December 12, 2013
forbes

Steve Forbes, The Olympics, Congress and Other Stuff For-Profit Colleges Buy With Your Tax Dollars

America’s for-profit colleges are receiving as much as $33 billion in a single year from your tax money, and billions more from the pockets of students, a lot of whom are left deep in debt and jobless from their encounters with predatory schools.  Many of the biggest for-profit colleges get close to 90 percent of their revenue from federal grants and loans, and yet the cost for students of attending, after financial aid awards, can be more than even private schools like Harvard.  So what are for-profit colleges doing with all this money?

Buying influence with the media.  Bridgepoint Education recently …

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84 comments
March 6, 2013
Will Mitch Daniels tell the heads of predatory for-profit colleges that they're doing a great job?
Will Mitch Daniels tell the heads of predatory for-profit colleges that they're doing a great job?

Mitch Daniels & Mike Mullen Should Tell For-Profit Colleges Hard Truths, or Else Stay Home

Last year, the annual convention of owners and executives of for-profit colleges (University of Phoenix, The Art Institutes, Kaplan, etc.), held in Las Vegas, featured paid speakers George W. Bush and Michelle Rhee, and, for entertainment, a fake knockoff version of Creedence Clearwater Revival. After a year in which the truth about their shoddy practices finally sent many for-profit colleges into a tailspin, they will gather again in June in Orlando. This year’s meeting of their trade association, APSCU, will feature: former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R); retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen; …

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February 28, 2013
Trent Lott trained in the ways of Washington on your dime. Now he uses that knowledge as a paid lobbyist for dirty energy companies.
Trent Lott trained in the ways of Washington on your dime. Now he uses that knowledge as a paid lobbyist for dirty energy companies. while also posing as a wise statesman.

Who Built Senator-Turned-Dirty Energy Lobbyist Trent Lott? You Did

Far too often in Washington, policy decisions are influenced by big money — wealthy corporations spend millions on lobbying, public relations, and campaign contributions to get their way. Big money helps explain why your cell phone and cable TV bills are so expensive, why small investors are still unprotected from Wall Street abuses, why taxpayers subsidize incomprehensible waste, like the $33 billion a year we spend on for-profit colleges that often ruin students’ lives.

But one of the worst affronts to our democracy, and one of the worst dangers to our world, is the way that dirty energy companies — …

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December 13, 2012
ITT Tech is one of the for-profit colleges that may have manipulated data to artificially reduce the number of student loan defaults it reports to the U.S. government.

Senators Demand Probe of For-Profit College Circumvention of Student Loan Default Rules

Eight U.S. Senators today sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan calling on him to investigate tactics used by some major for-profit colleges to circumvent rules aimed at reducing student loan defaults.  A report issued in July by Senator Tom Harkin’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee documented that several big for-profit colleges were misleading and harassing students to convince them to place their loans in “forbearance” or “deferment” status so that the schools would not have to report their student loans as in default. Federal law takes away a school’s eligibility for student financial …

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November 27, 2012

For-Profit College Industry’s Phony Pitch to Obama: Now We’re BFFs!

The controversial for-profit college industry, threatened by the Obama’s Administration’s efforts to hold it accountable for a torrent of waste, fraud, and abuse at the expense of students and taxpayers, bet heavily on a Romney and GOP victory in 2012.  The industry, which gets $32 billion a year from taxpayers and whose biggest players get 86 percent of their revenues from federal funds, gave millions of that money to Republican candidates and Super PACs. This was on top of the tens of millions the industry has spent on lobbying, lawyering, and advertising to defeat the Obama reforms.

So, having bet …

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November 27, 2012

VIDEO: Rep. Shuler Said He Wouldn’t Become A Lobbyist; Now He Will

In July, then-Republic Report bloggers Lee Fang and Zaid Jilani taped an interview with Congressman Heath Shuler, Democrat of North Carolina. Shuler had announced he would retire from Congress at the end of the current session. Concerned about the revolving door culture and its corruption of our politics, our reporters asked Shuler whether he was planning to become a lobbyist after retiring. Shuler flatly told them no.

Yesterday, Duke Energy announced that it “has named Heath Shuler as senior vice president of federal affairs, effective Jan. 4, 2013…. Shuler will be based in Duke Energy’s Washington, D.C. office.” In other …

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August 2, 2012

‘Persistence Matters, Public Engagement Matters’: House Democrats Dare To Reform Campaign Finance System

Yesterday, House Democrats held a press conference outside of the capitol building along with Public Campaign, a campaign finance reform group. Their goal was to issue a D.A.R.E to Congressional Republicans encouraging them to act on campaign finance reform.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Rep. James Clyburn, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen all joined Public Campaign in calling for a constitutional amendment overturning the 2010 Supreme Court case Citizens United.

D.A.R.E is intended to highlight key areas that need to be addressed when trying to ameliorate the U.S. campaign finance system: disclosing donors, amending the constitution, reforming campaign finance …

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July 27, 2012

Whitehouse At Senate Judiciary Hearing: If We Can Ask Soldiers To Go To Afghanistan, We Can Ask The Koch Brothers To ‘Put Up With Some Impolite Blogging’

On Tuesday, a Senate Judiciary subcommittee held a hearing called “Taking Back Our Democracy,” examining special interests’ increasing grip on American politics and policy, especially focusing on the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision. Two panels of witnesses, including both current lawmakers and activists, testified to a friendly panel of Democratic senators (no Republicans appeared to have shown up) that our democracy is under siege.

That sentiment was no surprise to anyone in the room (over 400 people showed up for the hearing, packing the room and causing spillover to another room). Again and again, testimonies confirmed that while money has …

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