Indeed, the Times grumbled, the Department of Education, under DeVos, "has undermined investigations of the [for-profit college] industry by marginalizing or reassigning lawyers and investigators . . ." Major investigations, the Times reported, have been abandoned, including investigations into the activities of DeVry Education Group, Bridgepoint Education and Career Education Corporation.
The Times is right of course. Betsy DeVos is the shameless lapdog of the for-profit college crowd, which continues to prey on unsophisticated Americans seeking to get a worthwhile education. The Times predicts that DeVos' behavior may come back to bite the Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections, and perhaps there will be repercussions at the ballot box.
But to be fair, servile obsequiousness to the for-profit colleges is bipartisan. Both Democrats and Republicans have taken campaign contributions from these bandits and both parties have succumbed to the blandishments of the for-profit lobbyists.
In fact, The Nation reported nearly five years ago that two Democratic congressmen were leading an effort to protect for-profit colleges from meaningful regulation. According to The Nation's reporter Lee Fang, Representative Rob Andrews from New Jersey and Florida congressman Alcee Hastings had taken thousands of dollars from for-profit college executives and for-profit backed political committees.
Andrews is no longer in Congress, but Alcee Hastings is still in office. This is the same Hastings, by the way, who, while sitting as a federal district judge, was charged with bribery, perjury and falsifying documents. The U.S. Senate impeached him and removed him from his judicial post in 1989.
If the Democrats want to distinguish themselves from their Republican colleagues, they need to speak out forthrightly about the for-profit-college scandal. In my view, the for-profit racketeers cannot be tamed through tougher regulations. The only way to stop these predators from stalking unsuspecting and naive young Americans is to shut the industry down. But the Democrats don't have the courage to speak out against the for-profit mobsters. They seem to hope Americans will overlook their silence about the the for-profit college industry and pin all the blame on the Republicans.
|Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Florida): Friend of the for-profit college industry|
Editorial. Predatory Colleges, Freed to Fleece Students. New York Times, May 22, 2018.
Lee Fang. Two House Democrats Lead Effort to Protect For-Profit Colleges, Betraying Students and Vets. The Nation, December 13, 2013.
United States Senate. The Impeachment Trial of Alcee L. Hastings (1989) U.S. District Judge, Florida.