November 13, 2014
SNAP

Still More Scam For-Profit College Websites – Linked to Dallas Mystery Man

I reported yesterday and this morning on scam websites that promise people help with jobs, food stamps, heat assistance, Medicaid — things that low-income and working Americans want — but the sites are really just fronts to get people’s phone numbers, so workers at a call center in Utah can pitch them on enrolling in overpriced, low-quality for-profit colleges.

Within 90 minutes after I posted my story yesterday, one of the sites I discussed, localemploymentnetwork.org, had been shut down. Perhaps just caution by its operators, or perhaps some concern about suggestions I made that the site’s owner, Neutron Interactive, and the …

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November 13, 2014
MedCareer1

More Scam Websites to Lure the Poor to For-Profit Colleges

Yesterday I reported on how a Utah-based company, Neutron Interactive, operated a website that promised jobs but was in reality a scam — it seemed to function mainly to send customer leads to at least one other company’s Salt Lake City call center, called EdSoup, whose only purpose, in turn, is to recruit people, mostly low-income people, to high-priced training programs at for-profit colleges. Similar sites promise food stamps, Medicaid, and heating assistance, but all lead to more pitches to sign up for expensive programs at the University of Phoenix, Brown Mackie, Colorado Tech, Kaplan, and other for-profits.  EdSoup …

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November 12, 2014
Peabody CEO Gregory Boyce
Peabody CEO Gregory Boyce

Peabody Energy CEO: Burning ‘Dung’ Real Environmental Issue, Not Coal

Another CNBC interview, another slow pitch interview for a fossil fuel executive.

Not too long ago, Republic Report caught a CNBC producer soliciting climate change denier pundits to “balance” a report about the costs of inaction on carbon emissions. Last weekend, CNBC brought on Gregory Boyce, Peabody Energy’s chief executive, to uncritically discuss how his coal company is attempting to airbrush the image of coal.

“People have this stigma that coal is the dirtiest form of electricity,” said the CNBC reporter. “How do you battle against that stigma?”

That “stigma” is based on reality. Coal-fired power plants are the largest contributors to …

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November 12, 2014

Dems Push Keystone XL Vote After Sharing Consultants with TransCanada

Over the course of a very expensive midterm election, Senate Democrats used a number of outside groups to shore up vulnerable incumbents. Federal Election Commission disclosures show that many of these groups relied on SKDKnickerbocker, a Democratic consulting firm, to produce the advertisements that flooded swing states this year.

SKDKnickerbocker, according to multiple reports, was also retained by TransCanada to build support for the Keystone XL pipeline.

The firm, run by veteran Democratic consultants including Anita Dunn and Hilary Rosen, produced advertising for Senate Majority PAC, WomenVote!, Walsh for Montana, and Patriot Majority USA, the highest spending dark money group supporting Democrats …

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November 12, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 12.22.16 PM

Scam: Websites Promising Jobs And Medicaid Are Instead Bait for For-Profit College Telemarketers

A network of U.S. marketing companies run glossy websites promising jobs, health benefits, food stamps, and heating assistance, sites with names like localemploymentnetwork.org or medicaidinsurancebenefits.com. But according to former employees of a company connected to these operations, the real purpose of these sites is a classic bait-and-switch: to get low-income people, single mothers, veterans, and unemployed older people on the telephone and push them into high-cost for-profit college programs.

Based on the accounts of these employees, and documents they have provided to Republic Report, the operations may well be in violation of federal statutes prohibiting deceptive marketing and unwanted telephone sales calls, as well as Department of …

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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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November 10, 2014
whitehouse1

Obama Can Reform Dark Money with a Stroke of a Pen

There’s a powerful solution for disclosing the secret money sloshing around in our political system. It does not require an act of Congress or action from any of the effectively toothless campaign finance watchdogs, like the Federal Elections Commission. In fact, this solution could be passed in an instant and the only requirement for action is political will.

President Barack Obama can issue an executive order today that requires government contractors to disclose their dark money campaign contributions.

Why doesn’t he? And why don’t campaign finance reform organizations push for such a fix?

In 2011, following the first wave of undisclosed …

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November 7, 2014
Connie Mack
Connie Mack

Hungarian Gov Hires Former Congressman Connie Mack

On the heels of massive protests against a proposed Internet tax and an increasing crack down on ethnic minorities, the Hungarian government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban is looking for political support in Washington. And it’s no wonder why. Hungarian political leaders have been widely condemned for calling for a national list of Jews who may pose a “national security risk.” In recent months, the government has also faced criticism for development projects apparently designed to remove Roma (gypsy) communities from urban centers.

For a price, any regime can find Beltway support. Registration documents show that Connie Mack IV, the former …

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