Although we are far apart when it comes to public policy, I’d always gotten along personally with Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino. Unfortunately, when someone starts spreading lies about you in a public forum, that respect can evaporate in a hurry. So it happened during the ongoing show-trial of Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera in the Senate Rules Committee on Saturday.
Go to the video and fast-forward to the 1 hour mark. After stating accurately that I am a prolific op-ed and letter writer in the local media, Ortiz y Pino falsely claims that I am making 2% off of the contract for New Mexico Connections Academy. He goes on to state that (correctly) Rio Grande Foundation won’t be running the school, but goes on to falsely claim that Connections will be running the school.
Before making false claims in a public form in order to hurt Skandera, Ortiz should have checked his facts. I would have informed the Senator that:
1) I am just one of the members of New Mexico Connections Academy’s Governing Council, nothing more, nothing less;
2) Rio Grande Foundation, the organization which I run, has no direct involvement in New Mexico Connections Academy. We have researched and philosophically support school choice and digital learning options;
3) I and my colleagues on the Governing Council are not compensated by Connections Academy or anyone else for our work;
4) The Governing Council of New Mexico Connections Academy made up of New Mexico citizens “manages” the school not our curriculum/virtual learning partner.