Public university offered course credit to campaign for Obama, may have violated election law
A public university in Colorado offered course credit to students to volunteer on President Obama’s reelection campaign, Campus Reform learned on Tuesday.
The offer, which has since been retracted, appears to have violated the Colorado Fair Campaign Practices Act, section 1-45-117, which bans the use of public resources for “campaigns involving the nomination, retention, or election of any person to any public office.”
Adams State University posted the opportunity late last week on its website stating: “The Obama Campaign Internship (GOVT 279 Presidential Election Internship) will be a 12 week long organizing internship for the Obama Campaign.”
No similar offer was made for students to participate on the presidential campaign for Mitt Romney, who is the Republican nominee for the White House.
Julie Waecter, Assistant to the president for communications at Adams State, told Campus Reform on Tuesday that while the public university did offer the credit no public resources were deployed towards that end.
“No state funds are being used to pay for students working on the campaign,” she said.
She added that the school had decided to cancel the offer.
To obtain school credit, individuals would have been required to volunteer for the Obama campaign for at least 15 hours each week and attend an all-day training session on September 20th.
The written announcement on the university’s website explained that the program “offers high-level campaign organizer training and in-depth involvement in one of the most expensive Presidential races in recent history.”
A link to the Obama campaign’s official website was also included in the post.
A few hours after Campus Reform inquired about the course offering, the post advertising the opportunity was removed from the university’s website.
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H/T: Stephanee Freer