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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July 30, 2015
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Mass. Attorney General: For-Profit College Kaplan Deceived Students

Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey today announced settlements of her investigations of two large for-profit college chains — Kaplan and Lincoln Technical Institute — for unfair and deceptive student recruiting practices. Kaplan will pay $1.375 million to former students, and Lincoln Tech will pay out about $1 million.

Court documents filed in the matters describe the abuses that Healey found.

According to Healey, Kaplan Career Institute, which had campuses in Charlestown and Boston’s Kenmore Square, got students to enroll “with harassing sales tactics and misleading representations in its recruitment materials concerning its educational program and employment.” Healey found that Kaplan’s website …

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July 20, 2015
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Corinthian to Justice Dept: Get Our Docs Before ECMC Abandons Them

A lawyer for shut-down Corinthian Colleges has written to a U.S. Justice Department lawyer investigating the for-profit college company, warning that some school records may be “abandoned” as soon as next month. The June 29 letter, obtained by Republic Report, opens a window into the Corinthian litigation, and also highlights questions about the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to allow Zenith Education Group, a newly-created subsidiary of Minnesota-based debt collection company ECMC, to acquire some 50 former Corinthian campuses earlier this year.

In the letter, attorney Evan C. Borges of the firm Greenberg Gross, which represents Corinthian in its bankruptcy case, told Justice Department Civil Division …

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July 17, 2015
BillHansen

Debt Collection Agency Run By Ex-Bush Official & Ex-Corinthian Exec Sues To Pile More Penalties on Broke Students

Inside Higher Ed reports today that USA Funds, a corporation engaged in collecting federal student loan debts from borrowers, has sued the U.S. Department of Education over a policy statement the Department released last week barring companies from charging loan collection fees to students who default but promptly make arrangements to resume payments.

USA Funds’s complaint says the Department letter is “an obvious response” to a legal brief that USA Funds filed in a separate lawsuit. In that case, a Kansas woman, Bryana Bible, sued USA Funds for assessing more than $4500 in extra collection fees against her to remove her loan from default …

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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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July 14, 2015
gunderson3

Big For-Profit Colleges Quit Trade Group APSCU

Some of the largest for-profit college companies — including, last month, DeVry and Kaplan — have recently left the industry’s main trade group, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU). The defections have come amid a rapid decline in the reputations and fortunes of many for-profit colleges — and the apparent failure of the D.C.-based trade association’s strategy to protect the industry, which in recent years received as much as $33 billion in federal aid.

Some of the companies that have left APSCU face mounting federal and state law enforcement investigations for fraud and other misconduct. Some have seen …

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July 8, 2015
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GOP Candidates Compete In For-Profit College Primary

As the 2012 GOP nomination contest neared the critical Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney was asked by the Ames (Iowa) Tribune editorial board what he planned to do about higher education. Romney’s response (VIDEO) was crystal clear: He liked for-profit colleges, especially a Florida school called Full Sail University.  It turned out that Full Sail’s owners were among Romney’s top donors.

And that, it seemed, was the point: Although other GOP candidates that year, including Newt Gingrich, had personal and financial ties to the wealthy for-profit college industry, Romney, who denounced Obama Administration efforts to curb industry abuses, won that year’s for-profit …

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June 29, 2015
rivkin

Meet The Lawyers Who Pushed The Supreme Court to Block Toxic Power Plant Rules

In the last announced decision of its term, the U.S. Supreme Court today, by a 5-4 vote and an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, struck down the Environmental Protection Agency’s carefully-crafted rules to limit the emission of mercury and other toxic pollutants from oil and coal power plants.

Justice Scalia concluded that the EPA failed to meet its duty to consider the financial costs of the regulations. But as Justice Elana Kagan documented in her dissent for four justices, Scalia failed to acknowledge that the agency did in fact repeatedly consider costs, and he essentially substituted five Justices’ expertise …

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