March 12, 2014

Former Washington Post Co. Still Owns Stake in Embattled For-Profit Corinthian Colleges

Graham Holdings Co., the renamed corporation that owned the Washington Post newspaper before selling it to Jeff Bezos last year, retains a major stake in Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit education company that is under investigation by a range of federal and state law enforcement agencies. According to an SEC filing today, Graham Holdings has sold about 1.7 million shares of Corinthian this month, but still owns another 4.6 million, amounting to about 5.3 percent of the company’s shares.

Graham’s continued ownership of Corinthian highlights how a family company that once proudly owned a prestigious investigative newspaper has fallen into the position …

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March 12, 2014

Chevron Hires Yet Another Democratic Staffer

Republic Report has obtained an e-mail from J.J. Ong, a senior Democratic staffer to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. On Monday, Ong announced that she is leaving the committee to take a job with the “international government affairs team at Chevron here in DC, where [Ong] will be managing their government relations work for the Asia Pacific region.”

Ong has worked for five years on the committee as a senior staffer to Reps. Eliot Engel and Howard Berman.

Chevron has a number of interests in Asia, including controversial investments in Myanmar and Indonesia.

As we have reported, Chevron has close …

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March 10, 2014

Jon Kyl, Barred From Lobbying, Offers to ‘Assist’ Clients with Tax Reform

Need help navigating the proposed federal tax system overhaul? Covington & Burling, a major law-lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., sent out a client alert recently announcing that former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) stands ready to assist businesses seeking the best outcome of the legislative proposal led by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

If enacted, the tax overhaul expected this year will change billions of dollars in tax credits and rates.

Kyl, however, is barred from lobbying because he left the senate last year and is still within the “cooling off period.” The Honest Leadership and Open …

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March 7, 2014

CHART: Koch Spends More Than Double Top Ten Unions Combined

The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel either has no understanding of campaign finance, or is willfully misleading her readers. In either case, her column today about the Koch brothers’ political spending — which parrots a meme that has bounced around conservative blogs and websites like a bad chain e-mail — gets the facts about Koch spending versus union spending completely wrong.

In her column, “The Really Big Money? Not the Kochs,” Strassel cites a Center for Responsive Politics list to claim that unions “collectively spent $620,873,623 more than Koch Industries” on political races. Of course, if …

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March 5, 2014
David Jolly

David Jolly’s Clients Won Earmarks From His Old Boss, Bill Young

David Jolly, the Republican congressional candidate vying for the special election in Florida next week, has not only made a career out of lobbying. Records reviewed by Republic Report show that Jolly’s clients won millions of dollars in taxpayer earmarks from his old boss, the late Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young (R-FL), an appropriator known for his lavish use of the earmarking process.

These earmarks contrast sharply with the claims made by Jolly that he did not build his business career through political connections to his former employer.

“I did not build my practice around Mr. Young, not in any stretch,” Jolly …

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March 3, 2014
Image: Bob Kerrey

Bob Kerrey To Keynote Meeting of For-Profit Colleges Charged With Abusing Vets

Former U.S. senator Bob Kerrey (D-Nebraska) will give keynote remarks at this spring’s annual convention of the for-profit college trade association, APSCU, in Las Vegas. It’s not really a surprise, since Kerrey recently co-authored a Wall Street Journal op-ed arguing against new federal rules to hold the troubled for-profit college industry accountable. But it’s a shame.

Kerry, a 1992 candidate for president who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for his brave acts as a Navy Seal in Vietnam, has chosen to back an industry that has many big players who are systematically abusing students, notably our …

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February 28, 2014

For-Profit College Execs To Get Lobbying Tips From Former Tobacco Official

It’s become increasingly clear from law enforcement, congressional, and media investigations that many for-profit colleges are selling a product that can be toxic to students — high-priced, low-quality programs that often leave graduates and dropouts alike without improved career prospects and paralyzed by student loan debt, often $100,000 or more.  So when the for-profit college companies’ trade association, APSCU, meets in Washington next week for its annual lobby day, whom has the group selected to speak to its members on the subject of “Crafting the Positive Impact Proposition of Private Sector Colleges and Universities”?

None other than John Dunham, …

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February 27, 2014

Obama Nominates SOPA Lobbyist for TPP Trade Post

This morning, President Obama nominated Robert Holleyman as deputy U.S. trade representative. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Holleyman will help lead the effort to pass the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Notably, Holleyman is a former lobbyist who led efforts to pass the Stop Online Piracy Act legislation, better known as SOPA, when he was leader of the Business Software Alliance. The SOPA debate (along with its sister legislation, PROTECT-IP, in the Senate) brought a spotlight on industry efforts to undermine Internet freedom through what many considered to be draconian intellectual property policy.

Critics have pointed out, …

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