From a Quick Hit early this week by counterspin:
(CO-Sen) How Bennet got rich and teachers lost their pension fund (counterspin)
From Cherry Creek News:
A young Bud Fox leaves Washington for Colorado, lands a job with Gordon Gekko, tycoon and corporate raider. Only in this case, young Bud is future United States Senator Michael Bennet, and Gekko, billionaire Phil Anschutz.
The job leaves Bennet wealthy, and allows him to take a giant pay cut and work for Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, then the Denver Public Schools. It gives him financial experience, which in turn leads to a complicated interest rate swap that may leave Denver taxpayers in a billion dollar hole, as the fund for Denver teachers' retirement looks in need of an AIG-style bailout.
Ironically, the details of the source of Bennet's wealth are revealed largely in a lawsuit by Louisiana teachers, whose investment in theater chain Regal Cinemas went south after Bennet and Anshutz gained control of the company through the purchase of debt, forced other debtors and shareholder into taking losses, then sped off with $1.4 billion in cash, while jobs were lost...
Unelected Freshman Senator Michael Bennet was the 8th highest recipient of Wall Street cash in the current election cycle. As Denver School Superintendent, he entered into a swap deal that provided $3 million in fees to JP Morgan and is now $78 million underwater, forcing teacher layoffs.
In Congress, Bennet voted against mortgage cramdown, which would have provided bankruptcy protection and relief for homeowners. He also opposed a 15% cap on credit card interest rates. To cement his pro-Wall Street stance, the appointed politician stood against breaking up the banks. In a Roll Call article yesterday, he was described as having been born 'with a silver spoon in his mouth'.
An appointed senator who never ran for office before, but instead rose the ranks of corporate raidership under a notoriously anti-union mentor. It makes perfect sense... for a Republican!
The appointment of Bennet was just one of a flurry of such moves by which the Democratic Party moved sharply to the right after the 2008 elections--a move with absolutely no credible foundations.
Today, Bennet's appointment stands out as part of a multi-front assault on public teachers and public education, which is about as inimical to traditonal Democratic Party values as it's possible to be.
Things happened so rapidly after the 2008 election that most folks simply had no idea what to make of it--much less how to react.
That is no longer the case. The battle lines now are clear.