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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October 12, 2015
Lieberman-No-Labels

Group Holding Bipartisan Presidential Debate Today is Dominated by Corporate Lobbyists

The non-profit group No Labels held an unusual candidate forum this morning in New Hampshire. The “No Labels Problem Solver Convention” featured five Republicans plus three Democrats — including Donald Trump, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley — all at the same event.

No Labels has been organizing on the ground in primary states, and the group’s pitch is appealing: putting America’s progress ahead of partisanship. It’s true — with a closely divided electorate, we can’t get things done without bipartisan cooperation. This morning, No Labels co-chair Jon Huntsman, Jr. (R), the former Utah governor, explained the group’s viewpoint …

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October 8, 2015
chambercommerce

For-Profit Colleges Enlist Capitol Hill Supplicants, US Chamber In Renewed Push Against Obama Rule

The for-profit college’s trade association, APSCU, was once mighty but is now hobbled, discredited, and depleted. Yet the group, and its industry, still have the money — most it from taxpayer-funded student aid to its schools —  to lobby, give campaign contributions to politicians, and hire lawyers to fight its biggest piece of Kryptonite: the Obama Administration’s “gainful employment” rule. The Department of Education issued this regulation earlier this year, and it is scheduled to go into effect at a still-undetermined time.

APSCU challenged the rule in federal district court, but Judge John D. Bates, a George …

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October 6, 2015
everglades

Report Exposes For-Profit College Abuses in Converting to Non-Profits

An investigative report released this morning documents how some for-profit college owners have converted their companies into non-profit schools in a way that allows them to evade the regulatory obligations and deservedly bad reputation of for-profits while continuing to reap enormous financial benefits.  These operators have done so, the report finds, by subverting the rules governing non-profit schools, while the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Education have largely stood by, asking a few questions here and there, but allowing the abuses to go on. The report reveals a trail of broken promises, where the school operator provided a series of assurances to …

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September 23, 2015
gunderson

For-Profit College Lobbyist Explains Decades of Fraud as Humanitarian Mission

A Politico profile of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan quotes just two commenters regarding the Obama Administration’s effort to curb abuses by for-profit colleges, and both of them have been long-time lobbyists for the industry: bulldog lawyer Lanny Davis and former congressman Steve Gunderson (R-WI), who heads the industry’s main trade group, APSCU.  Only Duncan is quoted defending Duncan, but the two lobbyists are given ample space to offer some of the most self-serving and misleading accounts imaginable about the controversy.

Gunderson, according to the piece, “admits [for-profit colleges] enrolled too many unqualified applicants who ended up defaulting on federal loans.” …

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August 28, 2015
Charles Koch

Charles Koch Distorts the Facts: Here Are The Ways His Money & Political Network Prevent Clean Energy Businesses From Succeeding

Earlier this week, President Obama correctly singled out the Koch brothers – Charles and David – and the Koch-funded network for standing in the way of America’s clean energy future. Charles Koch responded saying he was “flabbergasted” after hearing Obama’s remark. He continued, “We are not trying to prevent new clean energy businesses from succeeding.” This statement is, at best, highly misleading.

Charles Koch states that he believes government should be smaller and it should not subsidize businesses, including any form of energy business. But while he acknowledges that the fossil fuel businesses he owns benefit tremendously from government subsidies, he …

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August 19, 2015
Martella Jr. co-leads the Environmental practice group at Sidley Austin LLP.
Martella Jr. co-leads the Environmental practice group at Sidley Austin LLP.

The Corporations Funding The Lawyers To Fight The Clean Power Plan

Lawyers from coal-dependent states, led by West Virginia, are challenging President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Joining their effort is an army of industry-funded law firms that specialize in fighting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Together, they will argue that the EPA does not have any authority under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to issue the carbon regulations; they will also contest the legality of the “fence line” used to set state emission targets. Yet, buried in coverage of the litigation is the fact that the coalition suing the EPA is connected to some of the largest …

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July 15, 2015
gunderson

APSCU Letter To For-Profit Colleges: Our New Direction

Former congressman Steve Gunderson (R-WI), president of the for-profit colleges’ main trade association, APSCU, this morning sent a dramatically-worded letter to APSCU members announcing organizational changes that “have the potential to create a new beginning for the sector and the association.”  In the circumstances, his words were reminiscent of Spinal Tap’s David St. Hubbins, who boldly told a sparse amusement park crowd, “Hope you enjoy our new direction.”

As Republic Report reported first yesterday, for-profit giants DeVry and Kaplan left APSCU last month, following the departures in the past year of ITT Tech, EDMC, and now-shuttered Corinthian. As …

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