Friday, June 20, 2014

Portland State University Funding Scandal

Portland State University
Your tax dollars at work

After it was discovered that a UC Irvine sponsored Olive Tree Initiative trip to the West Bank resulted in students meeting with a known Hamas official, Aziz Dweik in 2009, a state freedom of information request was filed with UCI. Part of that request was for all expenditures by the OTI specifically as to funds paid to known Palestinians associated with the International Solidarity Movement. These individuals were providing tours for the students and faculty as they toured the West Bank. Their companies are part of what is known as alternative tours of the Holy land designed to indoctrinate young Westerners against Israel.

To this date, those OTI expenditure records have never been released. The reasoning? Can't be found.

Sound familiar (IRS)?

Likewise, San Francisco State is also embroiled in a controversy over Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, who traveled to the West Bank on university dime and met with two people with known terrorist ties/background.

There is also a freedom of information request on-going at Portland State University that request financial records for an event that featured speakers with very radical backgrounds in which university money was paid. Dan Sandini of the blog Daylight Disinfectant, is also running into plenty of roadblocks from PSU. Here is the latest from DD:

That's not all. PSU is trying to charge over $1,300 to comply with the records request.

Public universities receive tax-payer money from the government. They should be open and transparent as to how that money is spent. I don't know Oregon state law in this instance, but it seems strange that PSU is charging Sandini (and quite a bit) to copy the records for him. After all, they should have employees whose job it is to answer and respond to these legal requests.

1 comment:

Siarlys Jenkins said...

As I'm sure you know, having worked for the DEA, individuals with an ax to grind can run up huge costs and tie up agency employees for hours and days and weeks making massive volumes of requests like this. Most agencies will copy a certain number of pages for free. After that, there should be a cost to weed out the frivolous from the serious.

What if someone filed FOIA requests with the DMV, tying up so much staff time that wait times increased by an hour or so for people trying to renew their driver's licenses? What if NORML filed requests each week for ten reams of DEA administrative documents?