JONATHAN CHAIT OCTOBER 7, 2010
Mike Elk has a great piece on how the for-profit higher education industry employed left-wingers to fend off regulation of its predatory lending practices:
the Obama administration, in its recent attempt to regulate the for-profit college industry, found some unusual opponents: Melanie Sloan, director of the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and Tom Matzzie, MoveOn's former Washington director. With their help, the industry successfully delayed the implementation of new rules to obstruct predatory lending practices, in part by painting critics of the industry as scheming banksters. ...
Davis, Sloan, and Matzzie have all declined to publicly reveal their connections to the for-profit school industry, raising questions about the integrity of their criticism.
Davis, a longtime corporate lobbyist, has been hired by the Coalition for Education Success, a trade association of for-profit colleges that is part of a major lobbying blitz against the new rules. He did not mention the relationship in his column.
Matzzie, meanwhile, is vice president of the lobbying firm LawMedia Group. LawMedia represents the Student Access, Student Choice Coalition, which is funded by several for-profit schools. Matzzie also runs an organization called Accountable America, which he says accepted funding from John Sperling, the chair of the Apollo Group, which owns the University of Phoenix. Matzzie did not disclose these conflicts of interest when he denounced Eisman for testifying against for-profit schools' predatory loans.
Gives new meaning to the term "the professional left."