ADVERTISEMENT

Quinn’s campaign funding doesn’t bode well for schools

Like bad pennies, circulating elites keep turning up. Those revolving doors of business leadership, political appointments and political campaigns often bring out some of the same well-financed faces.

So it is with Larry Quinn, now a well-funded School Board candidate. The News reports that his “contributors included a Who’s Who of some of the most influential business leaders in the community.”

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is in his corner. He secured $3,000 from teacher union enemy Michelle Rhee’s organization, Students First. In addition to his own $5,000, Quinn received $10,000 from two members of the Rich family – Melinda, who gave $5,000, and Robert Rich Jr., who also gave $5,000. Quinn received $5,000 from B. Thomas Golisano, $1,000 from Carl J. Montante, president of Uniland Development, and $1,000 from Robert and Sally Gioia.

Why does Quinn’s campaign financing resemble a Buffalo-scale Citizens’ United political power buy?

Surely, parents cannot be blamed for wanting their children to be well-educated. But, in my opinion, if elected, Quinn will join an anti-Buffalo Teachers Federation, anti-Superintendent Pamela Brown, pro-school privatization cabal that will not benefit the vast majority of Buffalo’s students. I believe that these folks and certain of their allies in the broader community are focused on looting the social property built up in the public schools over generations in order to convert them into charter schools, and eventual sources of private profit.

The $34,000 spent on Quinn might not seem that much. Still, with Buffalo’s unemployment and underemployment, $34,000 spent on a School Board candidate is a big deal. Quinn’s campaign spending, like that of Chris Jacobs before him, expresses big money hubris, which doesn’t bode well for our local democracy.

Gene Grabiner

Buffalo