Fine Charges Smear Tactics In Republican Club Elections
Randall A. Fine '96, accused earlier this week of bribing students in return for votes, said yesterday that he was the victim of a smear campaign to prevent him from winning a Harvard-Radcliffe Republican Club election.
Fine, who was running for vice-president of the club, denied charges that he paid the club fees for eight members who voted for him.
"I've been accused by no one but an anonymous source," Fine said. "I have to be willing to respond to a claim that has no personal credibility behind it."
Fine said he believed the charges were spread by opponents who wanted to hurt his election chances.
"They may have wanted their candidate to win so badly that they didn't care about the results," he said.
Outgoing Republican President Emil G. Michael '94 said he did not believe any club members had sufficient motive to attack Fine.
"It might be a false accusation on Randy, but the motive of it couldn't have been a smear campaign," Michael said. "If he thinks that that is the motive, then it is illogical."
"A smear campaign would be to smear someone who has a position of power," said Michael. "Randy had the lowest position of power. He had really no chance to win."
But Fine's supporters said their candidate could have won the election.
"He gave an outstanding speech. He strikes me as being infinitely more capable and polished than his other two opponents," said N. Van Taylor '96.
Fine said the accusations not only hurt his reputation but also disputed the integrity of eight of his supporters.
"This job was not worth being slandered for. When I found out about the charges, I almost dropped out of the race," Fine said.
"But then I realized the most important issue of the allegations," he added. "By accusing me of buying votes, the accusers are accusing the members I brought into the club of accepting bribes."
Fine said he did not believe that Thomas E. Woods '94, the newly elected vice-president, was involved in the accusations.
"I don't want this to reflect badly on the club, Karen Boyle, or Tom Woods. This incident is a smear by a few individuals in the club, but not the club itself," Fine said.
"There has been damage done. For the rest of my life, some one will always be able to look in the December 15, 1992 edition [of The Crimson] that Randy Fine was accused of buying votes," he said. "And my friends will be accused of accepting the bribes."
"But that doesn't mean that I can't try to set the record straight," he added.