Joe Williams, a former newspaper reporter, is the executive director of Democrats for Education Reform (DER) founded in 2007 with offices in 10 states. DER, a political action committee, started 4 years ago because "Democrat donors" viewed politicians as not helpful on educational issues. Political problems surrounded education and "entrenched interests" dominated it. The "entrenched interests," are teachers, unions, administrators and any other pro-public education group. The PAC called President Barack Obama "our poster child."