Impeachment Moves Into High Gear . . . At The University Of Florida

Those of us covering or listening to the Trump impeachment hearing yesterday may have missed the “other” impeachment story this week. At Gainsville, Florida, students are seeking to impeach student president Michael C. Murphy due to the invitation to Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend (and Trump campaign adviser) Kimberly Guilfoyle to campus for speeches on Oct. 10. The couple was paid $50,000 for the speeches. There are even allegations of “collusion.” Student senator Ben Lima declared that “Public records show that Michael Murphy colluded with a member of the Donald Trump campaign” on the event. However, a student newspaper is also reporting that Murphy also sought to have Bernie Sanders appear on campus.

A formal resolution of impeachment was submitted with the names of more than 100 students and alumni. The petitioners objected to the use of the student activity fees for what was deemed support for a political campaign. The problem is that Trump Jr. is hawking a new book and thus it is hard to characterize his speech as part of a political campaign. He is not a candidate and did not appear for the purpose of the campaign.

Adav Noti, senior director of the Campaign Legal Center and former legal counsel for the Federal Election Commission, said that there are legitimate concerns since “Campaign officials shouldn’t be giving paid speeches to charitable organizations. That shouldn’t be happening. So all the discussions about whether they broke the law or not shouldn’t obscure the bigger point that they just don’t care about the law.”

Once again, my primary concern is the consistency in this position. I do not recall objections to Chelsea Clinton giving speeches or even Hillary Clinton when she was clearly going to run. To this day, Clinton speeches are loaded with anti-Trump rhetoric but the speeches are not viewed as violating such political campaign rules.

The one countervailing concern in my view if the email reported by the student newspaper, The Alligator, where Murphy appears to coordinate on the event with Caroline Wren, national finance consultant for Trump Victory, a fundraising committee for the president’s campaign. That is problematic and worthy of inquiry. I fail to see why any campaign official should have been involved in such planning. Student also object the Murphy’s alleged ties to the Trump family.

The event draw a large crowd including protesters. That certainly achieved the purpose of having events that generate debates and passions. The couple did praise Trump but avoided any direct campaigning.

123 thoughts on “Impeachment Moves Into High Gear . . . At The University Of Florida”

  1. You know what pains me? The attention paid to the mass shootings around the country while innocent folks are picked off 1, 2, 3 at a time on our streets 365 which receive a mention locally as nothing that unusual.

  2. The anti-American, globalist, communist Deep Deep State Department is opposed to an adversary and direct and mortal enemy who is in

    the process of draining the “Swamp.”

    Where’s the mystery?

    1. George, Trump has turned the regulatory agencies over to industry insiders. Does that sound like ‘daring the swamp’??

  3. Don Junior really needs to step up his game. Hunter pulled in $600K from the Ukraine and his dad was only VP.

  4. College students are learning:
    1. How to deploy the cancel culture against conservatives
    2. That they can get away with a double standard. There is no coordinated, nationwide effort to prevent their Leftist invited speakers from coming, nor are they uniformly punished for inviting them
    3. How to abuse power for political purposes. In this case, the abuse of the impeachment process because they think it’s unfair that conservatives get to invite people, too.

    College graduates may not be able to name who fought in WWII, what the Holocaust was, or that Che Guevara, Maduro, Stalin, and Mao killed over a million people, but by golly, they have got abusing their positions of authority for political gain down pat. The would be well suited to be employed in various government agencies.

    1. Karen, conservatives aren’t connecting with young people. Denial of Climate Change, Denial of healthcare needs and Denial of gun violence are three good reasons conservatives ring a ‘No Sale’ with anyone under 30.

      1. John, the GOP and especially Trumpsters, are the party of going backward. MAGA expresses this perfectly. It’s strength is among poorly educated and older rural to semi-rural white folks who resent the growing numbers of those unlike them. You could have included their resistance to LGBT rights, an issue which flipped in 14 years from a party strength to a liability, and much of that due to the opinions of younger Americans.

  5. Someone has been sampling the kool-aid again. Every tRump is spending every minute desperately trying to hang on to power. Every breath a tRump takes is a campaign to that end. If The Chosen One is out of office, how will they make millions? There isn’t a member of the cabal who has talent enough to sweep the streets. Spending student funds on this joke is another high crime and/or misdemeanor. Man, when this column goes wrong it hits it out of the park. Somebody else being paid?

  6. Two questions:
    1. Who gets paid $50,000 to promote their own book?
    @. Unless Turley listened to the entire speech. How can he say Trump, Jr did no campaigning? He certainly campaigns every time he shows up on Fox.

