Lobbying, Insider Trading & Censorship at the Washington Post

While The Washington Post (traded on the NY Stock Excange as ‘WaPo’) is known for its historic Watergate expose and the Pentagon papers, the modern Washington Post Company is a publicly traded corporation which  derives  62% of its income from its primary subsidiary, Kaplan University, a for profit system of universities that operates like a criminal enterprise throughout the US. 

Kaplan , which  obtains  90% of its revenues from federal student loans backed by US taxpayers (usually in the form of Title IV loans), has been the subject of multiple government investigations, probing lawsuits and legal inquiries alleging the company engages in fraudulent business practices – including but not limited to marketing improprieties, robo-signing of student loans (not much different than the corporate banks robo-signing on foreclosed homes) to fraudulent student programs that simply did not exist except on paper and in the form of profits derived from Title IV funds conveniently pocketed as profits by the company. 

The list of both Kaplan’s alleged frauds and its actual frauds is too long to provide here.  It could and should be a ‘subject of inquiry’ offered to students as a course in criminal procedure at the ‘university’, the list is so extensive.  Needless to say that one can simply conclude from abundant evidence that as the blood bank for the Washington Post, Kaplan is unquestionably a predatory, for-profit institution selling hopes and dreams to unsuspecting students in the form of expensive on-line ‘college courses’ and as such is little more than a commodified diploma mill kept afloat by taxpayers at large. 

The whole for-profit educational industry is a sordid mess and one that promises to be the next big financial bubble burst, as trillion in dollars of student loans are outstanding with many of them owed to Kaplan University.  For-profit colleges received $26.5 billion in government grants and loans last year, according to the Education Department, with such funds constituting the bulk of the companies’ revenue (For profit Kaplan U hears its fight song, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703418004575455773289209384.html).

‘Donnie’ sells $12 million dollars in stock shares on behalf of himself and family

Over the past year, while the Post CEO Donald ‘Donnie’ Graham has lobbied politicians and government officials to weaken regulations affecting for profit colleges like Kaplan, his family cashed in $21 million in stock after the weak kneed regulations were adopted and revealed by the Department of Education.  (Insider Trading: Washington Post Co, http://www.insider monitor.com/trading/cik104889.html).

Take a look at the insider trading by the Graham family and just see how the 99% work.  In  August-September 2008, $14 million in shares were sold   at an average  price of about 600 per share.  Within days of the last Graham sale the stock price dropped to $400 the week of Oct 6 2008.  Coincidence?  It’s doubtful.  Illegal?  Maybe.  Unethical?  Why of course.

You see after millions in payments to ‘gunslingers’ Donnie and his family lost the regulation battle with the Department of Education but they seem to have won the profit war!  Graham’s family sale represented the largest insider stock sales in over two years, since the ‘family’ sold $21 million in stock in March and May 2009.  It is noteworthy that the Graham family also sold $14 million in stock in August and September of 2008 at an average price of about $600 per share.  Within days the stock price dropped to less than $400 share.  In April and May of 2008 the Graham family sold $29 million in stock at an average price of   $675 per share. Within days of the final transaction the stock began a $90 decline in price and it is hitting bottom fast.  Today, October 10th, 2011 the stock listed on the exchange at $339.43 (WASHINGTON POST-CLASS B
(WPO: New York) Bloomberg, October 11, 2011, http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/snapshot/snapshot_article.asp?ticker=WPO:US).

The timing of this is suspect, as is Don Graham’s fantastical claim that the family only sells stock when they want to buy a house (http://www.insider-monitor.com/trading/cik104889.html).   That’s what he said when interrogated on the matter. 

You will not read about any of this in the Washington Post newspaper for they continue to censor almost all news regarding Kaplan University, even though the so-called college or university is and has been under investigation in 22 states and by the Department of Justice.  Kaplan recently settled one False Claims Act suit for millions with a whistleblower and they were forced to refund student monies they had fraudulently collected for a Surg Tech program they fraudulently misrepresented.  Students were enrolled in the CHI/Kaplan Surgical Technology Program year after year, but they were purposefully not being told by Kaplan and their personnel that in all likelihood externship sites, required for the Surg Tech program would not be available.  The claim was verified from further investigations by the Department of Justice, thanks to David Goodstein the whistleblower and the practices amounted to concealment, fraud, overt misrepresentation and possible theft of Title IV funds (Whistleblower Exposes How Kaplan University Cheats Low-income Minority students and The Washington Post Benefits, August 18, 2010, http://dailycensored.com/2010/08/18/14478/).

