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Kevin Landrigan reported in today’s Nashua Telegraph that Republican operative Charles McGee helped fundraise for the Network for Educational Opportunity. Here’s the document. Notice the hyperbole and national ambitions.
Tax credit ruling
It won’t be too long before Strafford County Superior Court Judge John Lewis rules on the constitutional challenge to the education tax credit.
Even supporters of the credit are pessimistic about their chances of winning the case at this level, but confident the state Supreme Court will uphold the credits as not violating the ban on direct public aid to private or religious schools.
Meanwhile, we’ve learned a prominent Republican operative helped the effort to solicit tax credit donations, at least early on.
Email documents in the lawsuit confirmed that former GOP Executive Director Chuck McGee, a Spectrum Monthly executive, helped the Network for Education Opportunity prepare some of its marketing materials.
It isn’t shocking that New Hampshire Democratic leaders were critical of the group securing the services of McGee, who was convicted of charges for his role in the GOP phone jamming episode on Election Day 2002.
“Did Jeb Bradley and Andy Sanborn know their voucher attack on public schools was a taxpayer-funded payday for former NHGOP executive director and convicted felon Charles McGee when they defended it in the Senate last week?” Democratic Party communications director Harrell Kirstein responded in a statement.
This pitch from NEO also overstated its financial success, maintaining that $1 million in donations had already been committed.
NEO officials confirmed to state tax authorities less than a month ago that only $140,000 in donations had come in. They have maintained publicly that pledges for these tax credits are well in excess of that number, and they will show up before the June 15 deadline.
New Hampshire’s only scholarship organization is a California group called “The Alliance for the Separation of School and State.” In New Hampshire, it calls itself the “Network for Educational Opportunity,” but it’s the same group. They say their purpose is “ending government involvement in education.” In other words…privatizing public education.
The group helped write the education tax credit bill to do just that, move money from public to private schools. But even better, there was the prospect that they could make good money doing it.
The Alliance has always been a small budget operation, but it’s been getting smaller. It had almost $300,000 in donations in 2001, trailing off to less than half that a decade later.
But New Hampshire’s tax credit law was their turn-around opportunity. The law authorizes tax credits sufficient to fund $4 million in donations in the first year and $6 million in the second year. And this law that the group helped write allows the scholarship organization to take 10% out of the donations for administrative overhead.