Crapo staffer: Calls ran overwhelmingly against DeVos

Last week, a staffer for Sen. Mike Crapo spilled the beans on something that had been a well-kept secret.

Phone calls on Betsy DeVos ran about 19-to-1 against the controversial education secretary nominee.

“We are getting a lot of calls about the cabinet picks,” Crapo regional director Bryan Ricker said, according to the Argus Observer in Ontario, Ore. “DeVos is the one we’re hearing the most about … and I think 95 percent are against her.”

Ricker made his remarks in a meeting with Payette County commissioners.

Last week, Crapo spokesman Robert Sumner didn’t offer a breakdown on DeVos calls.

“Our offices have been experiencing higher than normal call volume on many issues, including cabinet nominations,” he said in a statement. “While many of those calls have been from out of state, we cannot distinguish that number precisely or differentiate how many of those may have come from repeat callers.”

Sen. Jim Risch also hasn’t divulged numbers. “We received a few thousand calls and emails combined regarding Betsy DeVos’ nomination,” spokeswoman Kaylin Minton said in a statement. “However, a majority of the calls came from out of state and were initiated and scripted by outside organizations. Many callers identified as Michigan natives.”

Crapo and Risch voted to confirm DeVos Feb. 6, in nearly a party-line vote. Vice President Mike Pence cast the deciding vote, breaking a Senate tie and confirming DeVos.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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