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Insiders: Obama Administration Caved Into For-profit Lobbying for Softer Regs

By on June 17, 2011
For-Profit, Policy, Required, Universities & Colleges

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After a year of sheriff-in-town posturing by the Obama Administration promising stiff rules to govern the wild west of for-profit education, the final product is a lot softer than student activists hoped. The weakened result came as no surprise to the for-profit industry who poured cash into Democratic machinery and a lobbying tour de force.

Chris Kirkham reports for HuffPo that for-profit industry representatives met 17 times with the White House Office of Management and Budget versus one meeting for student activists.

“It’s absolutely accurate to say they caved in to the industry,” said Robert Shireman, a former deputy undersecretary of education, who was involved in crafting the original draft of the regulation. “But I understand the political dynamics of being in an administration and needing to take a step forward in the face of a hostile Congress. The right thing for this issue is for it to survive.”

The tale of how the gainful employment regulation almost died starts with effective and dogged lobbying. The money trail reveals exactly where the grease was applied:

Over the past two election cycles, for-profit colleges have boosted campaign donations, particularly to Democratic members and committees. In the 2010 election cycle, political action committees and executives for for-profit college directed two-thirds of their campaign cash to Democrats.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee all received nearly $100,000 each in donations from the industry, more than double the amount received by Republican fundraising committees.

Full article by HuffPo here.

Let us know what you think — did the White House cave?



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