Hillary’s Scarlet Letter

During 1990 and 1991, Hillary Clinton was paid $102,000 by the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE) for her alleged work on the center’s “Workforce Skills” program. NCEE is an education thinktank created in 1988, jump-started by Carnegie Foundation funds as well as $5.5 million of New York state taxpayer money, sold to the legislature by former governor Mario Cuomo, the honorary chair of NCEE.

Originally headquartered in Rochester, New York, NCEE’s primary charge was to redesign Rochester’s faltering schools. It is now clear that NCEE’s agenda was far wider in scope than reforming an obscure upstate New York school district. Rochester schools were the designated laboratories for an experiment in nationalizing education. To achieve a total restructuring of education, NCEE’s plan required an unprecedented link between education and government, and deliberately blurred the lines between federal Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services.

NCEE and its payment to Mrs. Clinton are currently under investigation by New York Attorney General Dennis Vacco. As a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, NCEE has admitted to spending more than $2 million lobbying. This is not only a violation of federal and state tax statutes, but the lobbying effort and payment to Mrs. Clinton also raise other legal and ethical questions: What was the nature of NCEE’s lobbying, and who were the beneficiaries of $2 million in “fees”? Did NCEE violate New York’s competitive bidding laws? Was NCEE, in fact, a political strategy organization using taxpayer money and the protections of tax-exempt status to advance a socialist scheme? Apparently, NCEE had a contract with the controversial Arkansas Rose Law firm to perform work that, to date, the firm is unable to identify. It is also unable to explain the $102,000 fee paid to Mrs. Clinton. While we await the results of Mr. Vacco’s legal probe, there is abundant evidence available exposing the tangled web and tentacles of NCEE and its questionable motives.

Two years ago, I received a copy of an eighteen-page, single-spaced letter. The letter was dated November 11, 1992, written just one week after the 1992 presidential election. It was authored by Marc Tucker, president of NCEE. The letter was addressed to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Marc Tucker has been a federal education bureaucratic “insider” since 1965 when he became assistant executive director of the Northwest Regional Education Laboratory in Portland, Oregon. This system of regional federal education laboratories was the result of the Johnson administration’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. When President Carter established the U.S. Department of Education in 1976 as quid pro quo to the National Education Association for its centerpiece role in winning Carter’s election, Tucker was positioned within Democratic liberal circles to demand highly visible research and policy positions. It is noteworthy that Tucker left government in 1981, citing his refusal to work under the Reagan administration. One of President Reagan’s campaign promises was to abolish the Department of Education.

Working outside the Reagan mainstream, Tucker cultivated a circle of liberal politicians, educators, and businessmen. Beginning with his 1986 report on teaching, “A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century,” Tucker demonstrated meticulous and cunning skills to manipulate the interwoven institutions of big government, education, and big business.

I am often asked if Tucker and his menagerie of NCEE colleagues represented a conspiracy to redesign every facet of American life. While I avoid conspiracy theories and unproductive paranoia associated with the Oliver Stoning of American events, the Tucker/Hillary letter certainly suggests a “conspiracy of vision” and a consensus to implement that vision.

In addition to Mario Cuomo, Tucker appointees to NCEE’s board of directors included Hillary Clinton; Ira Magaziner; vice-chair and Governor of North Carolina James Hunt; David Rockefeller; Adam Urbanski; president of the Rochester teacher union; Richard Mills, former Vermont education commissioner and current holder of the same post in New York; Dr. Lauren Resnick, described by newspaper columnist Bob Holland as the University of Pittsburgh “testing guru”; Vera Katz, liberal speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives; former Apple Computer CEO and Clinton campaign contributor John Sculley; and pollster Lou Harris. There are other NCEE board members, but this list sufficiently illustrates the singular vision of the NCEE politburo.

Four paragraphs into the letter, Tucker acknowledges “personal responsibility” for its contents. He explains, however, that “everyone involved in the planning effort is in broad agreement.” Tucker’s opening salvo:

Dear Hillary:

I still cannot believe you won. But utter delight that you did pervades all the circles in which I move. I met last Wednesday in David Rockefeller’s office with him, John Sculley, Dave Barram and David Haselkorn. It was a great celebration. Both John and David R. were more expansive than I have ever seen them—literally radiating happiness. My own view and theirs is that this country has seized its last chance. I am fond of quoting Winston Churchill to the effect that “America always does the right thing—after it has exhausted all the alternatives.” This election, more than anything else in my experience, proves his point.

