Thursday, September 01, 2005

Putting my mouth where my money ain't 

The StarTribune finally picks up the local angle of a story covered by Scott Johnson over the weekend.
Most University of Minnesota law professors who contributed to political campaigns in recent years gave to Democrats, according to a new study, but some teachers doubted Wednesday whether that influences what is taught in the classroom.

...U of M law professors reacted Wednesday to the study, conducted by the Georgetown University Law Journal and reported last weekend by the New York Times. It analyzed 11 years of federal campaign contributions by professors at 21 top law schools. It found that on average nearly one-third of the professors at the schools contributed to campaigns, and 81 percent of those contributors gave wholly or mostly to Democrats.

The U of M ranked eighth out of 18 law schools where 15 percent or more of the professors made contributions of some kind. Of those U of M professors who contributed, 85 percent gave mostly or exclusively to Democrats.
But would this come at all into play in the classroom? Most assuredly not! say the faculty.
"While I think law school has an effect on people, I don't think it necessarily changes a lot of their values and viewpoints that they came in with," said Beverly Balos, a clinical professor at the Law School who gave hundreds of dollars to the Paul Wellstone campaign. "Law students are coming into law school already adults."

Prof. Fred Morrison, who teaches constitutional law, has given hundreds of dollars to the state House Republican campaign committee.

"Probably there are more liberals than conservatives, but it isn't numbers so much as the representation of the point of view," Morrison said of the university faculty. "And we certainly have some people with a relatively conservative point of view and who are really quite outspoken."
Interesting that they find 85% of the faculty give to Democrats, yet they give more ink to the one guy who gives to Republicans and plays down the distinction.