Tuesday, March 15, 2016


This morning I woke up to the news that John King has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the permanent Secretary of Education.  The vote was 49-40 with eleven senators not voting.

King was a disaster as Education Commissioner of New York State with his promotion of Common Core, charter schools, rating teachers and principals based on student test scores on flawed exams and all around deafness to parent concerns.  Stronger Together leader Beth Dimino accused King of child abuse in her famous 2013 attack on the Commissioner.  However, in the sometimes sick world of politics and the culture of Washington DC, King is the latest example of the phrase, "Screw up, move up." (I know there is a harsher word but this is a family blog.)

Certain advocates for public education such as retired award winning principal Carol Burris were urging us to tell senators to vote no on King's appointment and all but one Democrat ignored us.  A big jeer goes to all of the Democrats who voted to confirm King including New York's own Chuck Schumer and a few Republicans too who voted yea. We include in this jeer the so called progressive saint Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts.

A cheer goes out to the Republicans who voted against King's nomination for whatever reason. Diane Ravitch has called education politics "strange." This word certainly fits.

We save the biggest cheer for New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who was the only Democrat in the Senate to vote against the King nomination.  We in New York who know King best are truly aware of how unqualified he is for the position and thank Senator Gillibrand for standing up to her party and President Obama to vote nay.  We should all send her a message of support.

As for the other saint of the progressive wing of the Democratic party Bernie Sanders, who isn't really a Democrat but is running for the nomination to be President of the United States as one, he passed on the King issue by not voting. I guess he can be forgiven for campaigning for president when there are important primaries today. Has anyone in the press pressured him on how he would have voted on the King appointment? I believe he voted to send the nomination to the full Senate from Committee.

The roll call vote on King:

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 114th Congress - 2nd Session

as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate

Vote Summary

Question: On the Nomination (Confirmation John B. King, of New York, to be Secretary of Education )
Vote Number: 36 Vote Date: March 14, 2016, 05:34 PM
Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Nomination Confirmed
Nomination Number: PN1152
Nomination Description: John B. King, of New York, to be Secretary of Education
Vote Counts:YEAs49
Not Voting11
Vote SummaryBy Senator NameBy Vote PositionBy Home State

Alphabetical by Senator Name
Alexander (R-TN), Yea
Ayotte (R-NH), Nay
Baldwin (D-WI), Yea
Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
Bennet (D-CO), Yea
Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea
Blunt (R-MO), Nay
Booker (D-NJ), Yea
Boozman (R-AR), Nay
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Brown (D-OH), Not Voting
Burr (R-NC), Nay
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Capito (R-WV), Nay
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Cassidy (R-LA), Yea
Coats (R-IN), Nay
Cochran (R-MS), Yea
Collins (R-ME), Yea
Coons (D-DE), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Nay
Cornyn (R-TX), Yea
Cotton (R-AR), Nay
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
Cruz (R-TX), Not Voting
Daines (R-MT), Nay
Donnelly (D-IN), Yea
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Ernst (R-IA), Nay
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Fischer (R-NE), Nay
Flake (R-AZ), Not Voting
Franken (D-MN), Yea
Gardner (R-CO), Nay
Gillibrand (D-NY), Nay
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Grassley (R-IA), Nay
Hatch (R-UT), Yea
Heinrich (D-NM), Yea
Heitkamp (D-ND), Yea
Heller (R-NV), Nay
Hirono (D-HI), Yea
Hoeven (R-ND), Nay
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Johnson (R-WI), Nay
Kaine (D-VA), Yea
King (I-ME), Yea
Kirk (R-IL), Not Voting
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Lankford (R-OK), Nay
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
Lee (R-UT), Nay
Manchin (D-WV), Yea
Markey (D-MA), Yea
McCain (R-AZ), Not Voting
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Yea
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
Merkley (D-OR), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Moran (R-KS), Nay
Murkowski (R-AK), Nay
Murphy (D-CT), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Paul (R-KY), Nay
Perdue (R-GA), Nay
Peters (D-MI), Yea
Portman (R-OH), Not Voting
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Risch (R-ID), Nay
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Rounds (R-SD), Nay
Rubio (R-FL), Not Voting
Sanders (I-VT), Not Voting
Sasse (R-NE), Nay
Schatz (D-HI), Yea
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Scott (R-SC), Nay
Sessions (R-AL), Not Voting
Shaheen (D-NH), Yea
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Sullivan (R-AK), Nay
Tester (D-MT), Yea
Thune (R-SD), Nay
Tillis (R-NC), Nay
Toomey (R-PA), Not Voting
Udall (D-NM), Yea
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Warner (D-VA), Not Voting
Warren (D-MA), Yea
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wicker (R-MS), Nay
Wyden (D-OR), Yea
Vote SummaryBy Senator NameBy Vote PositionBy Home State

