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Video: Senate Courts of “Justice” Republicans Seem to Think Raising Felony...

Check out the video, below, from yesterday's Senate Courts of (In)Justice discussion of a bill to raise Virginia's antiquated, insanely low threshold for grand...

Governor-Elect Ralph Northam Announces Administration Appointments

From Gov.-elect Northam's office: Governor-Elect Ralph Northam Announces Administration Appointments RICHMOND — Today at Fire Station #17 in Richmond, Governor-elect Ralph Northam announced that current Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland...

Parallels, Differences Between 2017 VA Dem Primary and Previous Ones (e.g.,...

I've noticed a bunch of parallels and differences between this year's Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary and previous statewide Democratic primaries. Here, I'm going to...

If Tim Kaine Becomes VP, Who Might Gov. McAuliffe Appoint to...

Good question by Virginia Democratic activist J.C. Wilmore: Hypothetical question: if Tim Kaine gets the VP nod and Dems win 2016, who do the VA...

DPVA 2012 Convention Flunked International Standards

What this means; why it matters
The Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) decided on June 29, 2012 to reject two formal complaints filed by Gail Gordon Donegan and Ben Tribbett. Each of their complaints related to the procedures DPVA followed at its June 2, 2012 convention to elect DPVA's representatives to the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Because those procedures have been widely condemned as unfair and illegal by many other observers, I decided to seek out the opinion of one of the greatest election experts we have to get his perspective on what happened at DPVA's convention.

So, I sat down during the July 4 holiday week with former President Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center in Atlanta. To assure objectivity, the issues that President Carter and I discussed were presented to him in the context of a hypothetical situation involving political party elections at a convention recently held in the northern region of "Doministan".

Peter Rousselot:  Thanks very much for meeting with me today. As background for our readers, can you tell us a little bit about the work that you and the Carter Center have done regarding election monitoring in various countries around the world?

Jimmy Carter: Rosalynn and I are pleased to have you as our guest here at the Carter Center. As we explain on our website, The Carter Center has been a pioneer in election observation since 1989, monitoring more than 90 elections in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. We developed many of the techniques now common in this field. We analyze election laws, assess voter education and registration, and evaluate fairness in campaigns.

The Bookers, Morans, and Leones of the Democratic Party Are NOT...

Not too long ago, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker was a supernova in the Democratic Party, but following his defense of Mitt Romney's tenure at the chop-shop Bain Capital, Booker appears to be more of a red dwarf. In the days after Booker's comments it was discovered that Bain Capital and the Financial Industry as a whole gave a whopping $565,000 for his 2002 campaign alone.  Congratulations Mr. Booker, you're the latest contestant to enter the Democratic Party's doghouse alongside Brian Moran, Frank Leone, and some other notables.

I hope Mr. Booker's stupidity will stand as an example to other "stars" of the Democratic Party: don't take campaign contributions from anyone willing to throw money in your war chest and don't make it easier for President Obama's opponents to crucify him for calling a spade a spade. No, Bain Capital is not the kind of company that America should stand on. Bain Capital is a symbol of America's economic underside:a company that directly produces nothing, a company whose primary and sole concern is profit above all else.

The Democratic Party base expects that political representatives of the Democratic Party will represent their values and their beliefs. This means not taking campaign contributions from chop-shop financial companies, not taking a day job that ploys Americans into spending thousands on an education that will bear few if any fruits, or representing companies who transgress the law and harm Americans and our environment in the process. The list could on. Bottom line, we do not want you representing us now or ever.

Excuses such as "this is how the game is played," or "if I didn't take these contributions my opponents would have beaten me," will no longer suffice (and they never did). It's time that Democratic Party officials and politicians stand on their principles instead of sinking into the mud with their Republican Party counterparts. It may not be the easier path, but social gains are not made without hardships attached.  

Brian Moran and his for-profit allies, symbols of a corrupt political...

Brian Moran (D-VA)  would like Virginians to know that he has to "make a living," exhibit A of the Virginia Democratic Party chair's defense against calls for his resignation.  

For his "day job," Moran is a lobbyist and spokesman for the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU),  a chivalric defender of for-profit (rip-off) colleges that do little to equip their students for the job market while overburdening their futures with mounds of debt.

The facts against the efficacy of for-profit colleges are clear and Mr. Moran appears to understand some of its failings. Moran stated that "I freely admit that there are some challenges to our sector," challenges like throwing scores of Americans into a financial strait-jacket? Yes, this is a "challenge," but not one that Moran himself is likely to face as the loudspeaker for these private sector rip-offs.

Making a living is one thing, but doing so at the expense of others and for an industry that preys upon unsuspecting job seekers is the equivalent of moral slime-mold.

