schools to hire the best instructors. Immigrant groups, meanwhile, fear it could limit participation in charter schools by people living in immigrant communities.
“The intent of this bill is really to put up barriers for anyone with a foreign background to be involved with working at charter schools,” said Remziya Suleyman, director of policy and administration for the American Center for Outreach, a Nashville-based group that lobbies on behalf of Muslims. “The tendency already is that it’s very difficult to get immigrants and refugees to participate.”
Concerns over Islam
The effort comes amid concerns about the involvement of Islamic organizations in charter schools. The Gulen movement, which is affiliated with the moderate Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, operates 120 charter schools in 25 states.
Some critics say the group improperly mixes religion and state government. A New York Times investigation last year questioned whether businesses tied to the movement had profited from the charter schools.
Ketron said ties between charter schools and the Gulen movement or other Islamic groups were not among his reasons for bringing the bill.
“Not at this point, no,” he said.
But Sen. Jim Summerville, R-Dickson, said after discussing the measure with Ketron, he believes worries that Islamist groups might infiltrate charter schools do appear to be among its backers’ motivations.
“I said I’ll help him bring it to the floor,” he said. “I’m not sure whether I’ll vote for it.”
The bill is scheduled to come up for discussion today in the House Education Committee and Wednesday in the Senate Education Committee, which decided to bring the measure back up for discussion after initially rejecting it last week.
Opposition has come from some Republican members of the Senate, who argue the measure unnecessarily hampers charter schools and might violate federal education and immigration laws.
They also have raised philosophical objections to the bill.
“If people are here legally and legally qualified for a job, I have no problem with them,” said Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville. “That’s what America is all about.”
Democrats have expressed little opposition to the bill. Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Lowe Finney, D-Jackson, and House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, have filed a bill that is similar to the measure filed by Ketron and Matheny.
But any proposal to limit foreign-born workers is opposed by the Tennessee Charter School Association. The group says its members would have to trace the source of every donation it receives to satisfy the bill’s reporting requirement, and they would have little recourse if they were accused of not doing so.
The group also questioned the need for the legislation.
Of the state’s 52 charter schools, none is backed by an overseas government or entity, said Matt Throckmorton, the group’s executive director. He urged the Senate Education Committee to study the matter further.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rep Cannaday of Oklahoma sheds light on Gulen Charter Schools

This blog would like to congratulate Rep. Cannaday of Oklahoma for taking a stance against the Gulen Charter Schools.  Enough is enough, American politicians stand up for American teaching jobs.