What were the alternatives exhausted in the endless effort to shore up educational meltdown, prevent cultural implosion, and loosen free-market restraints? For example, did we implement parental choice in education? Legislate fiscal incentives to create new private schools? Abolish the U.S. Departments of Education, Commerce, Labor, and Health and Human Services? Did Congress pass a parental rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution?

Repeal NAFTA? Were the near 60 percent of the people who did not vote for Clinton partner to the seizure of America’s “last chance”? That Tucker even hints NCEE’s agenda resulted only after the American people had, indeed, exhausted all efforts to repair, especially, the morass that passes for public education, is an example of rabid intellectual dishonesty and arrogance.

The letter outlines how the schools (all of them) and the workplace (every calling in America) will be forcibly united to implement a national human resources development scheme. Tucker calls this union a “seamless system of unending skill development. . . .”

But I think Zbigniew Brzezinski calls this “seamless web” by its rightful name—”coercive utopia.”

Using the ruse of getting value for education dollars and seducing employers with promises to deliver skilled workers, the Clinton administration intends to construct a national system of interconnected local labor boards to serve as clearinghouses for every skill and job in America. No one will be exempt from obtaining a “work card” issued by their neighborhood job stand. Employers will not be able to hire workers without registering all jobs with labor authorities, nor will they be permitted to hire workers who do not posses the card. In order to obtain the card, everyone over the age of sixteen must obtain either a Certificate of Initial Mastery (CIM), Certificate of Advanced Mastery (CAM), or Occupational Skills Certificate (OSC). These certificates are granted to those in a specific “occupational cluster” and to those already employed. No one escapes the card.

As Tucker explains in the letter, “We take the proposals Bill put before the country in the campaign to be utterly consistent with the ideas advanced in America’s Choice.” “America’s Choice” is the 1990 report “America’s Choice: High Skills or Low Wages?” authored by Hillary Clinton and Ira Magaziner. The Tucker/Hillary letter reaffirms objectives coauthored by Hillary Clinton and Ira Magaziner two years prior to the 1992 election. High on their list was to nationalize health care using schools as the entry-level vehicle. The inclusion of Magaziner and Hillary Clinton on NCEE’s board now becomes significant. The NCEE agenda required implementation. What better people to lobby that agenda than its primary authors?

The letter has its corresponding legislative agenda, manifested in Goals 2000, passed by Congress in March 1994: H.R. 1883, which proposes the merger of the Departments of Education and Labor; H.R. 1284, “School-Based Clinic Health Service Act”; H.R. 1617, “CAREERS Act,” and S. 143, “Workforce Development Act.” The cumulative impact of this legislation will result in full implementation of the letter and a complete subversion of every fundamental constitutional principle. The power of the secular state, as moral authority for all Americans, will be achieved.

The letter demands cabinet appointments with an unwavering commitment to the fulfillment of the letter’s objectives. Labor Secretary Robert Reich was one such choice. A key component of the secular state is that people are mere “human capital.” On February 6, 1996, Reich proclaimed that business should bear the costs of social change. To make the burden of bearing these costs palatable, Reich proposes that “government must offer incentives.” What he conceals is that business, united with government to consume “human capital” produced by schools, will be a union arranged by government fiat.

Missed by critics of Mrs. Clinton’s book, It Takes A Village, is the possibility that the contents of the book are intentionally irrelevant. It is the title that counts. The ploy to make this slogan mainstream by publishing a book authored by the wife of the U.S. president was brilliant marketing strategy. The origin of the phrase is unsubstantiated, but its purpose is clear—implant into the American consciousness the concept that parents should no longer be the primary caregivers of their children. Only the government and its cooperative hubs should raise a child.

From an in-depth system of mandatory apprenticeships, to students pigeonholed for a career by age sixteen, to schools functioning exclusively as factories charged with manufacturing workers paying enough tax dollars to fund this explosion of government, to business forced to make guarantees against layoffs or any changes in their business plan that would adversely affect the status quo, the letter makes clear that citizenship is now defined as productive workers serving the needs of a global marketplace. Education is no longer the pursuit of self-enlightenment, but rather a carefully identified and developed path to serving government.

