November 12, 2014

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

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A network of U.S. marketing companies run glossy websites promising jobs, health benefits, food stamps, and heating assistance, sites with names like or 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
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March 28, 2014

Which For-Profit College Lobbyist Are You?

I’ve just published a new 100-page e-book, Stealing America’s Future: How For-Profit Colleges Scam Taxpayers and Ruin Students’ Lives. You can buy it for 99 cents on Amazon. I hope you’ll read it, because it is a critical moment for Americans to examine and speak out on the issue of for-profit colleges, the trade schools that bombard
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November 18, 2013

Finally, A Chance To Curb the Abuses of For-Profit Colleges

Outside the room where the Department of Education holds its rulemaking sessions. Two of past three Assistant Secretaries for Post-Secondary Education later became lobbyists for for-profit colleges.

This morning, in a packed room on the 8th floor of a K Street building, the U.S. Department of Education resumes talks in pursuit of a “gainful employment” rule aimed at penalizing for-profit colleges that leave students deep in debt and without decent paying jobs. It’s called a “negotiated rulemaking,” bringing together representatives of schools, students,
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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
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July 27, 2012

Unions Contract Out to Lobbying Firms That Work for Anti-Worker Groups

The following is a joint investigation of In These Times and Republic Report. By Mike Elk and Lee Fang As labor seeks to communicate its message in the media and influence policy, many unions are looking to outside consultant firms. These groups sometimes provide the technical expertise, media suaveness, and necessary connections for unions to get
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June 21, 2012

Why Are a Former President of the MacArthur Foundation, and Former Governors Kean and Rendell, Paid By a For-Profit College Group?

Why would a leader with a good reputation affiliate himself with an industry that has a bad reputation?  If you’ve visited this website before, you might suspect that money is involved. And you’d be right. On May 29, the New York Times published an editorial calling for government action to address spiraling college debt. The Times
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May 15, 2012

This Is Why You’re Fat: The 2012 Farm Bill And The Real Obesity Lobby

This Is Why You're Fat: The 2012 Farm Bill And The Real Obesity Lobby

Nearly half of all Americans will be obese by 2030, researchers reported at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Weight of the Nation conference in Washington earlier this month. 42 percent of us are projected to be obese, placing a huge strain on our already compromised health care system. Brian Fung at The Atlantic points
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April 17, 2012

Journalists Begin To Take Notice Of Unregistered Lobbying Phenomenon

As we’ve noted, one of the biggest problems in Washington is the level of secrecy in lobbying. Communications consultants, lawyers, fundraisers, and other political professionals produce public pressure campaigns and make back room deals without ever registering as lobbyists, so the public is constantly left in the dark about who is really shaping our government.
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