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The Two Sides of Betsy DeVos

Recently, Betsy DeVos has kept people guessing about her real character. The residents of Grand Rapids, Michigan and other people who knew Betsy and her family’s dealings before President Trump appointed her are the most confused lot. Most of them do not know what to make of the relentless fighter and charter school advocate they knew years ago and the tone-deaf education secretary they see in the press.

When President Trump revoked a federal law allowing transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender, Betsy DeVos did not agree with the decision. The education secretary even went ahead to warn a representative of gay and transgender employees at the Education Department. However, during a press briefing to release the information to the public, the seemingly relentless fighter did not show any signs of a misunderstanding within the Trump administration. Betsy DeVos did not only join in the statement, but she also said that the policy needed to be revoked and that it was an example of some of the previous administration’s overreach.

Some people who knew Betsy DeVos before being appointed as the U.S Education Secretary warn against thinking she is not a team player. Others claim that she may be publicly composed in spite of setbacks, but she can be a competent, relentless fighter behind the scenes. Before Ms. DeVos was in government, she was able to silently pass legislation and unseat some members who did not agree with her reforms. She is also known to reward her friends handsomely and punish her enemies. Critics say that she was able to achieve all these partly because of her vast family fortune.

When Ms.DeVos was appointed as education secretary, she had no prior experience in government. To make things worse, she found herself in a docket that had no officers in the upper ranks to advise her. During the boardroom debate on the transgender bathrooms issue, she had no one to back her up, and she was perceived to be opposing the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. Mr. Sessions had an upper hand on the matter partly because he is a former senator with a long civil service career, and he had political connections that granted him access to Trump’s inner circle.


About Betsy Devos

Elisabeth DeVos was born in Holland, Michigan on January 8, 1958. She is married to Dick DeVos who is the former Chief Executive Officer of Amway Corp. Both hail from wealthy families that have been influencing Republican Party politics for decades. Betsy and her husband are known for their philanthropic causes through their Dick and Betsy Family Foundation.

According to a 2015 report on the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, Betsy and her husband made over $11 million in charitable contributions that year. The figure is twice the $5.3 million in campaign donations that Betsy DeVos made to the Republican Party over the last five years. This information came into the public domain during the vetting process for the position of U.S Education Secretary.


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This entry was posted on February 20, 2018 by .