Sunday, May 9, 2021

Peoria Gulen charter buys political ads in Philly


The educational consulting company that runs a charter school in Peoria that has been attached to Turkey’s mysterious “Gulenist” movement paid for last-minute political attack ads against Jim Kenney in Philadelphia, the eventual winner of the Democratic Party primary election for mayor on May 19, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Driving southbound on I-95 into Central Philadelphia (It’s Our City via Flickr Creative Commons)

According to documentation from the Federal Communications Commission, here, Leadership Matters Inc spent $93,000 to buy ads that attacked Jim Kenney, who was running for mayor of Phildelphia in the Democratic primary election in that city.

The head of that consulting group helped found a charter school in Peoria, Ill., that was raided last year by the FBI, which alleged that the school was tied to a political movement in Turkey led by Fetullah Gulen, who is in self-imposed exile in Scranton, Pa. The Muslim cleric leads the Gulenist movement, which is well known in the US not only because of the large number of charter schools the movement has attached itself to—and from which it is alleged to be receiving substantial funds from US taxpayers that are supposed to be directed toward school—but also for the tight-vested secrecy with which it conducts its operations.


Private companies and consulting firms can buy whatever their leaders want with their money, but money sent from public coffers to run a school ought not to be spent on political campaigns in the Philadelphia mayoral race. This is why so many people are confused when they hear charter schools claim they’re “public” schools. Public schools are accountable, act with transparency, and don’t waste money on political attack ads.

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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