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The 2017 Pension Political Power 25: Betsy DeVos

No. 3 Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education

  • By Peter Vasiliev

3. Betsy DeVos
Secretary of Education

Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump’s 59-year-old pick to head the Department of Education, is an advocate of charter schools. These alternatives to public schools are allowed to use teachers not represented by unions — teachers who won job security and comprehensive benefit plans, including guaranteed pensions, through their union membership. DeVos’s husband is Dick DeVos, former president and CEO of multilevel-marketing giant Amway Corp.; her Michigan-based family has donated millions to charter schools, and if she’s confirmed for the Education post, expect her advocacy and clout to shrink union power and whittle away at teachers’ retirement plans. The DeVos family has a history of backing similar causes. Every year it hosts the West Michigan Policy Forum, which has decided to fight to restructure government pensions and benefits in 2017. — Julie Segal


The 2017 Pension Political Power 25

1. Andy Puzder
Secretary of Labor
2. Bruce Rauner
Governor of Illinois
3. Betsy DeVos
Secretary of Education
4. Laura & John Arnold
Founders,
Laura and John Arnold Foundation
5. Steven Mnuchin
Secretary of the Treasury
6. Wilbur Ross
Secretary of Commerce
7. Tani Cantil-Sakauye
California Chief Justice
8. Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House
9. Anthony Scaramucci
Founder, SkyBridge Capital
10. Kevin de León
California State Senator and President Pro Tempore
11. Mike Enzi
Chairman, Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security
12. Steve Sweeney
President,
New Jersey State Senate
13. Jerry Brown
Governor of California
14. Corey Lewandowski
Co-founder, Avenue Strategies
15. Paul Singer
President,
Elliott Management Corp.
16. Randel Johnson
Senior Vice President, Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
17. Joe Manchin
U.S. Senator
18. Kenneth Feinberg
Founder and managingpartner, Feinberg Rozen
19. Scott Walker
Governor of Wisconsin
20. Richard Trumka
President, AFL-CIO
21. Mike Rawlings
Mayor of Dallas
22. Elizabeth Warren
U.S. Senator
23. Kent Mason
Partner,
Davis & Harman
24. Bernie Sanders
U.S. Senator
25. Randi Weingarten
President, American Federation of Teachers

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