A special report on how Congress makes academy nominations

Discussion in 'Nominations' started by RLTW, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. RLTW

    RLTW Member

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  2. MammaMia

    MammaMia Member

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  3. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    Haven't read it personally, but I understand there is a fair amount of negative buzz in the various SAs parent's groups regarding this article. No surprise.


    Rebuttal #1 - The singular piece of "evidence" cited in this article that the process is corrupt, is the fact that there were $171k in donations made over a 2 year period by families of candidates. Seriously? I doubt that $85k annually spread across 500+ MOCs is even enough to pay for the postage stamps and phone calls required to process the candidate interview process! Sheesh.

    Rebuttal #2 - Further, based on my experience, often times qualified SA nominees come from families who are more civically minded and have the means and mentality to contribute to politics. I am not trying to be elitist, but look around at the average caliber of these young men and women (and their families) and you will see what I mean. For example... During one of our children's nomination process (we've had two), our DD was the ONLY finalist who attended a public school; the rest came from prestigious private high schools/prep schools. So it's not surprising that many nominations are going to children of pillars of the community; after all they are typically pillars with good reason.

    Rebuttal #3 - Finally, and yes this is anecdotal at best, but at least in our state I can tell you that the process appears to be free from politics. Our DS received a Principal nom and in a different year our DD also received a Principal nom... From two different Senators/Congressmen. We have never contributed a single dime to any politics, we have ZERO political connections (and like it that way, thank you), and we are even registered voters of the OPPOSITE political party for both MOCs! Not sure where you find political bias in an outcome like that; but it sounds like this USA Today "gotcha" journalist would try.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  4. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    What possible reason would an MOC have for using the principal nomination process? I'm unsure what reason an MOC would use other than for political reasons. Surely they don't feel they are more qualified to pick candidates they feel would best fit into an Academy over the Academy themselves? Even if they aren't using it for political reasons it sure can appear that way as the article proves.

    As politically corrupt as our state is I am thrilled that the MOC's not only let the Academies pick who they appoint but they also talk amongst each other to put the most candidates on the slate as possible... Sure they could give their buddy a nomination but that does not get them into the Academy. This is one time I'll say that they got it right....
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I think this article so slanted to one side that is disgusting.

    Look did John McCain's DS get a nom whether he deserved it or not because Dad is a Senator, probably. However, that is rare.

    Had they even spent a day on this forum they would see on the class of 18 list for every SA, those appointed are just kids coming from average families. If there are more kids of any one subset I would guess it would be military kids since they have the Presidential and the MOC slate.

    It is so funny to read this article because wasn't it only last week where the media wrote an article about hundreds of kids getting into the SAs to play sports?

    Seriously if you believe both of these articles as gospel than you might as well call it a day now from a chance me if you aren't political or a recruited athlete.

    Or you can do what the Brits do with their newspapers...roll it up to serve fish and chips!

    Personally, everyone I know stopped reading USA Today in 1996 because of the court martial of LtCol. Rodgers. Not that it wasn't right to charge him, but because Lt. Clemms was the DD of the editor for Gannett and the smear campaign her Dad did to every officer in the squadron during the time she was having an affair with Rodgers. Her father made it his mission to attack these guys in every Gannett owned paper.
     
  6. USNA02

    USNA02 Parent

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    Ha!

     
  7. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    Maybe a member of congress feels that they want to give a Principal nomination because they believe it is the only way to insure that the most qualified candidate (in their opinion) get in. Perhaps they don't want the academies telling them their nomination needs to go to a recruited athlete or to somebody else to fill a quota, when they feel there are more qualified candidates.
     
  8. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    USA Today. *yawn*
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Anything a politician does can be construe being political, but it doesn't have to be.