      1. Paul. Here you’re literally raising a ‘What about Hillary?’

        These particular What Abouts are an old cliche at this point.

        1. Peter – enigma asked who else got paid to pimp their book. Hillary is out pimping her book right now, so she came to mind.

  7. This is not a freedom of speech issue. Don Jr is nothing personality who’s only claim to fame is who his father is and is a political campaign operative. Comparing him to Hillary is a joke. She’s an accomplished and important historical figure who has held powerful positions, both appointed and elected. You don’t have to like her to recognize the difference.

    1. She’s an accomplished and important historical figure

      Actually, her law career was stalled until her husband was elected state attorney-general. For puzzling reasons, New York’s Democratic moneymen handed her a U.S. Senate nomination, her lack of any connection to the State of New York notwithstanding. As for her time as Secretary of State, what Carly said, ‘Activity is not accomplishment’.

      This is not a freedom of speech issue. Don Jr is nothing personality

      You do have a talent for irrelevancies.

    2. Anon1 – Don, jr is running the Trump empire right now. I think his payroll is probably larger than yours.

      1. Paul, I’ve never declared bankruptcy or been sued and I make payroll week in and week out for 40+ years.

        If you’d pay money to hear Daddy’s boy speak, or buy his book, you’re an idiot.

        1. Anonymous – I don’t believe Don, jr has declared bankruptcy and I am not sure if he has been sued. I am pretty sure they make payroll. The ad hominems really help.

          1. Trump is famous for not paying little guys or forcing them to take pennies on the dollar. The business you think is so great and which your handler now supposedly runs has declared bankruptcy 4 times and to the current day is a deadbeat rip off organization.

            Read this:

            “..USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans, like the Friels, who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.

            At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others…”

            https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/09/donald-trump-unpaid-bills-republican-president-laswuits/85297274/

            And since becoming president:

            “…Albuquerque has joined a lengthy list of U.S. cities with a simple request: that President Trump’s campaign pay for the costs incurred during a rally. On Wednesday, the Albuquerque Journal reported that the city sent an invoice to Trump’s reelection campaign in an effort to recoup more than $211,000 in expenses from a September rally. That figure includes more than $71,000 in police overtime.

            The Trump campaign’s indifference to municipal bills became a significant issue earlier this month when the city of Minneapolis attempted to get paid in advance for a rally Trump was planning to hold in the city. The president and his campaign publicly berated Minneapolis’s mayor. But even then it was easy to see why a city would want Trump’s team to pay in advance.

            As the Minneapolis rally loomed, CNN went back to a number of cities that had been identified in June by the Center for Public Integrity as places with outstanding bills in to the Trump campaign. CNN found that there was at least $841,000 still outstanding. The total, though, is more than that: Dave Levinthal, who reported the initial tallies for the Center for Public Integrity, confirmed in an email to The Washington Post on Thursday that he had checked back with all the cities he had identified in July and that none had been paid as of his most recent outreach….”

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/10/24/trump-campaign-has-over-million-outstanding-bills-american-cities/

  8. Free Speech Ignoring Free Markets

    STUDENTS ‘PAY’ SPEAKERS EVEN IF THEY DON’T ATTEND

    Since the current impeachment drive began in Washington, Professor Turley has made these ‘free speech’ columns a daily staple of his blog. Typically the professor tells us that students at some college are protesting the appearance of a politically conservative-leaning speaker. Just two days ago the column concerned Ben Shapiro, a rightwing media pundit whose appearance at Stanford sparked students protests there.

    After reading that column on Shapiro, I began to wonder precisely ‘who’ funds these speaking engagements and ‘where’ the funding comes from. The professor never addresses this particular point though it is quite relevant in assessing these ‘free speech’ columns.

    It turns out these speeches are not ‘free’. At this school, The University of Florida Gainesville, the students themselves are paying the speaker whether or not they attend the event. The student paper story, linked to this column, explains that speakers are paid from a fund that students are assessed as part of their tuition costs. Said assessment is known as ‘Student Activity Fees’. Students are assessed $17 per credit hour which comes out to about $2,000 during the span of 4 years.

    Now obviously not every speaker is going to be popular with every student. But if students were charged at the door and speakers drew from the gate, schools might be a lot more choosey about ‘who’ they actually invite. Would students at this college, for instance, really pay at the door to hear Donald Trump Jr.? And is Donald Trump Jr. really worth a $50,000 upfront fee? Could the school really gross $50,000 at the gate to compensate Mr Trump for what is basically a campaign rally?

