On tonight’s show, I welcome student activists, Paul Berlet and Monica Zheng to the show. We'll be talking about last weeks PASSHE Board of Governors vote to approve the mergers of 6 state universities into two and growing discontent among students, faculty, and the public.
Paul Berlet is a senior at Kutztown university studying secondary English education. He is a member of the Kutztown student group KU activists as well as PASSHE Defenders.
Monica Zheng is an undergrad at West Chester University. She is a member of PASSHE defenders and a member of the Party of Socialism and Liberation.
Nick Marcil co-founder of PASSHE Defenders.
These students are committed to the power of popular organizing and direct action to better the situation for working-class people, especially students and those working in education.
Out d'Coup podcast for July 16, 2021. It's our weekly politics round-up! We're back from vacation for a free-wheeling show! Today we catch up on our post-vacation reflections; discuss the pressing crises of our democracy; take a peek at dark money groups funding anti-CRT orgs and candidates in PA; check-in with the ever-green extremism of Doug Mastriano; reflect on PASSHE consolidations; and, close out with a little beer industry and a special unboxing of Sean's newest package.
Join our Discord to live chat during the show: https://discord.gg/BnjRNz3u
On this week’s show...we attempt to get our feet firmly planted in this timestream with a themed show: “This playing nice shit ain’t cutting it.” That little ditty comes by the way of a striking miner in Alabama and it’s a phrase we could all do well to get used to integrating in our political organizing. Today we talk about Texas Dems leaving their state en masse to prevent new voter suppression legislation; Biden’s Philadelphia speech on voting rights; PASSHE Board of Governors voting to move forward with meeting 6 universities into 2; the coal miners’ strike in Alabama; and, we get to hear a little bit about Cyril’s new column (now released) on critical race theory. It’s a show not to be missed!
We're back from vacation and so much is going on. The vote on PASSHE consolidation is looming. Haiti's president just got whacked. Teachers are getting fired for teaching diversity. Sir Richard Branson launches into space with civilian passengers. Summer reading. So, much. We're opening up our phones through Riverside.fm (details below). We'd love to hear what's going on on your end of things!
During the live show, I'll announce when we'll be taking calls. If you want to call into the show, you should join the show on Riverside.fm and turn the volume off on YouTube, otherwise you'll get a delay and feedback.
You can join the show, Monday 7/12/21 @ 7pm using this link: https://riverside.fm/studio/out-dcoup-live
Here's info for how it works from Riverside.fm: https://support.riverside.fm/en/articles/4666206-live-call-in
This is a special rebroadcast of our interview with whistleblower Colleen Bradley - former Vice President of Administration & Finance at West Chester University - and her lawyer, Dan Kearney. This is a follow up from last week's show from Raging Chicken's documentary about her case. Here's the description from the original podcast on March 29, 2018:
On today’s Out d’Coup Xtra, Kevin Mahoney interviews Colleen Bradley and her lawyer, Dan Kearney, about her whistleblower case that is knocking on the door of the U.S. Supreme Court. Colleen Bradley was the former Director of Budget and Financial Planning at West Chester University who blew the whistle in 2014 about fraudulent budget practices at WCU and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. When she outed the fraud to the university community, she was fired. Bradley’s suit initially appeared to be a textbook case of an employer retaliating against an employee for blowing the whistle on corruption and financial malpractice. However, the U.S. Third Circuit Court denied Bradley First Amendment whistleblower protection in a manner that threatens to dramatically narrow whistleblower protections for every public employee in the nation. Bradley is in the process of filing a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court to review the lower court’s decision.
If the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to review the lower court’s decision, the rights of public employees - and all potential whistleblowers - will be gutted.
Raging Chicken Press reported on Colleen Bradley’s case when she filed her 62-page complaint against West Chester University and PASSHE in 2015. The documents Bradley filed confirmed Raging Chicken’s ongoing reporting on PASSHE’s dishonest and deceptive budgeting schemes (e.g. “Wall Street on the Susquehanna”; “PASSHE’s Austerity Magic”; and, “The Persistence of Crisis at KU”). Her case also provided concrete evidence in support of an independent audit commissioned by the faculty union APSCUF in late 2014, which raised concerned about PASSHE’s creative accounting practices. And yet, despite reams of evidence, the people responsible for the fraud at West Chester and other PASSHE universities have not been held accountable and, as the recently released “Bunsis Report” showed, the same deceptive practices continue.
