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Louisiana’s “Education PAC”: A Bit About Nancy Landry, Eddie Rispone, and Lane Grigsby, and More.

September 19, 2019

In my perusal of Louisiana campaign finance reports, I discovered the PAC featured in this post.

On January 31, 2017, Louisiana lawyer and former La. House rep Nancy Landry started a Louisiana PAC called the Education PAC.

Investigating the political connections among ed-reform associates is very much spider-webby-entangling. I will purposely keep this one brief.

Landry was the House education chair who publicly demeaned Louisiana teachers in 2012; Landry proposed a motion (which passed) requiring teachers who came before the House ed committee to state what kind of leave they took to be present to speak during a school day.

nancy landry 2

Nancy Landry

The first donors to Landry’s Education PAC were Louisiana businessmen Lane Grigsby and Edward Rispone. Each donated $25,000 in 2016.

Both Grigsby and Rispone are associated with Lousiana Business and Industry (LABI), which is a major promoter of education reform in Lousiana. LABI loves Nancy Landry.

Grigsby’s own Empower Louisiana PAC was a funnel for six out-of-state billionaires from four families to contribute a combined $3M to influence the outcome of Louisiana’s 2015 Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) election.

Rispone, who is running for governor and who promotes charters and vouchers, is closely aligned with Betsy DeVos. I touch on Rispone in my August 28, 2019, post:

In December 2018, Jim Walton donated $100K to the Louisiana Federation for Children Action Fund, a PAC to which he has donated in the past ($35K in October 2016 and $50K in March 2017).

The chairperson for Louisiana Federation for Children Action Fund is Eddie Rispone (see here and here and here)….

Louisiana Federation for Children is a state affiliate of American Federation for Children, the national, school choice organization formerly chaired by US secretary of education Betsy DeVos.

Devos and her husband Richard each made a $100K contribution to Louisiana Federation for Children in 2015, expressly to support and oppose certain candidates in various Louisiana elections. (Rispone also contributed $75K toward this school-choice-shaping effort.)

Spider-webby. Back to Landry.

In October 2017, Grigsby and Rispone each droped another $25K in Landry’s Education PAC. They are by far the largest contributors. (Six others only contributed a combined $6,500.)

The only BESE candidate the Education PAC has supported is Holly Boffy ($1,000 on 03/18/19; $1,500 on 06/11/19).

I guess Landry became tired of operating a PAC that did not seem to be garnering any notable funding beyond the $100K donated by Grigsby and Rispone combined. In July 2019, Landry was replaced as Education PAC chair by LABI lobbyist, Brigitte Nieland, who in 2019 quit LABI to lead government affairs for the corporate ed reform group, Stand for Children.

Stand for Children operates three PACs in Louisiana– with scant funds coming from those who reside in the state. I am working on a post about that one.

More web.

Stay tuned.

spider and fly


Interested in scheduling Mercedes Schneider for a speaking engagement? Click here.


Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

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Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

both books

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