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Potential Education Secretary Nominee Attacked by Antiunion Group

It’s unknown if President-elect Joe Biden will select former National Education Association president Lily Eskelsen García as the nation’s next education secretary. But the former union head, who has emerged as a contender for the position, is drawing the attention of group associated with a powerful corporate lobbyist known as “Dr. Evil.”

The group, the Center for Union Facts, took out a full-page ad in the Washington edition of The Wall Street Journal on Thursday with a picture of García under the headline “Meet Biden’s Potential Education Secretary.” The ad went on to charge that the former Utah teacher of the year opposed the evaluation of teachers.

The group says on its website that it is a nonprofit, “supported by foundations, businesses, union members, and the general public,” that is “dedicated to showing Americans the truth about today’s union leadership.” The Center for Media and Democracy’s SourceWatch, however, calls it a “front group for individuals and industries opposed to union activities” and one of several groups created to push policy objectives by a lobbyist, Rick Berman — who according to a 2007 profile of him on 60 Minutes takes delight in the “Dr. Evil” nickname.

The NEA declined comment. But Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, took to Twitter to attack the ad, writing, “they are attack dogs paid by deep pocketed interests looking to continue @BetsyDeVosED anti public ed agenda.”

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