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DFER’s Skybox View of Hillary’s Speech

By Michele McNeil — August 27, 2008 1 min read
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The Democrats for Education Reform, which embraces school reform ideas that are often opposed by traditional Democratic union stalwarts, have apparently arrived on the convention scene.

Members of the group nabbed a coveted spot in the Democratic National Committee’s skybox at the Pepsi Center here in Denver on Tuesday night, where they watched Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s rally-cry-for-unity speech.

The skybox next door belonged to the former President Bill Clinton and family, who were hosting the American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten—who was none too happy with an event DFER organized on Sunday and who undoubtedly took note of their presence in the DNC skybox.

DFER Executive Director Joe Williams and board member John Petry, a partner at a New York City hedge fund and Democratic Party donor, got such an invitation because their group includes some big-time donors like Petry. They embrace such ideas as charter schools and merit pay for teachers.

Later, Williams partied with the centrist Democratic Leadership Council. That event was, ironically, sponsored by the National Education Association, considered by many to be pretty liberal.

--Michele McNeil

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