Without a doubt, the Washington Post’s conduct, along with Donald Graham’s behavior, is a case study of how the 1% behaves and how corporations and their K Street lobbyists corrupt the political system, fleece the public and leave students swaddled in non-dischargeable debt, ruined credit and bereft of a college education and diploma while the company profits from billions in stock sales, bonuses, cronyism, close relationships with surrogates and political patronage.

In a transcript taken from the September 9 2011 Washington Post Co Shareholder’s day, the affectionately named CEO, ‘Donnie’ is quoted as stating:

“Since I do have the microphone today, I want to address one story that’s been reported from time to time to my own frustration by a variety of reputable news organizations. I have not sold a share of Washington Post Company stock in over 30 years nor has any trust for my benefit”. 

“I am also a trustee of several trusts for the benefit of other members of my family. From time to time, these family members who also started out life heavily concentrated in Post stock have asked their trustees to sell stock when, for example, they want to buy a house. And the trust then sold the stock. Because I am a trustee and the CEO of the company, I signed an SEC report, which always reports that the trust has sold the stock, but that it is not a trust for my benefit”.

“However, from time to time, news organization, who perhaps are understandably confused by this, report that Don Graham is selling stock in the Washington Post Company. On each of these cases, Ann McDaniel or Rima tell their own contacts, the news organization, and ask them to correct it. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.” (as reported by seeking alpha.comSept 10, 2011  http://seekingalpha.com/article/292843-the-washington-post-company-shareholders-day-transcript).

The two specific stories Graham  is referring to are Politico’s June 20, 2011 story by Ben Smith and Keach Hagey entitled, “Donald Graham’s family sells $10 million in Washington Post Company stock”, and the Huffington Post’s June 20, 2011 story by Chris Kirkham: “Washington Post Company Family Nets $10 Million In Stock Sale After For-Profit Regulations Released Earlier This Month”.

Both stories correctly reported how Graham’s family insidiously benefited from the new Department of Education regulations which Graham lobbied to weaken by selling stock immediately after the regulations were disclosed, obviously in an attempt to ‘cash out of a floating crap game’.  The argument is that by the Washington Post having an intimate relationship with the Department of Education due to its Kaplan University subsidiary, even if the relationship appeared adversarial, Graham prospered in mega-million stock sales.

That’s right.  Graham paid millions to fight the new regulations on for-profit predatory colleges imposed by the Department of Education which sent WaPo’s stock plunging and when he saw he was losing the struggle and the stock fell like bricks, he got out.  This can only be depicted verbally as what is known as insider trading, but of course under current neo-liberal policies it is a coveted form of economic activity that goes unpunished and comprises ‘looting as the business plan of the 1%’.  You know, the 1% that say they hate government unless they prosper from it?

It is clearly ironic that Donald Graham continually remains annoyed by the frequent stories that pop-up in the largely alternative media regarding his being subject to the same type of public disclosure his newspaper routinely subjects others to.  Graham’s “audacity of hypocrisy” sheds light on the fact that the Washington Post is not a real newspaper just like FoxNews is not real news.  The paper is notable for what it conceals not what it reveals. 

The Washington Post, once the providence of the Graham family and now a publicly traded commodity on Wall Street has every vested interest in keeping any news of its activity or the activity within the for-profit college and university world private.  Yes, that’s right: the newspaper that famously broke the Watergate scandal apparently now has little regard for the public it once claimed to have served. 

When the former owner of the Washington Post, Katherine Graham, Donnie’s mother, was briefed early on regarding the proposed purchase of the for-profit proprietary schools like Kaplan University her comment was telling:

“I don’t give a shit about it but if you think it will be profitable, let’s do it”! (Whistleblower Exposes How Kaplan University Cheats Low-income Minority students and The Washington Post Benefits, August 18, 2010, http://dailycensored.com/2010/08/18/14478/).

Apparently Donnie is just following in the shoes of his now deceased mother, the grand old madam of corporate news.

Graham’s failure to reveal the details behind his lobbying activities and his family’s stock sales is a troubling omission and one the paper is very good at committing.  Graham, of course due to his privilege, behaves as if the rules of society do not apply to him and the ironic part is that he is right.  For the rules of society favor the one percent and their need for a lack of transparency, non-disclosure of business activity and unaccountability to both the public and even WaPo share holders.

