I knew Rokita was a partisan hack when he introduced Indiana’s Voter ID law, which he sanctimoniously declared was a “good government” measure intended to stop all that nasty in-person “voter fraud” that doesn’t really happen, rather than an effort to prevent “those people” from voting. But in a year when his party’s Presidential ticket is composed of a megalomaniac and a Christian Warrior, I’d sort of forgotten about him.
Last week, however, Rokita had a column in the Indianapolis Business Journal that reminded me why he shouldn’t be in public office.
Rokita was on a rant against the federal Department of Education for its “assault on profit-making.” Translation: how dare the department move against ITT. It hasn’t taken similar action against public institutions! (Rockita also threw in a snide criticism of the IBJ’s editorial board, which had blamed the federal action on ITT’s management.)
Boiled down to its disingenuous basics, Rokita’s argument was that the federal government, motivated solely by liberal animosity to for-profit ventures–had overstepped its authority.
Missing from his diatribe were those pesky little things called “facts.” For years, ITT overcharged students for a shoddy product (its credits wouldn’t even transfer to most other institutions).It enrolled students without regard for their ability to benefit from higher education, because We the Taxpayers were paying the very hefty freight.
State and federal agencies have been investigating ITT since 2002, and it currently faces fraud charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission and a lawsuit from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It has been under investigation by at least 19 state attorneys general.
When U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. issued the Department’s decision to impose increased sanctions upon ITT, he emphasized that the move was not made lightly.
“Ultimately, we made a difficult choice to pursue additional oversight in order to protect you, other students, and taxpayers from potentially worse educational and financial damage in the future if ITT was allowed to continue operating without increased oversight and assurances to better serve students,” King wrote.
ITT was one of several for-profit “educational” endeavors ripping off both taxpayers and the students who left with substandard educations and huge loans to repay. Legitimate institutions of higher education, public and private, have been calling for more oversight of for-profit colleges for a long time.
To label this overdue regulatory action “liberal overreach” is (pardon my language) bullshit.
I can only assume that ITT or its shareholders are among Todd Rokita’s donors. Or his relatives. Or something. The only other explanation for so dishonest a column is abject ignorance.
I am grateful for one thing, though. The column reminded me why I have no use for Todd Rokita.