    Here’s a passage from the school newspaper:

    “Questions have been raised about the legality of the visit, as Murphy agreed to pay the pair $50,000 in publicly funded student activity fees and the law says public funds cannot be used to support political campaigns.

    UF Student Body President Michael C. Murphy [Courtesy of the University of Florida]
    Adav Noti, senior director of the Campaign Legal Center and former legal counsel for the Federal Election Commission, said he couldn’t say whether Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle violated campaign laws while at UF, because “the line between campaigning and sort of promoting an agenda is not always crystal clear.”
    ………..

    Interestingly this passage includes a link to the contract stipulating terms of Mr Trump’s appearance. The contract is scarcely different than Hollywood Deal Memos. It clearly tells us there is no charge at the gate. Mr Trump gets $50,000 just for showing up whether or not any students show up to see him. ..Nice work if you can get it..!

    The student paper article goes on to say that that Student President Murphy is the son of a Trump Donor. ..What a coincidence..! President Murphy is using student funds to pay Trump’s son $50,000 for a campaign rally disguised as a ‘Student Event’. No wonder Murphy’s fellow students want to impeach him! Their money be being used to pay the son of a billionaire to rally for his father who is highly unpopular with youths.

    Here we learn ‘free speech’ comes at a cost to students. Their money is used to pay generous compensation to people they may not care to see. And the ‘free market’ does not apply. Trump Jr. made enough money from his appearance to pay-off a typical student loan.

    1. “ The professor never addresses this particular point though it is quite relevant in assessing these ‘free speech’ columns.”

      Peter gets paid to troll and spew forth vomitus to bludgeon readers with his free speech

      🤮

    2. Here we learn ‘free speech’ comes at a cost to students. Their money is used to pay generous compensation to people they may not care to see. And the ‘free market’ does not apply. Trump Jr. made enough money from his appearance to pay-off a typical student loan.

      That’s pretty much true of every speaker and every ‘honorary degree’ recipient which comes to the campus, Peter. It’s just that about 9/10 ths of them are political leftists, few of whom face student protests. How do you think Tim Wise makes rent?

      Pretty amusing you’re only noticing this now.

      1. Yeah, Tabby, as I pointed out, certain names would ‘not’ be a draw if students actually paid at the door. So if they’re not protesting so-called leftists, that means those speakers actually connect with the target audience. Which is how ‘free enterprise’ works.

        1. So if they’re not protesting so-called leftists, that means those speakers actually connect with the target audience.

          They don’t.

          (1) Republican students live and let live and (2) apolitical students live and let live and (3) faculty and student affairs apparatchiks stoke the worst elements in the student body; they don’t do that indiscriminately. You keep telling me what great rapport you have with ‘Millennials’. I’m chuckling.

          1. Tabby, I’m not even sure what your point is here. And I wonder if ‘you’ even know. There’s a vague assertion on your part that Republican students are generally ‘nicer’ kids. Let’s see a study on that.

            1. Tabby, I’m not even sure what your point is here.

              I can explain something to you. I cannot comprehend it for you.

              1. TIA:
                “I can explain something to you. I cannot comprehend it for you.”
                *******************
                As I pointed out at length last evening, John/Peter/Whomever cannot follow a line of argument — even if he makes it. His thinking is not linear. It’s more like the little old lady making her way home from the grocery store on foot who never quite gets there because all manner of cats, squirrels and other creatures keep taking her off course. “Oh, look a kitty.”

                1. Maybe Mespo could engage John and walk him down this supposed path to lightness and wisdom, instead of responding with his strutting superiority pose with the too tight Napolean suit and hat with the big feather.

                  Nahhh. That would take some knowledge of the events taking place and he gets all his information from TIA, who gets his from guys sitting in their underwear chewing the news from the NYTs, WSJ, etc to make it digestible for his weak mind.

                    1. What Fran Leibowitz said, “Just as reliable as any other paper, and somewhat more colorful”.

            2. Peter – you would have to make that “generally”. I had my own chair in the vice principal’s office in high school. 😉 I was bored.

    3. Peter – having been part of a speakers bureau for a college, we were given a set amount of money that came out of the activity fees. The student newspaper also came out of the activity fee, so did their free gym. We look for a rounded group of speakers for the year within our price range. I did not like all of them, but they gave balance to the program. Now, other groups had their own funds for speakers, as well.

      If it makes you feel better, I started college in 1961 and there was both an activity fee and a dorm fee. The dorm fee was used for emergency loans.

