GOP Pressure on Millersville U. to Cancel Bill Ayers Talk

March 2, 2009

When Bill Ayers visits a local campus these days, it's become common for a local politician or two to denounce the appearance. But Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are pushing particularly hard at Millersville University, demanding that a lecture later this month be called off. The Intelligencer Journal reported that Republican legislators have issued repeated statements and called for meetings with state higher education officials about the matter. Millersville has defended the appearance by Ayers, noting that he is coming to the campus in his role as a noted education expert at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and that there are no plans to use tax dollars for the visit. But Republicans keep talking about the Weather Underground, of which Ayers was once a leader, and suggesting that there could be economic penalties for the university if it lets Ayers appear. One legislator told the newspaper: "I mean, this guy probably committed treason, and why Millersville would want to give him a forum is really beyond my understanding." Another said: "At the end of the day, the institution does utilize tax dollars. ... So there has to be a measure of accountability."

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