Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Filling the swamp so full it becomes a river: Newt Gingrich edition

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Zaid Jilani reports in The Intercept:

On the same day news broke that President-elect Donald Trump had agreed to pay a $25 million settlement resulting from fraud cases related to Trump University, top adviser Newt Gingrich was giving lobbying advice at a Dallas event hosted by the lobbying group representing America’s for-profit college industry.

One day earlier, on November 17, Trump had released a new ethics pledge for members of his transition team, ostensibly intended to limit the role of lobbyists. (It doesn’t really.)

Gingrich, the former GOP House speaker, is a vice chair of the transition team and has said he intends to be President Trump’s “general planner.” But on that Friday, there he was in Dallas, speaking at an event hosted by the Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU), the leading trade association group representing for-profit colleges.

CECU, which was until recently known as Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU), is known for having gone to war with the Obama administration over its attempt to regulate the vast flow of federal money that goes to for-profit colleges. In that lobbying war, it tapped many former lawmakers, including former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. The Dallas event was planned to unveil the launch of a campaignto rebrand the association as focused on creating a new generation of “career professionals” educated by for-profit colleges.

Trump University — basically a series of haphazardly assembled seminars offering to teach students Trump’s investment skills — was not a member of CECU, but it utilized many of the same unseemly practices as other for-profit schools, including aggressively selling classes with little to no substance and leaving students with mountains of debt but few useful skills.

In Dallas, Gingrich talked about the election’s results and praised Trump’s victory. But he also offered advice to attendees about how to lobby for the interests of the industry. For example, Gingrich suggested they weaponize their student bodies to tout the benefits of “career education,” a phrase the industry uses to claim that it is preparing its student for work. Dallas News reporter Sanya Mansoor, who attended, provided The Intercept with an audio recording. . .

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Written by LeisureGuy

28 November 2016 at 4:41 pm

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