Wednesday, May 28, 2008

College Decides that some Alumni Are Not Interested in Voting

This from Power Line:
As the election for executive positions on the Dartmouth Association of Alumni draws to a close, we on Parity Slate have received two disturbing reports. First, a few alums have said they did not receive ballots. When one of them inquired about this, the college informed him that he has been classified as "not interested" in receiving it.


Tim Dreisbach '71 said...

"Not Interested in Voting" is not exactly correct in this context.

This must be an individual who had previously informed the College that they are not interested in receiving ANY information and requested to be removed from the College's mailing list. There is no separate list for Association elections and other mailings sent from the Alumni Relations office.

If someone wants to vote who has not received a ballot, they should contact the Alumni Relations office (and get back on "the" list.)

This is one more reason for a more independent Association.

Anonymous said...

An independent association would never happen unless the leaders agreed to a few basic rules of honesty first. Gaining independence from the college without independence from others would be going from the frying pan to the fire.

Anonymous said...

This is typoical of the proparity slate, which has so far sent out many more emails than the other side and have use autodialers and other sophisticated political tools to achieve their ends.

J. Michael Murphy ‘61 called for candor and denied the right-wing political efforts to control Dartmouth's direction

Mr. Murphy does not deny that he and his slate will continue to accept funds from anonymous non-Dartmouth sources, including conservative foundations, to support the lawsuit and their expensive campaign, which has included mailings, push polling and autodialing telephone messages.
And the published biographies of his slate tell an incomplete story.

Here's what some of his fellow petition candidates didn't tell you.

Frank Gado '58 hasn't told you that he's Vice President of the Hanover Institute, the administration-bashing conservative political action committee headed by John MacGovern '80 that regularly sues the College and has been behind all petition candidate races. The Hanover institute has not denied being a conduit for the conservative foundations that are funding this effort.

Marjory Ross’81 says she's a conservative publisher, but does not tell you her authors include Ann Coulter, Dinesh D'Souza '83 and Laura Ingraham '85 and her bestsellers include "Unfit for Command," the book that "swiftboated" John Kerry. She sits on the board of the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute, an institution whose stated aim is to “engage, inform, and connect conservatives across the country with a special focus on providing a voice for “young women who want fair treatment and equal opportunities, but who are offended by the radical, liberal agenda they encounter in our nation's high schools, colleges, and popular culture.”

Paul Mirengoff '71 doesn't mention that he opposes the Wright administration and used his neoconservative PowerLine blog to get petition trustee Todd Zywicki '88 elected. Mr. Zywicki has been very open about his agenda, stating in a public speech “those who control the university today they don't believe in God and they don't believe in country…..the establishment within these academies is vicious, they are vicious people, they have their own dogma. If it were the case that there was no morality and there were no values being taught in the academy that would be better than what we have, which is that there is a new dogma. The new dogma is environmentalism and feminism and that is the dogma and they will enforce it viciously…………. It's going to be a long and vicious trench warfare, I think, if we are serious about taking the academy back .”

Maryland Republican state senator Alex Mooney '85 hasn't mentioned that he is the person who asked New Hampshire state representative Maureen Mooney to introduce a bill aimed at overturning Dartmouth's control of its own charter.

In the Dartmouth Review, former petition trustee John Steel '54 has declared that the Alumni Association should separate from the College, and alumni should stop giving to the school and reverse their bequests. Steel recently circulated an email to supporters suggesting that, according to the Book of Revelations, Barack Obama may be the anti-Christ.

This group of petition candidates is shrouding their political aspirations in the rhetoric of "parity" and "democracy" and hoping alumni won't look any further. Dartmouth needs stewards who will put the interests of the college ahead of a partisan agenda.

torahmike said...

Anonymous contends that
"This group of petition candidates is shrouding their political aspirations in the rhetoric of "parity" and "democracy" and hoping alumni won't look any further."

You have no evidence to this other than the fact that the contenders happen to be 'conservative'.

Have you ever considered that maybe that's because only conservatives are willing to stand up for parity and democracy? This may be telling about modern liberalism, but it shoudn't be this way.
Their case is clear and cogent - democracy in Dartmouth's leadership is being challenged - a constitutional referendum vote was completely ignored by the Board!

DartmouthParity is not about conservative or liberal. Any liberal who wishes to join in defending democracy is welcome.

Anonymous said...

Dartmouthparity is not conservative in the true sense of the word, though its members are overwhelmingly right-wingers. It is a radical group.

There is plenty of evidence that the group in favor of the lawsuit hopes alumni won't look further than the labels of "parity" and "democracy." Choosing almost every word for its propagandistic effect prevents their case from being either clear or cogent. Why would the group use such shallow terms if not to mislead alumni? Thy are hoping to convince people of at least two Big Lies, which are that alumni have a right to elect trustees democratically, and that this right applies to half of the board. Torahmike seems to have fallen victim to the campaign, since he is confused into thinking "a constitutional referendum vote" for and by the _alumni association_ should not have been "completely ignored by the Board."

Anonymous said...

First time I have ever heard the words "parity" (meaning equal balance) and "democracy" (being a political philosophy) labeled "shallow terms". How does using these words make the case of those who support them less clear?

Anonymous said...

Those who support the lawsuit disguise this fact by using "parity" and "democracy". Those terms are shallow because the concepts referred to are not relevant to the lawsuit or board governance. 5/12 or 8/18 is not an "equal balance". The mechanics of a "political philosophy" are not relevant to the internal rules of a private nongovernmental charity.

