Cal State teachers ‘bulldogging’ for Prop. 30

Oct. 16, 2012

By Katy Grimes

Even after California State University instructors received a mild rebuke for campaigning for Proposition 30 during class time, Gov. Jerry Brown is now making rounds to the state’s colleges and universities trying to convince students to vote for his tax increase ballot measure.

Despite the rebuke, state college instructors and professors continue to promote Prop. 30 during class time, according to Daniel Harrison, a student at California State University Fresno, and president of the Fresno State College Republicans.  “From talking about Prop. 30 during irrelevant class time, to student fees funding campaign materials, to giving an essay exam question mandating students explain the rationale and virtues of Governor Brown’s tax initiative, Fresno State is using taxpayer dollars for illegal political advocacy,” Harrison said.

In a press release this week, Harrison said, “The use of college campuses around California to promote Proposition 30, a current ballot initiative that people in California will vote on next month, has crossed the line of legality.”

Harrison said during a CalWatchDog.com interview that he became concerned about the college promoting passage of Prop. 30 when the Fresno State Associated Students, Inc. planned on voting during its second meeting of the new school year to endorse Prop. 30. Harrison had time to poll 100 students about the ASI’s championing the ballot initiative before the meeting, and asked fellow students if it was a misuse of student funds.

His results found that 91 of the 102 students polled thought Fresno State’s student government should not endorse Prop. 30, nor spend student fees on the political campaign.

Instead, Fresno State Associated Students, Inc. became California’s first public university student government to endorse Prop. 30. Harrison said that being the first to endorse was part of their motive.

Harrison had time to prepare a student petition and received 833 signatures telling the ASI that they were opposed to spending student fees on any political issue, and that they should not waste student money on politics. But the student government went ahead with the endorsement.

The 833 petition signatures is a much larger number than the total votes voting school senators received in their election, Harrison noted.

According to Harrison, the CSU Fresno student body Vice President, Parmita Choudhury, dismissed the opinions of the 833 petition signers. “We are not voting to fund Proposition 30, just support it. These signatures are irrelevant,” Harrison said Choudhury replied, about the petition.

However, the vote gives the CSU Fresno ASI justification to use student fees to print “educational materials” promoting Prop. 30, which the ASI indicated is their intent. according to Harrison.

Student Stories

Harrison shared stories of the classroom campaigning from other students as well: “Anne Badasci, a junior at Fresno State, stated that her professor ‘spent a good twenty minutes in class telling us exactly why we should vote for it, and later when I looked it up for myself I was shocked to see how one-sided his presentation of it had been.’

“Badasci’s professor was Nicholas Hernandez, a part-time faculty in the Political Science department in a course where students ‘examine institutional and political processes by which public policy is formulated, adopted and implemented,’” Harrison reported.

Not all of the CSU instructors were keen on the classroom campaigning. “According to two students in a media law course from the Mass Communication and Journalism department, Professor Faith Sidlow told students that professors and faculty were told to tell students to vote for Proposition 30,” Harrison reported. “But Sidlow did not tell students to vote for either side of Prop 30 because she felt it is a decision every voter should make on their own,” Harrison said. Sidlow is a television anchor on KSEE Channel 24 news in Fresno.

 CSU Instructors campaigning for Prop. 30

Last month, the CSU provosts sent CSU instructors and professors letters telling them that classroom time is not to be used for “inappropriate political activity.”  The Fresno State provost warned that class discussions regarding Proposition 30 would not be acceptable unless the course included a “focus on contemporary political issues.”

“This includes making presentations about Proposition 30 unless a discussion of Proposition 30 is relevant to the regular course material,” said the letter from Charles Gossett, interim provost at Sacramento State, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Harrison said that the memo indicated that it would no longer be acceptable for instructors to “dismiss class five minutes early and provide Proposition 30 information to those students who choose to remain.”

The memo included information on the relevant government codes:

* Government Code section 8314 states, “It shall be unlawful for any elected state officer, appointee, employee, or consultant to use or permit others to use state resources for a campaign activity.”

* California Education Code § 7054 states, “no public funds, services, supplies, or equipment shall be used for the purpose of urging the support or defeat of any ballot measure.”

