SC

Once More Unto The Charleston Law School Breach …

GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE NO ROLE IN HIGHER EDUCATION. PERIOD. South Carolina’s Commission on Higher Education (CHE) has been sending mixed signals of late as it relates to the attempted purchase of the Charleston School of Law (CSOL) by “diploma mill” provider InfiLaw. On the one hand the agency’s staff has…

GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE NO ROLE IN HIGHER EDUCATION. PERIOD.

South Carolina’s Commission on Higher Education (CHE) has been sending mixed signals of late as it relates to the attempted purchase of the Charleston School of Law (CSOL) by “diploma mill” provider InfiLaw.

On the one hand the agency’s staff has recommended approving a key state licenses necessary to complete the sale … on the other hand, a panel of commissioners has recommended against granting the license.

The full commission will issue its long-awaited ruling early next month … although that decision is likely to be appealed to the state’s administrative law court, and eventually to the S.C. Supreme Court.

This battle is a long way from being over, in other words … needlessly draining taxpayer resources (and tying up our court system).

Supporters of the deal argue InfiLaw has “developed the knowledge, experience and resources to help CSOL thrive” – and that the school faces an uncertain financial future in the event it isn’t sold. Opponents of the deal say InfiLaw will lower CSOL’s admissions standards and cause further harm to its reputation as a second-rate law school.

Honestly? We’re inclined to believe the latter group … but that still doesn’t mean the state has the right to get involved.

Two months ago, a group of South Carolina lawmakers published a letter urging against government intervention in the deal.

“We do not believe it is appropriate for the Commission to interfere with a private transaction under any circumstances,” they wrote.

We agree …

Of course we would take their objection to a much higher energy level – arguing (as we have repeatedly argued before) that government has no business subsidizing higher education in the first place.

Think that’s crazy? Read THIS … then THIS.

Higher education has turned into a taxpayer-subsidized scam of the first order – and the sooner colleges and universities are forced to compete in a real marketplace (one that isn’t manipulated by government grants or guarantees) the sooner we can free up resources to address core government functions.

Seriously … the next time you run over a pothole, ask yourself whether the Jim Clyburn Transportation Center at S.C. State University has been a worthwhile public investment. Or those Clemson firefly experiments.

Because our guess is it will be a resounding “NO.”

We agree with our legislative friends that the Commission on Higher Education should stay out of the current law school debate … but our reason for holding such a view is that we don’t believe there should be a Commission on Higher Education in the first place.

Nor any government subsidization of “higher education …”

Ever since this website broke the news of this deal it has stoked passionate debate … and that’s a good thing. But the law is supposed to be “reason free from passion,” according to Aristotle (or Elle Woods, if you prefer), and there’s no reasonable rationalization for government to step in and block a private transaction in an industry it has no business participating in or regulating.

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75 comments

Herp Derp May 22, 2014 at 10:08 am

Government involvement in education has been as successful as the post office, healthcare, banking, roads(especially here in SC), and a host of other important functions.

Moar please.

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Bloggerspotter May 22, 2014 at 10:33 am

Big story is the distributions taken out by the owners…over $31 million over the past 4 years while faculty and staff got no raises or cost of living increases. Westbrook wants the school to be a non-profit after draining the coffers dry. Pro bono populi, my arse.

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Charleston School of Clowning May 22, 2014 at 10:38 am

For profit education, not even once.

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Just Wondering May 22, 2014 at 12:01 pm

are they really paying him millions for these buildings?

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Edgar May 26, 2014 at 10:13 am

$31 Million – that we know about…..

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Jackie Chiles May 22, 2014 at 10:50 am

This will never be a truly private transaction. Infinilaw is trying to purchase CSOL so it can get in on some more of that sweet, sweet, government backed student loan money. It doesn’t give a damn whether the students can pay it back because the taxpayers are on the hook for the balance. Blocking the sale will only save the government money in the long run.

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FactChecker May 22, 2014 at 11:11 am

Default rates of InfiLaw schools and CSOL are below 5%, so why would taxpayers be on the hook for the balance? If the government makes money on student loans.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/25/federal-student-loan-profit/3696009/

Also, the schools that are for profit pay taxes. Talk is cheap, Jackie.

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Jackie Chiles May 22, 2014 at 11:19 am

Default rates are bullshit with the advent of Income Based Repayment Plans. Under IBR, PSLF, and PAYE, people in student debt pay 10-15% of their adjusted gross income for 10-25 years, and whatever amount is remaining is forgiven. If you make below a certain amount, your payments are 0.