    A MOC can use principal nomination to increase appointments from his district from one to two. But this is a dangerous game and hard to distinguish the true motive - try to get a "deserving" kid an appointment otherwise would not have gotten an appointment. Say the top nominee is super candidate, perfect SAT, #1 in her class, varsity sports, Girl state and also have a Presidential nomination. The next nominee is a competitive candidate who really impressed the nomination board. If the MOC just provides 10 nominees to a SA, they might just use MOC's slot to give appointment to the top nominee and don't use her Presidential nomination. Whereas if the MOC uses the principal nomination on the next nominee, he will get an appointment, assuming his is fully. And more than likely the top nominee will get an appointment via the Presidential nomination.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  10. parentalunit2

    parentalunit2 Parent

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    Wow, I’ve really got to hand it to USA Today! Cutting edge reporting! They’ve really uncovered something…….um,……well, really…….nothing.

    “In some cases, a USA TODAY examination shows,”

    Those one or two cases highlighted really speak to me as an underground agenda. This endless pattern of corruption must be stopped!

    “Where a candidate lives can have as much effect on a future military career as grades, test scores or extracurricular activities.”

    You mean to tell me it is more difficult and competitive to receive a nom when you live in Northern Virginia than it is when you live in North Dakota? Why thank you, USA Today….I did not know that!

    “If they pass all those hurdles, admitted students are on a fast track to join the military's elite after graduating.” Why, yes. Those 2LTs and Ensigns are feeling super elite right now in their first assignments! (I know they were referring to the Joint Chiefs, but that single sentence just made me laugh out loud.)

    I agree with Dixieland. Yawn. USA Today.
     
  11. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    What is the criteria for a "Recruited Scholar?"
     
  12. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    :thumb::thumb:
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I know that the now retired Eric Cantor did use the principal method. I know that for at least two of the last four years to the AFA he gave them to second time around candidates. That pretty much denies he was giving it in kind for his supporters or colleagues.

    Also, I believe there is an additional flaw in their supposition. Every year they come out and discuss the principals vs. Competitive it comes out to be only @30%. Now if you than use this forum as additional research, you would see those on here like MedB have no political connection. Assume 50% of the 30% are on here. That means maybe 60-70 out of the @1350+ appointed had/used a political connection or 5%

    Now let's put reality into that number....how many kids do you think got into Princeton, Harvard, Yale Columbia, etc because of family connections, such as legacy and donating a dept. chair or building?

    Where is that article? Oh, that's right, because their children are attending those schools, and they made a call on behalf of their child to admissions they will never report it. Do you actually think the NYT publisher,, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger did not use his power to get his kid into Brown University? Do you think that Jack Welch would allow an expose on NBC of how parents like him may have used their power to get their kids into a college that they may not have been seen as a competitive applicant without their parents influence? Of course not! How about Trump? Do you think Wharton would turn away any kid with the last name Trump? If you do, than I have some really nice land to sell you in Florida. Sure, it is a little wet, but with enough truckloads of dirt, all will be great!

    Now the question you need to ask yourself....which do you think is more prevalent among the top tier colleges, including the SAs? The CEOs and COOs of the fortune 500 companies that donated millions to our congressmen..,them asking for a principal nomination to an SA or the MOC asking them for a recommendation for their kid to an elite college? My bet it is the latter.

    My bet is you will never read about that in the news!

    Take it for what it is worth...absolute BS impo! Than again I believe in the system.

    I am curious to see if Rosie O Donnells DS Parker, who is attending the Citadel, and attended Valley Forge applied to an SA. If USA is correct in their assumption, he would have definetley received a principal from either NY or Florida (don't know which state she is a legal resident). I am sure Shumer would have been proud to give her son a principal! Not to take anything away from the Citadel, but this kid also went to Valley Forge, and supposedly graduated top of his class. I doubt even if he wanted an SA that he would not be deemed a competitive candidate for a principal...Mom or not, the kid would have earned it because he was competitive. Another point USA Today does not delve into when discussing this issue. Those kids also had money to go to elite private schools, tutoring, playing sports, etc. The kid came from a family that socioeconomic issues were not a concern.
    ~ Can you imagine Parker O'Donnells essay of overcoming adversity?
    ~~ My Mom is Gay, she is a TV personality, she is divorced, openly ranted and lost her job over an on air national fight regarding Iraq, and a 9/11 truther...oh BTW did I say I am adopted?