* California Education Code § 66607 states that all employees of the CSU are required to remain “entirely    independent of all political and sectarian influence” during class time.

The CSU instructors were reminded in the provost memos, “[A] public agency may not expend public funds to promote a partisan position in an election campaign,” According to Stanson v. Mott (1976). According to Smith v. Regents of University of California (1993), expenditures of involuntarily assessed student fees to support any political positions are prohibited.

Yet the CSU Fresno website opens with a link advocating for Proposition 30.

Prop. 30 testing materials

Even worse than openly advocating for Prop. 30 in the classroom, a Fresno state government instructor, Dr. Marn Cha, assigned an essay question on a midterm exam, demanding that students “argue for virtues of Proposition 30 by referring to relevant parts of Jean Jacques Rousseau’s political philosophy.” The professor’s instructions included, “You will not earn any credit at all just by saying what Prop 30 is all about. Your goal is to demonstrate that you can use J.J. Rousseau’s ideas and concepts to explain the rationale for Prop. 30.”

The exam arrived in students’ inboxes at 12:50pm, and was due by 2:00pm.

Several students, wishing to remain anonymous out of fear of receiving lower grades, forwarded Dr. Cha’s email containing the exam question to several media outlets.

The exam essay question made it into the hands of the John and Ken show on KFI AM 640 radio in Los Angeles. On air, John and Ken asked the professor to defend his exam question.

According to Harrison, Dr. Cha said that the test question may or may not have an influence on the way the students in the class vote, having had to construct an argument in favor of Prop. 30 in order to receive a good grade. But when pressed on whether a poor grade would be given to students who write a poor argument in favor of Prop. 30, or students who used Rousseau to explain the rationale against Prop. 30, Cha said, “Giving grades is my business.”

Harrison said that Cha denied having a conflict of interest despite stating on the radio program that he supported Prop. 30. According to Harrison, Cha has even openly stated to the class, “If you don’t support Prop. 30, you should get out of college.”

When John and Ken asked why Cha did not give students an opportunity to choose either side of Porp. 30 to write about, or both sides in the essay, Cha said that class time was spent to discuss both sides of Prop 30, and both sides to all 11 propositions. But Harrison said that claim is not true. “Both sides to Prop. 30 have not been presented to the class, and as for the other propositions, students were required to look them all up for homework one day, but there has been no discussion.”

Harrison will be debating Prop. 30 with Sean Kiernan, President of the College Democrats and ASI VP of External Affairs.

By then, Dr. Cha is expected to have grades posted for the Prop. 30 essay exam.

Calls to Dr. Cha were unsuccessful; his phone number at Fresno State is no longer working.

32 comments

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  1. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 October, 2012, 08:57

    Prop 30 died with $5/gallon gas, and nothing is bringing to back to life, nothing.

    Mungers attack ads will further erode its support.

    Reply this comment
  2. Queeg
    Queeg 17 October, 2012, 09:35

    What is wrong with trying to protect your job?

    Many CWD cubicle jockies are chained to their desks praying the globalists will mercifully pass them by….

    Reply this comment
  3. Richard deSousa
    Richard deSousa 17 October, 2012, 09:45

    California’s government is corrupt. When Sacramento lobbies for it’s own programs using coercion it has lost the moral high ground!

    Reply this comment
  4. Mntngoat
    Mntngoat 17 October, 2012, 10:05

    Queeg it would be one thing if the raised revenue would go to protecting ones job But it will go into teh general fund and be used fro anything the state sees fit . REPEAT its not going to the schools.

    Reply this comment
  5. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 17 October, 2012, 10:31

    LOL— yeah— the general fund doesn’t need any more money. The roads, fire, police, medicine, schools, infrastructure,libraries, parks, etc etc etc are all free!

    We’re DOOMED I tell ya! Dooooooooomed!

    Reply this comment
  6. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 October, 2012, 11:37

    LOL— yeah— the general fund doesn’t need any more money. The roads, fire, police, medicine, schools, infrastructure,libraries, parks, etc etc etc are all over comped by $150K!

    Fixed Teddy.