These payment programs are projected to cost the US gov $235 billion over the next 10 years. http://edmoney.newamerica.net/blogposts/2012/barclays_student_loan_report_new_income_based_repayment_enrollment_to_balloon_cost_75

Education groups like Infinilaw LOVE income based repayment plans because they can jack up the tuition further, because they know their graduates will never pay the full amount back.

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seeker May 27, 2014 at 11:33 pm

GoBro. keep guv out, so the founders can keep on lining their pockets with our sweet, sweet, student loan

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Jackie Chiles May 28, 2014 at 8:00 am

And the for-profit Infinilaw will be reducing tuition so it can reduce its profits?

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CharlesDikkens May 22, 2014 at 11:22 am

What changed? Why would an Agency approve something, then a few months later, change its mind? Oh yeah, Glen McConnel is now President of CoC. And he wants his own medical school and his own law school. Bend over, public, here it comes again.

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Concerned citizen May 22, 2014 at 11:34 am

Ed Westbrook has not mention ways to make the school better. If he seriously believes that he can do that, shouldn’t he have been doing so already?

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Infilawyer May 27, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I agree wuh my co-worker.

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BigDog May 22, 2014 at 11:42 am

Without the capital infusion of InfiLaw, CSOL will be unstable

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Jackie Chiles May 22, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Infinilaw is unstable itself. According to this article Infilaw has “more than” “300 million” in high interest debt and “assets of more than $141 million and a cash balance of $57.8 million.”

http://www.thestate.com/2014/02/01/3240651/some-sc-lawmakers-trying-to-stop.html#storylink=cpy

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Jackie Love May 22, 2014 at 3:56 pm

I call bullshit, Jackie. Read on in the article, the lawmaker was mistaken in his debt figure. Your bringing up such a meaningless figure shows that you’re either unaware or cannot read or you’re trying to deceive people. There is a life out there somewhere for you….why not go find it? Or not.

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Jackie Chiles May 22, 2014 at 4:28 pm

(Charlotte school of law student who got a 142 on the LSAT and had a 2.5 GPA, but thinks he’s smart because he got into a diploma mill willing to take $150k worth of government backed student loans)

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WestbrookFactchecker May 24, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Ed, do you really think that this is better than the vast majority of your 154 LSAT student body failing the bar? Look at the facts Ed!

Jackie Chiles May 27, 2014 at 9:04 am

154 is much better than 142 idiot. Obviously Math isn’t a requirement to get admitted to Charlotte. Oh, wait, neither is the LSAT. You can get admitted before you even take the LSAT at Charlotte. http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/local/charlotte-school-law-launches-program-recruit-mino/nfwGY

WestbrookFactchecker May 27, 2014 at 10:40 pm

Duh check the math, I will take a 142 that passes the bar over a 154 that flunks, the way 60 % of Charleston students fail

Jackie Chiles May 28, 2014 at 8:06 am

Employers disagree. Probably why only 43% of charlotte law grads are working in legal jobs. The rest are asking customers if they want fries with that.

WestbrookFactchecker May 24, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Ed, do you really think restating your outrageous lies helps build your case? Check the balance sheet. no debt!

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Ray C May 22, 2014 at 11:43 am

If Ed Westbrook bought the school, he
will keep the status-quo. Charlotte School of Law,
an InfiLaw school, will continue to have a higher bar pass rate than those at
CSOL. Maybe we should be hoping for an InfiLaw takeover.

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Infilawyers Flip Burgers May 23, 2014 at 11:48 am

who is we? Infilaw?

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Peter Goplerud May 25, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Charlotte had higher scores in February, but have been consistently below CSOL. Same with Florida and Arizona.

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LawfulHam May 22, 2014 at 11:45 am

You guys do realize that Infilaw schools’ combined first and second year attrition rates average 21% higher than those of CSOL, right? If the deal goes through it will help current student’s immeasurably.

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Jackie Chiles May 22, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Huh?

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LawfulHam May 22, 2014 at 11:48 am

Also, I don’t like the Government putting such a heavy hand into higher education as of late. There are already too many problems with it as is, and they don’t seem to be trying to fix them anyway.

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BILLY MAYS May 22, 2014 at 11:56 am

Ed Westbrook said he is willing to take a financial loss – does that mean he is willing to let the school die? GREAT SOLUTION, ED.

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Peter Goplerud May 25, 2014 at 1:45 pm

I think he’s referring to paying back the money InfiLaw advanced to the other two owners and his offer to donate all of his shares to see the school continue.

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RogerThat May 22, 2014 at 11:59 am

Problems with the status quo? We must address the fact that while approximately 30 percent of South Carolinians are African-American, only 7 percent of the students who graduate from S.C. law schools are black.

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Jackie Chiles May 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm

The answer isn’t to send them to an over-priced law school with a crappy reputation that is unlikely to get them a legal job and put them hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt that they cannot discharge ever, which, turns them into debt slaves for the rest of their lives.

