I hated to see the hatchet job the Kansas City Star did on Rep. Don Wells, R-Cabool.
How dare the Star be disturbed that Speaker of the House Ron Richard, R-Joplin, put legislation proposed by Rep. Mary Still, D-Columbia, that would put restrictions on the payday loan industry, into Wells' committee, and then claim that the hearing Wells held this week for the bill was biased?
After all, just because Richard referred to Ms. Still's legislation as upchuck and just because he kept payday loan bills off the House floor in 2009 does not mean that Richard is biased in any way.
Nor is it Wells' fault that he is personally involved in the payday loan industry or that the only witnesses at the hearing were representatives of payday loan companies and their lobbyists. He probably could not find anyone who thinks payday loans are a bad idea.
Wells' integrity is beyond reproach, as is his dedication to continuing his education. I wrote about the latter in the Feb. 14, 2009, Turner Report:
After all, this is a man who went back late in life to get his bachelor's degree in political science from Cambridge University, according to his page on the Missouri House of Representatives website.
I have been unable to find a Cambridge University in the United States, but there is a Cambridge State University, which has no affiliation with any of the reputable accrediting groups, and which has quite a reputation as a purported diploma mill.
The following information on Cambridge State University is featured on the Better Business Bureau page:
The company provided this office with a booklet about Cambridge State University which tells about this company's programs. This was postmarked from Santa Anna, CA. On page 3 of this booklet it states CSU is a member of the World Association of Universities and Colleges with accreditation pending. At this time we have no information on World Association of Universities.
855 Pierremont is a shopping center. The first three numbers of the dept. number for Cambridge University is 128, which is Mail Boxes, ETC. which means the last three numbers 189 is a box number where mail is received and picked up or forwarded.
Cambridge University has no physical presence at 855 Pierrmont Shopping Center.
On August 18, 1998, Caddo District Judge John Mosely of Shreveport, issued a temporary restraining order against CSU and it's owner and president, Allan Park,citing unfair and deceptive trade practices. A hearing was held October 26, 1998. The state presented arguments for a permanent injunction. A permanent injunction against Cambridge University was granted October 26, 1998.
Court orders were issued in Louisiana keeping Cambridge State University from operating in that state.
I don't know how long it took Rep. Wells to obtain his degree, but perhaps he had the same kind of expedited education touted in Cambridge State University brochures that was noted in a complaint with the Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection, which led to a permanent injunction against the "university":
"You may earn a legal,government-approved college degree in a short time without quitting you (sic) job or attending classes!"
"But they, and you who are already involved in earning a living and raising a family and trying to better your position, can earn a legal Bachelor's Degree--a real degree--in as little as 90 days! And you may earn an advanced degree (Masters or Doctorate) that same way, with added work and Study."
The brochure also featured this information:
A man had been responsible for trimming street trees for a large mid-western city for more than 20 years. He had proved himself a competent and reliable department head. But a new city personnel policy decreed that all department heads must have Bachelor's degrees within two years or lose their jobs. He knows his work. He manages his department efficiently, and communicates well both up and down the line of responsibility. He's taken a couple of computer application courses in his local
community college, plus a statistics course. The city has sent him to a couple of seminars and an industry convention. He's always looking ahead for the next thing he will have to learn to do his job well."
"Here's the good news. He could earn his Bachelor's degree in just a few weeks without taking time off work or driving through the city to evening classes. he can learn, and be testes (sic) and receive his Bachelor's degree from Cambridge State University, all
through correspondence and home study. Then, if he has his eye on a higher position, he can earn a Master's degree, then a Doctorate, all from Cambridge State University. All this without interrupting his career or spending tens-of-thousands of dollars."
Don't be casting stones at Rep. Wells. it takes real cojones to be testes.
Wells' Cambridge University educational background is still featured on his House webpage, a testament to the proposition that just about anybody can get elected to public office in Missouri.