Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mr. Bagman, bring me a dream

     THERE'S A POINT (c. 1968) WHERE the BAUER & and CASPERS SAGAS ACTUALLY, IF BARELY, INTERSECT. As a kid, I was a Cub Scout and then a Boy Scout, and my dad was always among the adult leaders of my Pack or Troop, even becoming the Cub Master (I think that’s what they called that job) and the Scoutmaster—which was really something, given my dad’s German accent. Everybody liked my dad.
     I joined Boy Scout Troop 850 (Villa Park), which had its meetings each week at Cerro Villa Junior High. When my dad became Scoutmaster, 850 quickly became a very accomplished troop, winning competitions at jamborees and Scout-o-Ramas, the latter always occurring at the Orange County Fairgrounds. I’ve got some old pictures of that somewhere.
     My folks, who are not particularly religious, nevertheless felt that it was important for my sister, Annie, and I—we were the oldest—to become “confirmed,” and so we joined Trinity Lutheran, which sits atop that hill immediately above the 91/55 interchange at Olive Hill/Anaheim Hills. At some point, pastor Conradson ("A peace sign," he would roar, "is a cross with its arms broken!") asked my dad to start a Boy Scout Troop, and thus it happened that my dad and I—and one or two other kids from 850—started troop 536, meeting each week in the utilitarian building jutting from the side of the church on the hill.
     I’ll cut to the chase. The launch of that troop went well, and soon it was a very active and impressive organization. Once again, we won awards, even competing with, and vanquishing, our former Troop 850.
Manny Bauer
     BAUER, PENTECOST, AND BOTTOMLEY. There were two “dads” who, along with my own dad (“Manny” for Manfred), formed the adult heart of the troop. Both were engineers active in the local Roman Catholic Church (St. Norbert, in Orange, I believe). A significant number of the troop’s boys were referred to our troop by St. Norbert, which is kind of funny, when you consider the historical relationship between Lutherans and the Roman Catholic Church.
     One of these adults was Gene Pentecost, a sharp guy with a Tennessee accent—he was maybe five or so years older than my dad. My dad recalls that he was the chief engineer (or some such thing) for the Polaris missile project (my own research suggests that it might have been the Minuteman project instead). He worked, my dad seemed to recall, at Autonetics, which was a division of North American that had moved to Anaheim in 1963. My dad remembers that Gene had a doctorate and that he was some sort of mathematician or engineer, working in computers.
     (I did a quick search and found a “Eugene Edgar Pentecost,” born in Tennessee in 1927, who went on to big projects with Rockwell and who may have been in the engineering departments of UCLA and Vanderbilt. I'm sure it's the same guy. In retirement, he's focused on his ham radio hobby.)
     CASPERS' RIGHT-HAND MAN. Pentecost’s good buddy, and the second adult, was Charles Bottomley. Charles, my dad recalls, was “Ron Caspers’ right-hand man.” At the time—this would have been about 1968—Caspers owned Keystone Savings and Loan and (says my dad) a "restaurant next door” [more recently, he located it across the street] on Beach and Garden Grove Blvd in Westminster.* The restaurant was called the “Green Cat,” and it was pretty rough, says pop. One of his electrician buddies used to work there as the bartender [before Caspers tore it down and created a more upscale place]. He’d routinely have the bouncer throw drunks out the front door.
LA Times 1959
     According to my dad, on Mondays, Charles served as Caspers’ “bag man.”
     “What do you mean by that?” I asked.
     “Well, he literally had a bag and it was filled with money. He’d be moving this money around for Caspers. On Monday.” [Possibly not illegal activity. Perhaps hinky re the IRS.]
     I just did a little looking, and I learned that a Charles F. Bottomley was President of Caspers’ Keystone Savings and Loan as of a year after Caspers’ death. I found a 1981 article written by Bottomley for Orange Coast Magazine that describes him, again, as the President of Keystone. I believe that Keystone underwent a name change and moved to Westminster soon after. Don't know what became of Mr. Bottomley.
     So, anyway, I guess it’s a small world after all.
     Near as I can figure, Keystone was located at 555 N. Euclid in Anaheim, and it was established in 1959—probably by Caspers, who seems to have had a bank then in the Pasadena area. I can find no record of a “Green Cat” restaurant. But that doesn't mean much.
     Bottomley was nearly exactly my dad’s age (born in 1932) and lived in Anaheim, but more recent data suggest that he moved to Newport Beach, where Caspers lived when he died.
     (You'll recall that, in the mid-80s, Congressional candidate Nathan Rosenberg referred to Tom Fuentes as "Caspers' bagman." Rosenberg, as it turns out, is a bigwig in the Boy Scouts hierarchy!)




*Despite some odd records to the contrary, it is clear that Keystone Savings was no longer in Anaheim but was in Westminster (on Beach) by 1966. According to one record, it was founded by Caspers on 1/1/57 and located at 555 N. Euclid, Anaheim. Later moved to 14011 Beach, in Westminster. Not in '81 as some records suggest. (The above Times article says that the S&L opened in 1959, not 1957.)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Shooting Star, part 11: mob connections, an unexplained murder

The entire “Fuentes/Shooting Star” saga can be found here.

      For those of you with the patience, I have more background on the “Shooting Star” story. You’ll recall that the yacht, Shooting Star, disappeared off the coast of Baja California in June of 1974, taking ten men with her, including Orange County Supervisor (5th District) Ron Caspers and political consultant Fred Harber. Harber was a key strategist for Dr. Louis Cella and his “shadow government” (to use OC DA Cecil Hicks’ phrase), which included in its stable four Supes, including Caspers. Caspers’ “executive aide” at the time of the Shooting Star incident was Tom Fuentes, who, it is often reported, decided to pass on the trip at the last minute, but not before he packed an extra ice chest for his boss filled with hors d’oeuvres and drinks.
      In my last post, we learned (based on the account of one-time OC GOP chair Tom Rogers) that Caspers, a Republican banker, engaged in foul deceptions to tarnish the reputation of 5th District Supervisor Alton Allen, whose office he evidently coveted.
      Below are excerpts from two articles from the January, 1976, edition of The California Journal. The first, by Dan Walters and his partner, describes Dr. Cella’s relationship to former Buena Park Mayor Fred Harber. Here, Harber emerges as a more interesting, and perhaps important, figure (at the time of the Shooting Star disappearance, he was 55 to Caspers’ 43 years of age).
      We also learn that Cella, (OC land baron) Richard O’Neill, and Harber partnered with a man tied to the mob.
      The next article, written by Nancy Boyarsky, briefly discusses Dr. Cella’s background. These details are pretty interesting.
      The last pair of articles, from the LA Times, have no very clear relationship to the Shooting Star/Cella saga. They concern the mysterious 1994 murder of a much-beloved woman who had worked as an assistant to many of the characters who have cropped up on these pages. Arlene Hoffman was slain, evidently, with an arrow from a cross-bow, in her Laguna Niguel home. The murderer took the arrow with him.
      Her murder has never been solved.
      She was once Fred Harber’s secretary at one of Louis Cella's hospitals. She had also worked for "Big Daddy" Jess Unruh and Norton Simon. At the time of her death in 1995, she had just been hired by new OC Supervisor Jim Silva.


The Tangled Web: Two
By Al Downer and Dan Walters
. . .
Mysterious figure [Dr. Louis Cella]

      Cella, whose business interests range from ranching to real estate but are concentrated in the medical field, is the mystery man of Orange County politics. Rumors about him and his political and business deals abound, but most of them evaporate under scrutiny.
      Cella operated behind-the-scenes until 1974, when he lost his front man, Fred Harber, who had been Cella’s chief political aide and sometimes business associate until his disappearance in June 1974. He and nine other persons, including Orange County Supervisor Ronald Caspers, vanished when Harber’s boat apparently sank off the coast of Baja California. Caspers was a member of the Cella-ONeill stable and his family savings-and-loan company had provided at least some of the financing for Cella’s chain of hospitals. “Harber was smooth, and as long as he was around things operated quietly with no fuss and muss,” says a knowledgeable Orange County observer. Harber operated out of one wing of the Cella clinic across the street from the county courthouse and once was on the payroll as an assistant to Supervisor Robert Battin, another organization politician who is now under indictment for using his staff in a political campaign.
      [State Controller Ken] Cory has described Harber as “a very good friend of mine, perhaps the best friend I have had.” And with good reason. Harber not only was the tactician for Cory’s early political successes, but he loaned Cory’s small insurance agency, Cornet Insurance Counselors, $95,250 in 1967 when the agency appeared to be having difficulty making payments on a note.
      Harber and Carl D’Agostino, now Cory’s deputy controller, were the co-founders of Demographic Communications Consultants, a campaign-management firm that has handled many campaigns for the Cella-ONeill organization. With Harber’s passing, Cella was forced to move into the open, and investigators began taking an interest in his complex of business affairs. Orange County District Attorney Cecil Hicks, perhaps the only major Orange County official openly hostile to Cella and O’Neill, has called Cella the man behind “a shadow government”. Cella hired a private investigator, through one of the hospitals, to investigate arch-enemy Hicks.
. . .
More ties 

      The influence of Cella and O’Neill in county government is apparent in many ways. A prime example is the El Toro case.
      El Toro Land Company was formed as a partnership in 1970 to develop a 39-acre parcel along the San Diego Freeway in Orange County. One of the original partners, with a $25,000 investment, was Albert Parvin, one-time Las Vegas casino-owner and head of the Parvin-Dohrmann Company and the Parvin Foundation. Meyer Lansky, reputed Mafia financial brain, was one of Parvin’s partners in the Flamingo Hotel and the Parvin Foundation had former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas on its payroll for $12,000 per year – a revelation that sparked an impeachment effort against Douglas several years ago.
      Cella, O’Neill and Harber bought into El Toro Land in 1971 and remain as major partners, along with Parvin, according to corporate records. Shortly after they bought in, the Orange County Board of Supervisors took emergency action to establish a freeway interchange adjacent to that property and the land increased in value by 600 percent, county records show.
      As Cella and O’Neill were expanding their business and political empires, Cory was experiencing a growth of personal wealth and political influence. Cory, who attended four colleges and graduated from none, became involved in politics while still a teen-ager. He went to Sacramento in the early1960s as an aide to then-Assemblyman Richard Hanna, the first Democrat to achieve major office in Orange County in recent years, and Cory served on the staff of the Assembly Education Committee, which was chaired by Hanna.
. . .

