Crony Capitalism at the DOE: Huffman learns from his pal Obama


Barack Obama, Joe Biden




Barrack Obama and his loyal supporter, Kevin Huffman


Did we mention Commissioner Kevin Huffman publicly declared he voted for Obama? If not, let us take the opportunity to point that out once again:

Kevin Huffman, writing in U.S. News & World Report criticized “Republicans and old people” for opposing gay marriage. He also said there is no liberal media bias and also accused Republicans for playing the “victim card with white people.”

And to top it all, shortly before Bill Haslam named him Tennessee’s commissioner of education, Huffman publicly declared he voted for Barack Obama.  That put on the wrong side of 2/3 of the voters of Tennessee and the wrong side of 100% of the Republican caucus in the House and Senate (that’s assuming Doug Overbey didn’t vote for Obama and we take him at his word he did not…).

But Huffman learned how to do more than just vote for the most liberal (i.e., socialist) president in the history of our nation. He brought Obama-style “Crony Capitalism” to Tennessee.

The way it works is that a public official (like Huffman) gains control of the taxpayer purse strings and funnels money to personal friends who run private businesses. The way they prefer to do this is through non-competitive or “no-bid” contracts (avoids the whole messy public disclosure thing, ya know). And that’s what Huffman did.

As reported earlier by RTP, Huffman was a senior executive at Teach for America (TFA) for eleven years, where he worked directly for Wendy Kopp, the founder and Chairman of TFA. While there, TFA signed a no-bid contract for $5,175,000.00 on November 8, 2010, just a week after the election of Bill Haslam as governor. Haslam was already assembling his cabinet – a cabinet that would soon include Kevin Huffman.

[Editor’s note: Now before everyone gets their shorts all in a wad, Haslam had not made an official offer to Huffman at that point. In fact, it was reported Huffman was Haslam’s second choice for the position (makes you shudder to imagine who his third choice could have been – Kathleen Sebelius?). But nonetheless, at that point Huffman probably knew he was on a short list for the Tennessee post. ]

So fast forward to 2012. Now-commissioner Huffman personally signs a no-bid contract to deliver an additional $6,669,850.00 to Teach for America, complements of the gullible taxpayers of Tennessee. And to put a bow on this little incestuous relationship, who signed for TFA?  Why none other than Huffman’s old boss and buddy, Wendy Kopp.

You gotta give the boy credit for hubris. To do this right under the nose of a legislature run by a conservative Republican super majority takes a lot of gall. Add to that the fact the teacher’s union is no fan of Teach for America either and that means Huffman thumbed his nose at pretty much everyone in the state.flaming dog poop

Obama must be wiping away a tear of pride that his loyal supporter, Kevin, has learned the “Chicago Way” and dumped it in a flaming paper bag right on the doorstep of the Volunteer State.

Want to sign a petition calling for Huffman’s immediate resignation? Good luck.  The line of people wanting to throw his sorry butt out of Tennessee extends out the door of the LP and is already past Puckett’s…


Here are the pertinent documents for your reading pleasure:

contract 1 contract 2contract 3



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