      1. Paul, I acknowledged that not every speaker is going to appeal to every student. But what wisdom does Trump Jr. really have to offer students? He’s the son, and grandson, of billionaires who never had to worry about making it in the real world. What’s more, it’s impossible to think his appearance would be non-political.

        We’re now well into the now extended campaign season. So an appearance by Trump Jr. is hard to distinguish from a campaign rally. It’s not like Trump Jr. would say anything to contradict conservative talking points. He’s not going to confide, for instance, “I share your concern regarding Climate Change”. Or, “I realize young women might see a need for reproductive choices”.

        1. Peter – I think he was talking about his experiences with the Mueller Commission. He spent 30 hours testifying and has a lot to say about the procedure and what he was put through.

  9. In this case ‘collusion’ may be part of their legal system it wasn’t worth looking up but the inflated through devaluation amount mentioned it’s well within reason. As for the snowfakes hey they are just practicing to be socialists and have no intention of becoming citizens of a Constitutional Republic soooooo… where’s the beef?

  10. Because trump does not have a defence, and due to your upcoming gig at FOX you post this? Jr’s book is political and everybody knows it. 50,000 bucks for what? To sell his book? The only ones buying that book by far, are right-wing think tanks or maybe daddy. And I’m sure Moscow Mitch and Lindsey “I’ll change my story tomorrow” Graham has a signed book proudly on display.

    1. Fishy:

      “The only ones buying that book by far, are right-wing think tanks or maybe daddy.”
      ********************
      It debuted at No. 1 on the Times best seller list. Any other nonsense you care to spout? You know stupid is doing the same silly thing over and over again without regard to embarrassment. You truly don’t know how small the minority of folks is who “think” like you do.

      https://www.axios.com/donald-trump-jr-book-triggered-nyt-bestseller-624d5b4b-e52e-4d08-ac38-d05a6d113c69.html

    2. Imagine how painful it was for the New York Times to put Don Jr’s book in the Number 1 spot on their bestsellers list. Mmmmm. Savor that feeling. It hurts so good.

          1. From the link:

            New York Times took a “dagger” to the “Number One” bestseller on its latest nonfiction hit list — “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us” — written by Donald Trump Jr.

            The dagger symbol (†) next to the book’s title traditionally suggests bulk sales are driving a book’s high sales.

            1. Anon1 – I know this is going to trigger you, however I plan to buy the book. I usually have 4 books going at the same time and just finished one so I have an open slot.

            2. The dagger symbol (†) next to the book’s title traditionally suggests bulk sales are driving a book’s high sales.

              Cue Mandy Rice-Davies.

              It’s also been known for some time that the ‘best seller list’ isn’t driven by simple sales metrics. Basically, the editors rig it.

    1. Best comment in Tampa paper on story. “Lima, the student senator, had a different take. Murphy has long shut out fellow student government members whose opinions don’t align with his, he said. Senators who opposed the visit thrice tried to bring the topic up for discussion before the event, but members of Murphy’s campus party blocked it. “ Sounds like a taste of their own medicine.

  11. “A formal resolution of impeachment was submitted with the names of more than 100 students and alumni.”
    ****************
    UF has 52,669 enrolled students and about 415,000 living alumni. This petition represents an impressive 0.000213826446 or 0.02% of the possible universe of signatories. Hard to argue with that kinda groundswell.

    1. The name Trump is a perceived multiplier in those calculations. The truth is they feel a wrong was committed and Trump gives them reasons…

    2. UF has 52,669 enrolled students

      In a dense urban settlement with about 120,000 people in it. Florida State (which was a modest women’s college in 1940) has 42,000 students plonked down in a dense settlement of about 170,000. No clue why state governments manufacture these behemoths in small cities (on occasion in small towns). The mean enrollment of the state’s research universities in New York is about 22,000, and only one of the four is located in a small city.

      1. DSS – ASU, arguably the largest university in the US was plonked down in Tempe as Tempe Normal (a teacher’s college) a the legislature was parceling out goodies. Tucson got the university.

        1. It’s less than an hour by bike from downtown Phoenix to the Arizona State campus. Tempe hasn’t been a discrete settlement for decades. Also, the Normal School was founded on donated property, the parcel being located in Tempe. It would be perfectly sensible to put most of your enrollment in greater Phoenix. That’s where the majority of Arizona’s population lives. There are, btw, about 700,000 people in the dense settlement around Tucson. That’s sufficient to support a research university, public or private. A university with about 24,000 enrolled (fte) and a community college with 6,000 enrolled (fte) wouldn’t be hypertrophied.

