Oregon State University strongly defended itself Tuesday against a local politician's highly publicized charges that the university is trying to expel his children because of his political views. Art Robinson, who lost a bid to unseat U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio in November and plans to challenge him again in 2012, began an aggressive Internet campaign Monday (backed by articles in several conservative publications) alleging that Oregon State is acting against his three children, all of whom are in graduate school at the university.
Robinson, who calls the university a "liberal socialist Democrat stronghold," suggests that the university is engaging in "political payback" because of DeFazio's earmarks and other support for Oregon State, and in the process makes a series of charges about "wild drunken parties" and other alleged misbehavior by faculty members at the grad school. In its statement, Oregon State officials said they had investigated Robinson's charges (which they said he began making last fall) and found them "baseless.... It is regrettable that Mr. Robinson continues to spread these false claims, causing concern where none is due. Despite the significant and ongoing attention that the university has given these matters, he has engaged in a pattern of inflammatory and reckless communication riddled with inaccuracies."