Carol Burris writes:

Patrick Byrne is the present chairman of the EdChoice. He is also the CEO of Ed Choice is the new name of the Friedman Foundation. Milton Friedman, of course, introduced the idea of vouchers in the 1950s and founded the foundation with his wife to push school privatization.

In 2007, Patrick Byrne and his family financed over $4 million of the $5 million raised by Families for Choice, a PAC formed to support vouchers during a 2007 referendum in Utah. Upon realizing that vouchers were rejected by 62% of voters, he referred to the referendum as a “statewide IQ test that Utahns failed.”  He publicly concluded that “They [the parents of Utah] don’t care enough about their kids.”

A month prior to the vote a video of Byrne surfaced in which he said, referring to the minority dropouts of Utah, “You may as well burn those kids. That’s the end of their life.”  When asked by the NAACP to apologize, he refused.

Byrne seems to delight in making outrageous and hurtful statements.

He was fined nearly $1 million for defamation of character on a website he created called Deep Capture LLC.  In articles he posted on the website he said that Canadian businessman Altaf Nazerali was “a criminal, arms dealer, drug dealer, terrorist, fraud artist, gangster, mobster, member of the Mafia, dishonest, dangerous and not to be trusted.” He linked him to Osama bin Laden.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune:

“The ruling said Byrne, Mitchell and Deep Capture LLC “engaged in a calculated and ruthless campaign to inflict as much damage to Mr. Nazerali’s reputation as they could achieve.” They engaged in a vendetta in which the truth “was of no consequence,” the judge wrote.”

Byrne has contributed to pro-school choice candidates outside of his state. For example, he gave $465,000 to Indiana candidates and PACs, beginning with Mitch Daniels’s gubernatorial campaign. Daniels was a founding Board member of EdChoice who enacted both voucher and neo-voucher programs in Indiana. You can read more about how Mitch Daniels systematically sought to destroy public education in Indiana here.

It you had a nonprofit organization committed to helping children by giving them opportunities through School Choice would you have Patrick Byrne as your Board Chairman? What does that say about the School Choice movement?