          1. DSS – this all happened when nobody lived in AZ. Phoenix got the capitol. It also got the insane asylum at 24th St and Van Buren. When I moved here there was a lot of vacant property between all the cities. The town I live in had 17,000. Now it it has 250,000 and is considered one of THE places to live in AZ.
            BTW, Florence got the prison. Prescott got the Pioneer Retirement Home.

            1. Pay market prices for your water and electricity, and the number of people who want to live in Arizona will decline noticeably. Sort of grotesquely funny that people move out there to get away from their allergies, while others moving out there plant deciduous trees (fed by subsidized water) which don’t belong in Arizona (but which import the bloody allergies).

              1. DSS – we have started to get a handle on that plant problem. Most HOAs have a prohibited plant list which includes everything you would normally be allergic to. On the upside, we do have a lot of allergists here. 🙂 I have desert landscaping which is gravel and desert plants.

                1. Paul,

                  I posted a video link to Fmr Deputy Sec State Peiczinik a few days ago, you posted you watched & commented he was a bit to conspiratorial for you taste & that’s ok with me.

                  I didn’t know he’d soon be in this extended interview by Jones.

                  Since the mid 70’s people like me were supportive of many of the Pro American positions of a Rep Ron Paul & types, then Sen Rand Paul.

                  Rand went on to throw our support, which was mostly his to P Trump.

                  Anyway I post this piece again because with the tech’s ongoing censorship these interviews are harder to find for me after a few weeks.

                  We are likely to start seeing these recommend policies put into effect within weeks, we’ll see.

                  https://banned.video/watch?id=5dcc9029ee1d8d002b9376b9

                  1. Oky1 – I have tried to watch it three times and it hangs up on the buffering. I will try to remember to go to Infowars and get the original. Thanks.

        1. As late as 1940, it was a women’s college with 2,000 students. And, in a sensible world, that’s what it would have stayed.

          1. Both schools educate tens of thousands for about 1/4 the cost of equivalent private universities and excel as research institution. UF is ranked in the top 10 of public universities, the top 50 of all universities and is a member of the Association of American Universities who’s 63 members are the top research universities in the US and Canada.

  12. While we’re at it, can we abolish student governments? They’re a collecting pool of oily resume puffers. They’re an absolute fifth wheel for students engaged in extracurricular clubs.

    1. TIA:

      “While we’re at it, can we abolish student governments? They’re a collecting pool of oily resume puffers. They’re an absolute fifth wheel for students engaged in extracurricular clubs.”
      ***********************

      Oh, I loved student government. While at JMU in the last century, I served as a “student advocate” and got to butt heads with whatever dunderhead some random dorm elected to “represent” them or sometimes the chief dunce elected as such by the confederacy. We were appointed by the dean as sort of a baby lawyer to advise accused students regarding process and to help them formulate their arguments and evidence. It was a farce, of course, with the school making the ultimate call but it taught me just how thin the emperor’s new clothes are regardless of emperor or level of development — a belief I hold and cherish to this day. I think it helped me decide to do what I do since the degree of saturated stupid, wrongheadedness, undeserved arrogance and outright tribalism was an eye opener. Mine eyes are open now and I have the petty tyrants-in-waiting of the student government to thank.

      Oh and your assessment is spot on, btw. Wanna see what a man/woman is, give him/her power.

      1. mespo – I got involved in student government at one of the community colleges and got sued for $1 million. Let’s just say some people took it too seriously.

  13. What Joseph Sobran said, “Behind ever double standard is an unconfessed single standard. ”

    Of course, this is a principal-agent problem, or, rather, an other-people’s-money problem and it’s rampant in higher education. In a sane world, students would be charged tuition, and, if they’re in student housing and / or on a meal plan, room-and-board. Every other charge would be optional and metered. The optimal mandatory fee for ‘student activities’ is $0. The student affairs division would employ an office manager to traffick-cop the use of institutional real-estate by student clubs and otherwise spend nothing.

    1. we started a chess club and got $50 end of each semester for a pizza party is what i remember. that was the minimum stipend. this was at a private university. the karate club had a lot more members so we had a bigger pizza party, with beer. i was a repeat term officer of both.

      i remember drafting the charters for both in an intentionally fascistic organizational manner, due to previous mismanagement and incompetence. this assured organizational strength and future viability. the charters were approved with votes counted 110% in favor. I counted the votes. I was not a math major but I was headed for law school. See how that works? LOL

    1. Perhaps it’s one of Anon1’s schemes. Assume his amended tax return is in, so he’s got some extra time.

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