The Tangled Web: Three
Richard O’Neill—last of the big spenders?
By Nancy Boyarsky
. . .
An enigma 

      The 51-year-old physician [Lou Cella] is something of an enigma. Two popular exercises in Orange County political circles are estimating the size of his wealth and speculating on its source. The estimates on size range from $50 million to $500 million, although he generally is regarded as being less wealthy than O’Neill. Even his closest business associates, including O’Neill, don’t know the extent of Cella’s business interests. And Cella’s own explanations elude verification. It is known that he came to Orange County about 20 years ago from Providence, Rhode Island, where his father was also a physician and political figure. But the elder Cella left an estate of less than a quarter-million dollars. Cella came to Orange County after losing a position as senior resident surgeon at Rhode Island Hospital. The hospital’s staff had given him a vote of “no confidence”. Cella had been expelled from one medical school for cheating and eventually graduated from another. Although he has maintained a small private practice in Santa Ana, Cella’s chief occupation in California has been that of businessman and political operative. He is involved in at least seven Orange County hospitals and has wide real-estate and other investments. The Internal Revenue Service says, however, that Cella hasn’t filed an income tax return for the past three years.

January 27, 1995 - NANCY WRIDE
. . .
      …From 1972 to 1974, she worked as a secretary for a political consulting firm called Fred Harber and Associates.
. . .
      "She spent everything they had trying to prolong his life," said Lyle Overby [you'll recall that he was on the Shooting Star but disembarked at Cabo], a political consultant and friend of 20 years whose admiration for Arlene Hoffman led him to recommend her to Silva….


NANCY WRIDE - TIMES STAFF WRITER

LAGUNA NIGUEL — Portions of drywall were hacked away from her condo in a futile hunt for clues. Detectives asked childhood friends and family to undergo fingerprinting and lie detector tests to narrow the field of suspects. Her son even offered a $25,000 reward from his inheritance for details leading to the conviction of the killer.
      But, one year later, the mystery remains unsolved as to who fired a hunting-type arrow through the chest of Arlene Hoffman, leaving her to bleed to death on the marble floor of her Laguna Niguel foyer.
      Hoffman, 57, widowed nine months earlier, was long active in the backfield of Southern California political campaigns. Shortly before she was found slain Dec. 30, 1994, she had been hired as personal secretary to Jim Silva, newly elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
. . .
      Simply put, there was little if any physical evidence at the scene to trace back to Hoffman's killer—no shell casings or fingerprints, no permits or licensing required to buy or use an arrow, no weapon left behind….
*
      In her lifetime, Hoffman moved in some high-profile circles. In the 1970s, she was connected to some of the major stories and players of the day.
      She worked for the late millionaire industrialist and world-class art collector Norton Simon, up to and including his failed campaign for U.S. Senate in 1970. She was involved in other political campaigns, including former Assembly Speaker Jesse M. Unruh's unsuccessful 1973 bid to become mayor of Los Angeles. She was secretary to Fred Harber, a political consultant who vanished at sea off the coast of Baja California in June 1974.
      In 1976, she was called to testify as a witness before the Orange County Grand Jury investigating political corruption.
      Hoffman told the grand jury she was an employee of the hospital run by Dr. Louis Cella, a political kingmaker and largest campaign contributor in California at the time. Now dead [sic], Cella was accused of billing Medi-Cal for nonexistent patients, then funneling the money into the campaigns of numerous candidates who went on to hold major office. He ultimately was convicted of income-tax evasion, Medicare and Medi-Cal fraud, embezzlement and conspiracy. He spent 31 months in federal prison.
      Investigators believed Hoffman was on the payroll of a state-funded hospital but was actually working on political projects at Cella's behest—such as mimeographing campaign hit mailers out of the hospital's print shop. District attorney investigators say now that they believe she lied to protect her employers. Cella ran the first campaign of former Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector Robert L. Citron, who has pleaded guilty for his role in the county's bankruptcy.
      Because Hoffman's slaying occurred in the high-anxiety days after the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy, the case has seemed ripe for speculation about a political connection. But beyond smoky rumor, investigators say, no such link between Hoffman's death and the bankruptcy has crystallized.
*
      By nightfall on Dec. 30, 1994, there was no call from Hoffman's cellular phone, no sign of her Mercedes-Benz in the county government parking lot. Supervisor Silva, whose entire family had become quite fond of Hoffman, grew worried and personally called Sheriff Brad Gates to have deputies check his secretary's condo. They found her dead in her hallway, the victim of an arrow possibly fired from a crossbow. An autopsy placed her death sometime during a 12-hour period between 7:30 p.m. Dec. 29 and 7:30 the following morning.
      Detectives have not recovered the arrow—which might have passed through her body or been removed from it by the killer. Her dog was skittering around the entryway, its bark surgically squelched by a previous owner. The front door was unlocked and there was no sign of a break-in.
      Inside her garage was her Mercedes and her cellular phone. Nothing of any value appeared missing from the house. Partial fingerprints taken from a stairway from which investigators suspect the killer fired the arrow down on Hoffman didn't lead to an arrest.
      Archery shops and sporting good stores in the region were questioned for leads.
      "They've interviewed everyone who ever had contact with her or might have had contact with her," Wilkerson said, "and any place she might have frequented, employees."
      Her relatives declined to discuss the case, requesting privacy in their grief. Her son, Charles Anthony Hoffman, 26, who was talkative July 12, 1994, when he announced the reward for information leading to the conviction of his mother's killer, did not return phone calls….
      No creditors emerged, court records show. There were not even any claims stemming from the personal bankruptcy she and her late husband, Joel, filed and had resolved two weeks before his death in March 1994 after battling cancer.
      Hoffman leased her condo from her sister and brother-in-law, Joanne and John Dougherty, who friends say wanted her close to them in Dana Point.
      The condo was sealed off for several months during evidence gathering. Then came cleanup and repairs totaling $12,000 from damage caused by the slaying and police investigation.
      Wilkerson said Hoffman's son eventually made the condo his home—at least for several months after that.
      At the time he offered the $25,000 reward, Charles Hoffman said he hoped it would lead to an arrest and some "closure" for his family, which had suffered two deaths within a year.
      In the year since her death, though, there has been no closure.
      The Sheriff's Department has not received any calls responding to the reward, Wilkerson said, and they have no fresh clues.
      The family still grieves.
      And everyone still wonders why someone would kill Arlene Hoffman.


The civility initiative, part 7: today's "Civility Ball"

     You’ll recall that, a month or two ago, we alerted the campus community (see) to a curious report on the products of the December meeting of the “Civility and Mutual Respect” Working Group. The report included a “draft” of a “civility statement.” The draft was crafted by John Spevak—a hired gun from a Sacramento firm that absurdly calls itself the College Brain Trust—on behalf of the Working Group. 
     The “civility statement"  suggested, among other things, that supervisors’ employee evaluations should include mention of employees’ civility—or lack thereof.
     So we turned on the alarm bells.
     Well, pretty soon, there was quite a ruckus, which culminated in an interesting Academic Senate meeting in which faculty were assured that the Civility Enforcement Express had been shut down. Worry not!
     Then, not long after, came a tone-deaf email from President Roquemore that declared that
     On Friday, March 23, 2012, from 12:30 to 5 p.m. …, the second meeting of the IVC Working Group on Civility and Mutual Respect will be held. This meeting is an open forum…. 
. . .
     The facilitators will review the prioritized comments and suggestions made on December 16 … and use them as a starting point for crafting recommendations to the District's Board Policy and Administrative Regulations Committee. We will also create an action plan with specific steps to develop a culture of mutual respect and civility within the IVC community….
     Nothing in the email hinted at the absurd and regrettable excesses of the aforementioned Spevak report or the senate meeting in which administrators did some serious backpedaling.
     Pretty freakin’ clueless, if you ask me.
* * *
At the civility ball
     So, last night, someone twisted my arm plenty hard to get me to show up to what Rebel Girl has dubbed the “Civility Ball”—i.e., today’s much ballyhooed “second meeting” of the Civility work group. So, after class this morning, I got some work done in my office and then, just before 1:00, sashayed over to BSTIC for this shindig.
     Here’s my report. I’ll try to be civil:

     About 25 people showed up, including some managers and administrators, some faculty, two (very nice) students, and some classified. Spevak was there, coming across like a cross between Werner Erhard and, um, a harried Kindergarten teacher. (Spevak: “Roy, what R-word have you chosen for yourself?" A: “redneck.”)
     Things settled into a fun and informal (if a bit touchy-feely) atmosphere pretty quickly. Spevak asked if, before we proceeded, anyone had any concerns or questions, and I said something like: we have various values, and values can come into conflict. Civility is one value, but so is being allowed to express one’s opinions, etc., without fear of retaliation. I worry (I said) about pursuing a “civility” policy without at the same time doing something to ensure that other values are not undermined. (In the course of our conversation, Spevak expressed regret about the unfortunate "evaluation" element in his draft.)
     There was considerable discussion after that. Some suggested that we should be pursuing a policy that ensures that everyone can speak their mind without fear of retribution. Some noted that, given the fear of retaliation (that some report), pursuing this kind of policy won't help. Some (including me) worried that we cannot control what is done with our recommendations once they are sent forward.