Exposing the facts: beginning with lobbying activities

The facts are simple at the expense of redundancy: over the past year Donald Graham and the Washington Post Company lobbied government officials and politicians to weaken the Department of Education regulations related to for profit colleges.  Dailycensored has written extensively on this and other nefarious non-disclosures by WaPo and the blood bank, the Kaplan University subsidiary.   Graham now refuses to disclose who he and his agents and servants lobbied. A newspaper refusing to disclose lobbying activity?  Now is that sardonic or a sad testimony on corporate news in America?  Either way it is par for the course, especially for Kaplan.

Cliff Kincaid reported on May 13, 2011 (regarding this year’s Post Company annual meeting):

“Further embarrassment ensued when Graham essentially took the Fifth and refused to name the members of the House and Senate he has personally lobbied in order to stave off proposed federal regulations that will cut into the profits of a Washington Post Company subsidiary, Kaplan”.

Kincaid went on to report that:

“Graham curtly responded, “No” when asked if he would name members that he has met with”.

The Hill reported on 6/9/11:

“On May 12, Don Graham, chairman and CEO of the Washington Post Co., was in a meeting with several administration officials, including Cass Sunstein, OIRA’s administrator, to discuss the regulation, according to OIRA records. Also in the meeting was Andy Rosen, chairman and CEO of Kaplan — the for-profit education company owned by the Washington Post Co. — and Kevin Baine, a Williams & Connolly partner who was representing Kaplan.”

What the Hill failed to report was that Baine and Sunstein both clerked for Thurgood Marshall in the 1970’s and both have worked together on other matters. This seems to be a glaring example the type of inside-the-belt-way influence peddling which corrupts the political process. Only in Washington would it be OK for Baine to defend a company which exploits minority students after his legal career was launched by the man who ended school segregation.   

Bloomberg News reported on Dec 23, 2010 in the article entitled, “For-Profit Colleges Double Spending, Hire Ex-Congressmen to Beat Aid Rules” by John Lauerman and Jonathan D Salant.  The Washington Post Company spent $460,000 on lobbying to defeat any regulations by the Department of Education in the first nine months of 2010, compared to $120,000 a year earlier.

Roll Call reported on 5/2/11:

 

“Last week 118 lawmakers wrote a letter to President Barack Obama urging the Education Department to withdraw the regulations. The letter — signed by prominent Republicans such as House Education and Workforce Chairman John Kline (Minn.) and a number of veteran Democrats including Reps. Alcee Hastings (Fla.) and Robert Andrews (N.J.) — argued the rules would hurt the most at-risk students”.   

Why won’t Graham disclose which of these pay to play lawmakers he lobbied and how much he ‘donated’ to them?  Why won’t the ‘break the law-makers’ step forward?  Did the lawmakers know that Kaplan and the Washington Post Co. were under investigation for defrauding the federal government at the time he lobbied them? That had to.  And what did Graham do to persuade some of these politicians to advocate for an industry that has a federal loan default rate in excess of 28% while Kaplan sucks up Title IV money like there was no tomorrow? 


The Wall Street Journal reported on Aug 30, 2010:

“They aimed at the bad actors and they wound up scoring a direct hit on schools that service low-income students”, Mr. Graham said in an interview. “That cannot be what the Obama Administration wants”.

This is the for-profit mantra you will hear not just from Kaplan, but from virtually all the for profit predators like Apollo’s Phoenix Univeristy, DeVry, Corinthian, et. al.  Much like the sub-prime banksters that loaned monies to low-income or working class homeowners they knew could not and never would pay back the loans they received and then excused the looting by stating that if it was not for them low-income people could not own homes, Graham’s argument suffers from the same deplorable logic.  It is the same old ideological manure shoveled by the banks and Wall Street but never questioned by the corporate press.  And it leaves students and taxpayers on ‘debt row’. 

