Kaptur demands Trump’s choice for Education pay $5.3 million in fines owed to Ohio

January 10, 2017
Press Release
Ohio Reps. Kaptur, Fudge and Beatty fight to get Betsy DeVos’ PAC to pay fines for state campaign finance violations


January 10, 2017
Contact: Josh Stewart, (202) 225-4146 or Joshua.Stewart@mail.house.gov  


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) stood with Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH-11) and Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-03) and spoke on the House floor demanding that President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, pay the millions in fines owed to the State of Ohio for breaking campaign finance law. This comes as DeVos confirmation hearing was postponed after Senate Democrats noted that the Office of Government Ethics, which stated it is overwhelmed by vetting Trump’s nominees, had not yet completed its review of DeVos’s financial holdings and potential conflicts of interest.

DeVos was chair of the Virginia-based All Children Matter Political Action Committee (PAC). During her leadership, the PAC broke Ohio election laws which impose donation limits of $10,000 per candidate. Devos violated those limits by funneling $870,000 in national PAC money to state Republican candidates, all of whom pledged to advocate for privatizing public school education through vouchers once elected into office. ‎

Excerpts from Kaptur’s remarks:

“I demand that the President-elect's Cabinet nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, immediately pay fines she owes to the State of Ohio. These obligations total $5.3 million dollars, in unpaid‎ fines and levied late penalties her political organization owes the state of Ohio for campaign finance violations of Ohio law, the largest fines ever levied in Ohio history, dating back to 2008.

“In addition, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Betsy DeVos gave direct contributions to at least 20 current Members of the Senate. These are the same Senators who will now confirm her for the Secretary of Education position.

“The $5.3 million fine that Betsy DeVos' political organization owes to Ohio could pay for better education for Ohio's children, it is outrageous that a candidate for Secretary of Education holds herself above the law and fails to make good on outstanding fines, imposed nearly 10 years ago.

“No one is above law. Betsy DeVos' attempt to subvert the law and buy influence is diametrically opposed to everything the President-elect advised was wrong with America. He wants to drain the swamp. I call on President-Elect Trump to hold Betsy DeVos accountable. She should pay her fines to the State of Ohio for the violations her organization committed.”

See Kaptur’s full remarks on the House floor here.

Additionally, Jeffrey Winters, a political scientist at Northwestern University said of DeVos in the New York Times, “She is the most emblematic kind of oligarchic figure you can put in a cabinet position. What she and the Kochs have in common is the unbridled use of wealth power to achieve whatever political goals they have.”

See the list of Ohio Candidates DeVos has donated to:

Devos OH contributions