In the future historians will grapple with how charter schools became the cause celebre of centrist billionaires – from Walton, Bloomberg to Broad – in an age of plutocracy. This is a very important article about the toxic effect of the powerful charter lobby on the Democratic Party and on democracy itself.' Funded by billionaires and arrayed against unions, it is i ncreasingly contesting for power in city halls and statehouses where Democrats already govern. 'In California, PACs funded by charter school backers have become the largest donors to centrist Democratic state legislators who favor expanding charters at the expense of school districts. In the NY primary, charter supporter Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to a PAC seeking to unseat several Democratic legislators who’ve defended the role and budget of traditional public schools.