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AFP Seeks Probe of Adams State Credits-for-Campaigning Scam

September 05, 2012

AFP Seeks Probe of Adams State Credits-for-Campaigning Scam

Who requested, and who approved, such a scheme?

Americans for Prosperity-Colorado today asked Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia to undertake an expedited official inquiry into potential illegal or unethical activities at Adams State University, in Alamosa, Colorado, which made the news last week for appearing to offer a course that gave students college credits for working as Obama for President campaign volunteers or organizers. The offer was rescinded by the school after reporters at The Daily Caller and other new media outlets began writing about it. But the situation raises serious-enough ethical and legal questions that AFP-Co State Director Jeff Crank is asking Garcia to investigate, in his capacity as Executive Director Colorado Department of Higher Education.

“Coloradoans have a right to know whether the Obama campaign succeeded in convincing a taxpayer-funded university to offer college credits to students engaged in partisan political activities,” Crank says in the letter, “and to know who at the school, or higher-up in the education hierarchy, may have known about, or approved, such a scheme.” Crank asked that Garcia expedite the probe, since, said Crank, “Coloradans also have a right to know the complete story when such information is still relevant, as in during this campaign.”

Here is the letter Crank Sent Garcia today:

 “Dear Lt. Governor Garcia:

Media reports detailing what appears to be a questionable, unethical, possibly even illegal scheme to grant Adams State students college credits for working as Obama for President campaign volunteers or organizers raise enough questions that we are requesting an investigation by your office, in your capacity as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. We also ask that this be expedited, and given top priority, given the serious nature and relevance of the case.

The Daily Caller report seems to confirm, based on an interview with a university spokesperson, that some sort of credits-for-campaigning arrangement was offered to students, before press attention prompted someone at the school to remove the offer. The school spokesman also claims in the story that the school was approached by an Obama campaign representative, seeking such an arrangement. It’s hard to know what was more ethically questionable, making such a request or complying with it. But we think the case raises serious-enough questions that a deeper inquiry is necessary.

We specifically would like to know the answers to the following questions.

  • Who at the Obama campaign approached Adams State about      making such an arrangement, and by whom at the school was this vetted and approved?
  • Has Adams State ever previously offered such a course, or was this unprecedented and unique?
  • Was anyone higher-up in state education aware of, or involved in facilitating, this arrangement?
  • Why, if what the school was doing was legal and appropriate, was the credits-for-campaigning “opportunity” pulled down following press inquiries?
  • Were other publicly-funded colleges or universities in Colorado also approached by the Obama campaign about such arrangements?
  • Did the arrangement violate any legal or ethical strictures against using public funds to support partisan political activities?

As a former educator, we know you’ll quickly grasp the seriousness of the possible ethical and legal questions this case raises. I look forward to a prompt response to this request, since the people of Colorado are owed a full airing of the facts when such findings are still relevant to the ongoing campaign. Coloradoans have a right to know whether the Obama campaign succeeded in convincing a taxpayer-funded university to offer college credits to students participating in partisan activities — and to know who at the school, or higher-up in the education hierarchy, may have known about, or approved, such a scheme.

Please confirm for me as quickly as possible whether you’ll be undertaking this inquiry. I would also appreciate a detailed explanation of why if you decline to do so.

Sincerely,

Jeff Crank

 Please direct media inquiries to AFP State Director Jeff Crank at 719-332-8644. 

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