    Fire and police are GED skill level jobs, $50K is a gift to them. Market would be $20K-$30K

    🙂

    Reply this comment
  7. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 17 October, 2012, 11:39

    Ted, you need a lesson in economics.

    CA has fallen from the fifth largest economy in the world to the ninth. This is significant and important given the tax initiatives we are facing.

    The proposed tax increases would shrink CA’s share of world and national product output in the future as entrepreneurs, workers, and capital will flee CA for less expensive, lower tax states.

    Katy

    Reply this comment
  8. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 17 October, 2012, 12:38

    Oh Katy……..I wish I had your thirst and appetite for Kool Aid ™. The temp small sales tax and the increase on the wealthy is moral, and a small bump in the road to pay for what society’s electeds and therefore, we the people, bargained for.

    I don’t share your sense of doom and gloom, sorry!

    But I know a few bunker dwellers out here do!

    Reply this comment
  9. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 17 October, 2012, 12:57

    This site has attractsd the Area 51 crowd and the kooks looking for El Dorado. It is impossible to reason with those that should be on meds….predispositions toward government conspiracies to take away their Roy Rodgers cap guns!

    Reply this comment
  10. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 17 October, 2012, 13:35

    Mr. U Haul— Seriously I know this site attracts a spooky/odd bunch indeed. It’s a Faux News crew for sure. They cringe when I write that because they know in their tiny black hearts that it’s true.

    I always pose these 3 questions but rarely get any answers out here, but you know what they would answer if they were truthful.

    1. Do you think the gov still has the Roswell aliens ™.

    2. Do you think 9-11 was an inside job?

    3. Does the trilateral commission or its eq. still control the fed gov?

    This is where they live, ground zero, HQ, Rome…….of the tin foil hat Squad! CWD !!!

    Reply this comment
  11. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 October, 2012, 14:46

    Teddy worships beasts-known fact 😉

    Reply this comment
  12. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 October, 2012, 14:49

    Ted, you need a lesson in economics.
    ===============
    🙂

    Reply this comment
  13. stevefromsacto
    stevefromsacto 17 October, 2012, 17:15

    Hi, guys.

    As an Emeritus contrarian on this site–I needed a break from the personal attacks from the Regressives–just want to thank Ted and Ulysses for always telling the rest of the story! Keep up the good work!

    Reply this comment
  14. surfpunk
    surfpunk 17 October, 2012, 17:27

    ted ,all you have left now are personel attacks ,same old game

    Reply this comment
  15. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 17 October, 2012, 17:39

    Punk– I got plenty left little buddy. Don’t shoulder hop me on your log.

    Reply this comment
  16. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 17 October, 2012, 18:24

    Steve….we have to be fair and balanced…..the bunker gloomers are regressive to be sure…pity …..they covet and fear sharing to uplift all Californians!

    Reply this comment
  17. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 17 October, 2012, 20:32

    You make this site enjoyable!

    Reply this comment
  18. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 17 October, 2012, 23:19

    As an Emeritus contrarian on this site–I needed a break from the personal attacks from the Regressives–just want to thank Ted and Ulysses for always telling the rest of the story! Keep up the good work!

    LOL…Stevie thanking Teddy AND his sock puppet! I love it.

    Reply this comment
  19. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 18 October, 2012, 06:20

    The Poodle lives in a world where color collides with sound.

    Reply this comment
  20. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 18 October, 2012, 10:34

    Teddy, the only sound you know is that FLUSHING sound, from when you were born. 😉

    Reply this comment
  21. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 18 October, 2012, 12:34

    mmmm…like a child……

    Reply this comment
  22. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 18 October, 2012, 12:46

    Hehehehhee…… that is so funny coming from you Teddy!

    Anyhoooooo………that was very funny and you know it 😉

    Reply this comment
  23. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 18 October, 2012, 13:17

    I live in his head!

    hurry!!! Post now slave troll!

    Reply this comment
  24. us citizen
    us citizen 18 October, 2012, 13:36

    Why do you libs think that it is OK to tax anyone who makes more money, more?

    So Joe goes out, works hard, gets a head in life…..and bingo…….the libs come after him with their hands out ready to take all they can. And for the sole reason, that Joe makes more.

