Friday, August 30, 2013

What colleges spend on politics

Posted by on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Conventional wisdom for ages has suggested that institutions of higher learning are liberal hotbeds, and now an analysis by opensecrets.org largely supports that idea.

As the website reports:

President Obama's proposed education initiative includes ranking colleges for "value," and tying student grants and loans to how well the schools score.

That may rankle some in the postsecondary educational establishment — but it would take a lot to significantly alter their political giving patterns, something the president might be thankful for on behalf of his fellow Democrats.

It's no secret that college professors are perceived as a bunch of raving liberals, and a deeper look at their campaign contributions by the Center for Responsive Politics mostly backs that up — though certain types of schools tend to skew more left than others.

The lean is most pronounced at four-year institutions, medical schools and law schools, where faculty and other school staff donated overwhelmingly to Democrats in the 2012 election cycle.

Overall, individual contributions from the education sector have been on the rise for years. During the 2012 cycle, contributions from the sector totaled $64.7 million. That's a 323 percent increase over 2000, when the total was just $15.3 million.

All that said, we decided to check into the analysis by open secrets and get the lowdown on certain Colorado institutions. Here's what we found. All amounts are for 2012 unless otherwise stated:

People who work at Colorado Technical University, an affiliate of Career Education Corp.,  have spent $181,650 on campaign contributions, and $1.76 million on lobbying in 2011 and 2012. As for whether mostly Democrats or Republicans are favored by this corporation, it's a mix.

Folks at Colorado College gave $22,815, with $14,687 going to Obama, and another $7,178 going to Democratic committees.

Much less active in politics with their wallets are folks at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs where they gave only $2,200; of that $2,000 went to Obama and $200 to a Democratic committee.

If we take a look at the University of Colorado system going back to 1990, here's the party split represented in $1.7 million in contributions.



click to enlarge Screen_shot_2013-08-30_at_10.35.44_AM.png

All of which goes to show that the premise is true: Those affiliated with universities tend to support Democrats.

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