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Netflix CEO and Walmart Heir influence Texas State House Races

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 25, 2022

CONTACT:
Rena Honea, Alliance/AFT, 214-796-2250,  rena@allianceaft.org
Rob D’Amico, Texas AFT, 512-627-1343, rdamico@texasaft.org

Texas AFT endorses pro-educator candidate Daniel Clayton for HD 100; anti-public school candidate Marquis Hawkins receives about $20,000 from out-of-state Charter School PACs

Dallas, TX - Educators have faced an onslaught of attacks from some state officials—all under enormous strain from low wages, an overwhelming workload, and unsafe conditions in the pandemic. At Alliance/AFT in Dallas we’ve seen the result—as a recent survey indicated that 66% of educators are considering leaving the profession. 

Fundamentally, it’s about disrespect for educators—from the state, from their districts, and now, from out-of-state billionaires trying to buy influence in local elections. This is why AFT proudly endorses Daniel Clayton for Texas House of Representatives District 100. 

Daniel Clayton has respect for educators. He’s running for State Representative in Texas House District 100 to expand Medicaid, secure more funding for public education, reform criminal justice, bring new jobs to the district, and protect our freedom to vote.  With seven years working in the Texas Senate and five years working in the Texas House for a great public education champion like Rep. Toni Rose, Daniel is the only candidate with experience working in Austin on legislative policy and knows how to get the job done.  

Alliance/AFT President Rena Honea said: “Daniel Clayton has always stood up for Dallas educators in his work in the Legislature. We’re proud to endorse him because of his leadership and vision. I am also very concerned about the dangerous money flowing from the Charter Schools Now PAC into local elections. They are spending tens of thousands of dollars to buy influence in our children’s classrooms. Daniel Clayton will fight for parents, educators, and our local community.”

New Texas Ethics disclosures show Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Jim Walton of the Walmart family invested a combined $2 million dollars for their preferred Texas political outcomes [Texas Ethics Commission: Hastings, Walton]. Charter Schools Now bought big stock in Marquis Hawkins for State House - $20,000. Hawkins also took money from Todd Williams, noted education reformer and proponent of school privatization. 

The Waltons and the Hastings are no strangers to extreme education positions and on funding the assault on public neighborhood schools. Reed Hastings supports the abolition of publicly elected school boards. He also serves on the board of charter school business KIPP and previously on Rocketship.

Texas House of Representatives candidate Daniel Clayton said:

“I will always listen to the concerns of local educators and parents in decisions about public education; I will not listen to out-of-state billionaires who want to destroy public education. I’m working for the people of Dallas and will make sure educators are respected in Austin...in their salaries, health insurance, retirement, and in their professional work. Let’s respect our educators and watch our schools flourish.”

Additional Background:

“Charter Schools Now PAC contributed $20,000 in in-kind donations and direct contributions to Marquis Hawkin’s race for State House, according to Charter Schools NOW PAC’s Feb. 22 campaign finance report covering the Jan. 21-Feb. 19 fundraising period. The contributions include political advertising, campaign consulting services, text messaging, and printing, but are strangely not present on Marquis Hawkins’ report covering the same period. We would ask the media and the Texas Ethics Commission to question why Mr. Hawkins’ ethics report is incomplete.