Students get placed on debt row much like foreclosed homeowners get trounced from their homes, by corporate institutions conniving and deceiving low-income homeowners and students under the auspices that exorbitant debt is good for them in their pursuit of the “American Dream”.  This is all keeping with the practices of Wall Street and their lapdogs, the coin operated politicians who represent them. 
Meanwhile unbeknownst to readers of the Washington Post, while Graham was lobbying the federal government Kaplan was under investigation by the DOJ, EEOC, Dept of Education, and 22 state attorney generals regarding allegations of fraudulent business practices. They were also the subject of petitions at change.org to stop their criminal practices not to mention the fact they were and continue to be the subject of countless law suits we do not even know about.  Kaplan recently settled a false claims lawsuit with the federal government, but we do not fully know how many or the details of the settlement ($1.6 million dollar settlement agreement entered into by the DoJ and Kaplan ‘University’, the blood bank for the Washington Post , July 23, 2011, http://dailycensored.com/2011/07/23/1-6-million-dollar-settlement-agreement-settled-with-kaplan-university-the-blood-bank-for-the-washington-post/).  These items remain hidden under settlement agreements that assure non-disclosure and a newspaper devoted to circling the wagons around its own financial interests. 

Apparently Mr. Graham does not believe these qualify Kaplan as a bad actor nor does his newspaper believe the activities of Kaplan and those who are battling the college even warrant publication.   The whole thing would be a bad joke if not for the fact so many students are lured into the “Little Shop of Horrors’ with volcanic social and economic consequences for them while they are told that they are being given a chance in society to get a ‘diploma’ and get ahead.  Little do they know that they are serving as hosts for a corporate parasite bent on increasing shareholder profits while leaving students in debt purgatory.

Graham even stated something along these lines in the published transcript of the Shareholder’s day meeting:

“But as CEO of this company, I have one objective, which is to increase the long-term value of the company for those who are our shareholders.”

In just a few sentences Donnie was able to sum up the business plan of Kaplan University and all for-profit  corporations: profits for the shareholders at any cost.   Not only are profits the sole fiduciary responsibility of Graham as CEO, but the man doesn’t care if he sells hot dogs or so-called college degrees – any commodity that sells and makes profits will do.   As Graham acknowledged without shame, he lobbied to promote the interests of share holders, not the low income students he claims to “serve”. After all, that’s his job.

How can, you may ask, leaving low income students $50,000 in debt with an inadequate education be considered serving them?  As reported by Tamar Lewin on Sept 12, 2011 in the NY Times:

“Borrowers who default can face a lifetime of consequences, including inability to borrow for a car or a house, wage garnishment, seizure of tax refunds, or even, in an era when employers increasingly check credit reports, difficulty in getting a job.”

Even more: the swindle is on all of us as we will and are paying the bills as taxpayers for the ever increasing proportion of the over one trillion dollars in student loans that for-profit predatory colleges and universities have and will receive and that will never be paid back.  We are giving corporate welfare payments to Kaplan to enable their profits.  Another example of the 99% supporting the 1%.

Graham’s lobbying of government officials and politicians has corrupted the political process and the government for the benefit of his company, shareholders and his family. His refusal to disclose who was lobbied not only contradicts his responsibility as CEO of a newspaper but it creates the appearance of impropriety.

Questionable stock transactions?

Between June 6 and July 6th 2011, 13 insider stock sales were executed by the Graham family Sibling Trust. 29,990 shares were sold for a total price of $12,664,000.  The sales were initiated two business days after the June 2, 2011 release of the new Department of Education regulations which Mr. Graham personally lobbied to weaken.

At the same time, Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth (  Don Graham’s niece) also  sold  $45,000 in stock, and Post Co.  Senior Vice President Ann McDaniel sold $ 62,000 in stock (it’s a family affair).

All of these stock sales were executed in the last month of the second quarter, terminating 30 days before the release of quarterly results, which revealed a 50% decline in net income. Within 3 weeks of the final transaction, the stock began a curdling 25% decline in price. It is also noteworthy that these were the only major insider stock sales in over two years.  Sure, the timing raises questions of impropriety and more specifically, the question of insider training.

It is more than coincidence that at the same time the Graham family was dumping $12 million in stock Kaplan was laying off hundreds of employees in Florida.  Apparently,  as a member of the 1% lucky sperm club it is OK to cash in stock while laying off employees from the family business for it is all about putting profits before people (employees, students and citizens) and this is exactly what the notorious self-proclaimed college is all about.

Journalistic practices or a cover-up by a corporate bulletin?

As said, the Washington Post newspaper has failed to publish almost any news about Kaplan University, despite dozens of articles being published elsewhere and despite the waves surrounding the predatory institution crashing on the public shores daily.  Former Post ombudsman, Andy Alexander, even wrote an editorial on Nov 19,2010:

          “The Post needs to beef up coverage of Kaplan.”

Alas, Alexander was an ‘ombudsman’ for the ‘corporate bulletin’ called the Washington Post and one has to ask while laughing through tears: why would a newspaper need an ombudsman?  Why can’t they just report the facts?

