Philly Adjunct Lauches Crowdfunding Campaign to Buy U.S. Senator’s Vote to Block DeVos Appointment

by Madison Kircher

The Senate will vote on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos. The way the numbers currently play out, Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education is in a precarious position: If just two more Republican senators (no Democrat is expected to vote in favor of DeVos) flip their votes, she won’t have the numbers necessary to be appointed. This means Republican senators from states like Ohio, Nevada, North Carolina, Arizona, and Pennsylvania are of particular importance. So much so that one woman, Katherine Fritz, an adjunct faculty member at a community college, launched a GoFundMe campaign hoping to raise more than $55,800 to “buy” Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey’s vote.

The goal number of $55,800 isn’t arbitrary, Fritz, a Philadelphia-based writer, teacher, and costume designer, told Select All. It amounts to roughly the same amount of dollars Toomey received from DeVos in campaign contributions.

“I watched all three hours of the Betsy DeVos hearings, and I was appalled that I could answer some of the basic education policy questions that seemingly stumped her,” Fritz said. “I mean, I’m an adjunct faculty member at a community college, not an expert in education reform, and it was shocking to me that her answers about how to regulate and oversee charter schools didn’t seem to have any concrete proposals, or that she couldn’t distinguish between growth and proficiency.”

Despite phone calls and faxes from herself and “every educator” she knows, Fritz said she was saddened to see Senator Toomey still looking like he was going to vote in favor of DeVos. “It seems like such blatant display of money taking precedent over common sense,” she said. “The thought, ‘If I had $55K, I would buy his vote, too,’ crossed my mind. Ten minutes later, I started a GoFundMe.”

A screenshot of the GoFundMe. Photo: GoFundMe

The crowdfunding campaign, which Fritz launched last Wednesday night, has been live for less than 24 hours and has already raised over $7,000 and counting. “I don’t think I can actually give it to Senator Toomey under the condition that he vote ‘No’ for DeVos; technically, that might constitute a bribe, and I’m not interested in breaking a federal law,” Fritz said. “I think the goal is just to raise awareness that the way that Betsy DeVos’s money can reach the senator is perfectly legal, despite it seeming like such a blatant conflict of interest.” Instead, Fritz says the money raised will be split among three charities — a girls’ leadership camp in Philadelphia, the Children’s Literacy Initiative, and the Pennsylvania Arts Education Network — that can put it to good use. “If a dumb internet joke can give some money to any of these causes, what an excellent way to spend a Wednesday evening,” Fritz said.

Short URL:

Leave a Reply

Keep in Touch With AdjunctNation

Graphic Graphic Graphic


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.



From the Archive

  • Giving Students Feedback Effectively

    Feedback should be: Timely Supportive Geared toward improvement Focused on the work, not on the person Selective What does the student most need to know in order to improve? What is the student capable of understanding/doing at this time?What will give the student the biggest “pay-off” in terms of improvement? Give more feedback earlier, less […]

  • Teaching in Cameroon, Central Africa

    by Jon Smythe Teaching English in Cameroon, Central Africa, is a study in diversity and a case of teaching English in challenging circumstances. Often referred to as Africa in miniature because of its mix of climatic zones, language dialects, and plant and animal life, Cameroon offers a wide range of teaching and learning opportunities for EFL teachers. As a U.S. Peace […]

  • The Academic’s Handbook

    A. Leigh Deneef, Editor Crauford D. Goodwin, Editor Duke University Press, 2007, 416 pages. $24.95 reviewed by Mark Drozdowski When I finished graduate school six years ago, I wasn’t eyeing a traditional career as a faculty member. Had I been, I would have found The Academic’s Handbook quite valuable. This rather meaty volume, now in […]

  • A Review of “The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy”

    The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy by Maggie Berg and Barbara Seeber (University of Toronto Press, 2016; $26.95) Reviewed by Christina Turner Symbols of the neoliberal university in Canada are so common these days it’s hard not to feel inured to them sometimes. Stories of $1 million signs going up next […]

  • A Review Teaching Tips (10th Edition)

    by Janice Albert EVERYTHING ABOUT “Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research and Theory for College and University Teachers” (Houghton Mifflin, 10th edition), by Dr. Wilbert McKeachie, suggests that it was originally intended for the beginning college-level teacher or teaching assistant. Now in its tenth edition, “Teaching Tips” is not so much one book as an anthology written by seven authors. The overall plan […]


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.

Recently Commented

  • Nancy West-Diangelo: It’s as if we’ve lost the ability to listen critically. If the point of the work we...
  • Freddi-Jo Bruschke: An excellent description of this editorial.
  • Julia Holcomb: Tolerance certainly doesn’t mean you get to say things you cannot prove, about things that ought...
  • Michele Spino Martindill: White supremacy has had hundreds of years to dominate campus environments and doesn’t...
  • Anthony Fields: Critique is one thing: preventing someone from even speaking is another. There has been a definite...