UPDATE: It’s all fun and games until, as the Dayton Daily News reports:
University of Dayton officials said Tuesday, Aug. 5, they are considering charging student Justin Schaffer for a violation of the Standards of Behavior for posting offensive information on his Facebook page.
The 19-year-old son of Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer of Colorado on Monday apologized for an entry that had the words “High Five … Who’s Gay” over a photo of a waving Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. It also had a picture of the Pyramids with the words “Slavery Gets (expletive) Done.”
UD said the Code of Conduct standard calls for students to respect all members of the community and the community at large.
Sister Annette Schmeling, vice president of student development and dean of students, said she will have an initial conversation with Schaffer about the postings and “explore the ways his Facebook page is not showing respect.”
“We are addressing it and we expect to begin the adjudication process before classes start on August 20,” Schmeling said in a written statement.
Cilla Bosnak Shindell, director of media relations at UD, said potential penalties for Code of Conduct violations range from a reprimand to probation, suspension or expulsion.
Senate candidate Bob Schaffer’s college-age son, exposed displaying racially-charged and otherwise distasteful political imagery on his Facebook profile, is sorry. And Dad’s going to ‘firmly’ punish him. As the Denver Post reports:
Opponents of Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer have found political fodder in his 19-year-old son’s Facebook page, which shows a picture of Barack Obama over the caption “High five . . .. who’s gay” and another picture that reads “Slavery gets shit [disambiguated by Pols] done.”
Schaffer said he was prepared to talk about his campaign, not his children, but he did say that he and his wife had set out “firm punishment” for their son, Justin, over the issue.
Justin Schaffer attends the University of Dayton, and the page was apparently widely accessible to students there.
Justin Schaffer issued a written apology late Monday:
“The offensive materials directly contradict the values that my parents taught me and are forbidden in my parents’ home. My Facebook page is my sole responsibility . . .”
“It is clear that my actions were juvenile, disrespectful, and a mistake on my part,” the statement said.
Although much of the material had been removed from the page by Monday night, a mirror image of an earlier version was posted on a website called Schafferfamilyvalues.com…
The page indicates that among the virtual groups that Justin Schaffer participated in was one called “Pole Dancers for Jesus.” One image on the Facebook page shows a machine-gun-toting Jesus in front of a Confederate flag, the caption reading “What would a Republican Jesus Do?”
Coming just weeks after the son of Gov. Bill Ritter posted party pictures from the governor’s mansion, the controversy underscores the trouble the free-wheeling Internet may cause candidates or politicians used to tightly controlling their message.
It remains to be seen whether liberal activists and others offended will find Justin’s apology satisfactory, but it’s clear there was no attempt really made by the Schaffer campaign to defend what he had posted to this Facebook page, or to attack the ethics of exposing it. The consensus as far as we see it is that the content was sufficiently political (not to mention controversial) to be fair game during a parent’s campaign for the US Senate. We’ll see if the apology mitigates concerns about the underlying causes, however, and how that relates to Bob Schaffer as he presents himself to voters.
On the subject of “tightly controlled messaging,” the Post reports separately:
Talking last week about a missed vote by Democratic Senate candidate Mark Udall, Dick Wadhams, one of the GOP’s most storied campaign operatives, ratcheted up the nastiness of an already sharp race when he told a reporter, “We’re going to shove a bunch of 30-second ads up his ass [disambiguated by Pols] on this issue.”
Asked Monday whether the statement was accurate, Wadhams said, “I stand by the comment,” then promptly repeated the remark for another reporter…
As the U.S. Senate contest between Udall and Republican Bob Schaffer heats up, Wadhams – who is both Schaffer’s campaign manager and chair of the state party – is increasingly the third man in the race, his language and style casting a long shadow that sometimes obscures even his own candidate.
Hard-charging and contentious, he’s a practitioner of a biting brand of politics that several Republicans agreed goes right up to the line of what’s acceptable – and may sometimes cross over it.
In the past few months, he dismissed the Campaign Money Watch, which ran a negative ad against Schaffer, as an organization financed by “scumbags,” then labeled two well-known foreign-policy experts who spoke at a Udall press call “creeps.” While running the campaign of former Montana Sen. Conrad Burns in 2000, Wadhams famously referred to the Democrat in the race – Brian Schweitzer, who has since been elected governor – as a “smartass [disambiguated by Pols] thug.”
But his latest remark drew more reproof than usual, even in an era of increasingly nasty political attacks.
Pat Waak, the chair of the state Democratic Party, said she was “personally offended” and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee issued a news release calling the incident “bizarre.”
And it drew a scolding from Ben Nighthorse Campbell, the Republican former senator and one of Colorado’s senior statesmen.
“You know in politics it always seemed to me there were certain things that may not be written in the rules about how you should campaign, but were acknowledged as things you just don’t do,” Campbell said…
Nicknamed “Karl Rove 2.0,” Wadhams with his aggressive approach is, his opponents say, too closely associated with the Bush years and likely to be repudiated by voters in this turn-the-page political era.
Just a lovely portrait being painted here, isn’t it? To be fair, it should be noted that these two narratives seem distinct from one another, with Schaffer’s foul-mouthed bigoted kid and the foul-mouthed “itinerant political hitman” fronting Bob Schaffer’s campaign not having any real connection other than…
Oh, wait a minute.