It's high time that the Democratic Party purge itself of the Brian Morans of the party so that passionate public servants with high moral standards can lead the party into a brighter era unobstructed by the ghosts of its lobbying past.  

Frank Leone’s Conflict of Interest: A Case Against His Reelection to...

Next to Frank Leone's substantial conflict of interest  between his "day job" and his alleged Democratic Party values during the evenings and weekends, Brian Moran looks like St. Francis of Assisi.  Given Frank Leone's reelection bid for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on June 2, this point is all the more significant. Do Virginians want to elect an individual to the Democratic National Committee who protects some of the most vile environmental and human health offenders, a man whose law firm boasts of defending "DDT and related pesticides" on its official website?

"Our partners' experience in the environmental area dates back to the early 1970s, when several of them were involved in the world-wide defense of DDT and related pesticides as well as some of the earliest litigation under the then-new federal air and water statutes. As the number and diversity of state and federal environmental regulatory programs have grown in the intervening years, so has our practice."

No longer can or should the Democratic Party tolerate the type of pseudo Democrat that Frank Leone represents, the type whose greatest affinity is for Big Business and, by association, the Republican Party. If you value money, that's fine, so do I. If you value the rule of law, that's great, I do as well. But Mr. Leone's job has consistently been to bend and pervert the law for client's whose dubious business practices should have been legally punished, not allowed to continue business as usual.  

Would You Like Fries With Your For-Profit Education?

The for-profit "education" charade trots out two more pathetic claims. Minority students are "shut out" of the public higher education system and the higher student loan default rate of "career college" attendees is the government's fault. These institutions are nourishing their prey through a government subsidized free market ponzi scheme.

One shame in all of this, completely missed by the apologists (including Brian Moran) is that without federal grants and loans, these parasites could not exist at all; the market would do due diligence. Ignored by champions of the market are the realities of the market itself which in a complex world holds nothing ceteris paribus. Adam Smith's invisible hand is unencumbered by the flaws and shortcomings of human perception shaped in each individual's basket of experience. Smith lived in an essentially agrarian economy where those participating in the market had equal access to information; sometimes equally uninformed.

Citing a study conducted by the Virginia Career College Association, Jim Bacon argues that without the private sector, minority students would be "shut out of the higher education system." There are some seductive numbers. In 2008, 13.8% of students attending public institutions were African-American while 47.4% of the students enrolled in for profit schools were African-American. Clearly this was an attempt to appeal to undiscerning liberals and embolden righteous conservative free marketeers. However, Bacon is actually arguing that the market failed. That those who failed selection to the credible educational institutions were somehow maligned by the all knowing market forces. Uninformed, those failed applicants, the vagaries of the market misinterpreted, flock to the web of the private sector parasites.  

Report: Brian Moran’s For-Profit “Education” Group Works Closely with ALEC, House...

Based on this new report, and also the voluminous information we already have about APSCU -- the leading for-profit "education" trade association where DPVA chair Brian Moran works as a top lobbyist, strategist, and (recently) acting president -- Moran needs to be fired as DPVA chair immediately. As in, yesterday. As in, this minute. Check this out.
Republic Report has learned that the Washington Post Company's Kaplan for-profit college division, was, last year, a member of the controversial business advocacy group the American Legislative Exchange Council. Other major for-profit education companies also joined ALEC. Republic Report has obtained a July 2011 document showing Kaplan Higher Education and other for-profits as members of ALEC's Education Task Force...

...APSCU, the for-profit schools trade association, which hires expensive lobbyists like former Senator Trent Lott to pressure Congress, and works hand-in-hand with the House Republican leadership on bills to prevent bad actors in the industry from being held accountable for waste, fraud, and abuse. APSCU members include DeVry, ITT, ATI, Education Management Corp., Career Education Corp., and Mitt Romney favorite Full Sail University, as well as Kaplan, Bridgepoint, and Corinthian.

These affiliations between for-profit colleges and ALEC raise some serious questions.

Not surprisingly, "Bridgepoint, Corinthian, and APSCU did not respond to our requests for comment."

Clearly, it's unacceptable for the head of the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) to simultaneously work as a top officer in the leading lobby group for the for-profit "education" industry. It's even worse that the DPVA is busy denouncing ALEC, at the same time that the head of the DPVA works closely with ALEC. Or, that DPVA is busy attacking George Allen on higher education student loan interest rates - as it did yesterday in a press release - when the head of the DPVA is busy advocating for an industry which saddles veterans, minorities, and many other students with huge student loan debts and degrees of questionable worth. At the minimum, this undercuts the very message DPVA is putting forth on an extremely important, indeed core, issue to the Democratic Party -- EDUCATION