Washington Post's Kaplan company gives up lobbying fight on subsidies

Last week, the Washington Post terminated four lobbying contracts with big-name K Street firms. The Post had hired K Street heavyweights to resist regulations advanced by the Obama administration to cut off federal subsidies to for-profit colleges — like the ones owned by Kaplan, which is owned by the Washington Post Company — whose graduates don't meet certain “gainful employment” standards.

These were big-dollar lobbying contracts with big-name lobbyists.

  • Tonio Burgos & Company was getting $10k a month from the Post. Tonio Burgos was a Super Delegate to the 2008 DNC.
  • The Post was also paying the Raben Group $10k a month to lobby. Raben is a former top aide to Barney Frank. Raben Group lobbyists Courtney Snowden and Joel Packer operate something called the Committee for Education Funding.
  • Elmendorf Ryan was getting more than $25k a month from the Post. Steven Elmendorf, former chief of staff to then-House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, was one of the key lobbyists in shaping the health-care bill. Robert Cogorno, another Post lobbyist at the Elmendorf firm, was Max Baucus's chief of staff. Jimmy Ryan was Harry Reid's chief of staff.
  • And on the other side of the isle was Wayne Berman of Ogilvy Government Relations. The Post paid Ogilvy $30k a month. Berman was Assistant Secretary of Commerce, and a close advisor to every GOP presidential campaign and transition since Reagan.

The Post terminated all these contracts on June 30, indicating that they will not try to overturn the gainful employment regulations.

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