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WestbrookFactchecker May 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm

The answer for Mr. Ed Westbrook appears to be bring in students at much higher tuitions, steal 31 millions and then not let the majority pass the bar.

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Jackie Chiles May 27, 2014 at 9:10 am

Wesbrook: bullet to the head
Infinilaw: slow excruciating death by a thousand cuts and then a shooting rampage on your community

Which will I pick?

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JackieNutz May 27, 2014 at 3:10 pm

You should pick a white rubber walled room where you can pull your pud unmolested

Jackie Chiles May 27, 2014 at 3:17 pm

To be fair, attending the Charlotte School of Law automatically qualifies you for a free mental examination.

seeker May 27, 2014 at 10:01 pm

Right on, Ed Westbrook, so does using a black mask when posing as a student. Hate your vision for a racist school!

Jackie Chiles May 28, 2014 at 8:07 am

(White guy hoping to scam poor minorities out of student loan money)

WestbrookFactchecker May 27, 2014 at 11:42 pm

We pick you Ed, because you are not fake, hypocritical, or dishonest

Jackie Chiles May 28, 2014 at 8:03 am

God, you people. Charlotte School of Law is a scam. I realize this is your summer job, provided by Charlotte, but DROP OUT NOW. The $7.50 an hour Charlotte is paying you to troll the internet to try to create some sort of groundswell around Infinilaw isn’t worth the $180k worth of debt you’re incurring that you’ll never be able to pay back because nobody in their right mind would hire a graduate from an Infinilaw clown law school graduate.

TontoBubbaGoldstein May 22, 2014 at 12:58 pm

What the hell is wrong with you??

You are trying to *fix* one of the things that SC’s blacks are doing right!!

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inciteful May 23, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Easy!….Shoot 80% of all white attornies.

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callitlikeiseeit May 22, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Ed Westbrook is a lying crook.

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john dozier May 22, 2014 at 8:47 pm

You can count on the CHE to screw this one up. It’s chair is another of the Governorette’s brain dead Generals, USA, Retarded.

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tomstickler May 23, 2014 at 7:58 am

Somehow, I don’t think this is the sort of free-market higher education Will has in mind:

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2014/05/22/4242191/director-of-cathedral-bible-college.html

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JohnMC May 23, 2014 at 11:01 am

The sale to InfiLaw will help Charleston School of Law. According to the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), InfiLaw-owned Charlotte School of Law’s total employment rate exceeded Charleston’s.

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Jackie Chiles May 23, 2014 at 11:45 am

Total employment rate? You’re truly a shill. Only 43% of Charlotte Law grads work in jobs that even require bar passage. Only 36.9% of Charlotte Law grads were working in FULL TIME legal jobs. That’s right. 36.9% To try to game the system, Charlotte School of Law hires 12.9% of its graduates to work for the school directly.

I’m not sure how many people are willing to pay $150k for a 36.9% chance of actually working a full time job as a lawyer.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/charlotte/jobs/2013/

Charleston School of Law grads had 59.6% working in jobs that required bar passage. 53.3% of CSOL grads were working in FULL TIME legal jobs.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/charleston/jobs/2013/

Citing the total employment rate reveals you to be the true scam artist you are since you can count the guy who paid $150k to go to Charlotte School of Law and is now bartending, or working at McDonalds- as if it were somehow an advantage to have a law degree and $150k worth of debt to work at those jobs. Go back into your hole shill.

This type of fraudulent behavior should not be tolerated in a free market.

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Westbrookfactchecker May 27, 2014 at 10:55 pm

Ed Westbrooks (non fraudulent?) free market model- only allow white kids in, make sure they borrow a lot of money, pocket over 25 million, spread a few pennies around to political cronies for favors, charge a ton of rent, train nobody to actually pass the bar, bankrupt the students first, and then the school.

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Jackie Chiles May 28, 2014 at 7:58 am

Sounds like Infinilaw’s playbook-except for they like to scam a bunch of minorities too. I suppose Infinilaw is morally superior because it’s an equal opportunity scammer.

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Charles Town May 23, 2014 at 11:13 am

Ed Westbrook rails against the for-profit tax status of InfiLaw now, but had no problem with CSOL’s tax status before. CSOL has always been a for-profit institution.

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Inifilawyers flip burgers May 23, 2014 at 11:47 am

how many people commenting work for infilaw?

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Jackie Chiles May 23, 2014 at 11:51 am

The quality of their comments should show you the quality of an Infinilaw education.

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WestbrookFactchecker May 24, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Yes, Ed just like purposely misspelling Infini , only when you use are using your Jackie pseudonym when applauding your other comments? Who do you think you are kidding Mr Ed?
Now that we know you have taken out millions, lining your “not for profit” pockets, the populi are on to you!