And now, PASSHE’s decision to retaliate against Colleen Bradley for blowing the whistle on their deceptions has the additional consequence of putting all future whistleblowers at risk. Today’s Out d’Coup Xtra focuses on the legal issues at stake in her First Amendment whistleblower case.
This week Cyril is flying solo! Today, Cyril talks to locally grown Progressive from Bucks County Rotimi Adeoye. He worked in Congress as a Staff Assistant to Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), and Press Secretary to Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05). He is currently working on a campaign to defend and expand voting rights and democracy.
The very first interview we ever did at Raging Chicken was with Noam Chomsky. Yup. Chomsky was the featured speaker for World Philosophy Day at Kutztown University in the fall of 2011. Kevin Mahoney reached out to Chomsky to see if there would be a chance that he'd be willing to be interviewed by a brand new left/progressive media site based out of Kutztown at the time. As you can see, he said yes.
The fall of 2011 was dominated by the Occupy movement and growing radicalism about gaping economic inequalities in the U.S. We talked quite a bit about Occupy, organizing, and social movements.
Be warned, the sound is really not good. We had very little idea what we were doing, but in classic punk rock DIY spirit, we did it anyway.
On this week's Out d'Coup podcast, we've got something timely and special. We are on vacation this week, so we look through the archives for something that will be useful today. Given PASSHE's plans to consolidate 6 universities into 2 and the on-going deception by PASSHE administrators, we wanted to take you back to a documentary we did in 2018 with an amazing woman who blew the whistle on PASSHE's deceptive, if not fraudulent, budgeting practices: Colleen Bradley, former Vice President of Administration and Finance at West Chester University. Kevin gives some context in the intro. Here's the description from the original release in 2018:
Colleen Bradley tells Raging Chicken Press editor, Kevin Mahoney, about the budget fraud she uncovered at West Chester University and other Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities. Bradley was hired as WCU's Director of Budget and Financial Planning in 2011. In less than a year, she uncovered deceitful budgeting practices that hid huge surpluses all the while promoting a "budget crisis" narrative to the public, to faculty, and to students. For exposing this deception, she was fired. Part 2 will focus on Bradley's decision to file a whistleblower case after she was fired in 2014. Bradley's lawyers, Dan Kearney and Ed Mazurek, thought her case was a "slam dunk." However, strange things began to happen as the case made its way into the Federal Court system. Despite solid, documented evidence of fraudulent practices and sworn depositions from her boss, a U.S. District Court is denying her whistleblower protection. Now Bradley and her legal team are making a direct appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the U.S. Supreme Court allows the lower court's decision to stand, we will see a historic narrowing of whistleblower protections for all public employees at the very time that corruption is running rampant at the highest levels of power.
For a preview of the legal case, you can listen to Raging Chicken's podcast with Colleen Bradley and Dan Kearney from March 29, 2018 here:
http://bit.ly/ColleenBradleyPodcast1 Part 2 of the video will be released in the coming days.
On tonight’s show, I welcome Dana Morrison and Eleni Schirmer to the show to talk about that Other debt crisis in American colleges and universities. You’ve probably heard about the crisis in student debt that is crushing a whole generation of graduates from American colleges and universities. However, the crushing debt held by colleges and universities threatens to crush American higher education - especially American public higher education - across the county. As we’ll get into, that debt crisis stems from state legislature walking away from funding state universities on the one hand, and university presidents going on spending sprees to erect shiny luxury dorms, state-of-the-art gyms, and fancy amenities in a full-on, neoliberal approach to attracting students.
Dr. Dana Morrison, is an Assistant Professor at West Chester University’s Department of Educational Foundations & Policy Studies, and an active member of APSCUF (PASSHE faculty union) and the Public Higher Education Workers (PHEW) Network.
Eleni Schirmer is a faculty associate at UW-Madison in Educational Policy Studies, where she researches and teaches about labor movements, social movements and the political economy of education. She is writing a political biography of Wisconsin's largest teachers' union, and its unsteady path towards social justice unionism. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, Boston Review and elsewhere.