     I reminded John Spevak where he was: a college in which, in the past, faculty had their tenure threatened owing to who they associated with; or were disciplined on the basis of trumped up charges of “discrimination” or “workplace violence.” I mentioned that, 9 years ago, our VPI issued a directive according to which faculty were forbidden to discuss the Iraq War in the classroom. After the matter had settled down a bit, at a senate meeting, faculty asked the VPI, Dennis White, where the matter stood (with respect to the directive). His answer: don’t ask for clarification; you might not like what you get.
     That directive, I said, has never been rescinded.
     Glenn responded by suggesting that VPI White was “fired” because of that action, among others. (White issued his directive in April of 2003; he was fired in September of 2006.) He also suggested that, with our current Chancellor and board, we have a window of opportunity to deal with relatively reasonable people. (That's true, I think.)
     But others noted that, though at present we have a decent Chancellor and board, that might not remain true. We need to worry about what will be done with these policies when less trustworthy people assume these roles.
     The discussion was quite good, something Spevak kept insisting on even as he moved us right along to the next step in producing recommendations toward creating a district policy on civility. Off we went.
     Everyone was tasked with writing five suggestions for five “civility” issues (on 3x5 cards). Then five groups were formed, each with a group leader. Each group got one of the issues and then synthesized the card suggestions. This business went on for a while. There were two rounds of it, yielding lists written on large sheets of paper, speckled with red, green, and yellow "dots," indicating participants' favorite points.
     The upshot: everyone seemed to work well and happily on these tasks. Many points were made, including the need to reject any approach to civility that enforced alleged “civil” behavior with sanctions; the importance of creating more community and providing forums for discussion of “difficult” issues; vigilant protection of free speech; an increase in administrative “transparency” and regular, honest communication with the campus community; the institution of an “ombudsman” to deal with civility issues as they arise; clear recognition that enforcement of civility rules would be a form of incivility; and so on.
     All of this took place from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
     I think it went as well as could be hoped for. Be looking for emails that include drafts of 5 paragraphs that attempt to communicate the above suggestions.
     So far, so good, but remember: eternal vigilance!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shooting Star, part 10: the "grand scheme of patronage"

The entire “Fuentes/Shooting Star” saga can be found here.

El Toro Road, 1970
Ronald Caspers
            This series of posts has focused on the 1974 disappearance of the Shooting Star and the political corruption and misdeeds that served as that tragedy's backdrop. Recently, I acquired a copy of Agents’ Orange, a history of recent Orange County politics by former OC GOP chair Tom Rogers, who, starting in the 80s, emerged as a leader in the fight against developers and the Supervisors they “owned.”
            Here’s Rogers' discussion of Ronald Caspers, who perished in the 1974 disaster and who, it seems, was a pretty nasty piece of work:

            [TAKING OUT ALTON ALLEN.] The incumbent in the 5th district was [Republican] Alton Allen [born: 1897], a retired banker, who lived in the charming village of Laguna Beach….
            Allen was widely respected for his representation of the 5th District, which included the beach communities of Newport, Balboa, Laguna, and San Clemente, plus the vast inland areas held by the Irvine Ranch and the Rancho Mission Viejo, with thousands of acres devoted to agricultural production.
Alton Allen
            It came as a rude shock when, in 1969, a tabloid-type mailer was received by residents of the 5th District alleging wrongdoing on the part of Allen and his staff. Allen’s reputation for honesty and integrity had been undoubted, never a whisper against his character had ever been heard. Campaign finance reporting requirements were almost nonexistent in those days, so it was impossible to determine who was behind this puzzling attack, which was to develop into a recall movement. Anthony Tarantino, one of the nominal sponsors of the mailer, … was a man of modest means and it was obvious that there was someone else, unidentified, who was engaged in the expensive campaign to destroy Alton Allen’s character.
            Allen contacted Republican leadership for help against this scurrilous attack. At a meeting at the Balboa Bay Club, GOP leaders met with Allen and those in attendance were at a loss for any explanation of the anti-Allen campaign. The retired banker was obviously distraught at having unfounded insinuations directed at himself and his staff. There was some speculation tentatively expressed. Organized crime? Democrats taking over a neglected facet of Orange County politics? ….
            [NEXT: RECALL.] The mysterious anti-Allen forces opened a headquarters in Laguna Hills from which to launch a formal recall campaign. The mailers kept arriving with insinuations of Allen’s “wrongdoing.” Staff at the recall headquarters refused any information to the press that had become interested in the plot. The Alton Allen recall petition failed to obtain sufficient signatures and it is doubtful that the exercise was anything other than to prepare the way for the upcoming supervisorial election in the 5th District. Alton Allen’s campaign for reelection was close at hand.
Paul Carpenter
            [CELLA AND HARBER.] It would be revealed later that Tarantino had ties to [corruption kingpin] Lou Cella, [Shooting Star owner] Fred Harber, and others identified by [corrupt Supervisor] Robert Battin as “the Coalition.” Battin, in an attempt to depict his own conviction as discriminatory, revealed the existence of the group, which also included [OC land baron] R.J. O’Neill.
            Tarantino’s connection was that as a cabinet-maker he had worked for Cella and become friends with both him and Fred Harber. It was at their request that he agreed to lend his name to the Allen recall. Tarantino was also on the payroll of the Mission Viejo Hospital at $800 per month, until the law caught up with Cella.
            The original plan to recall Allen was scrubbed when it was decided that if Allen were recalled, Governor Reagan would probably appoint his assistant John Killifer, who was in no way connected to the scheme….
            [THE "SHADOW GOVERNMENT"* VS. ALLEN.] Robert Battin was to use his position on the Board of Supervisors to make Allen look inept in dealing with certain issues. [Local politician and (ultimately) convicted felon] Paul Carpenter also admitted to being part of the recall effort much later, but denied knowledge of the other Coalition members being involved. Carpenter claimed that the clandestine effort was confined to himself and a Republican who aspired to be a supervisor.
            [RON CASPERS EMERGES.] Emerging out of the shadows was Ron Caspers, a Republican who was the owner of Keystone Savings and Loan in Westminster. In the beginning there were suspicions expressed that he was the moving force behind Allen’s recall, a charge he denied but which was later confirmed in the course of several unrelated criminal prosecutions.
Robert Battin
            [AN EARLIER BOATING DISASTER.] Caspers had made headlines prior to the Allen affair. He and his wife Beatrice had been cruising in coastal waters south of Port Hueneme in the ketch Aloha on the night of October 1, 1954. With Caspers at the helm, the Aloha veered in front of an oncoming Coast Guard cutter. The Aloha sank and the remains of Beatrice Caspers were never found, despite an intensive search by Coast Guard vessels and aircraft. An investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard of this tragedy at sea never resulted in any criminal proceedings.
            Allen’s reelection campaign received no help from the GOP, and his campaign staff were amateurs, at best. Alton never recovered from the personal attacks and he went down to defeat.
            Casper had made his conservative Republican credentials a key part of the contest, although investigation turned up the fact that he had been a sponsor of and signatory to a “Republican for Alan Cranston” newspaper political advertisement. [Cranston’s political career was later destroyed by his involvement in the Keating Five scandal.]
. . .
            [CASPERS, THE COALITION, AND “SHAKEDOWN” RUMORS.] With Caspers’ election, Orange County politics were turned upside down. It was the dawning of a new era, and whether Caspers was a Republican or a Democrat, the special interests flocked to his office confident that they had a supervisor with whom they could do “business.”
            The fact he claimed to be a Republican had little to do with the support he received from the Coalition. That group supported other Republicans including Larry Schmit for supervisor.
            Caspers is rumored to have indicated that important county appointments, such as the Planning Commission, would cost an applicant $15,000.
            [ENTER YOUNG TOM FUENTES.] Caspers hired a young graduate of Chapman College who had helped in his campaign to serve on this staff. As Casper’s assistant, Tom Fuentes [born: 1949] (who would become prominent in Republican circles later on) worked diligently to convince Republicans that Caspers was not what many party regulars feared, an unscrupulous opportunist who had no permanent loyalty to any political party. Fuentes was aided in his duties by the ubiquitous Frank Michelena. Michelena, a lobbyist with a checkered career, was notorious in the field of political influence. [“Checkered” is an understatement.]
            If there were ever any doubts regarding Casper’s ties to the Democratic Party, they were soon dispelled. It was discovered later that Caspers had a business arrangement with [Democrat] Ken Cory through a company called Anaheim Insurance Agency. It was out of the office of this company that Democrats operated their registration efforts in Orange County. Assemblyman Cory was to be the subject of a criminal investigation concerning the no bid purchase of insurance by the City of Carson in Los Angles County. Although several Carson City Councilmen were involved, Cory was never indicted.
Ken Cory
            In this election, it appears that the candidate preceded the special interests, and it was after his election that Caspers made the contacts and set the ground rules for developer participation in the grand scheme of patronage carried to an exponential degree.
            [ORGANIZED CRIME?] In a later criminal case, a paid informant with reputed ties to organized crime would allege that Caspers had received a $600,000 loan from two banks, Coast and U.S. National. The informant, Gene Conrad, had been working with the district attorney’s office in an attempt to connect the Board of Supervisors to the syndicate. Conrad’s testimony did not bear out the suspicion of the D.A. that supervisors had been provided with interest-free loans from gambling interests. Conrad stated that his research had determined that the loan in question did carry interest. Whether it was ever paid back remains a mystery.
. . .
Leisure World, 1974
            Casper’s career was cut short on June 14, 1974, when he disappeared at sea aboard the Shooting Star owned by Fred Harber. Caspers and his two sons were returning from a trip to Cabo San Lucas in Baja California when Harber’s converted … rescue craft was overtaken by a violent storm. After sending out a mayday signal on January 13, the vessel was never heard from again, and all of the occupants were presumed dead, lost at sea.            
            [FUENTES AND OVERBY DODGE A BULLET.] Tom Fuentes, who was scheduled to go on the trip, backed out at the last minute, and was saved from a similar fate. Another county luminary who backed out of the ill-fated trip at the last minute was Lyle Overby.
            Despite a full-scale search operation directed by Fuentes that included the use of commercial swordfishing “spotter planes,” no trace of the craft of its passengers was ever found.


