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REPORT: All James Madison Staff Political Donations Went to the Left, AGAIN



Contributor: Anthony Barash


While Michigan State University (MSU) is presented as a politically neutral institution, many staff members have funded left-leaning political groups and politicians.


The Morning Watch researched donations made by all nine James Madison College staff and faculty who have donated to political causes using data from the Federal Election Commission between 2018-2020. James Madison College (JMC) is a residential college at the university which “offers world-class public affairs and public policy programs.”


All donations went to the Democratic Party or left-leaning groups.


[RELATED STORY: Steps for Election Civility by MSU’s President Ignored by MSU Admin, Profs, and MSU President]


Linda Racioppi, Interim Dean and professor, donated $100 in April to the Michigan congressional campaign of Elissa Slotkin.


Norm Graham, International Relations Professor in James Madison College, has donated a substantial amount of money through the platform ActBlue.


According to campaign finance data, Graham has donated nearly $2,000 between Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), Elissa Slotkin’s congressional campaign, and various other Democrat-supporting PACs since 2018.


ActBlue was established in 2004 and enables left-leaning progressive groups and Democrats to raise money from individual donors on the Internet.


In March 2019, The Morning Watch found that all donations from JMC professors to political groups or campaigns went to Democrats and left-leaning platforms, totaling to over $3,500 between 2017-2018.


[RELATED STORY: All Political Donations from Faculty of MSU’s James Madison College Went to the Left]


Yael Aronoff, Associate Professor in James Madison College, contributed $372 in the past two years to Elissa Slotkin’s congressional campaign and Michigan Jewish Democrats Federal Action Fund.


Mark Axelrod and Lisa Barksdale-Shaw, both associate professors, have contributed to Democratic campaigns in the last two years.


Professor Allison Berg donated to the UltraViolet PAC. “UltraViolet PAC is a community...who fight to end sexism and expand equality at the ballot box and beyond,” states their website. Further, “When Trump and his extremist allies try to enact their right wing agenda and trample our rights, we will stop them.” Berg’s donation was under $10.

Kirstin Brathwaite, Associate Professor in the James Madison College, donated $300 in 2019 to the political campaigns of Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, and Win the ERA PAC.


In 2018, Lisa Cook gave $500 between the Gretchen Driskell congressional campaign in 2018 and the Gary Peters senate re-election campaign in 2019. Cook is an International Relations and Economics Professor.


Joe Biden’s campaign received $110 from professor Colleen Tremonte in August 2020.


View political donation data here.




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