Grouped By Vote Position
YEAs ---49
Alexander (R-TN)
Baldwin (D-WI)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Boxer (D-CA)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Hirono (D-HI)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Manchin (D-WV)
Markey (D-MA)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Peters (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-NM)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs ---40
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Capito (R-WV)
Coats (R-IN)
Corker (R-TN)
Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)
Daines (R-MT)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Gardner (R-CO)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Paul (R-KY)
Perdue (R-GA)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Not Voting - 11
Brown (D-OH)
Cruz (R-TX)
Flake (R-AZ)
Kirk (R-IL)
McCain (R-AZ)
Portman (R-OH)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sanders (I-VT)
Sessions (R-AL)
Toomey (R-PA)
Warner (D-VA)
Vote SummaryBy Senator NameBy Vote PositionBy Home State

Grouped by Home State
Alabama:Sessions (R-AL), Not VotingShelby (R-AL), Nay
Alaska:Murkowski (R-AK), NaySullivan (R-AK), Nay
Arizona:Flake (R-AZ), Not VotingMcCain (R-AZ), Not Voting
Arkansas:Boozman (R-AR), NayCotton (R-AR), Nay
California:Boxer (D-CA), YeaFeinstein (D-CA), Yea
Colorado:Bennet (D-CO), YeaGardner (R-CO), Nay
Connecticut:Blumenthal (D-CT), YeaMurphy (D-CT), Yea
Delaware:Carper (D-DE), YeaCoons (D-DE), Yea
Florida:Nelson (D-FL), YeaRubio (R-FL), Not Voting
Georgia:Isakson (R-GA), NayPerdue (R-GA), Nay
Hawaii:Hirono (D-HI), YeaSchatz (D-HI), Yea
Idaho:Crapo (R-ID), NayRisch (R-ID), Nay
Illinois:Durbin (D-IL), YeaKirk (R-IL), Not Voting
Indiana:Coats (R-IN), NayDonnelly (D-IN), Yea
Iowa:Ernst (R-IA), NayGrassley (R-IA), Nay
Kansas:Moran (R-KS), NayRoberts (R-KS), Nay
Kentucky:McConnell (R-KY), YeaPaul (R-KY), Nay
Louisiana:Cassidy (R-LA), YeaVitter (R-LA), Nay
Maine:Collins (R-ME), YeaKing (I-ME), Yea
Maryland:Cardin (D-MD), YeaMikulski (D-MD), Yea
Massachusetts:Markey (D-MA), YeaWarren (D-MA), Yea
Michigan:Peters (D-MI), YeaStabenow (D-MI), Yea
Minnesota:Franken (D-MN), YeaKlobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Mississippi:Cochran (R-MS), YeaWicker (R-MS), Nay
Missouri:Blunt (R-MO), NayMcCaskill (D-MO), Yea
Montana:Daines (R-MT), NayTester (D-MT), Yea
Nebraska:Fischer (R-NE), NaySasse (R-NE), Nay
Nevada:Heller (R-NV), NayReid (D-NV), Yea
New Hampshire:Ayotte (R-NH), NayShaheen (D-NH), Yea
New Jersey:Booker (D-NJ), YeaMenendez (D-NJ), Yea
New Mexico:Heinrich (D-NM), YeaUdall (D-NM), Yea
New York:Gillibrand (D-NY), NaySchumer (D-NY), Yea
North Carolina:Burr (R-NC), NayTillis (R-NC), Nay
North Dakota:Heitkamp (D-ND), YeaHoeven (R-ND), Nay
Ohio:Brown (D-OH), Not VotingPortman (R-OH), Not Voting
Oklahoma:Inhofe (R-OK), NayLankford (R-OK), Nay
Oregon:Merkley (D-OR), YeaWyden (D-OR), Yea
Pennsylvania:Casey (D-PA), YeaToomey (R-PA), Not Voting
Rhode Island:Reed (D-RI), YeaWhitehouse (D-RI), Yea
South Carolina:Graham (R-SC), NayScott (R-SC), Nay
South Dakota:Rounds (R-SD), NayThune (R-SD), Nay
Tennessee:Alexander (R-TN), YeaCorker (R-TN), Nay
Texas:Cornyn (R-TX), YeaCruz (R-TX), Not Voting
Utah:Hatch (R-UT), YeaLee (R-UT), Nay
Vermont:Leahy (D-VT), YeaSanders (I-VT), Not Voting
Virginia:Kaine (D-VA), YeaWarner (D-VA), Not Voting
Washington:Cantwell (D-WA), YeaMurray (D-WA), Yea
West Virginia:Capito (R-WV), NayManchin (D-WV), Yea
Wisconsin:Baldwin (D-WI), YeaJohnson (R-WI), Nay
Wyoming:Barrasso (R-WY), NayEnzi (R-WY), Nay
Vote SummaryBy Senator NameBy Vote PositionBy Home State

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