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Sen. Sherrod Brown Pushes Education Secretary Nominee to Pay a $5 Million Fine to Ohio

Betsy DeVos
DeVos' PAC was fined eight years ago, but never paid

Ohio’s Sherrod Brown is among a group of Senate Democrats urging President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary to pay the $5.3 million fine her political action committee owes Ohio. 

Brown, Bernie Sanders and three other Democratic senators wrote a letter this week urging Betsy DeVos to pay a fine levied by the Ohio Elections Commission eight years ago. DeVos’ PAC, All Children Matter, had contributed nearly $900,000 to its Ohio affiliate, though the commission had warned that would violate Ohio law.

Brown says paying the fine is important given the role DeVos would play.

“This is a small amount of money considering the millions of dollars that she and her family have given to candidates. And I guess I’d point out, too, that the $5 million would hire a lot of teachers in our public school systems around Ohio, and she wants to be the education secretary, she’s going to be talking about students not paying back their student loans.”

DeVos is a conservative school-choice advocate, and Brown says he differs with her on some issues. But he did not say he would vote against her nomination even if she doesn’t pay the fine.

Editor's note: An incorrect photo was originally posted with this story.