Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Guest blogger points out Cleary and Rogers unhealthy relationship

(This is a guest post from Michael Motta that was first posted on Michigan Liberal. I agree with his basic premise of the unhealthy relationship between the Cleary University and the Livingston County GOP - and even the Gannett corporate media, but I strongly believe Clearly is a good institution that fills a needed niche in the community. But for one more example of that unhealthy relationship Mr. Motta may not be aware of, the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus endorsed Rep. Chris Ward, R-Brighton and a Cleary graduate, during the November election without even an endorsement interview, the only candidate not to have one.
If you look at the list of earmarks Mike Rogers was asking for Cleary to receive they don’t even make sense. For example, he asked for $325,000 “for the training of technology workers, to be done at Cleary University to provide job training opportunities for Livingston county workers.” That ignores an underutilized state partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation that does the same thing called the Livingston Regional M-TEC. The M-TEC, one of 18 in Michigan, “is a not-for-profit Technical Training Center operated by Mott Community College – a public institution - and advised by a board of local businesses and community representatives.”)

Mike Rogers Wants over $2.15 million for ClearlyNotA University
By: Michael Motta
We all know that politics aren't pretty and that the money flows right along with the greasy grimy hands. The hope is that there is still enough around of that cynical yet practical idea of the Founders that "ambition counteracts ambition" and that pluralism wins in the end.
But what happens when a single Congressional District has at least two of its largest media outlets, a private college, a county economics club and its U.S. Representative all on the same page? Well, you get a greasy gravy train.

Most of you have by now read of the Livingston Economic Club, Cleary University, and the Livingston Press & Argus co-sponsoring a lecture series that pays ridiculous amounts of money bring in such speakers as Ann Coulter ($30,000).
Many of you have also read of former Lansing State Journal publisher Leslie J. Hurst's breach of journalistic ethics (far more heinous than the state databases) regarding her fabrication of the LSJ Editorial Board's "non-endorsement" of a candidate in the 8th Congressional race last autumn. In fact the Board had voted 5-1 to endorse Marcinkowski over Rogers and others.

Some fewer of you may have added up the recent federal funding requests of Mike Rogers for Cleary University and found that they run in excess of $2.15 million. Some may realize that the student body of Cleary is likely smaller than many elementary schools, with figures I've seen ranging from the 400s to the 600s. So we're talking about three to four thousand dollars PER STUDENT that Rogers is requesting for a private school that had a right wing agenda even before Rogers started feeding it, and probably more so now that he has.

If you doubt that Cleary has a political agenda, it actually states one right in its president's greeting: "Welcome to Cleary University! I am especially proud to be affiliated with Cleary University, an institution committed to teaching the American free market economic system . . . " http://www.cleary.ed... And of course some of you may have read about the various ties between Cleary administration members and the Republican Party, such as Janet Filip, the development director for Cleary, being married to the chair of the Livingston County Republican Party.

First of all, the Federal Government has no business funding a private school, especially one that has such an obvious agenda. Cleary doesn't even save face by offering traditional conservative "Great Books" styled liberal arts programs - it flat out markets itself as a quick way to move up the corporate ladder (about halfway I imagine in most cases), shunning an actual education in the process.

Perhaps equally unnerving to Rogers wanting the Federal Government to toss millions of dollars at this "school" of three digits of students, is this whole chain or consortium of cohorts scratching each others' backs.

Let's see, the LSJ's Hurst helps Rogers by lying during his campaign, the LSJ's Gannett sister the Press & Argus co-sponsors the Coulter and friends lecture series (as its former publisher becomes publisher of the LSJ, replacing Hurst who simply moved her act to a Gannett paper in Louisiana) along with Cleary, and then Rogers wants a cool $2.15+ million for Cleary.

Doesn't all of that sound even greasier than usual?

I give credit to this blog http://liberalmedian... for some of my information, though the gentleman who runs it seems to defend Cleary much more than I do. In the face of the details it strikes me as a non sequitur to defend Cleary in the abstract.

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