Laurie Roberts


Laurie Roberts's activity stream

  • Roberts: Kochs (and Gov. Ducey) declare war on Arizona school voucher opponents

    Laurie Roberts: Arizona is 'ground zero' in the Koch brothers' battle to reshape public education in 2018.

    If you are someone who believes in the public schools – the ones that educate 95 percent of Arizona’s children …

    If you are someone who believes that tax money shouldn’t be spent to create a two-tier system of education – private schools for those of means and public ones for everybody else …

    Then it’s time to start paying attention.

    Kochs targeting school voucher vote

    Gov. Doug Ducey and his Koch brothers network of "dark money" bazillionaires have set their sights on saving Arizona’s expanded voucher law – the one that a grassroots group and 100,000 Arizona voters put on hold last year via referendum.

    The one that will be on the ballot this fall as Proposition 305, so you can decide whether you want your tax money going to fund private schools.

    The one that is now dead center in the sights of the Koch network as it prepares to spend whatever it takes – and say whatever it takes -- to ensure the expanded voucher law will stand.

    The Washington Post, invited to sit in on the Koch network’s strategy session on education at its weekend retreat, reported Tuesday that the Kochs see Arizona as 'ground zero' in their push to reshape education.

    Ducey's campaign to squash opposition

    And the general leading that push will be Gov. Doug Ducey.

    Ducey, addressing Koch donors at the weekend retreat in California, talked up the need to defeat the citizen referendum and allow the law to take effect.

    “This is a very real fight in my state,” Ducey said, according to the Post. “I didn’t run for governor to play small ball. I think this is an important idea.”

    The problem with this important idea, of course, is that this particular form of school choice isn’t really a choice at all for most people.

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  • Roberts: Time for Arizona (read:you) to stand up to dark money

    Listen up, Arizona.

    It’s time to take the law into your own hands – by changing it, so that you can see who is really running this state.

    We’ve waited a long time for Arizona’s leaders to stand up for us, to embrace the fundamental concept that we should know who is behind the dark-money campaigns that increasingly are buying this state’s elections.

    Instead, our leaders – some of them the beneficiaries of those dark-money campaigns -- have steadfastly and repeatedly refused to demand transparency in campaign spending. Anonymous interests spent more than $15 million getting the governor, Corporation Commission and Legislature they wanted in 2014, and hundreds of thousands of dollars more in the 2016 legislative races.

    And what was our leaders’ response? In 2017, they passed a law that will open the floodgates to even more dark-money spending in 2018 and beyond.

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