It need not be said that because the people who are backing the lawsuit claim it is about "parity" and "democracy" does not mean that it is. Every public-relations campaign needs a simple, unifying theme that will appeal to undecided or unaware consumers, and the campaign behind the lawsuit has found one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Dartlog for rephrasing a candidate's musings about the Alumni Relations office as a decision by the College...

Paul M. must think alumni are idiots if he feels the need to say "the letter sent by the trustees is not Dartmouth Undying mail even though it advocated on behalf of that slate." The letter had the Dartmouth shield on it and the trustees' letterhead and had no suggestion that it came from Dartmouth Undying.

One wonders why Paul did not mention the mailing from "students" in support of his slate. Unlike the Undying letter from students, this one did not say who paid for it or contain any attribution line. Who knows...

Anonymous said...

The letter that Paul thinks requires a disclaimer does not even mention Dartmouth Undying.

Anonymous said...

The Alumni Relations Office is part of the College.

Anonymous said...

But is an AR office decision to take someone off its mailing list, possibly made years ago, a determination by the college that some alumni are not interested in voting in this election? No.

bvzle said...

Stephen Smith is both an idiot and a jerk:

"If the Board-packing plan is allowed to go into effect, alumni, for the first time since 1891, will no longer have the right to elect half of the non-ex officio trustees."

"I enthusiastically endorse the Dartmouth Parity slate and encourage you to cast your vote in favor of parity before our rights are taken away."

Anonymous said...

bvzle, unless you think that the ex officio trustees matter, both of those statements are factually accurate.

I don't support the Parity people, but Smith is certainly not an idiot nor is he, as far as I know, a jerk.

bvzle said...

I have concluded that the puffery and rhetoric are so obviously false that Smith is not an idiot, he is just saying things he does not believe, which makes him a jerk. Before "our rights are taken away"? Jaysus. You know as well as he does that alumni have never had the right to elect trustees. If they did, they would be able to point to it in the charter. At least, that is the way it works in the real world, where people follow contracts as they are written instead of making shite up as they go along.

Anonymous said...

Bud Abbott says:

@Bvzle: So you are saying he is an idiot (3:30pm)and you are saying he is not an idiot (6:20pm)? Who's on first?

You claim he's a jerk because you believe he does not believe what he says he believes. Provide some tangible evidence, or others will ask "Who's the jerk?".

Anonymous said...


You seem a reasonable person. You do not support the "parity people". Do you support the "parity" arrangement? If so, how would you work to preserve it in ways different than what the "parity people" have done?

scotty jr. said...

It looks like we have some new folks here making the same old arguments. Relax, everyone. The election is over. The parity slate won.

Truth Be Told said...

I agree that the Parity Slate will win, but by how much?

I would like to hear reasoned guesses as to what % of the vote the winning President will get.

Smith got 55% of the vote last year. I bet that Murphy gets 58% this time around.

Anonymous said...

If/when this happens, there will be a great hue and cry that the Parity slate does not represent a majority of alumni because most did not vote, they were taken in by the misleading campaigning, or whatever.

There will also be a re-opening of the argument that the Association itself does not represent alumni, the Council does.

Did others see the recent email making the rounds suggesting that petitioner supporters are in a minority relative to all alumni, as proven by the fact that they have no seats on the Council. The author asked why, if they had so much alumni support, they are not elected to Council seats. And that in fact is a very good question. Maybe if there were more real elections for Council seats????

DartBored said...

I'm guessing 58+%. That might be only 17% or so of all alumni, but I can't think of one alumni councilor who got 17% of the vote. In fact, I can't think of any who got any votes.

Along the same lines, I like Jeff Hart's argument that petition candidates can get on the trustee ballot with "only 500 signatures". Compare that with the official candidates who get on the ballot with the 13 votes of the unelected nominating committee.

Anonymous said...

Good call, DartBored. No one legitimately any job who isn't elected to it by a majority of Dartmouth alumni.

bvzle said...

@ 10:47: you have a novel and unique idea there. You should float it with the board and see how far it gets.

@ Bud: there is tangible evidence in the 3:30 post that Smith is a jerk for saying something he does not believe.

No intelligent person could believe what he said in his letter. He said "alumni, for the first time since 1891, will no longer have the right to elect half of the non-ex officio trustees." He also said "our rights" are going to be taken away. No intelligent person could believe that either, because it is false on its face. Smith is intelligent, therefore he does not believe what he is saying.

If you need more examples of his jerky behavior, just look to his "campaign" for his trustee nomination, the "Committee to Save Dartmouth," which he was a part of, and the friend-of-the-court brief filed against his board, which he wrote.

Anonymous said...

If the pro-parity slate wins the election but fails to deliver parity in court, should they be punished for making false campaign promises? If success in court cannot be guaranteed, then should they name themselves for what they are promising to deliver, a law suit?

Btw. can any one in the Executive Comm. explain why you dropped your demand for a jury trial?

Anonymous said...


because this judge has already signaled where he's likely to go with a decision

his language would lead any competent litigator interested in more than collecting fees to settle or otherwise dispose of this suit before it gets to the judge

guess this AoA farce is the college's attempt to otherwise dispose of

Anonymous said...


"because this judge has already signaled where he's likely to go with a decision"

Are you saying the AA is gambling and careless? Maybe this lawsuit is more flippant and less historic than the proponents make out.

"his language would lead any competent litigator interested in more than collecting fees to settle"

The college, not some litigator, is running the college's defense. The college has no reason to settle. It has its back against the wall. The cost of carrying out the lawsuit to the end is tiny in comparison to the cost of the permanent loss of authority that would result from a plaintiff's victory.