*OC DA Cecil Hicks' phrase (referring to Louis Cella, et al.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Shooting Star, part 9: straight-shooting conservative Tom Rogers on Caspers, Harber, and what they portended

The entire “Fuentes/Shooting Star” saga can be found here.

Tom Rogers (1924-2006), OC GOP chair, 1969-1972
             (For parts 1-8, go here.)
             TALK TO TOM ROGERS. The other night, I spoke with an old acquaintance who’s been active in mostly Democratic politics in Orange County going back at least thirty years. I mentioned to him that I was researching the sinking of the “Shooting Star.” He immediately knew what I was referring to.
            “You need to talk to Tom Rogers,” he said. “He’s the guy who knows.”
            “Yeah? Is he still alive?” I asked.
            “Don’t know.”
            When I got home, I did a little research. Tom Rogers was an interesting guy. He grew up in LA County, served with distinction during WW II, went to college on the GI Bill, got married, and, by the early 60s, owned a ranch in south Orange County.
Tom Riley, developers' friend
            That’s when he got into politics. Rogers was decidedly right-wing—he was an early supporter of the notorious John Schmitz. But he was also the kind of now-rare conservative who was into “conserving” things, especially the rural life of OC that still existed in the 60s and that now exists only in the canyons of the Santa Ana Mountains (where the Reb and I live). 
            He was a leader: he served as the Chair of the local GOP from 1969 to1972 and then served as a state GOP big shot during Reagan’s gubernatorial years (see).
            But things changed. Especially after Ron Caspers was replaced with Reagan appointee Thomas Riley—that fellow was the answer to developers’ dreams—Rogers settled into a slow-growth philosophy that directly opposed the “rapid development” direction of the Board of Supervisors and their Big Money patrons. Hell, in his efforts to oppose the developers and their Supervisors, he even embraced bipartisanship.
            The story is told in a 1996 article by Nathan Callahan: Tobacco Road: Tom Rogers & the Philip Morris Tollway.
            I’ve gotta say: Tom Rogers may have been a conservative Republican, but he was a cool guy. Read the article and see why. It comes as no surprise that the left-wing Callahan declared Rogers to be “my favorite Orange County Republican.”
            According to my friend (who is a close associate of Callahan's), Rogers always thought that the sinking of the Shooting Star was seriously hinky. The whole business soured him on the OC GOP. Or so the friend said.

* * *
Ron Caspers
            CALLING MRS. ROGERS. I looked Rogers up. I managed to find a phone number, called it. His wife, who seems to have a European accent, answered the phone.
            I said: “Hello, is Mr. Tom Rogers there?”
            “My husband died six years ago. In fact the date of his death is a month away: April 16. Why are you calling?”
            “I’m writing an article about the sinking of the Shooting Star in 1974.”
            “Oh, Ron Caspers?”
            She told me that she wasn’t the one to talk to about that, that her husband had written about Caspers and the Shooting Star in his book.
            “Agents’ Orange?” I asked. That was the only book that Rogers seems to have written. It was published in 2000.
            She then recited the whole title: “Agents’ Orange: the unabridged political history of Orange County 1960-2000.”
            “We stopped printing it,” she said. “But we made the book available to local libraries.”
            I told her that I had already located a copy at the Santa Ana Public Library and that I would probably be reading it tomorrow.
            “Sorry to bother you,” I said.
            “It’s no bother. I’m glad that people are still interested in those things.”
            I’m not entirely sure what she meant by “those things,” but I'll take whatever encouragement I can get.

Irvine Heritage Library: "lost"
            LIBRARY SNIPE HUNT. Yesterday, I finished my last class and got back to my office. I Googled “Agents’ Orange.” I found that the book was supposed to be available just down the street, at the Irvine Heritage Park Library. So I zipped over there, found the book’s call numbers, and headed for the stacks.
            Couldn’t find it.
            I asked a librarian for help, and that sent her into a fury of searching and conferring and whatnot. After about twenty minutes, she acknowledged that the book was “lost.” That’s an official category, evidently. 
            While at the Irvine Heritage, I found that the book was supposed to be available also at the San Juan Capistrano Library, and so I headed down the 5. Fifteen minutes later, I entered the smallish building, just behind the Mission, and headed for the reference section. 
            Couldn’t find the book.
San Juan Capistrano Library: "lost"
            Talked to a librarian. She informed me that the book was in the “California Collection,” which, as it happened, was immediately behind me. Aha! She walked over and looked for it. 
            Couldn't find the book. 
            That sent her into search and confer mode, and, at the end of that process she declared that the book was “lost.”
            Gosh, what are the chances?
            I headed home and called the Santa Ana Public Library, which was also supposed to have a copy, but their copy was in the “Local History” room, which is only open from Tuesdays through Thursdays. (It was Monday.) Dang! So I planned to go there the next day.
            Feeling lucky, I did a quick search at Irvine Valley College Library, and, guess what? They supposedly had a copy, too, and it was “available”! Skeptical, I called up the IVC Library and spoke with some guy who went in search of the book. After about fifteen minutes, he declared, “Got it!”

IVC Library: "Got it!"
            TOM ROGERS' EXCELLENT ADVENTURE. So, today, I picked up the book. Just now, I got a chance to give it a quick once over. It appears to be excellent. It is a marvelous book that seems to have been almost entirely ignored for the last dozen years. Near as I could tell, it had never been checked out at any of those libraries.
            I’ll have more soon, but, for now, I'll start off with some quotations that provide a sense of Rogers' theses.
            This is from Rogers’ “Introduction.” According to Rogers’ "unabridged" OC History, starting in the 1970s,
the driving forces behind those who would gain political control of Orange County were motivated by the pursuit of corporate profits, and party affiliation was simply a matter of convenience rather than conviction.
. . .
        The most devastating result of dollar politics was that Republicans and Democrats abandoned their core party principles. The temptation was just too strong to win elections with the unlimited funds available to those who passed the litmus test. The special interests were soon able to control the county and some cities when computer technology replaced motivated volunteers as a decisive force in winning elections.
El Toro Road (in Caspers' district), 1970
             THE "CAVE MEN." Eventually, according to Rogers,
a relatively small group of Republican incumbents began to exert influence at the state level, by pre selecting candidates for State Assembly and Senate. The criteria for their selection process was a willingness … to accept and embrace the incumbents’ view of what constitutes a “proper” conservative. Once they passed this Biblical/Philosophical vetting, those Republicans who made the cut would have the assurance of sizeable donations plus professional management of their campaigns. This all-knowing, all-powerful group became known as “The Cave Men” [elsewhere, Rogers notes that the term is non-pejorative], who by virtue of being incumbents had the capability of extracting money from lobbyists in Sacramento, a literal bonanza for all ambitious politicians…. Whether it was the financial support of the special interests or of the GOP incumbents, the net result was that in many cases individuals were elected to an office for which they were totally unqualified.
Tom and wife at Supervisor Riley's annual BBQ, c. mid-80s
             THE COALITION. In one section of his book, Rogers provides a chronological sketch of the events covered in his book. Things don’t really start popping until 1970:
1970   Mysterious newcomer runs a behind-the-scenes campaign to gain election to the Board of Supervisors. Ron Caspers is elected in the 5th District, changing the direction of politics in Orange County. Ralph Clark is also elected to the board making a third vote for the emerging special interests. This new group of wealthy individuals is called The Coalition, and they begin to exert power in Orange County. [Rogers later states that the “Coalition” comes to an end in 1978 with the indictment of Louis Cella, Richard O'Neill's partner in achieving political influence.]
Dr. Louis Cella
            Despite their brief tenure, Caspers and Co. loom large in Rogers’ remarkable account of OC political corruption: “…[M]any blame [Caspers] for the descent of Orange County into the world of political intrigue, campaign finance abuses, and influence peddling” (p. 154).

            CASPERS AND HARBER: SHAKEDOWN. Elsewhere, Rogers discusses “Shooting Star” owner, Fred Harber (you’ll recall that Harber was among the ten victims of the Shooting Star disaster that also took Caspers' life), who, according to Rogers, engaged in an activity “now called lobbying”:
     Harber had been considered a prime mover in county politics….   Prior to his disappearance, he was alleged to have been involved in a shakedown of a developer in behalf of Supervisor Caspers. The builder Richard V. Jordan, in a sworn statement, declared that Harber had contacted him after his project in Casper’s 5th District had been turned down, and had told him what it would take to solve the problem. “$10,000 and $2,000 per month” Harber is alleged to have demanded form Jordan…. 
     Jordan asserted in his deposition that the meeting with Harber was prior to meeting with Caspers in a rubber raft off Cabo San Lucas. Jordan was represented by attorney R.S. “Sam” Barnes and his client contacted District Attorney [and Cella foe] Cecil Hicks and arranged for a payoff with marked bills. [A sting!] Before the plan was put into motion, Caspers won reelection and, with Harber, boarded the Shooting Star and headed once again for the Cape…. [From there, the ship headed north and disappeared.]   In the end the county paid off $700,000 to Jordan’s company…, as a result of losses caused by the extortion scheme.
            In his 1984 article ("The Sinking of a Political Machine"), journalist Larry Peterson wondered if Harber and Caspers attempted this "shakedown" with others—others who, unlike Jordan, were disposed to respond with violence rather than litigation.
            Rogers’ account of the dirty tricks campaign waged in 1969 against Republican Supervisor Alton Allen is fascinating. As it turns out, Ron Caspers was behind that campaign. Caspers won the Supervisorial seat away from Allen in 1970, with Tom Fuentes’ help.
            One more thing: in his book's first reference to the "Shooting Star" disaster, Rogers writes: "Fred Harber's controversial career was cut short by what appeared to be a maritime accident" (151).
            "Appeared to be"?
—More to come—
SEE Part 10
OC Supervisor Alton Allen, 1969.
Essentially taken out by dirty trickster Ron Caspers.
Tom Fuentes was Caspers' right hand man

Freeze!

from today's Los Angeles Times, the indefatigable Carla Rivera reports the latest:

Cal State plans to freeze enrollment next spring at most campuses
Facing uncertain budget prospects, California State University officials announced plans to freeze enrollment next spring at most campuses and to wait-list all applicants the following fall pending the outcome of a proposed tax initiative on the November ballot.

The university is moving to reduce enrollment to deal with $750 million in funding cuts already made in the 2011-12 fiscal year and position itself for at least an additional $200-million cut next year if the tax proposal fails.

The move is a high-stakes gambit that could deny tens of thousands of students access to the state's largest public university system; it also pressures voters to support the tax increase. That proposal, backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, is intended to avoid so-called trigger cuts that will dramatically affect the state's public colleges and universities.
To read the rest, click here.

*

Not so fast! Rethinking fall opening

Today's report  — up again USC reverses robust fall reopening plans, asks students to stay home for online classes LA Times  ...

Invited to IVC—this time a notorious admitted HOMOPHOBE

—Conservative radio host, Michael Reagan


Here at IVC, natch, we have an Accounting Department. It happens to support something called the Guaranteed Accounting Program: GAP4+1.

According to the department website,

This unique pathway program — a partnership between Irvine Valley College (IVC) and Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) — will enable you to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years and a master’s degree with one more additional year (thus GAP4+1).

Among the Master's degrees available through the program, we're told, are "Accountancy and Finance; Taxation; or Accountancy."


We're also told that "The number of students accepted into this program in any one year is limited so be sure to apply early."


Great. The early bird gets the worm.


Evidently, the good people of the GAP4+1 program have recently seen fit to invite someone to speak at Irvine Valley College (in late April): Michael Reagan.




The Republican Party of OC just loves IVC (from their website)

That's right. They've invited Reagan family embarrassment Michael, a man of, let's face it, little or no distinction.


He was expelled from his High School and he washed-out of college. Eventually, he went into clothing sales.


In those early years, he made some curious friends:

In 1965, the FBI warned Ronald Reagan that in the course of an organized crime investigation it had discovered his son Michael was associating with the son of crime boss Joseph Bonanno, which would have become a campaign issue had it been publicly known. Reagan thanked the FBI and said he would phone his son to discreetly discontinue the association. (From Wikipedia's Michael Reagan.)

[“F.B.I. agents in Phoenix made an unexpected discovery: According to records, ‘the son of Ronald Reagan was associating with the son of Joe Bonnano [sic].’ That is, Michael Reagan, the adopted son of Reagan and Ms. Wyman, was consorting with Bonanno’s son, Joseph Jr. The teenagers had bonded over their shared love of fast cars and acting tough.” ... "Joseph Jr. was not involved in organized crime, but he was spending time at his father’s home... [I]n October 1964, he had been arrested in connection with the beating of a Scottsdale, Ariz., coffee shop manager. ... Following routine procedure, F.B.I. agents in Phoenix asked agents in Los Angeles to interview Ronald Reagan for any information he might have gleaned from his son. The investigation, after all, was a top priority. But Hoover blocked them from questioning Reagan, thus sparing him potentially unfavorable publicity. Declaring it 'unlikely that Ronald Reagan would have any information of significance,' Hoover instead ordered agents to warn him about his son’s worrisome friendship." - New York Times]

Later, there were legal problems:

In 1981 Reagan was accused, but later cleared of felony violations of California securities laws in court documents. The Los Angeles County District Attorney alleged that Reagan had baited investors into unlawful stock arrangements, and selling stocks despite the fact that he was not legally permitted to do so. The D.A.'s office investigated allegations that Reagan improperly spent money invested by others in a company, Agricultural Energy Resources, he operated out of his house in a venture to develop the potential of gasohol, a combination of alcohol and gasoline. Investigators said they were also checking whether he had spent up to $17,500 of investors' money for his living expenses. The district attorney's office cleared Reagan of both charges later that year. [“The investigators said they became interested in Michael Reagan after being informed that he had steered customers to Mr. Carey {Richard Francis Carey, who "was selling worthless stock,"} had accepted a $4,000 check from one investor, and that, in at least one meeting of potential investors, his relationship to Ronald Reagan had apparently been exploited as a promotional tool for the stock.” - New York Times]
On September 20, 2012, Reagan and two associates were sued by Elias Chavando, a fellow partner, for allegedly withholding Chavando's interest in an e-mail business built around the Reagan.com domain name. In 2015, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found Reagan liable for conversion and breach of fiduciary duty. Reagan and his business partners were ordered to pay $662,500 in damages.
(From Wikipedia's Michael Reagan.)

Michael tended to smash things (cars, etc.) in his youth. Well into his 40s, he tells us, he was full of "rage" (owing, he explains, to having been molested) and he treated his family badly.


Then, natch, he found the Lord.


Plus, owing to his relationship to his pop, President Ronald Reagan, Michael grabbed the brass ring and became a talk-show host on one or two right-wing radio networks. Blah, blah, blah, he said.


In his latter-day career as mediocre right-wing bloviater and Pious Christian, Michael Reagan has said some unfortunate things:

In April 2013, in a syndicated column, Reagan accused American churches of not fighting hard enough to block same-sex marriage. He wrote that, in regards to arguments supporting gay marriage, similar arguments could be used to support polygamy, bestiality, and murder.

. . . In June 2008, conspiracy theorist Mark Dice launched a campaign urging people to send letters and DVDs to troops stationed in Iraq which support the theory that the September 11 attacks were an "inside job". "Operation Inform the Soldiers", as Dice has called it, prompted Reagan to comment that Dice should be executed for treason. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a liberal/progressive media criticism organization, asked Radio America at the time to explain whether it permits "its hosts to call for murder on the air".

. . . He spoke out in support of profiling in October 2014. In a piece called Profile or Die, he wrote that it would be left to citizens to defend themselves if there were an attack against them by terrorists such as the Islamic State. (Wikipedia)

Golly. It's pretty clear that Michael Reagan is just another "former total fuck-up, now reborn and pious."


Intellectually, he's a low-rent Limbaugh, and that's pretty low.


I mean, when he gets here, just what is he gonna say? That liberals are evil? That his dad was a saint? That freedom and democracy are good? That you oughta put your life in the hands of the Lord? That you don't need to go to college? That homosexuality is a sin?


Only in Bizarro World would Michael Reagan be judged a good speaker to invite to a college.


* * *

Meanwhile, IVC's Guaranteed Accounting Program folks have only wonderful things to say about the fellow:


Michael Reagan

The eldest son of former President Ronald Reagan and one of the most dynamic and sought-after public speakers, Michael Reagan’s commitments to public service and the conservative vision his father championed are second to none, making him the natural heir to the Reagan conservative legacy. Michael serves as chairman and president of the Reagan Legacy Foundation, which seeks to advance the causes President Reagan held dear and to memorialize the accomplishments of his presidency. Michael’s career includes hosting a national conservative radio talk show syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks, championing his father’s values and principles in the public policy forum, commentating and appearing on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Good Day LA, CNN, and Fox News, and contributing to Newsmax Television. Also an accomplished author, Michael has many successful books including On the Outside Looking In, Twice Adopted, and his latest book, Lessons My Father Taught Me.

Well, sure. But he's also the worst kind of insubstantial, opportunistic "celebrity." And he's not an intellectual; he's a propagandist. He's a minor player in our sad era of noisy and loutish conservative anti-intellectualism and demagoguery.


—And he's a homophobe, among other things. Or so he says.


WAY TO GO, GLENN


IVC Prez Roquemore shares Reagan's enthusiasm for the Pussy-grabber-in-chief.

Recent columns by Michael Reagan


ALL IS FAIR IN THE WAR ON TRUMP (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, December 13, 2018

…Hillary continues to skate free, unbothered by the FBI or any federal agency for the dirty things she and the Obama administration’s injustice department did during the 2016 election to try to defeat Donald Trump.

But not General Flynn.

His life was ruined by the FBI bosses who set out to nail him – and did….

TRUMP VS THE CRAZIES (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, January 11, 2019

…Some of the country’s most desperate liberals in the media actually argued that the president’s televised pitch to the country for congressional funding for a stronger border fence should not be carried live by the networks.

Why? Because they said the president lies too much and they wanted to be able to fact-check his speech beforehand….

TRUMP SAYS ‘ADIOS’ TO BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, November 1, 2018

…Ending birthright citizenship, better known as dropping the anchor baby, is the most significant illegal immigration reform the President Trump has announced. With a single executive order, he unplugs a beacon that attracts scammers from the world over. He also attacks a visible manifestation of the “foreigners first” mindset that has infected the State Department, and the rest of the federal bureaucracy, since the 1960s….

THE PARTY OF EVIL (Cagle.com) - by Michael Reagan, October 11, 2018

…Now, thanks to the Democrats’ ugly smear campaign against Judge Kavanaugh, Republican senators like Susan Collins and Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders need security guards 24/7.

It’s not the new Supreme Court Justice who’s evil.

It’s the Democrat Party and the nasty “progressives” who’ve taken it over and are willing to say or do anything or destroy anyone to bring down President Trump.

Maybe this is not something new. Maybe the Democrats have always been this evil….

About Michael Reagan:


A separate peace* (LA Times, August 31, 2004) – by Anne-Marie O'Connor

For years, Michael Reagan, the older son of Ronald Reagan, felt unloved and unwanted. His parents divorced when he was 3. Two years later he was packed off to a boarding school where, he says, he was so lonely he cried himself to sleep. Sexually abused at age 7, he felt shame and self-loathing, compounded by Bible passages that convinced him he would never go to heaven.

He grew up so angry he smashed a childhood bicycle and later took a sledgehammer to his new car. Well into his 40s, his "rage came to a full boil," and he often yelled at his wife and young son.

Then, he says, he found salvation through the love of his family and his "adoption" by God. He embraced conservative values and became a syndicated talk-radio host who today tells listeners: "I am homophobic."….

Roquemore and U of Phoenix

From Clueless IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore smiles as he makes nice with the enemy DtB, 8-26-14

Vice President, Western Region, Workforce Solutions/University of Phoenix, Chuck Parker, President, Irvine Valley College, Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore

Members of the Irvine Valley College community just received this gushing email from the President:

Irvine Valley College Signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Phoenix

Irvine – Irvine Valley College (IVC) administration, faculty and staff held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Phoenix, Inc. (University) on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.

Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore said, “This partnership will expand the many transfer opportunities available to the IVC students and staff. One of the major benefits of the MOU is the tuition discount."

Irvine Valley College students transferring to University of Phoenix into an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program … will be considered as having satisfied the general education requirements for the breadth of the liberal arts degree program….

IVC students get 10% off Phoenix tuition, which is way pricey.

Evidently, President Roquemore is not aware that entities such as the U of Phoenix exist to make huge profits by taking advantage of students who typically receive federally insured loans, putting them in serious debt. Those students, upon graduating, typically fail to find the work they were expecting and often default on their loans, forcing the taxpayer to pay. (It's a massive bubble that, one day, will pop.)

You’re fine with all that, are you Glenn? You're a Republican, aren't you? Yeah. I see you smiling with those vets you claim to love!

Alas, the "predatory for-profits" problem is especially egregious in the case of Vets, who pay their way via the new GI Bill:


GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges

(Desert Sun)

The ever-clueless Glenn R

Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.

As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.

. . .

Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.

The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.

. . .

The school's large share of GI Bill funding reflects more than just the number of veterans enrolling. The programs are expensive. An associate degree costs $395 a credit, for instance — nearly 10 times the cost at a public community college.

The University of Phoenix won't say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.

Those figures fall short of the minimum standards set by the California Student Aid Commission, which dispenses state financial aid. The commission considers either a graduation rate lower than 30 percent or a loan default rate of more than 15.5 percent clear indicators of a substandard education.

No such restrictions govern GI Bill funds. And nearly 300 California schools that received GI Bill money either were barred from receiving state financial aid at least once in the past four years or operated without accreditation, CIR has found.

. . .

Of the $1.5 billion in GI Bill funds spent on tuition and fees in California since 2009, CIR found that more than 40 percent — $638 million —went to schools that have failed the state financial aid standard at least once in the past four years.

Four of those schools were University of Phoenix campuses, which together took in $225 million….

An Enemy In Common? The Case Against For-Profit Colleges

(Cognoscenti [NPR Boston])

… As Americans, we should all be concerned that veterans are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous profiteers. As taxpayers, we should be aware that we are paying for this disservice. Approximately 85-95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits….

For-Profit College Investigation--Is the New GI Bill Working?: Questionable For-Profit Colleges Increasingly Dominate the Program

([Senator] Harkin newsletter)


…Senator Harkin's HELP Committee investigation found:

. . .

  • Most for-profit colleges charge much higher tuition than comparable programs at community colleges and flagship State public universities. The investigation found Associate degree and certificate programs averaged four times the cost of degree programs at comparable community colleges. Bachelor's degree programs averaged 20 percent more than the cost of analogous programs at flagship public universities despite the credits being largely non-transferrable.
  • Because 96 percent of students starting a for-profit college take federal student loans to attend a for-profit college (compared to 13 percent at community colleges), nearly all students who leave have student loan debt, even when they don't have a degree or diploma or increased earning power.
  • Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults in 2008 and 2009. More than 1 in 5 students enrolling in a for-profit college-22 percent-default within 3 years of entering repayment on their student loans....

Hey-Diddly-Ho, Neighbor!

Oldie but Goodie [2012]: See Senator Harkin’s For-Profit College Investigation: U of Phoenix

Glenn Roquemore, the Pacifica Institute & women's "primordial nature"

Glenn Roquemore, the Pacifica Institute & women's "primordial nature" May 21, 2013

Delivering factoids for

Turkish anti-feminists

Here’s a curious factoid. I came across the following press release, evidently dating back to April of 2008. It was posted by the “Pacifica Institute,” which has a dozen or so offices, including one in Orange County (Irvine):


Glenn R. Roquemore-Irvine Valley College President Speaks at PI - Orange County

Today Pacifica Institute hosted Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore. Before this luncheon forum in Irvine , New Zealand Consul General Rob Taylor and Irvine Mayor Beth Krom were the keynote speakers. Consul General Rob Taylor spoke about Welcoming Diversity as a Path to Peace and Mayor Beth Krom’s topic was How to Create a Balanced Community. Dr Glenn Roquemore’s topic is the Role of Community Colleges in Higher Education.

Dr. Glenn Roquemore is President of Irvine Valley College….

Dr Roquemore gave very important statistics of the Community Colleges in California….

You’ll recall that, in the past, we’ve kidded Roquemore over his tendency to approach speaking always as an occasion to dispense the merest of statistics as though they were astonishing jewels. "Two percent of our students," he'll say, "sport a vestigial tail." Huh?

What’s the matter with ‘im? Dunno.

But just who are these “Pacifica Institute” people?

According to PI’s website,

Pacifica Institute was established in 2003 as a non-profit organization by a group of Turkish-Americans. Pacifica Institute designs and executes projects covering social welfare, education, poverty, and conflict resolution issues in collaboration with scholars, activists, artists, politicians, and religious leaders-communities….

. . .

The Institute seeks to …[engage] in a variety of civic activities and [seeks to invite] others to generate and share insights, thereby removing barriers to confidence-building and trust….

Gosh, it sounds as though that illiterate pseudo-educator, Raghu Mathur, may have had a hand in writing this stuff.

Elsewhere, PI presents “Frequently Asked Questions about Pacifica Institute and Fethullah Gülen.”

One naturally assumes, then, that Mr. Fethullah Gülen and his ideas are important to PI. Sure enough, in the Q&A, Gülen and his movement are central:

Fethullah Gülen

Q: How is the Pacifica Institute involved with the Gülen movement?

A: Some of the founders and donors of Pacifica Institute are participants of the so-called Gülen, or Hizmet movement. Pacifica Institute was inspired by the movement’s philosophy and goals….

. . .

The Gülen/Hizmet movement is a values-driven social movement and following a philosophy that advances interfaith dialog, education and community service as tools to build a better and more harmonious society. The movement was inspired by the philosophy and teachings of Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish scholar, author and advocate….

. . .

Q: Who is Fethullah Gülen?

A: Fethullah Gülen is a Turkish scholar, preacher, thinker, author, opinion leader, education activist, and peace advocate who is considered by many to be one of the world’s most influential religious thinkers. He is regarded as the initiator and inspirer of the worldwide civil society movement, the Gülen Movement, which is committed to education, dialogue, peace, social justice, and social harmony….

Well, I’ve done a little looking, and this Gülen fella is mighty controversial, in some circles at least.

I skimmed a couple of sites, which suggested that Gulen is, among other things, a conservative and a vocal opponent of feminism (although I ask that readers judge for themselves based on his writings--and the writings of his mouthpieces).

So I went to the Fethullah Gülen website. There, I searched the term “feminism” and that brought me to a page with links to various relevant essays, evidently by Mr. Gülen, including The Gülen Movement: Gender and Practice.

I clicked on that. That essay includes this passage:

Although he promotes equality between the sexes, Fethullah Gülen's views on gender can indeed be described as complementary. He sees women and men as having equal value but inheriting different roles and characteristics due to physical and psychological differences. He classifies men as "physically stronger and apt to bear hardship" and women as "more compassionate, more delicate, more self sacrificing" (Gülen 2006: 1). Although he does state that women can be involved in any field of work he idealizes the mother as the pure educator (Gülen 2006: 2) implicitly implying that the man should be the family provider. This may open up for critique on behalf of Western feminists or scholars of religion and gender. According to this relatively new academic discipline[,] gender is a social construction. Human beings are born with different sexes, but social roles and expectations of fulfillment of these are constructed and emphasized by the norms that prevail in society.

Another link takes one to an essay entitled Women Confined and Mistreated. Here are some excerpts:

As a reaction to all the injustice done to women … a movement to claim women's rights emerged, particularly in the West. Even though this movement is considered an awakening of women, it occurred as a reaction and was doomed to imbalance like all other reactionary movements and ended up in extremism. Although the starting point was to defend women, in time it deviated from the original aim to the degree of being full of hatred towards men and to feeling a grudge against them. The movement named feminism, which was born from the idea of protecting women and providing them with rights equal to those of men, has only left behind longing, sorrow, and wreckage as a movement of discontentment….

. . .

According to Islam, women's role in this world is not only restricted to doing the housework and raising children. In fact, as long as it does not conflict with her primordial nature or with observing religious requirements, she is responsible for carrying out the duties that befall her in every area of society and making up for shortcomings where men fall short in social life. However, this reality was ignored in time, even among Muslims; rough understandings and crude thinking upset this system based on women and men's mutual assistance. After this upset, both family life and the social order were also upset. Different peoples' perception of their own historical heritage as a part of Islam, their seeing and reflecting their folklore and traditions as essentials of religion, and making judgments pertaining to this issue at certain periods all resulted in the usurpation of women's rights; they were pushed into a more restricted area day by day, and in some places they were totally isolated from life without consideration of where this issue leads. However, the source of mistaken thoughts and deviations in this matter is not Islam whatsoever. The mistakes belong to those who misinterpret and misapply the religion. Such mistakes in practice must definitely be corrected.

On the other hand, while correcting these mistakes, approaching the issue from a feminist standpoint will upset the balance again and an opposite extremism will replace the former. For instance, just as it is very ugly to see women as merely child-bearing objects and is insolence towards them, it is equally unbecoming and unnatural to build a society where women are unable to bear and bring up the children they wish for, or for a woman to feel a need to rebel against marrying and to avoid bearing children in order to show that she is not a machine. As a woman is not a dirty dish, her place at home is not confined to the kitchen with the dirty dishes. However, a woman who claims to have no household responsibilities and thereby turns her home to a quarters for eating and sleeping is far from being a good mother, a good teacher, and a good spiritual guide to her children.

Besides all this, it is another form of oppression to make women work under difficult conditions, such as mining and road-building. It contradicts human nature to push women into heavy tasks like agricultural manual labor, or military field operations, and other harsh pursuits, just for the sake of proving their equality with men; it is nothing but cruel torture. It shows ignorance of women's qualities and conflicts with their primordial nature. Therefore, just as an understanding which imprisons women at home and takes them completely away from social life is absolutely incorrect according to Islam, likewise, depriving women of financial support, preventing them from bearing and raising children in security, and forcing women into the labor force to do uncongenial work is also oppressive. A woman, like a man, can have a certain job as far as her (and his) physiology and psychology are taken into consideration; but both women and men should know that a good life consists of sharing and division of labor. Each should assist the other by doing tasks in compliance with their nature.

Yikes.

I’m in no position to judge this “take” on feminism relative to the various Muslim communities (e.g., in Turkey) and the possibility of discourse within them. But it’s pretty plain that Gülen’s philosophy, as expressed here, is antithetical to some of the core tenets of Western feminism, broadly understood. It seems clear that Gülen is not likely to gain many adherents or followers among contemporary Westerners, with their commitment to the ideal of equality, as they understand it at least, between the sexes.

The Wikipedia article on Gülen is alarming—if, that is, it can be trusted. It asserts that

...Gülen's views are vulnerable to the charge of misogyny. As noted by Berna Turam, Gülen has argued:

"the man is used to more demanding jobs . . . but a woman must be excluded during certain days during the month. After giving birth, she sometimes cannot be active for two months. She cannot take part in different segments of the society all the time. She cannot travel without her husband, father, or brother . . . the superiority of men compared to women cannot be denied." [35]

Berna Turam, Northeastern

Wikipedia is quoting Berna Turam, a serious academic at Northeastern U. She herself seems to cite a work from 1996 entitled Fethullah Gulen Hocaefendi ile ufuk turu (Aktuel kitaplar dizisi). It is written in Turkish.

One should be careful to note that the superiority that Gülen is discussing is physical, not moral, or at least that's how I read it. Even so, his remarks are mighty offensive, at least to these Western ears.


Gosh Glenn, you really oughta be more careful who you hang out with. Philosophically, these Gülenites are a problem, at least relative to most of our community on these shores.

I'll see if I can shed more light on the Pacifica Institute and what it means for the likes of Glenn Roquemore and Beth Krom (a Democrat) to be hanging out with 'em.

Votes of "no confidence" - 1999

from the Dissenter's Dictionary, Dec. 3, 1999


MATHUR, RAGHU P.



In April of 1997, in an action later judged a violation of the Open Meetings law, the Board Majority appointed chemistry teacher and campus joke Raghu P. Mathur as Interim President of Irvine Valley College. At the time, Mathur had no experience as a full-time administrator. Five months later, through a process that violated board policy, and amid strong faculty opposition, the BM appointed Mathur permanent president. That action, too, was later voided owing to violations of the Brown Act. Two years later, despite his miserable record, which included a vote of no confidence and the palpable contempt of nearly all IVC faculty and staff, the board majority renewed Mathur's contract, giving him a raise and a $200 a month "security stipend."

Mathur was hired as an instructor in 1979, and he quickly established a reputation as a schemer and liar who would stoop to anything in order to secure an administrative position. Owing to his manifest unsavoriness, however, that ambition was consistently thwarted both inside and outside the district.

His intrigues soon gained him the hatred of Ed Hart, IVC's first president. In 1986, Hart retired, and the college adopted a "faculty chair" model, partly for fiscal reasons. Soon, Mathur "ruled" the tiny school of Physical Sciences as its chair. During the "chair" era, he was, without doubt, the chief abuser of that office, engaging in endless machinations while arranging a lucrative schedule that netted him a salary far in excess of the college president's ($124,000 in 1996-7).

During this period, Mathur continued to seek administrative positions. When he was passed over, he played the race card, charging everyone in sight with "discrimination," apparently on the sole grounds that he had not been selected.

Mathur's habit, as chair, of circumventing the governance process eventually yielded an official censure of him by IVC's "Instructional Council' in April of 1994. Earlier, the IC membership had all agreed not to go outside the process--particularly with regard to the selection of the IVC presidential search committee chair. During an IC meeting in March (of 94), Mathur was asked whether, despite the agreement, he had presented a petition, urging the selection of a particular faculty member, to the chancellor. He answered that he had "not forwarded" a petition to the chancellor or anyone. In fact, he had and, apparently on that basis, the chancellor did appoint the faculty member as (co)chair.

