October 21, 2013
ErnestoPerez-thumb-200x280

$33 Million Per Year of Your Tax Money To For-Profit College Whose CEO Hid Criminal Record

On Friday, prosecutors in Miami charged the politically-connected CEO of for-profit Dade Medical College, Ernesto Perez, with the felony charge of providing false information through a sworn statement, plus two misdemeanor counts of perjury. When Perez was named to Florida’s Commission on Independent Education — a panel charged with overseeing schools like his — he omitted criminal convictions and arrests from his Senate confirmation questionnaire.

In 1990, Perez was arrested in Wisconsin for second-degree sexual assault of a child, after members of his heavy metal band, Young Turk, sexually assaulted a 15 year old girl. He eventually pleaded no contest …

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101 comments
August 31, 2012

On HuffPost: To Get Better Policies, Expose Corrupt Politics

Huffington Post published this piece by me yesterday, as part of its Shadow Conventions series:

To grasp the harms caused when money dominates politics, start with for-profit colleges. This industry tripled in size during the last decade, spurred by deceptive recruiting practices, after its lobbyists loosened federal rules aimed at protecting students and taxpayers from fraud. It has become a monster, a league of Wall Street corporations and private equity-owned firms that get 86 percent of their revenues — $32 billion a year — from taxpayers.

While some for-profit colleges are honest and work to educate their students, many charge sky-high …

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August 2, 2012
corruption

Corruption #2 Issue for Americans

87% percent of Americans find, “reducing corruption in the federal government,” to be “extremely,” or, “very important” according to a new Gallup poll on American’s top priorities for the next president.  This is the #2 issue, following only job creation.

Corruption in government usually ranks as an important issue when it is asked about specifically, though it is not as top-of-mind as jobs or the economy.

Particularly, corruption does less well in polls when respondents are asked to volunteer priorities.  However, only 2% thought corruption was not an important issue.  In addition, corruption, like job …

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23 comments
July 12, 2012

LINKS: Do We Need Dodd-Frank? That’s A Clown Question, Bro

Washington Post: Money gap may not matter so much in November
Obama probably will be similarly outspent in the end, but given the near-parity in bank accounts on both sides, it won’t make much difference.
“Nobody’s going to win or lose this election on the basis of not having enough money,” said Bob Biersack, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign money. “Each of them is going to have around $700 [million to] $800 million available. The idea that that’s not enough is just bizarre.”

Roll Call: Judges Will Rule on Texas Voter ID
The war over …

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13 comments
July 11, 2012

LINKS: Corruption Is Up In The United States

New York Times:  The Spreading Scourge of Corporate Corruption
The misconduct of the financial industry no longer surprises most Americans. Only about one in five has much trust in banks, according to Gallup polls, about half the level in 2007. And it’s not just banks that are frowned upon. Trust in big business overall is declining. Sixty-two percent of Americans believe corruption is widespread across corporate America. According to Transparency International, an anticorruption watchdog, nearly three in four Americans believe that corruption has increased over the last three years.

Washington Post: …

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July 10, 2012

John Deere, CVS Caremark, HP, MillerCoors, And Best Buy Drop ALEC

Today, five new companies have pledged to stop funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). They include John Deere, CVS Caremark, MillerCoors, HP, and Best Buy.

According to the activist group ColorOfChange:

“Over the last few weeks, we have closely followed the issues surrounding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and have heard from numerous stakeholders expressing their views,” said Larry Burton, CVS Caremark Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, in an email to ColorOfChange. “As a result, after careful consideration of the available information, CVS Caremark has discontinued its membership in ALEC.”

“We’ve not contributed to ALEC this year, nor do …

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18 comments
July 2, 2012
DC power outage and money in politics
Are DC's downed power lines a product of too much money in politics?

Still Sweating? Here’s Another Reason To Hate Pepco: It Spends Your Tax Dollars Lobbying To Increase Rates For Its Shoddy Services

The Washington, DC, area experienced incredibly severe storms on Friday night, the kind that, with an unprecedented number of downed trees, can only lead to extensive power disruptions — 1.5 million were without power for at least part of the weekend. Yet three days later, 25 percent of households and businesses in the area still don’t have power — and some aren’t expected to get it back until next Friday (or even later!), a full week after the storm. This is happening amid a record-setting heatwave that isn’t just inconvenient and sticky. 100-plus degree days without access to air-conditioning …

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18 comments
June 28, 2012
Eric Holder is implicated in the Fast and Furious scandal thanks to the influence of corporate lobbyists.
Will Attorney General Eric Holder be a victim of the influence of corporate money in politics?

A ‘Fast And Furious’ Hypocrisy: Members Behind Holder Contempt Vote Receive Lots Of Campaign Cash From The National Rifle Association

One person who is probably happy about the attention the Supreme Court is getting for its pending Obamacare decision is Attorney General Eric Holder, who, by any measure, is having a really bad week. Later today, the House of Representatives is likely to hold him in contempt of Congress because he has refused to hand over documents related to “Operation Fast and Furious” to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The gist of the story is this: The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has been charged with the Sisyphean task of stopping guns from being trafficked from …

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