Clearly it appears that the Washington Post Company has been using the Washington Post newspaper to promote Kaplan University and prop up WaPo’s stock price, not to edify readers of the alleged scandals, help law enforcement with fraud, pay-offs for lawyers in settlements and other ‘nurturing business practices’ by Kaplan. The newspaper even editorialized on behalf of Kaplan in the now infamous Aug 22, 2010 editorial titled “How to Discourage College Students” (washpostco.com). 

This is all evidence of a scurrilous and truly symbiotic relationship between the paper and its blood bank that is virulently corrupt.  It is morally unacceptable that Graham allows the Washington Post newspaper to be used to manipulate the news and influence politicians, but then again this is the role of the corporate press and WaPo is no different.  The paper that brought you Watergate and the Pentagon papers now happily brings you Edugate and the for-profit college swindle.
Summary

If the Washington Post has been infected by its scurrilous subsidiary, Kaplan’s business practices, this might be attributed to Washington Post executives Veronica Dillon and Hal Robinson.  Both came to their positions at the Post Company directly from Kaplan.

 


The modus operandi of the 1% is to feed off of the 99%, inflicting pain and misery in the process. The Washington Post Company is no different; in fact the paper follows a long line of corporate thievery.  In their quest for profits they corrupt the political process to assure Kaplan’s access to federal student loan monies and in the process; they leave low income students with a lifetime of insupportable debt and suffering while taxpayers pick up the onerous bill.

Not only has Donald Graham refused to disclose the details of his lobbying activities and his family’s stock transactions, his newspaper manipulates the news to benefit his company while keeping readers in the dark.  With Graham controlling about 85% of the Washington Post Company’s voting shares, this is nothing more than Wall Street amplified neo-feudalism, where the digital overlord uses lawyers to reign over the analog serfs as we enter into the digital dark ages.

Yet even though Graham is a controlling stock holder in the seedy little enterprise that has degenerated into the Washington Post Edugate crisis, he is being pressured by his own stockholders of which the philanthro-pirate Warren Buffet is a 22 percenter.  Reuters recently reported that Chief Executive Officer Donald Graham said he was reluctant to sell or spin off any of his company’s businesses amid pressure from shareholders to consider such a move.  Speaking at the company’s shareholders meeting in September of this year, Graham said he would follow the footsteps of his friend and adviser, that’s right the illustrious Warren Buffett, the billionaire head of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) (Shareholders push but Washington Post CEO reluctant to sell, A. Ananthalakshmi

Fri Sep 9, 2011, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/09/us-washingtonpost-idUSTRE78870D20110909). 

Yet oddly, Buffet also owns Moody’s the ‘rating agency’ that rated sub prime mortgages and gave them a AAA rating when they were junk.  Moody’s has now downgraded WaPo stock.  So it seems that Graham is not taking his cues from Buffet, is he?   Arrogance, hubris and privilege forge combine to form a strange brew.

So there you have it.  Time and time again Kaplan emerges publicly as an institution that could have been the subject of the movie the ‘Godfather’ and has all the outlines of a RICO investigation.  Alas, while Donnie and his ‘family’ garnishes huge profits, Debra from Arlington, Texas, a former student at Kaplan writes:

“I’ve had nothing but problems with this school from the beginning. Most of the instructors are inexperienced beyond belief! I spent most of the first 2 modules watching movies or having “free time”. Financial dept. would receive my payments and never inform me that I had a stipend left. When asked why they had been holding my funds, they told me that they would just roll over the extra amount for the next payment unless I requested that I wanted it. When the program was paid in full they STILL kept the difference until I demanded the difference or threatened to report them.

Then they would take another 2 to 3 weeks to distribute my check to me. Several students said they never received anything. When we moved to the lab areas a few months into the program, we found that they are extremely dirty with band-aid wrappers and thermometer covers strewn across the floor regularly. A couple of times there was even a blood vial and bloody cotton balls on the floor. Labs were sometimes done at the students’ seat and never sanitized after unless I took the initiative to do it. Most students never did. When it came time for externship I was sent to a rundown address with trash strewn across the front sidewalk and boarded up buildings on each side. We had been told by the Medical Assistant chairperson that if we maintained perfect attendance and grades (both of which I did) that we would be placed at an excellent site. Nothing but lies!!

