January 26, 2016
USEACEOs

Energy Lobbyists Gather, Blame Obama and the Pope

Last week, on the day after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that 2015 was by far the hottest year on record, the energy industry’s chief lobbyists gathered in a downtown Washington ballroom to tell each other that the real problem was not global warming, but rather efforts by the Obama Administration — and Pope Francis — to contain global warming.

The remarks of these lobbyists suggested that many of them live on a different planet, where climate change is not an urgent challenge but rather is the obsession of ideological malcontents.

The meeting, held annually, is sponsored by the United States Energy Association, …

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January 6, 2016
Steve-Gunderson-President-CEO-APSCU

Ex-Congressman Solicits $80,000 From For-Profit Colleges for Court Paper Aimed At Shielding Fraud

The Republican ex-congressman who now works as the chief lobbyist for the troubled for-profit college industry has ushered in the new year with an email asking for-profit college owners to finance a legal brief aimed at limiting the legal risk of companies in fraud cases.  The amount that Steve Gunderson, CEO of the industry trade group APSCU, says he needs to pay for the single, short brief he proposes to file with the U.S. Supreme Court? $80,000.

The email, obtained by Republic Report, opens with a hearty “Happy New Year!” greeting but then gets down to business, with Gunderson describing what’s at …

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November 30, 2015
EDMC

Congress On Verge of Big Gift to For-Profit College EDMC

After settling multiple law enforcement investigations this month on absurdly favorable terms, troubled for-profit college company Education Management Corp. (EDMC) may be on the verge of getting a sweetheart deal from Congress — a deal that could compound the harms that the company already has caused to students and taxpayers.

A provision in the highway bill conference agreement would amend the federal Trust Indenture Act in a way that could benefit retroactively two corporations that are facing potential bankruptcy — the casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. and EDMC, which operates the Art Institutes, Argosy University, Brown Mackie College, and …

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November 25, 2015
perezmug

Strip Mall For-Profit College Owners Locked Up; Wall Street Owners Walk Away

On Tuesday, a federal jury in Miami convicted Alejandro Amor, the owner of shut-down FastTrain College, of theft and conspiracy. Amor gained notoriety when it was disclosed that FastTrain, a for-profit college, used strippers to recruit students, but the offense for which he now faces a long prison sentence was enrolling, and cashing federal financial aid checks for, some 1,300 students who were ineligible because they lacked a high school degree. Before FastTrain was shut down by an FBI raid in 2012, it received, over five years, about $35 million in federal taxpayer-funded Pell grants and student loans. Federal prosecutors have acted to seize …

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October 29, 2015
mccain-senate-floor

McCain Lashes Out At Durbin, Defends Veteran-Abusing For-Profit Colleges

Senator John McCain (R-AZ), in a speech on the Senate floor yesterday afternoon, charged that fellow Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has “orchestrated” a “shameful … vendetta against for-profit universities.” McCain upped the ante by asserting that Durbin has a “well-known record of not supporting the men and women who are serving in the military.” Alleging a larger conspiracy, McCain repeated accusations in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial that “the Obama Administration’s military tribunal is punishing” the biggest for-profit college, the University of Phoenix “for being a target of the political left” and that “General Durbin has commanded the Education Department and Department …

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October 22, 2015
mccainalexander

McCain, Alexander Press DoD To Back Off Probe of U. of Phoenix, Their Donor

Republican Senators John McCain (AZ), Jeff Flake (AZ), and Lamar Alexander (TN) wrote today to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter calling on him to “reconsider” the Department’s decision to put the largest for-profit college, the University of Phoenix, on probation for alleged violations in recruiting U.S. military service members.

All three Senators have received significant campaign contributions from officials of Apollo Education Group, the owner of the University of Phoenix; the company is the largest donor in the 2016 election cycle to both Flake and Alexander, who is chair of the Senate committee overseeing education policy. Alexander received

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October 20, 2015
pole

For-Profit College Owner, Who Used Strippers As Lure, Goes On Trial

Alejandro Amor (pictured just above), the former owner-CEO of for-profit FastTrain College, is scheduled to face a jury trial in Miami Wednesday morning. Amor and his co-defendant, former FastTrain admissions staffer Anthony Mincey, face criminal charges of defrauding the federal government to obtain about $6.5 million in student aid — Pell grants and Direct Loans. Two other FastTrain employees charged in the case, Jose Gonzalez and Michael Grubbs, already have pled guilty and are on the government’s witness list.

Amor and FastTrain gained national attention in late 2014 when federal and state prosecutors alleged in court papers that the school “purposely hired …

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October 14, 2015

Purveyors of Wisdom on Higher Ed Panel Have Advanced Harmful For-Profit College Agenda

Today, the day after the New York Times ran a blockbuster front-page lead story describing some of the worst ongoing abuses of big for-profit colleges, one of the nation’s leading higher education philanthropies kicked off a major conference in Washington with a panel giving its place of honor to the retired former chairman of the House of Representatives committee on education, Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA).

It can be said that in Congress, McKeon truly made his mark on higher education. Before his retirement earlier this year, McKeon worked to unshackle the for-profit college industry from sensible safeguards and then to block reforms aimed …

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