Cannaday Amendment Attempts to Shine Light on Charter School Practices
State of Oklahoma
House of Representatives
March 14, 2012
Representative Ed Cannaday
State Capitol Building Rm. 539B
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
Contact: Eric Russell
Cannaday Amendment Attempts to Shine Light on Charter School Practices
OKLAHOMA CITY (March 14, 2012) In response to the conduct and execution of taxpayer-funded charter schools, such as bypassing Oklahoma teachers to hire teachers from overseas, Representative Ed Cannaday has filed an amendment to HB 3130 to address these concerns.
The Democrat from Porum has filed an amendment that all charter schools that hire teachers on a H-1B temporary worker visa must file a report with the Oklahoma Department of Education showing proof of recruitment efforts to first hire qualified Oklahoma or U.S. residents.
“I find it hard to believe that given all the Oklahomans with bachelor’s degrees in education, and with the loss of public education jobs due to budget cuts, that any charter school is unable to scout out a teacher in our state and must therefore recruit teachers from the country of Turkey to fill these positions,” said Rep. Cannaday.
These comments reference the four Oklahoma charter schools that employ about 15 percent of their teachers from overseas using temporary nonimmigrant work visas. These schools are privately run by the Sky Foundation, but funded with state tax dollars.
Of the 149 teachers employed at these four charter schools in Oklahoma, 22 are here on H-1B visas.
Federal law allows employers unable to find qualified American employees to fill positions with foreign labor through a visa application process.
Two of the schools are in Oklahoma City: Dove Science Academy, grades six to 12, and Dove Science Academy Elementary, grades kindergarten to fifth. The other two schools are in Tulsa: Dove Science Academy, grades six to 12, and Discovery School of Tulsa, grades kindergarten to eighth.
The superintendent of the four Sky Foundation schools in Oklahoma, Kaan Camuz, said of 35 teachers at Dove Science Academy, 11 are from Turkey, Russia, Turkmenistan or Azerbaijan.
“I know these schools claim that there is a shortage of math and science teachers, so they allege that their only option is to recruit from overseas. Of interest is that the majority of these teachers come from Turkey, the home country of the founders of these charter schools,” said Rep. Cannaday.
More than 120 charter schools nationwide, including the four Sky Foundation schools, were founded by Turkish nationals.
“Turkish teachers are displacing Oklahoman and American teachers, and on the taxpayers’ dime, to boot! I don’t believe they are really making efforts to bring on board local teachers, and as a former educator I am insulted that they make claims when applying for the federal visas that they were unable to find a single qualified candidates from not just our state but in our entire nation!”
According to the US Department of Labor, secondary school teachers were the 5th highest occupation for H-1B visas granted in Oklahoma in 2010.
Rep. Cannaday’s amendment further requires charter schools on the needs improvement list for three consecutive years to have their contract terminated or denied renewal.
“Charter schools receive state funding the same way public schools do. One charter middle school in particular has been on the needs improvement list for three years now, and given that by definition charter schools do not have to adhere to many of the mandates that public schools do, I find it unacceptable that any taxpayer dollars are being funneled to charter schools that can’t meet the bare minimum.”
Unlike public schools, charter schools do not have to require that teachers have valid teaching licenses or certificates, that teacher assistants have a high school diploma, or that students are enrolled in a minimum of six periods of rigorous instruction. Neither do they have to require that the high school offer the mandated 38 units of credit, or have a graduation policy that requires the minimum 23 units or sets of competencies.
Of the 22 charter schools in Oklahoma, 3 were on the Needs Improvement List in 2011: the Justice Alma Wilson SeeWorth Academy in OKC, the Santa Fe South Elementary School and the Santa Fe South Middle School.
The Santa Fe South Middle School has been on the Needs Improvement List every year since 2008, which is considered consistently low performing.
For Fiscal Year 2011 the total state allocations for charter schools was $32,183,444.
“I hope to shed some light on those charter schools that receive public dollars but have very little accountability or oversight in areas that I deem important to me as an educator, a lawmaker, and a father and grandfather. We too often praise charter schools while demonizing public schools, and unfortunately, many people just don’t know what we’ve allowed charter schools to get away with, all on the taxpayer dole.”

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gulen Movement politician Jean Schmidt REMOVED from office- Warning to politicians Gulen Movement hazardous to your career

