Sometimes it’s hard not to take pleasure in other people’s pain, particularly when that pain is self-inflicted. For example, let’s look at the story of Burlington College who announced earlier this week that they would be closing their doors come the end of May.
Thanks to the fiscal insanity that seems to course through the veins of the Sanders family. The family of “Bernie” [score]Bernard Sanders[/score], that is.
It seems that when Burlington College hired Jane O’Meara Sanders to be their school President, they didn’t expect that she’d eventually bankrupt them and force them to shudder their doors forever. However, that’s exactly what she did, and she also scored a fat little golden parachute, worth roughly $200K in the process.
Jane Sanders served as president of Burlington College in Vermont from 2004 to 2011. When she took over, the tiny school had just a few hundred students and was based out of a small building in Burlington, but Sanders dreamed of much greater things. In 2010, she spearheaded an effort to borrow about $10 million in order to buy a large property being sold off by the Catholic Diocese of Burlington. The new, expansive property would provide the college a much larger campus and would allow it to heavily boost enrollment…
But the amount of debt was dramatic for such a tiny school, and it ended up backfiring horribly. The college’s enrollment did not rise quickly enough to finance its debt payments, and instead its financial position rapidly deteriorated. In 2011, Sanders resigned as president, and subsequent administrators tried frantically to keep the school afloat. Expenses were slashed, the school dipped into its tiny endowment to meet routine expenses, and the school sold off a huge swath of the property it had so recently purchased.
Finally, last week, Burlington College reached the end of its rope. Administrators were informed their line of credit would not be renewed, while the The New England Association of Schools and Colleges was expected to revoked its accreditation because of its financial state. Seeing no way forward, the board of trustees voted Friday to end academic operations May 27.
In a statement, Burlington College Dean of Operations Coralee Holm bluntly said the college failed due to “the crushing weight of the debt incurred by the purchase of the Archdiocese property” made by Sanders.
However, that’s probably not the end of the story for Sanders or for the problems she’s brought to Burlington, Vermont. It seems that there are quite a few Vermont residents who believe that Ms. Sanders may have undertaken the ill-fated deal under false pretenses, and by doing so actually committed fraud!
Catholic parishioners in Vermont have called for an investigation into whether Ms. Sanders committed federal bank fraud by deliberately misrepresenting the amount that the college had secured in fundraising pledges as she sought financing for the land purchase.
As Ms. Sanders pursued financing for the land acquisition, she repeatedly said that Burlington College had received more than $2 million in fundraising commitments and pledges, according to numerous records.
But in fiscal year 2011, Burlington College raised only $279,000—though the college had earlier claimed to have secured $1.2 million in confirmed pledges…
In January, Vermont lawyer Brady Toensing, who is also vice chair of the Vermont Republican Party, wrote a letter on behalf of Catholic parishioners to the U.S. attorney in Vermont, as well as the inspector general of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, seeking a probe into whether Ms. Sanders fraudulently secured the loans.
The U.S. attorney, Eric Miller, confirmed that he had received the parishioners’ letter but could not comment on the status of any investigation.
Interestingly, Ms. Sanders’ fiscal leadership while at Burlington College mirrors what her husband has planned for the USA if he were to become President. She used other people’s money to get something she thought her constituents wanted, even though she had to know it would end up killing the people she claimed to be helping. It’s an important and relevant analogy that explains everything you need to know about how socialists view our money.
Don’t let Bernie do to America what his wife did to Burlington College. Say “NO” to socialism.
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