DFER does not have an active Pennsylvania branch, but they do have a PAC (Dems for Education Reform PA). DFER recently gave $750,000 to a a pro-voucher/charter candidate for Governor, State Senator Anthony Williams – but this money came from an unusual source: Joel Greenberg, Arthur Dantchik, and Jeff Yass. The trio also gave $1.5 million to Williams’ campaign through other organizations. All three are co-founders of Susquehanna International Group, a global financial institution. Yass sits on the board of directors at the CATO institute, a free-market think tank; Dantchick is on the board of the Institute for Justice, a libertarian civil rights nonprofit favoring school choice via vouchers, tuition tax credits, and charters. As one Philly Inquirer columnist put it:
If you’ve never heard of them, they will be pleased. They choose to fly below the radar and don’t grant media interviews. What little has been published about them offers that they are free-market entrepreneurs in the mold of Ayn Rand. According to a recent Philadelphia Magazine profile (written without the support of Susquehanna’s partners), Yass is a board member at the Cato Institute, and Susquehanna donates more than $500,000 each year to that libertarian think tank.
Senator Williams was DFER’s “Ed Reformer of the Month” for May 2010.