Wednesday, February 3, 2010

University posts billboard with GOP candidate

Since the mid-'90s, the Kentucky university system has often seemed to represent the worst of the right-wing revolving door.

Now the University of Kentucky has posted a gigantic billboard featuring Ryan Quarles, a right-wing Republican state legislative candidate. The billboard looms large along Lexington's heavily traveled New Circle Road.

In other words, the university - a public institution - was using tax dollars to benefit a GOP candidate.

Surprised? I'm not. Over at Northern Kentucky University, officials have a history of favoring conservative causes - even inviting Bush to appear and suppressing those who protested his appearance. NKU also wasted mandatory student fees on a bulk subscription to Campus Report, a far-right hate paper put out by the misnamed Accuracy in Academia (an offshoot of the fascist Accuracy in Media).

When someone pointed out to UK the impropriety of using public money to help Quarles's candidacy, the university sputtered and drooled. The school claimed it had known of no political aspirations of Ryan Quarles and that the billboard was designed before it knew of his candidacy. According to the university, the billboard was developed merely to showcase an outstanding student.

Frankly, this excuse doesn't even pass the laugh test. Assuming they didn't know of Quarles's candidacy when they made the billboard, why did they keep the billboard up after they became aware of his candidacy?

The University of Kentucky has 30,000 students, and school officials just happened to pick the one who was a Republican candidate for public office?


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