Milwaukee school choice advocate calls former state rep racist

Friday, May 31, 2013

If you think the fight over school vouchers in Madison is tough, check out what is going on in Milwaukee.

Former state Rep. Annette Polly Williams, a key figure in making Wisconsin the first state with a school choice program, spoke out against Gov. Scott Walker's plan to expand the program to at least nine more school districts. Walker, legislative leaders and choice officials are expected to cut a deal on the Republican governor's plan this week, with a vote by the Legislature's budget-writing committee tentatively set for Tuesday.

A blog post on Williams' criticisms prompted George Mitchell, a longtime school choice advocate, to come out with guns blazing. Mitchell, who has given $14,600 to Walker's campaign since 2009, began by calling Williams racist.

"Polly was useful to the school choice movement because of her race and her party affiliation," Mitchell wrote of Williams, who is black and a Democrat. "But she was and remains a racist. Somewhat surprising that the Journal Sentinel and its predecessors gave her such a pass on that fact."

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