Prof. teaching presidential politics contributed $4,000 to Dem candidates

Beginning in the fall, Ruth Mandel, a professor of politics at Rutgers University, will teach a course focused on the 2016 presidential race exclusively to first-year students.

Mandel has a history of donations to pro-Hillary Clinton PACs, the Democratic National Committee, and Obama for America.

A Rutgers University professor who will teach a course on the 2016 presidential race has contributed nearly $2,000 to pro-Hillary Clinton committees, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings.

The one-credit course, titled “You and the 2016 Election: What to Watch, How to Watch, and How to Participate,” will be available to freshmen at the public university in New Brunswick, N.J. in the upcoming fall semester as one of the school’s Byrne seminars— a program focused on easing first-year students into college-level curriculum through a variety of discussion-based courses.

According to an online course catalog, the class will be taught by Ruth Mandel, a professor of politics and director of Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics. In April, Campus Reform reported that Mandel took students enrolled in her “A Woman for President” class on a field trip to the Clinton Global Initiative.

According to publicly available FEC data, Mandel’s fondness of the female presidential hopeful goes beyond her choice in out-of-class excursions.

FEC records indicate that Mandel has twice donated $1,000 to the Democratic National Committee in addition to contributing nearly $2,000 to Hillary Clinton’s previous senatorial and presidential campaigns. In December 2008, Mandel contribute $250 to the former first lady’s principal campaign committee and, in 2005, the political science professor gave $210 to her authorized Senate committee, Friends of Hillary.

Records also show eight separate contributions totaling $264 to Obama for America in 2012 by a Ruth Mandel. However, due to the location in which they were made, it cannot be confirmed whether Prof. Mandel was the benefactor.

According to Rutgers, Mandel’s research interests include “women’s changing political roles and status; women’s political history; women’s leadership as voters and public leaders; gender and decision making; [and] the career of Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

In addition to visiting the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, students enrolled in Mandel’s previous course heard from guest lecturer Karen Kominsky, who served as director of New Jersey’s 2008 Hillary Clinton for President campaign.

A description of upcoming course describes the curriculum as focused on discussing a “historic election.”

“[W]e will talk about the politics of this very long election season and try to understand the dynamics on the ground,” the description states. “We will invite guest speakers from various programs inside the Eagleton Institute of Politics and snag a variety of visitors from the heat of campaigns to tell us what to watch, how to watch it, and how to participate in ways large and small.”

Students will also learn about campaign finance and expenditures, opposition research, interest groups, and the media’s role in election coverage. One of the questions included in the course description encourages students to determine “who is donating money to the candidates?”

Professor Mandel did not return Campus Reform’s request for comment.

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