    Are you people totally insane!!! Or are you just so damned jealous that it bugs the living day lights out of you…….and you just cant stand it.

    But poor Steve, dropped out of school, is a low life and lives off the state.

    Some how its much better to let poor Steve off the hook and give him Joe’s money.

    Why in the hell should Joe work hard anymore when he is going to get penalized?

    Reply this comment
  25. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 18 October, 2012, 13:59

    I agree us cit——-but if poor Steve is a combat vet getting war wound treatments and can’t work, don’t ya think that guys like ol uncle mitt willard should pay a bit more to help out? 14% Even old R Reagan thought that the rate for gains ought to be what the regular marginal rates are !!!!!!!!!!

    So– I am sort of a “lib” as you say, and I agree with ya! It was nice to disabuse ya!

    Reply this comment
  26. us citizen
    us citizen 18 October, 2012, 16:30

    No I dont. You are penalizing him just because he makes a lot of money and for NO other reason. That is a deterrent for people to get a head. He has NO obligation to spend his money on others. And neither does anyone else.

    This is what charities are for. Many people give to the charity of their choice, because they WANT to, not because they have to.

    Does the vet deserve care, yes, but not on the backs of the rich. If the vet is working for everyone in this country, then everyone should help out, not just once class of people.

    If capital gains tax goes up, the amount of money available for jobs and investments, goes down. There fore there will be more people out of work. Besides ol uncle Mitt has already paid taxes on his income and the capital gains tax is only on interest and investment money earned.

    Then you get into the cycle that CA is in. Tax the crap out of people, they leave, tax the remainder more, they leave…..etc…..until you are finally like Greece.

    Reply this comment
  27. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 18 October, 2012, 17:38

    We are definitley like Greece today.

    If we continue this downturn another 3-4 more years we will be cutting EVERYONE’S pension who is crrently receiving one, and that will start at the abusers-like SRVFD scammer Craig Bowen. Then maybe Teddy, then Teddy’s sock puppets Uhaul and Queeg 😉

    Reply this comment
  28. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 18 October, 2012, 21:00

    us cit! Vets on the backs of the rich? Are you kidding? It’s on the backs of the mid class and poor at this point— ol Willard Mitt pays 14% in the years he paid any taxes at all!

    lol

    Reply this comment
  29. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 18 October, 2012, 22:45

    Teddy, are going to leave for a week after Prop 30 loses?? I am, that is the deal.

    I will even RAISE the bet- whoever loses stays off CWD for an ENTIRE MONTH!

    Just say yes-please agree to the bet…….

    Reply this comment
  30. Ted Steele, The Decider
    Ted Steele, The Decider 19 October, 2012, 07:32

    Poodle—–Don’t you think we should let the adults have this blog back instead of all this childish no content back and forth?

    0 for 13 ™ ! Hoping for 1 for 14 ™ !

    Reply this comment
  31. Moravecglobal
    Moravecglobal 19 October, 2012, 16:17

    Keep the California dream alive and well. Vote No on Prop 30, 38, 32. Save California for our children.
    Decisions you make on Nov 6 determine California’s course for years. We are kidding ourselves by believing that education funding shortfalls disappear with Prop 30, Prop 38.
    Prop 30, Prop 38 levy significant taxes on each one of us. The wounds that Prop 30, 38 are to heal have been self inflicted largely by our elected Sacramento politicians who simply do not say no to any influential interest group be they, University of California (29% increase in salaries last 6 years), public employees, business, teachers, or other unions or lobbyists.
    And now Prop 30, 38 are used by Sacramento politicians and lobbyists to blackmail us.

    Reply this comment
  32. us citizen
    us citizen 19 October, 2012, 17:02

    Teddy read what I said.

    ” Does the vet deserve care, yes, but not on the backs of the rich. If the vet is working for everyone in this country, then everyone should help out, not just once class of people. ”

    This was in answer to……….should the rich pay more for Vets. More than other people?

    And again……..Romney pays his fair share on his salary. And he pays 14% on his capital gains, just like everyone else. They are two totally different things.

    No on 30 and 38.

    Reply this comment

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