November 10, 2014
AFL_CIO

Unlike Corporations and Millionaires, Unions Disclose Midterms Dark Money

Not all dark money is the same. Unlike corporations and individuals, organized labor is forced to play by a different set of rules.

In the very dark election of 2014, voters still have no clue about who paid for a significant portion of the election efforts propping up a whole new Congress. Many donors hid behind 501c non-profit shells to conceal their identity, while spending millions of dollars to influence the outcome through advertising and get-out-the-vote programs.

We may never know the names of the men, women, and corporations that funded the 2014 election. However, we do know some of the unions.

Many unions …

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October 27, 2014
hrc

2014 Campaign Shows Growing Public Disdain for Predatory For-Profit Colleges

In the 2o12 election campaign, when a reporter asked GOP candidate Mitt Romney what he planned to do about higher education and college affordability, Romney praised for-profit colleges, and particularly one school, Florida’s Full Sail University, for its ability to “hold down the cost of their education.” It was eventually exposed that: (1) Full Sail was perhaps the third most expensive college in America, (2) Full Sail’s owners were heavy contributors to the Romney campaign, and (3) Romney’s own private equity firm was actually invested in Full Sail.  But whatever Romney’s motives in singling out this sector, it was notable that …

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September 15, 2014
billjohn

Bill Maher, John Oliver Slam Predatory For-Profit Colleges

In a single week, two of America’s best comedic truth-tellers — John Oliver and Bill Maher — hit hard against the predatory for-profit colleges that rip off taxpayers and ruin students’ lives.

On his HBO show “Last Week Tonight,” Oliver attacked these profit-making colleges for their sky-high prices, meager spending on instruction, and deceptive and coercive recruiting tactics, including the enrollment of soldiers who had brain injuries and couldn’t even name the courses they’d signed up for. Oliver added, “I will say this for for-profit colleges: They’ve just given us all a first-class education in the depths of human depravity.” Oliver noted that …

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July 18, 2014
alexmooney

No Coordination? GOP Super PAC Tied to WV Candidate Alex Mooney

When the Supreme Court opened the doors to unlimited corporate influence in campaigns with the Citizens United ruling, there was a small caveat in the ruling to prevent corruption: groups raising outside funds could not legally “coordinate” with candidates. Candidates begging for unlimited donations, would, after all, constitute corruption. As recent history has shown, these anti-coordination rules are easily sidestepped.

Alex Mooney, the GOP nominee for Congress in the second district of West Virginia, won his election with help from a Super PAC called the Freedom Frontier Action Fund. Disclosures show that this Super PAC was not as independent as …

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June 2, 2014
mmiller

Matt Miller, Which Hat Is He Wearing?

Out of a crowded field of candidates hoping to replace retiring Representative Henry Waxman in Los Angeles, Democrat Matt Miller has attempted to distinguish himself by touting a variety of experiences. Miller’s campaign advertisement lists his various positions as a radio show host, education expert, former Clinton administration official, and business advisor. As he announced his candidacy, Miller took a leave from the Washington Post and NBC, where he was a columnist and contributor. What hasn’t been widely reported is his other bread-winning job: PR consultant.

Ethics forms filed by Miller to the House Clerk’s office, a standard procedure for …

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May 23, 2014
foxx_nc05_200

Top Donor for House Education Chair is For-Profit College Facing Federal and State Fraud Probes

As reported yesterday by OpenSecrets, Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) has no serious opposition in her bid for reelection, yet has received more than $800,000 in campaign contributions. More than half of that money has come from outside North Carolina, much of it from corporate special interests.

The biggest industry donating to Foxx, who is chair of the House subcommittee on higher education, is the for-profit education industry, which is fighting to stop the Obama Administration’s “gainful employment” rule.  That regulation, for which public comments are due on Tuesday, would hold predatory companies in the career education industry accountable for its …

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May 16, 2014

Ed Gillespie Made $3 Million Advising Big Oil and Gas Lobbyists, Other Corporate Clients

You won’t find Ed Gillespie, the likely Republican nominee to challenge Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) this fall, on the official list of lobbyists maintained by the Secretary of the Senate’s database. That’s because Gillespie isn’t registered. But not being registered doesn’t mean he doesn’t help big corporations and lobbying firms advance their interests in Washington.

As a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Virginia, Gillespie’s recently filed ethics forms show that he made $2,958,800 over the last year from his consulting firm, aptly named Ed Gillespie Strategies.

Though Gillespie was for many years a registered lobbyist, through his previous firm …

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May 13, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 10.39.17 AM

Marco Rubio: The Dirty Energy President

On Sunday’s ABC “This Week,” Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) expressed two notable opinions. First, he said he’s ready to be president of the United States. Second, he asserted that climate change is not caused by humans and cannot be slowed by regulation:

RUBIO:  I don’t agree with the notion that some are putting out there, including scientists, that somehow, there are actions we can take today that would actually have an impact on what’s happening in our climate.  Our climate is always changing.  And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research and — and …

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