At 11:14 Central Time, U.S. Senator John Hoeven cast the deciding vote in favor of Betsy Devos for Education Secretary. His vote created a tie in the Senate forcing Vice President Mike Pence to cast a vote. 51-50 and Devos is now leading our nation’s Education Department. Hoeven ignored what appeared to be a strong grassroots effort by teachers, administrators, parents, and voters declaring Devos was not qualified for such an important role. Take for example this video of elementary principles from our state:
Instead, Senator Hoeven went along with out-of-state special interest groups that spend a lot of money to give them cover when they are about to make an unpopular move. These groups are largely bemoaned by politicians until it best suits their personal interest. On the Devos vote, Hoeven got the assist from his right-wing buddies at the Club for Growth. “Don’t call me…call Heidi!!!” – Senator John Hoeven, probably. If you followed the Twitter thread, it didn’t turn out so well for Club for Growth.
— CFG + CFG Action (@club4growth) February 4, 2017
If Senator Hoeven has the numbers and data to prove otherwise that, in fact, Devos had strong support from his constituents in North Dakota then, by all means, he should release that information. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to get an accurate count from his office because his voicemail inbox was full as constituents were calling to voice their concern or support. We need to demand transparency, not accept form letters that lack substance. After all, we are his boss.
Hoeven has had great success in North Dakota politics. I’ve voted for him in the past. His polling routinely shows him as one of the most popular politicians in our state. Because of those numbers, he knows he can cast an unpopular vote like this and it likely won’t impact him electorally. Will voters remember this one?