Why was a hugely misleading "No on Measure 49" mass mailing sent from the Lewis & Clark Law School? If this bunch of B.S. reflects the quality of the Oregon school's legal analysis, I feel sorry for the law students.
I got the letter yesterday. The return address said:
James L. Huffman
Erskine Wood Sr. Professor of Law
Lewis & Clark Law School
5340 S.W. Hewett Blvd.
Portland, OR 97221
I won't dignify Huffman's diatribe with any more than this piece of advice: if you recycle the letter, that's an insult to wood pulp that will have to associate its molecules with this garbage. Just this once, throw some paper in the trash – where the letter belongs.
Suffice it to say that nothing in Huffman's letter is accurate. To learn the truth about Measure 49, head here.
I've asked the dean of the Lewis & Clark law school, Robert Klonoff, to explain why the school is being used as a No on 49 campaign center. To email him yourself, click here. I said:
Mr. Klonoff, yesterday I got a letter from your law school (from Professor Huffman) that advocated a "No" vote on Measure 49.
My wife and I are deeply disturbed that you are allowing the law school to be used as a center for the No on 49 campaign. The law school's address is prominently displayed on the return envelope.
In addition, the letter contains many inaccuracies about Measure 49. If this letter reflects the quality of Lewis and Clark's legal analysis, I feel sorry for your students.
Professor Huffman has the right to personally advocate for ballot measures. But Lewis and Clark shouldn't be giving him a forum (and return address) for his uninformed diatribe.
Perhaps your willingness to assist with the No on 49 campaign has something to do with Lewis and Clark's own Measure 37 claims? I hope not, but some are going to jump to this conclusion.
I also emailed Vanessa Fawbush, the Lewis & Clark communications officer (a message to her can be sent here).
Please explain to me why Lewis and Clark allowed its address to be used in the anti-Measure 49 diatribe that I received yesterday from Professor Huffman.
I note that your current dean claims that Lewis and Clark doesn't take a position on political issues. But you allowed Huffman to mail his misleading letter from Lewis and Clark.
I'm an active blogger and plan to write a post about Lewis and Clark's involvement in the No on 49 campaign. I'd welcome any explanation you can give of why Huffman was allowed to use Lewis and Clark as a forum for this mass mailing.
If Huffman did this against school policy, how are you going to deal with his action? What discipline will he face? How will you inform Oregonians that the mailing was conducted under false pretenses?
Dean Klonoff has issued a statement affirming the law school's neutrality on ballot measures. Well, if that's true, let's get the misleading No on 49 letter balanced with a truthful mailing – getting things back to neutral.
Lewis & Clark should require that another letter be sent immediately to everyone who got Huffman's untruthful propaganda. It would say that Huffman wasn't authorized to use the Lewis & Clark address, and encourage the reader to visit the Yes on 49 web site for a balanced examination of this important ballot measure.
If Huffman just gets a slap on the wrist, that'll show that Lewis & Clark doesn't really care if it is used as a platform for political campaigns.
I'll share any responses I get from Klonoff or Fawbush.
[P.S. Just got this from Klonoff:
Dear Sir, Mr. Huffman does not speak for the law school. I have posted a note on the law school web site so stating. The law school is neutral on all political measures. Sorry for any misunderstanding.
OK, that's a start. But not good enough. How is the law school going to correct the "misunderstanding," now that Huffman's letter is in the hands of so many voters? That's the big question.]
Huffman is currently also the 'spokesperson' for Phillip Morris and R.J. Reynold's $10 million campaign against Measure 50, and has served on the board of Oregonians in Action's 'Legal Center'
You can read more about this peculiar No on 49 spokesperson (and others) on Measure 37 Watch.
Posted by: Measure 37 Watch: Tracking Peculiar 'Stop 49' Spokespeople | October 14, 2007 at 02:49 PM
Hewett Boulevard is not the law school's address.
Posted by: Jack Bog | October 14, 2007 at 09:58 PM
Jack, well, the address sure fooled me. As I'm sure it did most recipients of the letter.
