Liberal elites continue to bash Delaware’s Cinderella-like U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, as part of a nation-wide campaign to smear all Republicans. One false narrative is that she misrepresented her academic background. They build that lie on completely distorting the lawsuit that I wrote for Christine in 2005, as a Virginia attorney.
Saul Alinsky radicals assert the exact opposite of what my lawsuit said, hoping no one will read it. They claim that Christine claimed to already be enrolled in a Princeton Master’s program in 2005. Building on that falsehood, they then claim that minor differences in wording elsewhere are “yet another” example of misrepresentation. However, their starting point was false to begin with.
The amended version (signed by Kevin Fasic) explains that Christine was hired on March 12, 2003 (paragraph 10). Paragraph 8 explains that Christine was applying to Princeton hoping to start in the Fall of 2003. Paragraph 8 clearly indicates that Christine O’Donnell had not yet been accepted to Princeton. Got that? In March of 2003, when hired, she was hoping to be accepted and start at Princeton in The Fall of 2003. Those plans were in the future, not already implemented.
However, her employer’s promises to give her time off were broken “shortly after starting her employment” (paragraph 13). So, in the Spring of 2003, long before she hoped to start at Princeton later in the Fall, her employer had already broken a promise to provide a flexible schedule necessary for Christine to pursue a master’s… later that Fall, along with other pursuits.
Did Christine claim to already be in a Master’s program at Princeton? Exactly the opposite! Her lawsuit clearly states that Christine was not even planning to enter the master’s program until the Fall – but was prevented from doing so earlier that Spring by a dispute about her work schedule around April of 2003.
So it is obvious that Christine never claimed to have enrolled in a master’s program at Princeton. It was a plan for the future that never materialized. Sorry to repeat the point, but we are obviously dealing with some thick heads here. (The lawsuit does say that Christine had enrolled in one course, but was forced by time pressure to drop that once course.)
Princeton was only one minor, side issue in her lawsuit. Christine had been fired 24 minutes after informing executives that she had consulted with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The paper trail is iron clad. She had asked about her rights as a woman with 14 years of experience being placed under a man fresh out of college, whom she had trained and who was working as the receptionist. Other witnesses confirmed that a woman must have the “covering” of a man and could not head a department. The paper trail proves plans for her work over subsequent months… until she talked to the EEOC. Weeks later, only after the fact, her employer started to say that they fired Christine for helping to promote Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ alongside her supposedly 4 day per week job.
In the earlier version of that lawsuit that I wrote, the version Christine actually signed herself, I referred vaguely to Christine’s plans to “pursue” a master’s program. This covered a great many steps. The word “pursue” was intended to be economical, to avoid spelling out many steps in detail unimportant to the lawsuit. However, the issue was not important. I did not pay very much attention to it, because I did not care. She had been promised time to pursue other goals along side a less-then-full-time job, in return for a $60,000 a year cut in salary from other jobs she was eyeing. That promise was broken. As her attorney, I could not care less what the details were about her other pursuits, only that her employer broke its promise concerning her work schedule. The Delaware attorney Kevin Fasic built on what I wrote, with similar inattention to those then-unimportant details. If I did a bad job of writing Christine O’Donnell’s lawsuit — on a point that was simply not important at the time — that is my doing, not Christine’s.
While I have legal restrictions on what I can say about conversations between Christine and myself, without waving attorney-client privilege, let me say it this way: I had absolutely no information whatsoever from any source in 2005 that Christine O’Donnell was claiming to already be enrolled in a Princeton master’s program. None. If I took the information that I had and wrote it up badly, that’s on me. I had no reason to believe that Christine was already enrolled in a Princeton master’s program. I never intended when I wrote her lawsuit to suggest that she was. The whole point was to emphasize what Christine was denied by her employer — not what she successfully achieved. You don’t sue because everything turned out alright.
The lawsuit was addressed to Christine’s employer, who already knew all of these events. Saul Alinsky radicals suggest that Christine was puffing her experience. This was a lawsuit, not a resume. The Defendant-employer already knew all the details. (Now, Christine was enrolled in an isolated non-degree course. Everyone knew that. Princeton admits that. In anticipation of pursuing a master’s Christine had already enrolled on a non-degree basis in a course at Princeton to bolster her undergraduate record, get some Princeton connections, and improve her application to the master’s program there. Everyone acknowledges this is true. Some are tripping over this detail.)
Christine’s employer offered her a salary of $65,000 a year instead of the $125,000 a year jobs Christine was hoping for in Washington, DC. They offered Christine to work only 4 days a week (approximately, in effect, rougly speaking), with time to handle private public relations clients on the side (such as “The Passion of the Christ” for ICON Productions), continue appearances on national television news talk shows, and to “pursue” a Master’s at Princeton.
One point of confusion is that applying for a master’s can often requires filling in additional undergraduate courses as prerequisites. Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School Masters of Public Affairs covers economics and quantitative analysis. Applicants must identify the undergraduate courses they took in mathematics and economics. Christine’s major in college was in communications. She first enrolled at Princeton in additional undergraduate courses, in preparation for entering the master’s program later.
Christine’s plans to “pursue” a master’s obviously would have included clearing up the financial dispute with her undergraduate college Fairleigh Dickinson College, armed with a $65,000 a year salary and time free in her schedule. Some pounce on their confusion about how Christine O’Donnell could “pursue” a master’s in the Fall, starting in March, while she had attended graduation in 1993, completed all of her required courses in 1993 for her bachelor’s degree, and walked the stage in cap and gown in 1993 at Fairleigh Dickinson, but had not yet been handed a sheepskin diploma due to an unpaid bill.
Well, would it be worth it to Christine to take a $60,000 a year cut in salary to have a job with both the money and the time available in a flexible schedule precisely to clear that issue up, and then go on to pursue a master’s? Would you take a lower-salary to be able to fix those issues and then add a master’s? That was obviously one of the many steps intended in plans to “pursue” the end result of a master’s degree.
But Christine was denied the time promised for all of these many steps, and then later deprived of salary. So she did not progress on these plans as anticipated.
The last refuge of the scoundrels is to suggest that if you stand on your head and look at my lawsuit (or as amended by Kevin Fasic) funny, you might be able to interpret it in different ways. So? The charge is that Christine O’Donnell knowingly implied — addressed to her employer / Defendant who already knew the facts — that she was already enrolled in Princeton. No, she did not. If you want to see bunnies in the clouds or a portrait of Freud in an inkblot, that’s your choice. The charge is false: Christine did not intentionally misrepresent her academic record in the lawsuit that I wrote.
If we allow liberal elites to succeed with smear tactics, we become easy prey for manipulation. It is fair to evaluate the candidates in an election. But falsehoods and half-truths taken out of context add nothing to a voter’s decision. People can see Christine O’Donnell speaking on the issues and the nation’s circumstances in campaign speeches and TV appearances collected at www.MeetChristineODonnell.com. Compared to that, what do distortions and nit-picking add to a voter’s decision?
Unfortunately, too many in the conservative blogosphere have been duped by liberals. Even conservative bloggers and pundits have become “re-transmitters” of liberal smears. Conservatives need to be more attentive to the ancient wisdom of King Solomon in Proverbs 18:17: “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.” Again and again, conservatives ignore this wise advice at their peril.
I stand by my account: Call me (703) 656-1230 Fax: (703) 783-0449