The letter details the coercive plan by which business is to fund mandated employee training and retraining programs. Tucker states,

Everything we have heard indicates virtually universal opposition in the employer community to the proposal for a 1 1/2% levy on employers for training to support the costs associated with employed workers gaining these skills, whatever the levy is called. We propose that Bill take a leaf out of the German book. One of the most important reasons that large German employers offer apprenticeship slots to German youngsters is that they fear, with good reason, that if they don’t volunteer to do so, the law will require it. Bill could gather a group of leading executives and business organization leaders, and tell them straight out that he will hold back on submitting legislation to require a training levy, provided they commit themselves to a drive to get employers to get their average expenditures on front-line employee training up to 2% of front-line employee salaries and wages within two years.

Currently, official German unemployment is reaching an unprecedented 11 percent, which does not include the estimated 2 million who have given up looking for work. The German economy is suffering alarming-stagnation that can be traced to the suffocating merger of its business with government. This is the “page from the German book” the letter intends to copy.

H.R. 1617, the Careers bill, passed the House of Representatives on September 19, 1995. The Senate version, S. 143, “Workforce Development Act,” was approved October 11, 1995. As itemized by Pennsylvania psychologist Steve Kossor in the Kossor Education Newsletter, this legislation will:

Create the infrastructure that includes the National Workforce Development Board, a state Workforce Development and Literacy Plan, Local Workforce Development Board to work with the Regional Workforce Development Boards. Governors appoint councils which develop the plans for compliance with federal mandates, designated by the School-to-Work Opportunities Act as the State Workforce Council. Each local board must be tied into the National Labor Market Information System, a computer data base that maintains: a complete dossier on every adult, a complete listing of all available jobs, a complete listing of all training programs and “certified providers,” a complete listing of all “supporting services” (transportation, daycare, etc.). A “displaced homemaker” is noted as an adult with diminished marketable skills. This runs counter to the requirement that every adult will be required to engage in “productive” work for the benefit of the “global economy.”

Why was H.R. 1617 passed by the Gingrich revolutionaries? Partly because it was sold to Congress as a consolidation of previous legislation and would result in a $6.5 billion cost savings. An explanation written by Representative Sonny Bono (R-44th District, Ca.) to a concerned California resident offers insight into how legislation misses the scrutiny of some of the more allegedly vigilant members of Congress. He writes:

This legislation will stress private sector partnerships and increase leadership and responsibility of the private sector as it relates to investments in workforce training and preparation. It would establish a market driven system, accountability and customer choice. In addition, it would improve education by stressing programs that result in higher literacy rates while focusing on those trapped in poverty and demonstrating inadequate education achievement.

Obviously, Mr. Bono did not read the same H.R. 1617 that several California legislators did who authored a resolution on September 15, 1995, to oppose H.R. 1617 on the following grounds: H.R. 1617 combines the federal Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services to create a national

Interagency Group; requires a cooperative governance structure involving federal government and the states; states shall be considered employees of the Department of Labor which makes them federal employees; links numerous programs and services together including literacy, library services, education, parenting skills and ‘customized workforce development services.’

The bill makes a number of references to “data collection, standardized information and a National Electronic Data Base; The Careers Act creates a federal employment agency and refers to one-stop career centers, job search assistance, entry level training and statewide performance accountability.”

Carolyn Steinke, CEO of the California-based Parents Involved in Education, Inc., explain that Bono was instructed by his education advisers to vote in favor of H.R. 1617 based solely upon its consolidation and money-saving merits. When presented with the facts regarding H.R. 1617’s truer agenda, Bono is now silent. According to Ms. Steinke, Bono fired his education advisers.

H.R. 1284, the “School-Based Clinic Health Services Act of 1995,” is currently in congressional committee. On December 8, 1994, Pennsylvania parent Anita Hoge testified before the Department of Interior’s National Information Infrastructure Health and Education Data Security Hearing. Her testimony expertly detailed how “Medicaid is to become America’s universal service system, which will include universal health care coverage.”

