Responsibility and Ethics… or Whatever

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It appeared a little odd earlier this fall when Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a progressive political watchdog group famous for its annual report on America’s most corrupt politicians, joined several Congressional Republicans in defending the tactics of for-profit colleges and calling on the Obama administration to leave them alone.

As CREW’s executive director, Melanie Sloan (right) wrote in the Huffington Post back in August:

Examples suggest there may be a concerted effort by those who stand to benefit financially to drive down the stock price of certain for-profit schools. Knowing this, how can we be sure that the new regulations the Department of Education is proposing are really in the best interest of the Americans most likely to attend these schools? Even more disturbing, the revelations of the hedge fund managers’ efforts here raise the specter of whether federal oversight and regulatory processes are being secretly manipulated for financial benefit in other instances.

While the possibility that someone’s going to make a fortune from further restrictions in the way that for-profit colleges do business does seem a little remote (not to mention kind of irrelevant), duly noted, CREW.

But speaking of benefiting financially, on November 19 Tim Fernholz at The American Prospect reported that Sloan is now leaving CREW to “join the lobbying firm of Lanny Davis, the former Clinton White House counsel now best known for putting a liberal veneer on corporate policy and foreign dictators.”

It’s not really clear why Sloan is leaving CREW (though one suspects she’ll get paid a hell of a lot more to work at Lanny J. Davis & Associates).

Davis, however, is retained by something called the Coalition for Educational Success, an alliance of for-profit colleges eager to prevent the Department of Education from instituting its debt rules for career colleges.

Best of luck, Melanie! [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer