Rep. Virginia Foxx will Win Reelection Easily, So Why is She Raking in Big Money from Donors?
Virginia Foxx, a Republican who represents North Carolina’s Fifth Congressional District, should have a pretty easy time of it this fall. She’s running for her sixth term in the House of Representatives is popular in her district and her Democratic opponent is woefully underfunded. So why is she pulling in cash from out-of-state corporate donors?
For the answer, you must go back to school. A for-profit school. Foxx is the chair of the House Education Committee’s subcommittee on higher education and workforce training. As a result, she has a big role in deciding whether for-profit schools, many of whose graduates have trouble finding work in their chosen fields, need to be held to higher standards.
Foxx has raised $823,000 so far in campaign funds, 51% of it from out-of-state donors, according to OpenSecrets.org. The largest single contributor to Foxx’s campaign is Corinthian Colleges, based in Santa Ana, California. Corinthian is under investigation by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who has said the company has engaged in “deceptive and false advertisements and aggressive marketing campaigns that misrepresented job placement rates and school programs.” Seventeen other states are investigating the school for various violations.
The federal government is also investigating Corinthian. The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June 2013 issued a subpoena to the company concerning student recruitment, degree completion, job placement, loan defaults and compliance with U.S. Education Department rules, according to the Republic Report. Later that year, the company reported that it was being investigated by the Justice Department for violation of the False Claims Act. And in December, December 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau notified Corinthian that it would pursue legal action against the company for violation of federal laws with respect to private student loans.
Many students get some form of federal aid, in grants or loans, to attend college. The Department of Education has proposed rules that would withhold federal funding from schools depending on the share of their students who wind up employed, fail to graduate or leave school heavily in debt.
For her part, Foxx wants to ensure that the spigot of federal money continues to flow to for-profit colleges. She sponsored the The Supporting Academic Freedom Through Regulatory Relief Act, which would prohibit the Secretary of Education from “engaging in regulatory overreach” in deciding whether schools can get federal aid. The bill was approved by the House Education Committee and awaits action by the full House.
To Learn More:
Hot Race in NC-5? No, but Foxx is Hauling in Out-of-State Cash (by Russ Choma, OpenSecrets.org)
Top Donor for House Education Chair is For-Profit College Facing Federal and State Fraud Probes (by David Halperin, Republic Report)
Wells Fargo Main Investor in Nation’s Worst Private College Company (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
State Sues California’s Largest For-Profit College Company for Fraud (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)
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