When I refused to go to the site they sent me to the director of Career Services got angry and has refused to help me and has also directed the other Career Services people not to help me. When I tried to contact the Interim Exec. Director all he will tell me is that they are still looking, but if they don’t find me a site in 10 days then I will be dropped from the program. This kind of service is typical according to accounts from other students that I’ve heard. It’s sad and disgusting that this school will willingly accept funds from students, most who are low-income, and turn around and screw them over like this. They need to be exposed for their deceptive practices and be put out of business. They are nothing but predators and their victims are people who can’t afford to be put through the ringer like they do,  

Please don’t even consider attending this school as it is a waste of time and money!!! (ConsumerAffairs.com, 5/19/2011, http://www.consumeraffairs.com/education/kaplan.htm).

One can only wish that Debra’s complaint was an aberration, but in fact it is the norm.  The internet is full of such complaints from students misled by the for-profit predatory university.  Although Donnie fought them tooth and nail the new rules adopted by the Department of Education will not curb the abuses.  Kaplan will find ways to get around them, as will the other for-profits. 

The answer, and only real answer as Donnie knew, was to drive the company out of business by driving its stock into the ground.  After all, wouldn’t Donnie tell us that the ‘free market’ will take care of all problems associated with bad actors?  Sure he would, as he stuffs taxpayer Title IV monies in the form of corporate welfare into as many bank accounts as he can and then sits back and watches 28% of his student-victims default while he marches off to one of the bailed-out banks to count his money and call his stockbroker.  This is the morality of capitalism that parades as benevolence but as the Wall Street occupiers and those ‘burned by Kaplan’ know, it is sociopathy and kleptocracy at work.  What the ruling class loves to call a “class war”. 

REFERENCES and citations for this article


The Washington Post Company Shareholders Day Transcript, seeking alplah.com Sep 10, 2011, http://seekingalpha.com/article/292843-the-washington-post-company-shareholders-day-transcript

Don Graham’s family sells $10 million in Washington Post Company stock, By Ben Smith and Keach Hagey, Politico.com, June 20,2011  www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/57379.html

Washington Post Company Family Nets $10 Million In Stock Sale After For-Profit Regulations Released Earlier This Month, by Chris Kirkham, Huffingtonpost.com, June 20, 2011 ,  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/20/washington-post-chairmans_n_880787.html

Don Graham “disappointed” in WaPo Co stock price, by Keach Hagey, Politico.com, Sept 9, 2011 http://www.politico.com/blogs/onmedia/0911/Don_Graham_disappointed_in_WaPoCo_stock_price.html

Post Chairman Questioned on Profits, Federal Subsidies, Lobbying, and Bias, by Cliff Kincaid, familysecuritymatters.org, May 13, 2011 http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.9504,css.print/pub_detail.asp

For-Profit Kaplan U. Hears Its Fight Song Wall Street Journal Aug 30, 2010 By Russel Adams and Melissa Korn, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703418004575455773289209384.html

For-Profit Colleges Double Spending, Hire Ex-Congressmen to Beat Aid Rules, By John Lauerman and Jonathan D. Salant , Bloomberg News Dec 23, 2010 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-23/for-profit-colleges-double-spending-hire-ex-congressmen-to-beat-aid-rules.html

http://www.insidertrade.net/insider-transactions/?symbol=WPO

‘For-profit’ school lobbyists flock to OMB by Kevin Bogardus, 06/09/11, The Hill.com,

http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/165515-lobbyists-flock-to-omb-on-for-profit-schools

For-Profit Colleges Field Team of Top Lobbyists by Bennet Roth, Roll Call, May 2, 2011 http://www.rollcall.com/issues/56_114/-205206-1.html?pos=olobh

Student Loan Default Rates Rise Sharply in Past Year, By Tamar Lewin, Sept 12, 2011, NY Times,

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/education/13loans.html?_r=1

Scrutiny Takes Toll on For-Profit College Company, by Tamar Lewin, Nov 9, 2010, NY Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/10/education/10kaplan.html

Shareholders push but Washington Post CEO reluctant to sell, A. Ananthalakshmi Fri Sep 9, 2011, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/09/us-washingtonpost-idUSTRE78870D20110909).

