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Monday, January 22, 2007

The Drama Queen Is the Center of Attention


The email below was forwarded to me at my blog on Saturday morning. The Republicans AND Democrats that have seen the email have expressed great concern that Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs/U of M resources will be/are being used to advance Al Franken's candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

Regardless of the last two sentences, this email was sent out on an internal Humphrey Institute email system.

This isn't the first time - and won't be the last that University resources have been used to promote particular campaigns. Republican Alan Fine held a symposium that was totally outside of his research area at Coffman Union, which he then posted on his website.

Brodkorb is very good at getting negative press about his opponents. There's an AP story about this one.

Larry Jacobs at the Humphrey Institute responded:

A cornerstone of the University is freedom of speech. HHH is open to many political parties and viewpoints. The Institute, for instance, recently hosted a retreat of the entire legislature (two thirds attended from both parties) and the Institute's advisory boards reflect the political and other forms of diversity in Minnesota. My Center's programming is determinedly fair.

It is regretful that Professor Kenney chose to use a university resource — email — to conduct her political work.

I am, though, reassured by Professor Kenney's commitment to keep her political and University work separate. This is a strong and welcome commitment. For what it is worth, I understand that Professor Kenney's email was sent out on a "personal" listing.

I believe he meant a "personal listserv" - which was a University Listserv for personal announcements.

What Kinney did was inappropriate. Unfortunately, Brodkorb's gottcha style, will make professors at the Humphrey Institute more leary about promoting any political opportunities for their grad students. The real problem here - and the people who really need to be challenged are Al Franken and the Midwest Values PAC.

Brodkorb didn't like it too much when Tim OBrien at the Strib pointed out how often he was posting during the day - and how he had a very understanding employer.