Mike Elk

A Sidney Award-winning labor reporter, Mike Elk is the founder of PaydayReport.com and also writes for The Guardian. He can be reached at his email at melk@paydayreport.com

Recent Articles

Why Are Progressives Fighting Student-Loan Reform?

How the for-profit college industry co-opted liberal activists

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (AP/Harry Hamburg)
Editors' Note: This piece has been modified since publication . High-stakes Washington lobbyists have multiple tactics to win policy fights on behalf of their clients. A classic move is to line up unusual allies, especially progressive supporters for special-interest causes. Sometimes this is done through shell groups, but it's far more effective to get established progressive leaders and organizations to lend their credibility to your cause. Which is how 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. "What we see here is that the for-profit school industry has...