wisconsin department of public instruction state superintendent candidate john humphries
Press Release
January 25, 2017
Media Contact
Mike Browne, Deputy Director
(608) 444-3483
One Wisconsin Now

Records Reveal State Public School Chief Hopeful Donated to Gov. Scott Walker’s Recall Election Opponent

Whose Side Is John Humphries On? His Own.

MADISON, Wis. — Most recently John Humphries, candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, has been courting right-wing billionaires and Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign chair for support and campaign cash. But just a few short years ago, the same John Humphries sang a very different tune, signing a recall petition for Gov. Walker and, based on a review of state campaign finance records, funneling campaign cash to Walker’s recall opponent via the leftist super conduit ActBlue.

“You could tell John Humphries to put his money where his mouth is,” commented One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “But as he’s given to talking out of both sides of it, that wouldn’t clear up very much.”

In 2011 John Humphries signed a petition to recall Scott Walker. One Wisconsin Now has also uncovered, based on a review of state of Wisconsin campaign finance records, that in May 2012 Humphries also used the Democratic super conduit ActBlue Wisconsin to funnel a financial contribution to Walker’s recall election opponent.

But in 2016, in pursuit of his political ambitions, Humphries has struck a much different pose. He has been outspoken in his support for Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education. Prior to her nomination, DeVos helped fund and run the American Federation for Children (AFC), a special interest group that supports taking funds from public education to support less accountable private voucher schools. In Wisconsin, AFC has spent over $5 million to help their favored politicians.

In confirmation hearings, DeVos revealed she is manifestly unqualified to head the federal Education Department, citing threats from grizzly bears to justify firearms in schools and displaying a lack of understanding about core functions of the department including higher education student loans, regulations of for-profit colleges and federal requirements to guarantee students with disabilities can receive public education. DeVos further appeared unaware of education policy debates over how to best measure student achievement and refused to say she would support requiring private and charter schools receiving public funds to meet the same accountability standards as public schools.

Humphries’ money chase has also led him to pledge his loyalty to Michael Grebe’s agenda to take money from public schools and give it to less accountable private voucher schools to win his support. Grebe chaired Scott Walker’s gubernatorial and presidential campaigns and, as former head of the right wing Bradley Foundation, oversaw a $108 million plus campaign funding organizations that supported efforts to expand public funding for private, religious and charter schools.

Ross noted that Humphries’ gubernatorial and political contortions are not the only embarrassing incidents in his nascent campaign. Humphries’ recent campaign finance report revealed that he accepted what appeared to be an in-kind corporate contribution for what was later disclosed to be teeth whitening services, in possible violation of state campaign finance rules. Wisconsin bars direct contributions to candidates from corporations and requires campaign funds be used for “political purposes.”

Humphries also raised eyebrows when he struck a deal with the school district for which he works to allow him to resign his position and instead be paid up to $650 a day to work, without supervision, while he campaigns for office.

He concluded, “John Humphries is as eager now for the money and support of the right-wing for his campaign in 2016 as he was to recall Gov. Walker in 2012 with his signing a recall petition and doling out campaign cash to Walker’s opponent. Once again, we see that the only thing we can count on is that the only thing John Humphries cares about is himself and his own ambitions.”

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

wisconsin attorney general brad schimel
Press Release

A dangerous repeat drunken driver was still on the road at least in part because of the turnaround time at the state crime lab.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
10/16/2017
paul ryan
Press Release

Paul Ryan today is genuflecting before the state’s big business lobby about the Trump-Ryan plan to hand out tax breaks to the super rich.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
10/16/2017
scot ross roast toast
Press Release

There’s no better way to celebrate Scot Ross than to invite his friends to share out loud what we’ve been muttering under our breaths for a decade.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
10/13/2017
university of wisconsin bascom hall
Press Release

Right-wing politicians and academics are using tax dollars and chasing more money from right-wing foundations to promote their ideological agenda.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
10/12/2017
graduates overhead
Press Release

One Wisconsin Now and Student Loan Debt Crisis are urging national Democrats to include critical student loan reforms as part of their “Better Deal” agenda.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
10/11/2017
scot ross on unspun
In the News

We are unspinning the political headlines with our analysts, Scot Ross, Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now... and Bill McCoshen... Managing Partner of Capitol Consultants.
WMTV-TV
10/11/2017
wisconn valley shirt
Press Release

Wisconsin taxpayers are on the hook for billions of dollars as part of the largest state subsidy for a foreign corporation in history.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
10/09/2017
am joy, msnbc 2017-10-08
In the News

Supreme Court gerrymandering case focusing on Wisconsin raises the issue of defending voting rights against voter suppression. Joy Reid and her panel discuss.
MSNBC
10/08/2017