Princeton's One-Party State
By: Michael Juel-Larsen and Josh Oppenheimer
DailyPrincetonian.com | Tuesday, January 29, 2008
All Princeton faculty members
who have given to 2008 presidential candidates so far have donated to
Democrats, according to federal records of donations to presidential
campaigns from Princeton University employees.
Sen. Barack Obama
(D-Ill.) is the runaway favorite candidate among those donors, having
received $12,050 from Princeton employees. Sen. Hillary Clinton
(D-N.Y.) drew the second-highest total contributions from Princeton
faculty and staff with $5,600. Other donations have gone to candidates
including former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), Gov. Bill Richardson
(D-N.M.) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).
In total, donors who
listed the University as their employer have given $23,700 to
presidential campaigns in the current election cycle. Of that, $21,900
— 92.4 percent — has gone toward Democratic candidates.
Federal Election Commission records list any donation over $200 to a political organization or candidate and are public by law.
Ron Paul (R-Texas) is the only Republican candidate to receive
donations from Princeton employees so far, receiving a total of $1,800
from a graduate student and a Public Safety officer.
employees' overwhelmingly high support for Democratic candidates — 90
percent of donors who listed the University as their employer gave to a
Democrat, and no professors donated to the GOP — outpaces its peers.
The Harvard Crimson reported that 86 percent of Harvard professors'
contributions went to Democrats, while according to Georgetown's
student newspaper, The Hoya, 75 percent of the donations made by the
school's employees went to Democratic candidates.
of political giving at Princeton mirror larger trends at campuses
across the country. Inside Higher Education reported that Obama is the
"clear favorite of academics," having received over $2.1 million from
Electrical engineering professor Stuart Schwartz, who has
been on the faculty for 42 years and donated $400 to Richardson, said
he doesn't think Princeton's numbers are representative of the
faculty's usual political composition.
"I just think this is an
unusual year," he said. "And maybe the Republican faculty are holding
back and the Democrats are just so anxious to get their candidates in a
good position. I don't think [the lack of support for Republican
candidates] will hold up. That's not this faculty; there's a mix. I
think the majority are Democrats, but I think there's a mix."
professors said that donations don't often come up in faculty
conversations and aren't a source of tension among faculty members. "To
be honest, I don't talk politics on campus," said physics professor
Chiara Nappi, who gave $1,000 to Edwards last September. "I'm too busy
doing my work."
College Republicans president Andrew Malcolm '09
said that the overwhelming support for Democratic candidates came as no
surprise. He said there is no reason to believe that political
donations will affect professors' teaching, but the leftward trend
"does raise some concerns about ideological diversity among the
faculty," he said. "I hope that all students, regardless of their
political beliefs, feel comfortable expressing their views in the
'Putting my money where my hopes are'
Professors gave a range of reasons for their choices.
Wilson School professor Stanley Katz, donating $250 to Obama's
presidential primary campaign was a matter of "putting my money where
my hopes are."
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