    Remember when he went to boarding school he went to Valley Forge! Is there a square he did not fill? Top cadet at a military prep school...check! Adversity.in every possible way, except economics...check! Physically fit...check! Medically qualified..check!

    Finally, IMPO USA Today does not want to report news...they want to shape it to fit their agenda!
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  14. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    From what I recall, in our state there was a MOC form to be completed by both parents listing how long we've been in the state, when we first registered to vote and the last time we voted in an election (and I think it had to be notarized). This was for both Senators and our Congressman. Considering our state is very red and we are not, the process appears to have been impartial (the nomination interviews were held by a panel of 4-10, not the MOC). My DS met one MOC at his day-long interview, and met another MOC at a reception after nominations were announced. In our case, neither parent has ever contributed $$ to a political campaign.
     
  15. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Years ago, when I was applying for a nom, my parents were actively working to unseat the MOC. In the end, I got the nom and the MOC lost -- so all were happy other than the MOC>:shake:

    Here's what I tell candidates based on 15 yrs of doing this in a highly competitive state/district:

    You do not need to know your MOC nor do your parents have to be of the same party or donors. That's why most MOCs use nominating committees. I'm not naive enough to believe that if you've lived next to your Senator for your entire life that won't help. But in general, I've found that those who receive noms are the ones who deserve them.
     
  16. parentalunit2

    parentalunit2 Parent

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    Usna1985 - I love your story! And I wholeheartedly agree with you on who gets the noms. If this were 1914 then some of what USA Today published might actually be true. But I just checked my calendar and we are now in 2014.
     
  17. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Don't assume he was medically qualified. No medical exam required to attend Valley Forge or Citadel. Also, he could had real bad SAT/ACT scores and bad high school transcript that one semester (based on the admissions timeline, the second semester grade at Valley Forge probably wasn't considered) at Valley Forge could not mitigate
     
  18. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    Having been an active USMMA Admissions Field Rep (Volunteer - Alumni) for 3 decades living in 4 different States all in competitive for USMA, USNA, USAFA and USMMA congressional districts, I found the lack of real solid facts and data in this article as well as the clear from the start (first paragraph) bias, lack of objectivity and sensationalism or at least attempted sensationalism in this article TOTALLY OFFENSIVE and APPALLING.

    Also the article is simply stupidly written:

    Start/Premise: "The process is corrupt and nominations are patronage without transparency, process or method."

    Middle: "Numerous examples of a clear process that is at least primarily to clearly apolitical. A few issues and examples where in the case of 536 nominating authorities, there has been an average political contribution of less than $166.00 to each nominating authority (on average) per year over the last 2 years. (WOW there's a smoking gun - and no clear example of one or two cases where there may be a doubt - other than perhaps a couple of parents stupidly felt there may have been an ability to get some influence with a 2,000 donation...) Followed by a couple of people with not substantiating evidence simply stating - "Its political, therefore it must be corrupt...."

    Conclusion: "As we said clearly the process is flawed, corrupt, political and entirely patronage based."

    Ugh... wondering if the author is an unbiased journalist with a kid who didn't get a nomination or their editor is...

    Well it was USA today hopefully this ran on the front page of one of the sections so at least there was a cool, multi-color graph in the bottom right-hand corner beneath the fold.

    As papers go I call USA Today "Popcorn for the mind" - first time the popcorn gave me such indigestion...
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I think someone at USA Today has their nose out of joint.

    I am on my tablet, so I can't link, but google USAToday military nominations and looky looky they are now going after Biden and VP nominations!

    The article is four hours old entitled:
    As VP, Biden keeps academy nominations secret.

    Time to research Fredreka Schouten, Gregory Korte and Nicole Guadiano.
     
  20. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Here's the link, Pima.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...ary-academies-nominations-army-navy/15716749/
     

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