Rep. Rashida Tlaib has 99 problems. Donations from faculty, admin. aren't one

  • Amid criticism of Rep. Rashida Tlaib's "Holocast" remarks, a Campus Reform analysis shows the overwhelming majority of college faculty and administrators donate to Democrats.
  • The Michigan congresswoman recently stated that there's a "calming feeling...when I think of the Holocaust..."

Rep. Rashida Tlaib said recently that there is a "calming feeling" from thinking about the Holocaust, fueling further speculation among her critics of alleged anti-semitic biases. The Michigan congresswoman fired back Tuesday, saying her words were taken out of context. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, came Tlaib's defense, labeling the criticism "attempts to smear." 

"There’s always kind of a calming feeling I tell folks when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people's passports," Tlaib said during a podcast appearance.

"There’s always kind of a calming feeling I tell folks when I think of the Holocaust..."   

But as the Michigan congresswoman deals with these problems, there is one thing she likely doesn't have to worry about: money from college faculty members and administrators.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE ANALYSIS: Faculty, admin at Ilhan Omar's alma mater gave exclusively to Dems]

In the latest edition of an ongoing series examining how college faculty and administrators donate politically in certain states and congressional districts, Campus Reform analyzed the donation records of college and university employees in Tlaib’s Michigan district. The colleges included in this report include: Wayne State University, University of Michigan-Dearborn, and the College for Creative Studies.

This Campus Reform analysis was created with publicly available  2017-2018 records from the Federal Election Commission, in order to determine the political leanings of faculty and administrators at colleges in Tlaib’s district (MI-13) .

According to a Campus Reform analysis, 97.92 percent of all college administrators in Michigan’s 13th district who donated to political candidates or causes gave a total of $22,415.78 to Democrat politicians or Democrat organizations, such as Michigan Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

In total, MI-13 college employees donated $154,034.47 to partisan groups or individuals from 2017-2018. Of that amount, 94.52 percent were made to Democrat politicians or Democrat organizations, while just 5.35 percent of the donations were made to Republican politicians or Republican organizations. 

Two-hundred eighty-four faculty members, specifically, donated a total of $98,829.42 to politicians or political organizations. They contributed 92.39 percent of the money to Democrat politicians or organizations. Just 7.61 percent of donations went to Republican causes or politicians, like other Michigan Senator Gary Peters.

Meanwhile, 62 administrators donated a total of $22,890.78 with $22,415.78 going to Democrat political candidates and politicians. According to the records, only three administrators, all from Wayne State University, made a contribution to Republican politicians or Republican organizations from 2017-2018.

It Starts Today, a political action committee that splits each donation equally among Democratic congressional candidates, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee were popular choices in the Democrat category.

Arizona Republican Senator Martha McSally and the Republican National Committee were popular choices among the overall Republican donations.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE REPORT: 100 percent of college admin, faculty in Maxine Waters' district gave to Dems]

For the purposes of this data, Campus Reform defined “faculty” as employees of the college that have direct instructional contact with students, such as professors, teachers, and instructors. This definition includes teaching fellows and assistants. “Administrators” were defined as employees who manage programming or are responsible for students and faculty, such as department chairs, deans, presidents, and provosts. 

Campus Reform sorted individual donors using their stated position at the college. For example, if the individual donor noted that they were a “professor of literary theory,” they were designated as a faculty member. If an individual noted that they were employed as an “executive director,” they were designated as an administrator. In the event an employee’s title was ambiguous and could not be confirmed, they were marked as general employees, but not sorted into faculty or administration categories. Campus Reform used a variation of keyword searches to cull data specific to employees at the three colleges. 

Campus Reform used the most recently available FEC donor records from the 2018 election cycle. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Grace_Gotcha



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Grace Gottschling
Grace Gottschling | Investigative Reporter

Grace Gottschling is the Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. She is a recent graduate of The College of New Jersey and has experience traveling across the country to engage and train others in pro-life apologetics. Grace manages research and Freedom of Information Act records requests for Campus Reform.

20 Articles by Grace Gottschling