Sunday, May 19, 2013
I disagree with Kathleen Parker's column ("Obama's singing is in tune with the music of the Hollywood rich," June 7) on the support Obama receives from people in show business. The nugget I take issue with is this: "It becomes increasingly difficult for the Obama campaign to insist that the president is fighting for the little guy against the evil rich when no one is so rich as the company he himself keeps."
Focusing on President Obama's fundraising dinner with actor George Clooney, left, is a good way for commentators to "get voters to forget the millions or multimillions that Republicans are getting from business leaders," a reader says.
The Associated Press
Presidential campaigns cost money -- more than one candidate, or scores of the whatever-sized guys he represents, can afford. Parker's argument works when big business and political interests throw money behind a candidate; they benefit explicitly from having "their guy" in power.
But Obama isn't helping George Clooney get parts. Movies in America are political-party-in-power-proof. I think it's nonsensical to suggest Obama may compromise his support of the non-wealthy because he accepts help from wealthy people who share his vision.
To reframe Parker's logic, think of a soup kitchen. It isn't funded by the ones who need soup. It's funded by the ones more fortunate who support the mission of the soup kitchen.
The rest is commentary.
Politicians using stars and vice versa goes back several generations. Remember JFK? Ronald Reagan?
Sadly, Kathleen Parker seems to be part of a Republican attempt to attack Obama for the George Clooney $40,000 dinner and get voters to forget the millions or multimillions that Republicans are getting from business leaders.
Also, there are two big differences between the stars and the business types. The stars mostly want hoopla -- publicity -- they like the glitz. The business folk, though, have very specific goals, usually centered on lower taxes and fewer regulations.
Also, the Republican donors can give to a super PAC, and in some cases, as with Karl Rove's Crossroads, they can give anonymously because of the PAC's tax status.
Dinner with Mr. Clooney is certainly a sexier story, but why those big shots are giving millions to Republicans is a much more important story.
Immigrants share other parents' goals for schools
There is currently a dilemma in Portland regarding the search for a new school superintendent.
As new Americans, those of us from the immigrant community look for the same qualities that any parents seek in school officials: experience, integrity and a passion for education. We all value our children's future, and the only thing we care about is who can do the job, not their color of skin.
However, some individuals in the city are misleading decision makers, and the people of Portland, regarding how immigrants view the search for the new school superintendent.
Through what can be described as "he said, she said" tactics, these individuals are spreading the idea that immigrants are pushing for a person of color to be hired as superintendent solely because of race. If one would actually talk to parents in the immigrant community, rather than spread assumptions on their behalf, a more accurate picture would emerge.
Our children's future cannot be compromised by individual agendas. As Malcolm X said, "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today."
As part of the Portland public schools parent community, we are standing up and saying that we will not be the scapegoat for anyone's agenda regarding this issue. We support the right candidate for the job, without regard to race, and the hiring process should be fair and transparent to the people of Portland.
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