When this came to light in April, Mathur was censured. According to the minutes of the April 5 meeting, "Instructional Council had agreed that no one will work outside of the IVC governance structure and agreed-upon processes. They felt that Raghu had lied to the Council...[One member] made a motion to censur Raghu Mathur for lying to the Instructional Council regarding the petition and the presidential search process and for misrepresenting not only Instructional Council, but also the faculty...Raghu Mathur stated that he did not lie to the Instructional Council. He said that he was asked if he had forwarded the petition to the Chancellor and he said he had not. He did admit, however, that he had shown the petition to Chancellor Lombardi...Raghu felt that the members of Instructional Council were making too big of a deal out of the situation...The question was called and the motion passed with 8 ayes, 3 noes, and 4 abstentions."

Classified employees, too, have at times found it necessary to complain about of Mathur's conduct. For instance, in August of 1995, IVC administration received a letter from Leann Cribb, Executive Secretary (and formerly secretary for the School of Physical Sciences), in which she wrote: "Mr. Mathur routinely revises facts and manufactures innuendo to suit his objectives." During the January '98 Board meeting, classified employee Julie Ben-Yeoshua explained that Mathur was the reason she was seeking employment elsewhere: "Since you first appointed Raghu Mathur as the interim president, the atmosphere at IVC has changed drastically; morale is in the gutter...[Mathur's] inability to tell the truth is so natural that I have come to gauge everything he says and writes by believing the complete opposite...."

By the mid-90s, Mathur had come to regard Terry Burgess, then-VP of Instruction, as his nemesis, and, in 1996, he tried to discredit Burgess with the board. In the spring of '96, a student sought to enroll in a chemistry course without enrolling in the concurrent lab, and the matter came before the chair--Mathur. Though the student provided documentation proving that she had done the equivalent work at UCI, Mathur denied the request, whereupon the student asked for a review of the decision by the Office of Instruction. Mathur agreed to go along with the Office's decision.

Later, however, he accused Burgess of signing the student's admittance card despite non-approval by the instructor. Mathur convinced his school to send a resolution of complaint to the board (and also to the senate and the union), appending the student's transcripts, without her permission, an action that violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and district policies. When then-IVC president Dan Larios learned of this, he requested an opinion from the district's attorneys regarding the legality of Mathur's action. The opinion, dated March 18, 1996, indicates that Mathur acted improperly, violating FERPA and board policy 5619. Larios was fed up.

Realizing that Larios now planned to deny approval of him as chair of his school, Mathur, as per usual, scrambled to lobby board members for support. On March 29, Larios met with Mathur; he explained that he had lost confidence in Mathur and that Mathur had better "change." In the end, Larios wrote a memo (May 14) expressing his serious reservations about Mathur's leadership, owing to his repeated circumventing of established processes and his violations of board policy, and placed him on probation. If there were any further violations of process, wrote Larios, Mathur would be removed as chair.

In the meantime, Mathur asked the senate to censure Burgess. It declined to do so, citing Mathur's misdescription of crucial facts. Larios, troubled by Mathur's misrepresentations, sent out a memo explaining that Burgess had in no sense acted improperly.

In December of '96, the Board Majority era began, and Larios sensed that it was time to move on. Normally, the VP of Instruction—Terry Burgess--would serve as interim president, but the BM blocked his selection, and, in March, Lombardi was chosen as a sort of compromise. But in April, Frogue presented another one of Mathur's petitions--this time, an “anonymous” petition urging Mathur's selection as president. On that basis, Mathur became IVC president.

Mathur's outrages while president are too numerous to recount here. Suffice it to say that in the early months of 1998, the IVC academic senate instituted a Special Inquiry into “abuses of power.” By April, it became necessary to abandon the investigation, owing to the number and the complexity of the charges against Mathur. Said the committee’s chair: “It’s like bailing water out of the Titanic with a tea cup…Every time we put an allegation to bed, another one jumps up” (Voice, 5/7/98). Soon thereafter, Mathur received a 74% vote of no confidence by his faculty.

Mathur has sought to rule through intimidation, punishing his critics in every way available to him. In early November of 1999, the IVC academic senate released the results of a survey of full-time faculty (78% participated). 90% disagreed with the statement, "I can express my opinion about issues at the college without fear of retribution or retaliation." The 90% figure will likely go up soon, for Mathur intends to fire an untenured instructor--a critic--for his involvement in the act of naming the plot of dirt next to the Life Sciences greenhouse. It was named the "Terry Burgess garden."


Huge Vote Against College Chief (LA Times, May 18, 2004 | Jeff Gottlieb)

Faculty in the South Orange County Community College District overwhelmingly voted no confidence Monday in Chancellor Raghu Mathur.
Of the full-time professors at Irvine Valley and Saddleback colleges who cast ballots, 93.5% voted in favor of no confidence, and 6% were against the union-sponsored measure. One person abstained.
Out of 318 faculty eligible, 246 -- 77% -- voted, according to the district faculty association….

Clueless IVC Prez Glenn Roquemore smiles as he makes nice with the enemy - August 26, 2014

Vice President, Western Region, Workforce Solutions/University of Phoenix, Chuck Parker, President, Irvine Valley College, Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore

○ Members of the Irvine Valley College community just received this gushing email from the President:

Irvine Valley College Signs Memorandum of Understanding with University of Phoenix

Irvine – Irvine Valley College (IVC) administration, faculty and staff held a formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Phoenix, Inc. (University) on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.
Irvine Valley College President Glenn Roquemore said, “This partnership will expand the many transfer opportunities available to the IVC students and staff. One of the major benefits of the MOU is the tuition discount."
Irvine Valley College students transferring to University of Phoenix into an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program … will be considered as having satisfied the general education requirements for the breadth of the liberal arts degree program….

○ IVC students get 10% off Phoenix tuition, which is way pricey.

○ Evidently, President Roquemore is not aware that entities such as the U of Phoenix exist to make huge profits by taking advantage of students who typically receive federally insured loans, putting them in serious debt. Those students, upon graduating, typically fail to find the work they were expecting and often default on their loans, forcing the taxpayer to pay. (It's a massive bubble that, one day, will pop.)

○ You’re fine with all that, are you Glenn? You're a Republican, aren't you? Yeah. I see you smiling with those vets you claim to love!

○ Alas, the "predatory for-profits" problem is especially egregious in the case of Vets, who pay their way via the new GI Bill:


GI Bill funds failing for-profit California colleges

(Desert Sun)

The ever-clueless Glenn R

Over the last five years, more than $600 million in college assistance for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has been spent on California schools so substandard that they have failed to qualify for state financial aid.
As a result, the GI Bill — designed to help veterans live the American dream — is supporting for-profit companies that spend lavishly on marketing but can leave veterans with worthless degrees and few job prospects, The Center for Investigative Reporting found.

. . .

Financial records analyzed by CIR show that California is the national epicenter of this problem, with nearly 2 out of every 3 GI Bill dollars going to for-profit colleges.
The University of Phoenix in San Diego outdistances its peers. Since 2009, the campus has received $95 million in GI Bill funds. That's more than any brick-and-mortar campus in America, more than the entire 10-campus University of California system and all UC extension programs combined.

. . .

The school's large share of GI Bill funding reflects more than just the number of veterans enrolling. The programs are expensive. An associate degree costs $395 a credit, for instance — nearly 10 times the cost at a public community college.
The University of Phoenix won't say how many of its veterans graduate or find jobs, but the overall graduation rate at its San Diego campus is less than 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and more than a quarter of students default on their loans within three years of leaving school.
Those figures fall short of the minimum standards set by the California Student Aid Commission, which dispenses state financial aid. The commission considers either a graduation rate lower than 30 percent or a loan default rate of more than 15.5 percent clear indicators of a substandard education.
No such restrictions govern GI Bill funds. And nearly 300 California schools that received GI Bill money either were barred from receiving state financial aid at least once in the past four years or operated without accreditation, CIR has found.

. . .

Of the $1.5 billion in GI Bill funds spent on tuition and fees in California since 2009, CIR found that more than 40 percent — $638 million —went to schools that have failed the state financial aid standard at least once in the past four years.
Four of those schools were University of Phoenix campuses, which together took in $225 million….

An Enemy In Common? The Case Against For-Profit Colleges

(Cognoscenti [NPR Boston])

… As Americans, we should all be concerned that veterans are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous profiteers. As taxpayers, we should be aware that we are paying for this disservice. Approximately 85-95 percent of the for-profits’ revenue comes from taxpayer-supported benefits….

For-Profit College Investigation--Is the New GI Bill Working?: Questionable For-Profit Colleges Increasingly Dominate the Program

([Senator] Harkin newsletter)


…Senator Harkin's HELP Committee investigation found:

. . .

  • Most for-profit colleges charge much higher tuition than comparable programs at community colleges and flagship State public universities. The investigation found Associate degree and certificate programs averaged four times the cost of degree programs at comparable community colleges. Bachelor's degree programs averaged 20 percent more than the cost of analogous programs at flagship public universities despite the credits being largely non-transferrable.
  • Because 96 percent of students starting a for-profit college take federal student loans to attend a for-profit college (compared to 13 percent at community colleges), nearly all students who leave have student loan debt, even when they don't have a degree or diploma or increased earning power.
  • Students who attended a for-profit college accounted for 47 percent of all Federal student loan defaults in 2008 and 2009. More than 1 in 5 students enrolling in a for-profit college-22 percent-default within 3 years of entering repayment on their student loans....

Hey-Diddly-Ho, Neighbor!

Oldie but Goodie [2012]: See Senator Harkin’s For-Profit College Investigation: U of Phoenix