While working on her health care scheme, Hillary Clinton found a loophole in Medicaid laws whereby schools could tap into these federal funds. By expanding the definition of disability to include a never-ending list of “mental at risk” categories, Medicaid could become the financial vehicle to “remediate” all kids and all adults not up to “worker speed.” The mandate is already in place. As required by the U.S. Department of Labor under the secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS), states mandate mental health outcomes as requirements for graduation. Any emotional disorder qualifies for Medicaid funds, until the student achieves the desired outcome. In her exhaustive testimony, Hoge reminds us of Ira Magaziner’s prophetic words: “. . . the traditional health insurance industry will disappear . . . Medicaid would merge into the main health care system.” “In time,” Hoge continues, “all Americans will be eligible for Medicaid benefits which will extend well beyond health care.”

The recent congressional budget duel gave clues to the Clinton agenda to explode government and irrevocably alter the Bill of Rights. His refusal to budge on the downsizing of education, work skill programs, and Medicaid funds would have compromised the agenda of the letter. Medicaid is the financial delivery system to condition all Americans for their place in the new American order of productive workers. With very few exceptions, the media have been either unable or unwilling to connect the dots between the letter and Clinton administration policy.

The NCEE quagmire raises disturbing issues beyond those under investigation by Attorney General Vacco. What is the flaw in the public scrutiny process that allowed NCEE’s agenda to escape public debate? Why are so many elected and unelected people embracing and advancing an agenda that violates the Constitution? The letter specifically calls for the implementation of its agenda during the first three years of Clinton’s administration. Why have the Republicans failed to publicly engage Clinton in a debate about the contents of the Tucker/Hillary missive? Why is there profound media silence? What disclosure procedures are in place documenting the validity of the reforms being advanced by NCEE and its political network? NCEE was initially charged with the responsibility for pumping up the poor academic performance of Rochester, New York, public schoolchildren. Even though we know that NCEE had a target in mind other than Rochester schools, since the implementation of NCEE education experiments, Rochester student achievement plummeted and taxes skyrocketed. How are unelected individuals held accountable for their publicly funded failures?

Under the Clinton “worker bee” world, shifting children from public to private schools will not escape “the work card.” Homeschoolers must all comply, if, under the Clinton plan, homeschoolers are not eventually forced to become “certified.” The Clinton administration has already identified the homemaker as “unproductive.” It is safe, therefore, to assume that the homeschooler will eventually be made to comply to the new Labor Republic. There is also a plan for free higher education. Costs are either irrelevant or incidental to the blueprint outlined in the letter. John Durie, reporting in the New York Post, recently stated that “American baby boomers are heading into retirement with potential liabilities of $11 trillion” resulting from an unfunded pension liability. The burden of this liability will fall upon the shoulders of future workers, excluding their obligation to pay for the staggering costs associated with the scheme to achieve the nationalization of education, labor, and health care.

Will the future theologian be issued a work card? How? We have a legislated and judicial lockout against taxpayer-supported religious education. How are potential Frosts, Leonard Bernsteins, Mother Teresas, and Martin Luther Kings nurtured by a Certificate of Mastery and advanced in the global marketplace by a National Workforce Card?

Constitutional law has been usurped by socialist gerrymandering. That a new political, social, and economic paradigm is enforced without public debate should incite every thinking American to ring congressional telephones. But apparently, too many people have suckled at the federal trough too long and too often to grasp the consequences of their self-indulgence. Conspicuously absent is any organized political opposition to the most significant ideological shift in our nation’s history.

In another manifesto, still resisting the archives of systemic failures, Karl Marx wrote, “When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character.” The Tucker/Hillary letter appears to have borrowed more than one page from yet another German book.

That we are on the eve of government by the anointed is legislative fact. That we have not, in fact, been absolutely corrupted begs debate. What better time than in a presidential election year to settle, once and for all, whether this nation is bound by constitutional and free-market principles or a centralized secular worker world. I, for one, would like to know on which side of the letter our elected representatives stand.


  • Karen Iacovelli

    Ms. Karen Iacovelli is Member of Board at The Philadelphia Trust Company. She is Director of Communications and a member of the Executive Board at Dispoz-O Inc. She produced and hosted the NY based radio and cable television program "Inside Education", and has assisted in drafting several city and state school choice programs.

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