For eight years, Rep. Jean Schmidt had been doing a political highwire act. Tuesday, she fell off, with no net to catch her.
Brad Wenstrup, a podiatrist and Iraq war veteran who made his mark three years ago with a respectable showing as a mayoral candidate in heavily Democratic Cincinnati, ousted her from the 2nd Congressional District seat she has held since 2005 with an impressive and improbable win. It left political pros all over the district scratching their heads over how it happened.
“I was stunned; I can’t deny it,” said Hamilton County Republican Party chairman Alex Triantafilou, who convinced Wenstrup to run for mayor three years ago when no one else in the party was willing to take on Democratic incumbent Mark Mallory. “The man is a juggernaut.”
In that heavily Republican district, which includes most of eastern Hamilton County, all of Clermont, Brown, Adams, and Pike counties, and parts of Scioto, Ross and Highland counties, winning the GOP nomination is tantamount to winning the general election. Which means that a Rep. Brad Wenstrup is likely to be sworn into office next January.
The question the political world of Southwest Ohio was asking Wednesday morning was “How did it happen?” The answer is a combination of factors:
A Texas political action committee pouring anti-Schmidt money into the district;
Dislike for Schmidt by tea party activists in her district;
Long-standing opposition from COAST – Citizens Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes – who have never forgiven her for voting for tax increases a decade ago when she was a state representative and Republican Bob Taft was in the governor’s office.
There was “The Kiss,” too, the televised peck on the cheek that Schmidt gave President Barack Obama as he walked down the aisle of the U.S. House last month to deliver his State of the Union address. The Wenstrup campaign turned that moment into a radio commercial that managed to tie the conservative Republican congresswoman to a president who is anathema to most die-hard Republican voters.
“It bothered me in previous years when she just wrangled herself to get his autograph at the State of the Union, so you can imagine how I feel about the peck on the cheek,” said 58-year-old voter Paul Dierks of Tate Township in Clermont County. “I say, ‘Do your job, stand by your principles and represent me.’
“Rep. Schmidt also happened to be a person who did what the party establishment directed her to do,” Dierks said, “instead of what she may or may not have thought was right.”
Then there was her long-standing feud with David Krikorian of Madeira, who lost the Democratic nomination Tuesday by a hair to William R. Smith of Waverly in Pike County – a candidate who didn’t campaign and whom Democratic party leaders in the district say they have never met. That race was so close there may be a recount.
Krikorian and his lawyer, COAST activist Chris Finney, pushed for and got a House Ethics Committee investigation into Schmidt for accepting $500,000 in legal representation from lawyers for the Turkish American Coalition in her defamation suit against Krikorian. The suit stemmed from statements Krikorian, an Armenian-American, made about Schmidt’s accepting “blood money” from Turkish interests in exchange for a vote against declaring the 1914 slaughter of millions of Armenians by the Turks genocide.
The House Ethics Committee concluded she broke no laws, but told her she needed to pay back the money.
Krikorian told The Enquirer on Wednesday: “Sometimes elected officials get fired, and the people fired her yesterday.”
Barrett Brunsman, Schmidt’s spokesman, did not respond to an email requesting an interview with Schmidt.
Most important, perhaps, she had a candidate running against her who appealed to voters as someone new, different and attractive.
“I looked at Brad Wenstrup and decided that it was his time,” said John Simon, a 61-year-old Republican voter from Madeira. “I had always voted for Jean, although she really didn’t do much for me. I give her credit for standing her ground against all the attacks she had over the years, but it was time for someone new.”
Wenstrup’s military service – he served in Iraq as head of a military hospital at Abu Ghraib – appealed to Vietnam veteran Simon.
What Wenstrup did Tuesday night was as rare in American politics as a four-leaf clover – a challenger beating an incumbent member of Congress in a party primary. The key was Schmidt’s home county, Clermont. Wenstrup managed to defeat the Miami Township Republican in her home county, her political base. And not by a little bit: he won Clermont County with 50 percent of the vote to Schmidt’s 41 percent.
Dave Lane, chairman of the Clermont County Democratic Party, said he could “smell it in the air” that Schmidt might lose Tuesday when he made the rounds of county polling places and saw the relatively small turnout – about 25 percent countywide.
“Jean and I have disagreed about nearly everything over the years, but I had to admire her when she stood up to (Ohio Gov. John) Kasich and his stupidity and insisted that we get federal help to the people in this county who were devastated by the tornadoes,” Lane said. “I thought that would help her, but it was too late.”
Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann, a Schmidt ally, said he believes Schmidt made the almost always fatal mistake of “taking the race for granted.”
“I didn’t see the kind of aggressive campaign from her that I would have expected,” Hartmann said. “I just think she thought she had it.... I was with a group of eight Republicans (Tuesday), and not one saw her losing that race.”
Except, that is, for Brad Wenstrup.
He racked up an impressive list of endorsements from tea party organizations in and out of the district, including the Anderson Tea Party, Clermont Liberty PAC, the Ohio Liberty Council.
“I talked to tea party people early on and told them that I supported the basic beliefs of their movement, and they asked me if I considered myself a tea party person,” Wenstrup said. “I told them I wanted them to consider themselves Wenstrup people because I was reaching out to a lot of people.”
COAST leaders organized fundraisers for Wenstrup.
Then there was the contribution of a Texas-based political action committee called Campaign for Primary Accountability, which targets incumbent members of Congress – Democrat and Republican – in supposedly safe districts. The PAC spent nearly $65,000 blanketing the district with radio ads, phone calls and emails urging Schmidt’s defeat.
“She had a lot of people lined up against her,” said Clermont County Republican Party chairman Tim Rudd, a Schmidt ally. His party’s central committee – about 40 percent of which are tea party members – could not get a majority vote to endorse her in the primary.
“I knew it was a possibility that she would lose,” Rudd said, “but I thought it was an outside possibility. But apparently, the people of the district wanted change and they got it.”
Reporter Deidre Shesgreen contributed.
Report on Jean Schmidt labeled the more corrupt politician in Congress

Gulen Movement Politicians- They missed the news of McGee's Senate Exit

John McGee

by Associated Press
Posted on March 8, 2012 at 10:02 AM

BOISE -- A Turkish group promoting stronger cultural ties to America with educational trips for state legislators to places like Istanbul and Ankara was forced to delete former Sen. John McGee from its host committee for an upcoming Idaho Capitol luncheon. Pacifica Institute representative Coskun Kariparduc said Wednesday he wasn't previously aware the Caldwell Republican resigned in February amid sexual harassment allegations. Last September, McGee was on one of the group's Turkish excursions for legislators -- an event that became widely known in Idaho only because McGee posted to Facebook that he and his wife were unscathed by an explosion in Ankara. Kariparduc's organization, with ties to the moderate Muslim spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen, is hosting a March 14 luncheon in the Capitol rotunda