When you include a place (Lewis & Clark Law School) followed by an address, it's natural to assume that the place matches the address.
Just shows the deceptive lengths the No on 49 crowd is willing to go. Lies piled upon lies is their campaign strategy.
Posted by: Brian | October 15, 2007 at 10:30 AM
You should also note the PS on the end that states that the enclosed article is an opinion piece. The "article" itself doesn't include any anotation saying that it is an editorial instead of a newspaper article. It only has a heading of Albany Democrat Herald. I wonder if the same opinion piece under the heading of other newpapers got sent to people from other cities?
By swtiching up where pertinent information is located the letter is very deceptive. By placing the info about being an editorial on the previous page, one thinks it's a newpaper article. The address is also deceptive, using the same tactic. They put Lewis and Clark Law School on a line all it's own, right before the address to make it look like it is coming from the law school. Pigs. My Dad actually thought it was a letter from the law school.
Posted by: Dori | October 18, 2007 at 01:02 AM
Also a questionable move for Huffman, a Montana lawyer who is not licensed to practice in Oregon to suggest to Oregon non-lawyers that they really need to hire legal counsel to understand Measure 49. Huffman is an unscrupulous political operative with about the same level of moral fortitude as Jack Abramoff or Grover Norquist. His "apology" and the schools meager web posting are far inadequate to remedy his deceptions in this election cycle.
Posted by: David Stewart | October 19, 2007 at 06:38 AM
L & C has officially asked OIA to correct the record regarding Huffman’s use of the schools’ name to advance OIA’s political agenda. Today the school issued the following press release:
Lewis & Clark Law Dean Calls on Anti-Measure 49 Group to Correct Misuse of School Name
PORTLAND, Ore. (October 24, 2007) — Robert Klonoff, dean of Lewis & Clark Law School, today demanded that the anti-Measure 49 group Oregonians in Action take measures to correct the misimpression that the group’s recent statewide mailing came from the law school.
The demand was made in a formal letter to David Hunnicutt, president of Oregonians in Action, from the college’s general counsel, David Ellis. A copy of the letter was sent to the Election Division of the office of the Oregon Secretary of State.
The organization’s mailing, sent to many thousands of Oregon voters, was signed by former Lewis & Clark law dean and current professor James Huffman. The envelope used Huffman’s and the law school’s name on the return address, giving the impression that it was a mailing from the law school and that Huffman’s anti-49 message represented the official position of the school.
Klonoff demanded that Oregonians in Action send a letter of correction to all households that received the previous mailing and clarify that the anti-49 message did not represent any official position of Lewis & Clark.
“Oregonians in Action at no time sought my authorization to use the Lewis & Clark name on the envelopes for their mailing,” Klonoff said. “Nor did they seek the authorization of the college’s president, general counsel, or any other current member of the administration with authority to bind the college. Lewis & Clark Law School had no knowledge of any such mailing and did not learn of it, and Professor Huffman’s involvement with it, until concerned constituents began to contact us after receiving it in the mail.”
Judging from the large number of voters who have contacted the law school to express their concerns, Klonoff said it is clear that Oregonians in Action has given the impression that the letter was an official mailing from Lewis & Clark. “It’s disappointing that Oregonians in Action would misuse the school’s good name for a partisan political purpose, in what many of our concerned constituents regard as fraud against the voters,” Klonoff said.
“In the spirit of academic freedom and our commitment to sound jurisprudence, Lewis & Clark Law School upholds the right of our faculty members to engage in political debates no matter their stance on a particular issue,” Klonoff added. “However, as an academic institution we do not take official positions on ballot measures or any other political issue. Rather, it is our mission to educate lawyers and citizens who can enter such debates with critical thinking, a sound legal foundation, and a commitment to healthy public discourse.
“Fair debate requires that all participants represent their ideas with integrity and sincerity. The misuse of our name by Oregonians in Action violates that fundamental principle. It is deeply troublesome that the group would mislead voters in an attempt to garner support on this controversial issue. They must correct the record immediately.”
Posted by: NNN | October 24, 2007 at 05:08 PM