WATCH: Why Colorado’s Michael Bennet voted ‘no’ on DeVos, Cory Gardner ‘yes’

A tale of two senators

WATCH: Why Colorado’s Michael Bennet voted ‘no’ on DeVos, Cory Gardner ‘yes’

Colorado’s Democratic and Republican U.S. senators were predictably split on today’s vote for Trump’s Department of Education pick Betsy DeVos.

The billionaire pro-voucher cabinet choice with no degree in education and no experience as a teacher or administrator became the first cabinet nominee in history to need the vice president to break a tie. Two Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski — joined Democrats in voting down her confirmation, which led to a 50-50 tie in the Senate. Vice-president Mike Pence broke that tie.

On Monday evening, Democrat Michael Bennet gave a two-minute speech on the floor of the Senate about why he would vote no.

On Tuesday he followed through with his ‘no’ vote.

Republican Cory Gardner voted ‘yes.’ Here’s his reasoning:

Photo by DonkeyHotey for Creative Commons on Flickr.

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About the Author

Corey Hutchins

is a journalist in Colorado, and Columbia Journalism Review's Rocky Mountain correspondent for the United States Project. Follow him on Twitter @CoreyHutchins and email him at CoreyHutchins [at] gmail [dot] com.

12 Comments

  1. Isabell Ringing on said:

    I will Not pay any taxes to the U S Govt to fund private education or charter schools. You want to send your kids to private schools, have at it, but I’m not paying one thin dime for them. Paying for private education is your responsibility as a parent. You want to send them to public school then I am willing to continue to fork out $$$ to support public education. Better ask Betsy for Amway for a loan because my wallet is now shut for business.

  2. Kevin Patrick on said:

    The saddest part about all of this comes from the first words in your opening statement, that they were `predictably’ split on this issue. This was such an obvious decision, that they should have been `predictably’ together on it. So sad how little integrity our leaders have anymore.

  3. M Merkle on said:

    It couldn’t have been the $41,600 in contributions Betsy gave this senator could it? Way to sell your vote Cory.

  4. Naveen on said:

    Mr. Gardner, you were proof that democracy in the U.S.A has failed today. You voted “yes” even after a very large majority of your constituents you represent told you to vote “no”. I understand that you took a donation of $46800 and I am reading that as “you sold the national interest for $46800”. That makes me wonder what else you will sell out for next. You have failed at your job to represent the people!

  5. Terry C on said:

    I’m happy that Bennet did the right thing. I understand that Gardner had to do what Mitch told him to do because we all know that with the GOP it is party over country.

    I called and emailed both senators. The email response I got from Gardner said that he voted for DeVos because he believes strongly in public schools. Well, if that were true then he obviously has no idea who Betsy DeVos is.

    Oh, there’s one other reason that probably swayed Gardner’s vote: $46,800 in campaign contributions from her to his campaign.

    It should be against the law for out of state/out of district donors to contribute to a candidate’s campaign. We have the best government that money can buy.

  6. KATRINA BRISTOL on said:

    I believed that you were an educated man and a man with integrity. I did not think that you would bend underneath the pressure of a party line when clearly this candidate for the office ofSecretary of Education lacked the basic qualifications and experience for the position. I am truly disappointed in your lack of judgment and dedication to the future of our country’s next generation.

  7. Patricia Greenberg on said:

    Michael Bennett is probably the only senator in the crowd who actually has experience in the public school system. Too bad the other side wasn’t listening.

  8. BeverlyNyberg on said:

    Mr. Gardner you don’t work for that piece of filth in the WH, you work for us. You seem to have forgotten that. How did you determine that she was sincere when she told you that baloney about support for public schools, by looking at her record for charter schools that she instituted in MI? In closing once more Who Do You Work For? Keep repeating that.

  9. Just the facts M'am on said:

    Hey Cory, How much would it cost to buy your vote the next time? Maybe double he money would get a different result ?

  10. richard korbin on said:

    So Cory, according to Huffington Post you
    accepted $49,800 from the DeVos family.

    You’re going to fit right in with the new administration. Congrats Comrade!

  11. FIN Denver and Jeffco on said:

    Senator Gardner (or should I say Mr. Gardner because you sure as this Centennial state is square don’t represent my interests). I sent a fax and left seven messages on your Washington office voicemail to oppose DeVos. Did you get those? No? No. I haven’t been paid off, dummy, but you sure have been.

    I hope to God I get to carry a tall, lean sign, in Novemb*r ’18, that says “Pack your bags”.

    And we both know that history tells me that I will not be alone. That history from last weekend and the weekend before and the weekend before and the weekend before tells me I will not be alone in my vote to oust you. MLK. Women’s March. Anti Immigration Ban Protest/Rally. I was there with a few who agree with me.

    And I recognized the strong provocation factor in the sign carried by the guy sitting next to me on the high marble wall at Denver’s Civic Center Theater: We can do this every weekend, asshole. I could send a pic if you need validation.

    You think representative government is all about the representative. Nah, pardner. Like a union, we’re going to shut you down, and union, of all stars and stripes, is a good thing for the people.

    You were elected as a moderate, and now you present as an extremist, and the general citizenry is going to boot your sorry saddle to the curb. Git done what you can cuz we gonna vote you out. You speak to your constituents, in your justification for your vote video, as if we are stupid. We know very well that when you say parents should have a choice where is send their public school child, you really mean parents should get tax payer money to send their buckaroos to private schools via vouchers. We are on to you sir.

    The citizenry is the authority, we wear the star of authority, Gardner, and you are the undesirable.

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