Kaplan University exploits vulnerable students

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/10/education/10kaplan.html

Post CEO Graham lobbies government officials to weaken proposed regulation of for profit colleges

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-23/for-profit-colleges-double-spending-hire-ex-congressmen-to-beat-aid-rules.html

as a result of lobbying, members of congress write letter on behalf of for profits. Posted on site of bogus advocacy group

http://savestudentchoice.org/blogs/over-100-members-send-bipartisan-letter-to-president-obama

Two days after weakened regulations passed, Graham family begins cashing out $12.5 million in stock - before stock declines 25% after news of declining profits released

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/57379.html

list of stock transactions - note Katherine Weymouth is Don Grahams niece

http://www.insidertrade.net/insider-transactions/?symbol=WPO

Besides the articles cited above for this story, the following articles, and countless more,  suggest that Mr. Graham has been  exploiting  low income students for years, rather than ‘serving them’ them as he argues:  Kaplan Quest for Profits at Taxpayer Expense Ensnares Veteran. November 1, 2010 Bloomberg News. Bogus ‘Obama Mom’ Grants Lure Students July 23, 2010 Propublica. For-Profit College Company Settles Whistle-Blower Suit July 22, 2011 NY Times.  At Kaplan University ‘Guerilla Registration’ Leaves Students Deep in Debt Dec 22, 2010 Huffington Post. 

 

Also see the excellent work by Danny Weil on Kaplan and the sub-prime colleges and universities at www.dailycensored.com, dissidentvoice.com, and Counterpunch.com.  You can go to the www.dailycensored website and type in ‘Kaplan University’.   These articles will appear and include:

 

1.                             Kaplan University: Blood Bank for the Washington Post Jul 27, 2010 … Kaplan University: Blood Bank for the Washington Post Print journalism, in the
form of newspapers especially, is in critical shape and has been
dailycensored.com/…/kaplan-university-blood-bank-for-the-washington-post/

2.                             Whistleblower Exposes How Kaplan University Cheats Low-income Aug 18, 2010 … Private Vocational College—Kaplan operates vocational training programs that
over enroll students using Federal loans that leave low-income
dailycensored.com/2010/08/18/14478/

3.                             Kaplan University is a criminal enterprise that must be indicted Aug 11, 2010 … If you have read my article on Kaplan University: Blood Bank for the Washington
Post you will see that the Post is being kept alive by the
dailycensored.com/…/kaplan-university-is-a-criminal-enterprise-that-must-be- indicted-under-the-ricco-act/

 

4.                             Kaplan University Cheats Low-income Students and the Washington Aug 19, 2010 … Private Vocational College—Kaplan operates vocational training programs that
over enroll students using Federal loans that leave low-income
www.mediafreedominternational.org/…/kaplan-university-cheats-low-income -students-and-the-washington-post-benefits/

For-profit predatory colleges and universities prey on the homeless

The Washington Post and its blood bank, Kaplan University Mar

5.                             Jul 19, 2010 … If you have any information that would be helpful regarding the practices of
Kaplan University please contact me at weilunion@aol.com. …
dailycensored.com/2010/07/19/14027/2, 2011 … The recent article I found regarding the New York Stock exchanged Washington
Post Company came out of Bangalore, the capital of the Indian
dailycensored.com/…/the-washington-post-and-its-blood-bank-kaplan- university-dugate/

6.                             Help stop Kaplan University! Sign the petition at Change.org Jan 20, 2011 … Please sign the petition and tell Kaplan, the for-profit blood bank for the
Washington Post, that you are opposed to their criminal practices.
dailycensored.com/…/help-stop-
kaplan-university-sign-the-petition-at-change -org/

7.                             California Community Colleges decide not to outsource to Kaplan Aug 26, 2010 … Kaplan, the for-profit predatory college whose name keeps popping up when one
looks at fraud, misrepresentation, larceny of Title IV funds,
dailycensored.com/…/california-community-colleges-decide-not-to-fornicate- with-for-profit-predatory-kaplan-university/

8.                             The Washington Post and its Blood Bank Kaplan University Feb 3, 2011 … Much has transpired regarding the for-profit college scam in the United States.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Kaplan …
dailycensored.com/…/the-washington-post-and-its-blood-bank-kaplan- university/

9.                             $1.6 million dollar settlement agreement entered into by the DoJ and Jul 23, 2011 … The following is the Department of Justice’s announcement from July 22, 2011
that they have finally settled the qui tam suit with whistleblower
dailycensored.com/…/1-6-million-dollar-settlement-agreement-settled-with- kaplan-university-the-blood-bank-for-the-washington-post/