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Jackie Chiles May 27, 2014 at 9:03 am

Check my comment history.

Why can’t we check yours?

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WestbrookFactchecker May 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Right on Mr. Ed, everyone knows that Jackie Chiles, FactChecker, and IFB is really Ed Westbrook!

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Jackie Chiles May 28, 2014 at 8:10 am

Then Ed Westbrook has been commenting on this website for over a year, expecting the day to arrive when Infinilaw trolls swarmed the site with inane drivel. Why can’t we see your comment history?

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callitlikeiseeit May 23, 2014 at 1:46 pm

You don’t have to work for Infinilaw to know that Ed Westbrook is a bad egg. His ego and greed is so big he will run that school in to the ground.

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shannon585 May 27, 2014 at 9:42 pm

LMAO…. I still believe in Ed Westbrooks vision, but OMG he really should do something about the weave.

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Jackie Chile May 23, 2014 at 3:36 pm

I have reconsidered this matter carefully and have come to the earnest conclusion that I support InfiLaw’s future stewardship of the Charleston School of Law. It is the right organization at the right time to take the school to further heights of excellence. The competing vision for the school is an empty-suited and unserious charade designed to placate one man’s ego and is decidedly not in the best interests of the students, faculty and staff of the school nor is it in the best interests of the people of the great state of South Carolina. I stand correctly and humbly apologize for my foolish mistakes of the past.

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Jackie Chiles May 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Pathetic troll attempt. Obviously typed by one of the 12.9% of Charlotte School of Law grads employed by the school. How much, pray tell, are you being paid to post such drivel?

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Charlottesweb May 27, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Yes SIr, big talk when less than half of Charleston students can pass the bar, hmmm do they realize they will be working for us someday?

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Jackie Chiles May 28, 2014 at 7:56 am

Better than an Infinilaw student- someone so stupid I wouldn’t hire them to vacuum my floors in my office.

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Charlottesweb May 27, 2014 at 11:50 pm

You are so right, if we were good students we could come to your school and learn how to pocket 31 million from people who want to be lawyers, we don’t even have to pass the bar

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Jackie Chiles May 28, 2014 at 7:56 am

Why do you think Infinilaw wants to buy it? Scamming poor fools who think they’re smart enough to be a real lawyer with a 142 LSAT and a 2.5 GPA? Both are reprehensible.

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Dan on Devine May 26, 2014 at 10:12 am

Why all the hate against Westbrook? Neither the sainted Alex Sanders, or the grumpy, greedy Ralph McCullough refused their multi-million dollar pay checks.

Let’s give Sic Willie his due when we should. Fitnews.com was the first to expose Jean Toal’s REAL reason for the bar exam scandal several years ago. It was a method of getting CSOL accredited and to get Alex Sanders the nice trust fund for his two grandchildren – U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles’ children.

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shannon585 May 27, 2014 at 10:18 pm

I agree, let’s start by asking them to give the school and the 25 million back, so the alums can govern our beloved school!

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Mary Street Observer May 26, 2014 at 11:16 am

Re Westbrook,two things are crystal clear to even the most casual of observers: Never trust a man who (1) pisses on you and tells you it’s rain; and (2) wears a wig composed of Pubic Hair and calls it fashionable.

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shannon585 May 27, 2014 at 9:50 pm

LMAO…. I still believe in Ed Westbrooks vision, but OMG he really should do something about the weave.

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Fit it May 26, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Ok I recall Westbrook saying he is going to support the school but is he going to explain exactly why all of them took money from the school knowing that it would leave the school on shaky grounds. If infilaw is a money hungry and look to form schools just for money I would say that the founders at CSOL are doing the exact same thing instead they created an illusion that blinded many from its business dealings. Quite frankly I would love to hear more from students at Charlotte, Florida and Arizona on the education that they are receiving from those schools.

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Jackie Chiles May 27, 2014 at 9:12 am

You can’t hear more from them because they’re mostly mouth breathing brain dead morons who are in debt up to their eyeballs and can’t afford an internet connection.

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Charllotesweb May 27, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Ed Westbrook should look it up in Blacks Law – The definition for “brain dead moron”: a racist lawyer who wears an afro hair weave to cover up a hole in head

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Jackie Chiles May 28, 2014 at 7:59 am

This sounds pretty racist, actually.

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Fit it May 26, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Im very fearful of the future of this school because if the founders that are still on board remain they will always out vote westbrook. Where do we go from here? What are the answers? Can we get more answers on the 25 mil.

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Jackie Chiles May 27, 2014 at 9:13 am

Shut it down.

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