A Colorado-based taxpayer advocacy group is calling on Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia to investigate Adams State University over its abandoned plan to offer course credit to students who volunteered with the Obama campaign.
“We are very curious to know how [the plan] was vetted, and who made the decision to do something that appears unethical and questionable,” said Sean Paige, state deputy director of Americans for Prosperity, in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“It strikes me as baffling that an institution of higher ed that is supported by tax dollars would risk doing something that gives the appearance of partisanship,” Paige continued. “They should know better.”
TheDC News Foundation previously reported that ASU advertised an opportunity for students to receive course credit while volunteering with the Obama campaign.
ASU removed the ad from its website after it was noticed by conservative groups.
An ASU spokesperson said the university would have offered a similar program if approached by the Romney campaign, and that the course had been cancelled due to lack of interest.
Because Garcia is also the executive director of the Department of Higher Education in Colorado, he could investigate if the course would have violated state law prohibiting the use of public resources for partisan political purposes.
Garcia’s office did not respond to requests for comment. The Denver Post reports that state officials are looking into the matter, but are unlikely to take any action.
Paige said that taxpayers deserve to know which administrators approved the credit-for-campaigning scheme and the extent to which the Obama campaign was involved.
“We’re asking who at the Obama administration approached the school, and who at the school approved it,” said Paige. “We want to know how high up the chain of command that decision was made.”
And with the election around the corner, taxpayers need those answers sooner rather than later, said Paige.
“We don’t want this to drag on past the campaign,” he said. “If the Obama campaign is trying to subvert the nonpartisan nature of a public institution here in the state of Colorado to advance their own agenda, I think Coloradans need to know that.”
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