JOPLIN, Mo. – Joplin students demanded that Senator Blunt put the needs of Missouri families before Washington special interests outside a campaign event at Missouri Southern State University this evening.
While Senator Blunt, Ted Cruz and other Missouri Republicans were in Joplin for a Get Out The Vote event, Joplin students and other residents demanded that he stop putting his family and lobbyist donors ahead of working Missourians. Senator Blunt is the only person in the Senate whose wife and adult children are all lobbyists, and reports earlier in the month stated that at least 46 staffers who have worked under Senator Blunt in Washington have used the revolving door between his Congressional office and K Street lobbying firms.
Many of those same lobbyists are now donating to his campaign, including some who represent for-profit colleges that are facing renewed scrutiny, as The Kansas City Star reported this week. Senator Blunt is the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that determines student aid, and he’s used that position to loosen regulations that prevent for-profit schools from exploiting students.
Meanwhile, Senator Blunt has taken over $100,000 from the for-profit college industry and its lobbyists. That includes thousands of dollars from Bridgepoint Education, a company who runs for-profit schools that is currently under federal investigation and who recently had to forgive $24 billion in private student loan debt after misleading students.
“No matter who Senator Blunt brings in to try and convince voters he hasn’t forgotten them, Missourians know that Senator Blunt is more interested in defending Washington lobbyists than working families,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Missouri Democratic Party spokesman. “Senator Blunt is campaigning at an excellent public college, but as we’ve seen this week, he’d rather help private for-profit colleges than the students they exploit. If he really was interested in helping Missourians, he’d be less concerned about campaigning with Ted Cruz and more about getting rid of his tainted Bridgepoint donations.”