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Watchdogs Applaud Sen. Murkowski for Standing Up to Big Donors by Opposing DeVos Nomination

February 1, 2017 | Laura Friedenbach

Washington, D.C. —  Every Voice and End Citizens United applauded Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s decision to stand up to her big donors and oppose Betsy DeVos’ nomination for secretary of education. Over the course of the past month, the two groups have led a national campaign calling on senators who have taken campaign money from Betsy DeVos to recuse themselves from voting on her nomination.  The groups delivered a petition with tens of thousands of signatures; ran video and graphic digital ads; launched a letter to the editor program; and initiated a ‘call your senator’ campaign.

Statement from Every Voice President David Donnelly and End Citizens United Executive Director Tiffany Muller:

“We believe recusal is the best policy for senators who’ve received contributions from Betsy DeVos or her family to avoid conflicts of interest. However, we applaud Sen. Murkowski for listening to the thousands of Alaskans who’ve called and emailed in opposition to this nomination. This is a victory for the grassroots power of the American people, who are looking for their elected officials to stand up for what’s right, not what’s best for wealthy campaign contributors. We hope Alaskans thank Murkowski for her decision today.

“Sen. Murkowski has received $43,200 in political contributions from DeVos and her family. Twenty-two other senators set to vote on her nomination have received money from DeVos and her family totaling nearly $1 million. Some have announced their support for her, or have not yet made up their mind. If they choose to vote for DeVos, or fail to recuse themselves, it’ll be fair for voters to ask if their decision was based on what’s best for children or what’s best for their campaign bank accounts.

“We also commend Senator Collins who understood that Betsy DeVos is not qualified. It’s more likely that Betsy DeVos’ political spending did more to land her this nomination than her insights into public education.  It should play into the consideration of every senator before they make a decision about their vote.”

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