Home / US Education / Former Pence Higher-Up Lobbying for Gülen and Geo Foundation, Operators of the Charter School Betsy DeVos Visited

Former Pence Higher-Up Lobbying for Gülen and Geo Foundation, Operators of the Charter School Betsy DeVos Visited

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By Doug
Martin 

Riding
on the surprising repute of Mike Pence as Vice President, two of the former governor’s
height officers at the moment are lobbying in D.C. for the GEO Foundation and the Gülen-affiliated
Washington Strategy Group, led by means of Bilal Eksili, a
Pence marketing campaign donor
and Gülen’s leader operative for constitution colleges and Turkish affairs in
Indiana who’s detailed in my e book Hoosier
School Heist
. 

Bill
Smith,
Mike Pence’s former leader of body of workers each in D.C. and at
the statehouse, is cashing in bigtime, the usage of his clout as Pence’s “relied on
adviser—his closest
and his previous connections as the leader of body of workers for
some other Indiana flesh presser who has Gülen ties
(detailed in Hoosier
School Heist
), Congressman Dan Burton.

As the Journal
Gazette
’s Niki Kelly
first famous, in May 2014 Smith left Governor Pence’s place of work to release Sextons
Creek LLC “to work with the governor’s political campaign for re-election”, at
that point the company’s best consumer, and later raked in “nearly $262,000 from May
2014 thru April 2016” from Pence’s marketing campaign chest.  In February 2015, Smith instructed the Indianapolis Monthly that even supposing Pence used to be a consumer, “
I’m in truth looking to enlarge into extra of a ministry-based space,
running with other people in want. That’s kind of the place my middle has been main me
in recent times.” 
As previous director of  the Indiana Family Institute, the rightwing,
non secular State Policy Network
attached group, Smith’s “need” translated briefly into “greed.”  As Politico
wrote in November 2016, Smith, “riding” Pence’s “coattails,” is now running with
some other former Indiana Family Institute pal Terry Allen, whose
company, Fidelis Government Relations, is registered to foyer for Microsoft,Verizon and AT&T,
for whom he’s advocating on their proposed care for Time Warner”.  
In
August 2017, the International Business TimesAlex
Kotch
and David
Sirota
, of their piece “Who Is Lobbying Mike Pence
And Why? Health Insurers and Big Oil Seek To Influence Vice President,” word
that Smith is now “lobbying his former
boss” and gave extra main points on
Gülen and GEO:

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Smith is registered to foyer for
Indianapolis-based Greater Educational Opportunities Foundation, a constitution
college control corporate that permitted a $1 million federal grant in 2010 and
had a college closed for deficient
efficiency the following yr. As Indiana governor, Pence driven for greater investment for constitution
colleges and for publicly funded vouchers for scholars to wait personal
colleges, each key tasks in Trump and Education Sec. Betsy DeVos’
schooling plan.
Another consumer of Smith is the new Turkish-American
lobbying company Washington Strategy, which has hyperlinks to the debatable
Turkish-American imam, Fethullah Gulen, who’s accused of being the mastermind
in the back of the failed Turkish coup in 2016. Two individuals of Washington Strategy are
former constitution college directors, in accordance to pro-government
Turkish paper, the Daily Sabah. One member is reportedly the former board
president of a constitution college corporate, Indiana-based Concept Schools, which used to be
raided by means of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2014.
     According to Open Secrets.com, the GEO
Foundation, in 2017, paid Sextons Creek $43,710
to foyer in D.C. on its behalf.  Smith is indexed as a board
member of the GEO Foundation.
 
The
GEO Foundation, additionally highlighted in Hoosier
School Heist
, operates the 21st Century Charter School in
Gary, Indiana, the place secretary of schooling Betsy DeVos visited
final month.  
But Bill Smith
isn’t the best former Pence reputable to take benefit of Pence’s new position as
Vice President.  Jeff Cardwell, the
former Pence aide who the then-governor, upon leaving place of work, passed the
Sagamore of the Wabash
award to, could also be hired at Sextons Creek.  Cardwell, a couple of years in the past, used to be handpicked by means of
Pence to chair the Indiana Republican Party and used to be the previous Indianapolis
City-County Councilman for District 23.  
The CEO of Cardwell Do-it Best Home Center, Cardwell used to be appointed by means of
Pence to be the Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives’ govt director
in 2012 and in 2013 used to be Pence’s Senior Advisor and Special Assistant to the
Governor. 
There is, of route,
a lot, a lot more to this tale.  It will all seem in my new e book (nonetheless
in development), a follow-up to Hoosier
School Heist
.  Stay
tuned. 

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