10.                        Help stop Kaplan University! Sign the petition at Change.org Jan 20, 2011 … The case against me was nothing more than retaliation by Kaplan University
against a whistleblower that caught them defrauding their
dailycensored.com/2011/01/20/help…kaplan-university…/kaplan/

11.                        Whistleblower Exposes Educational Fraud at Washington Post Dec 6, 2010 … The question is, should the U.S. taxpayer continue to subsidize the for profit
education industry, Kaplan University, and the Washington Post …
www.mediafreedominternational.org/…/whistleblower-exposes-educational- fraud-at-washington-post-owned-kaplan-college/

12.                        Drive-by predatory colleges put students into debt purgatory and Aug 11, 2010 … Try $80000 a year to get a bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security, or $30000 to
get a ‘Surgical Technical’ degree at Kaplan University. …
dailycensored.com/…/drive-by-predatory-colleges-put-students-into-debt- purgatory-and-deficits-into-the-stratosphere/

13.                        Race to the Top: coming to a community college near you It would be easy if this was the issue, but it is only a small part of the
problem with for-profit institutions like Kaplan University who have seen their …
dailycensored.com/…/race-to-the-top-coming-to-a-community-college-near- you-2/

14.                        Plea from a for-profit university ‘Admission Counselor’: Please stop Mar 24, 2011 … John W. Andrews. I represent 2 whistleblowers against Kaplan University in a
false claims act case. My office can provide some other contacts
dailycensored.com/…/plea-from-a-for-profit-university-admission-counselor- please-stop-the-carnage-and-assault-on-workers-rights/

15.                        The federal government is violating the First Amendment and the Dec 8, 2010 … From just 2000-2004 Kaplan University saw the revenue it derives from the Title
IV Higher Education Act explode from $35000000 in the year
dailycensored.com/…/the-federal-government-is-violating-the-first- amendment-and-the-separation-of-powers-under-the-false-claims-ac…

16.                        Student Loan Debt: Indentured Servitude | The Media Freedom Dec 19, 2010 … The question is, should the U.S. taxpayer continue to subsidize the for profit
education industry, Kaplan University, and the Washington Post …
www.mediafreedominternational.org/…/student-loan-debt-indentured- servitude/

17.                        Feed | Dailycensored.com Sep 23, 2010 … Kaplan University: Blood Bank for the Washington Post. Written by Danny Weil
Education Jul 27, 2010. Kaplan University: Blood Bank for the …
dailycensored.com/search/feed/page/6/

18.                        SO YOU WANT TO BLOW YOUR WHISTLE? Confessions of a Dec 6, 2010 … Danny, would you please contact me regarding your articles on Kaplan
University? Thanks,. Rene D. Harrod Office of the Attorney General …
dailycensored.com/…/so-you-want-to-blow-your-whistle-confessions-of-a- whistle-blower/

19.                        Sub-prime, for-profit predatory colleges | Dailycensored.com, Jul 3, 2010… preferring to pay out millions in fines (see Phoenix University) for it is far …. Kaplan is owned by the Washington Post and receives favorable …
dailycensored.com/2010/07/03/13820/

 

Also see Weil’s work at Truthout.com: Neoliberalism and the For-Profit, Predatory Educational Industry: You Can’t Regulate a Criminal Enterprise, Thursday 23 September 2010, http://archive.truthout.org/neoliberalism-and-for-profit-predatory-educational-industry-you-cant-regulate-a-criminal-enterprise6), “Private Predatory Colleges: How the neoliberal Alchemists Turn Debt into Profit and Citizens into Fools,” December 2009, Weil, Danny, “Predatory for-profit colleges and universities: the escalating default rate for student loans,” July 13, 2010, Weil, Danny, “Kaplan University: Blood Bank for The Washington Post,” July 27, 2010, Weil, Danny, “For-profit predatory colleges and universities prey on the homeless while hedge fund operators get busy shorting the sector’s stock: the next big economic bubble,” July 19, 2010, Weil, Danny, dailycensored.com, “Drive-by predatory colleges put students into debt purgatory and deficits into the stratosphere,” April 11, 2010, Weil, Danny, Kaplan University is a criminal enterprise, And on Russian Television, at RT TV, February 2, 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Duy9lXGATJM). 

 

Other recent stories about Kaplan published elsewhere, but not published in the Post or by Weil include:  The prosecution and sentencing of former legal studies dean Ben Wilcox, the law suit by the EEOC alleging discriminatory hiring practices, layoffs at Kaplan and the pending false claims lawsuit in Florida.