Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that one of the three “researchers” involved in mailergate has a history of shady, deceptive, and unethical “research” practices. The article noted:
…a previous study co-authored by Mr. Dropp, who is an assistant professor of government at Dartmouth, in which more than 1,000 email requests were sent to Texas legislators in 2010. The emails appeared to come from Texas citizens, but were actually sent by the researchers to measure the legislators’ response rates.
“It crosses an ethical line to create fictitious people and use government resources for people who don’t exist,” Mr. Krosnick said. “There’s a habit here of lying to people.”
Of course, we still don’t have answers on whether the “research” from this debacle is for Stanford and Dartmouth – or for CrowdPAC – or both. Stanford isn’t saying. Instead, as Mike Dennison reported, a Stanford spokesperson would say only that,” Any connection between CrowdPac and the project that produced the Montana mailer is part of the school’s internal investigation of the project.”
We also still don’t know if Stanford is a shareholder or holds any position in CrowdPAC, which raises additional ethics questions the school has yet to address. I’ve previously outlined the ethical questions raised by the silicon valley start-up’s connection to mailergate here.
Secretary of State Linda McCulloch said yesterday “she believes this is the first time in Montana history that a campaign mailer has been retracted,” MTPR reported.
Two city councilors from Montana’s capital city, Andres Haladay and Katherine Haque-Hausrath last night sent a letter to Dartmouth President Philip Hanlon condemning the fake voter guides:
Montanans take the non-partisan nature of our judicial elections very seriously. In fact, Commissioner Haladay recently defended a portion of Montana’s Judicial Code of Ethics that prohibits candidates from seeking, accepting and using partisan endorsements. The Federal District Court of Montana, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and United States Supreme Court all recognized that allowing such partisan identifiers in the midst of an ongoing election would be disruptive to the entire process.
We believe these fliers clearly violate the spirit of Montana’s election laws, and likely violate the substance of our laws.