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Pedro Martinez Speaks At Event Organized By Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Worker, Climate-Change Deniers.

Why did the SAISD Superintendent accept an invitation to speak at an event organized by one of the most anti-immigrant, climate-change-denying, school voucher-loving, anti-worker, ultra-conservative think tanks in the U.S.?

Dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres.

On Monday night, Pedro Martinez spoke at an event organized by the Texas Public Policy Foundation - one of the most powerful and influential political lobbying organizations - or “think tanks” - in the state.

Martinez was one of three panelists, sharing the stage with San Antonio’s favorite charter mom, Inga Cotton, and Emily Sass, former staffer for Ted Cruz, and arch-Republican school choice advocate.

Sass is a paid cheerleader for what she euphemistically calls “choice” - the systematic dismantling of public education for private profit, expansion of charter schools, and unbridled market control of every aspect of public life.

She works for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, an Austin-based conservative think tank which spreads disinformation about climate change, advocates for draconian public safety and immigration policies, and pushes for the expansion of charter schools.

Oh, and it’s long been at the forefront of the push for education vouchers in Texas.

TPPF has also been leading the fight to deny San Antonio’s working families paid sick time - a direct attack on San Antonio’s working people, including the families, parents, and communities Martinez serves, and on local democratic control of policy-making.

They’re advocates for privatizing Medicaid, opponents of attempts to expand it, and produce policy paper after policy paper to help right-wing politicians justify the most merciless and heartless of austerity policies in the name of “economic freedom”, the most cliché of conservative talking points.

They’re enthusiastic champions of every war the United States will ever fight, and advocates for increasing military spending to ever-higher, dizzying heights.

Aaaaand TPPF is funded primarily by oil and tobacco companies, the ultra-conservative Koch brothers, and a who’s who list of right-wing billionaires.

What do you call a group of ideologues that collects millions from corporations and billionaires and then—through the alchemy of fuzzy math and Ayn Randian levels of free-market wishful thinking—churns out studies and policy papers used by politicians to justify miserly policies? Kick kids off health insurance? Here’s a white paper for that. Create confusion about climate science? Research paper! Propose tax cuts as a means to help West, Texas, recover from the fertilizer plant disaster? You bet. Derail Medicaid expansion that could insure millions and save an estimated 9,000 lives a year in Texas? Done. (Forrest Wilder, Texas Observer)

The corporate propagandists push fake narratives about threats to free speech on college campuses, and produce bizarre pro-coal (and anti-renewable energy, anti Green New Deal) propaganda videos like the one below.

Later in October, TPPF will hold other public events, two of which will focus on climate-change denial (dressed-up as skepticism about San Antonio’s climate plan), and “the illegal immigrant problem”.

Yes, you read that right.

Martinez accepted the invitation of an anti-immigrant, anti-worker, climate-change-denying, charter school and voucher-advocating, right-wing lobbying organization to talk about school choice, teacher incentive pay, and public schools.

What would he say, with the platform he was given? How would he push-back and criticize the narratives espoused by these organizations? And why would he accept such an invitation unless he shares at least some of their opinions?

Perhaps one day those of us who didn't manage to get tickets will find out.

Until then, here's a bunch of (mostly White, mostly male) right-wing “freedom” advocates explaining, with a series of the most meaningless, inane platitudes you can imagine, why TPPF spin-off - Liberty Leadership Council - is so great.

Sounds like we missed one heck of a party.

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