Last winter, when Brandeis Trustee Meyer Koplow was nominated to serve as our next President, one of the major objections I heard to his candidacy was his ties to the Republican Party. As Nathan Robinson wrote in the Hoot, Koplow’s record of political contributions includes several darlings of the right-wing, including the ultraconservative Jim DeMint and my noxious home-state Senator Joe Lieberman. I don’t know if these connections on their own should have disqualified Koplow from the Presidency (although it would have made it difficult for him to lead a student body that, according to Wikipedia, was ranked ninth-most liberal in the country by U.S. News and World Report); however, recalling that minor controversy made me curious as to what Frederick Lawrence’s contribution record looked like.
Searches for “Lawrence, Frederick” and “Lawrence, Fred” on OpenSecrets.org revealed three contributions from an individual by that name employed at Boston University during the period in which President-designate Lawrence worked there (1988-2005). I think it’s safe to say that they’re all from the guy we’re looking for, particularly since one of them specifies the donor as a “Professor of Law”. They are:
- $250 on 7/27/92 to Bill Clinton (D)
- $2,000 on 9/20/00 to DNC Services Corp (D)
- $500 on 10/27/04 to DNC Services Corp (D)
It looks like Lawrence isn’t a major political donor, but he’s batting 1.000 for Team Blue so far. It’s hard to read anything into his current six year period of inactivity; not only has he done that before, but I can think of plenty of reasons why the head of a law school in Washington, D.C. might want to remain publicly neutral on questions of politics.
I have to admit that I find it comforting to know that Lawrence’s sympathies appear to lean Democratic. It supports my hope that he’ll pursue strong progressive policies for the University, and it could signify that the run of Democratic luminaries that Brandeis has brought to speak while I’ve been here (Bill Clinton, Carl Levin, Howard Dean etc.) will continue with institutional support.
5 responses to “Frederick Lawrence’s Political Contribution History”
Just to shed a little context, the aeticle in the Hoot was classic slanted journalism. While the article highlights donations made to Republican candidates it glosses over the fact that the majority of his political contributions over the 10 year contribution history that is publicly available on-line have been made to Democratic candidates, including party champions like Harry Reid (in the same year that he contributed to DeMint). Not only did the author try to paint Mr. Koplow as an ultra-conservative despite never having met him or knowing anything about him but he also decided to base his characterization on only the tiny bits of available information that supported the point he wanted to make. Of course, no one decided to check this themselves but rather decided to take the author at face value. The reality is that everyone in the media has biases, on both sides, and we all need to take it upon ourselves to fact check if we are going to espouse the views of journalists and commentators. In this case the character assasination by The Hoot was irresponsible and immoral.
“Last winter, when Brandeis Trustee Meyer Koplow was nominated to serve as our next President, one of the major objections I heard to his candidacy was his ties to the Republican Party.”
God forbid, someone you disagree with! He’ll surely round up homosexuals, but not before adding a 100 dollar a head war fund.
Oh, ok, Gideon, trust Tucker Carlson — the same Tucker Carlson who hacked into and released off-the-record emails after he didn’t get his way — yeah, trust him and the blathering (lying) blowhards on Fox News. If they all say there’s a liberal media conspiracy, they must be right!
Anyone who cares about the truth might want to read this, by Ezra Klein: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/07/when_tucker_carlson_asked_to_j.html
And that — surprise, again — there actually *is* a behind-the-scenes of liberal media.
Our top story today: New Brandeis president leans to the left politically. In other news the sky is blue and water is wet.