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Republican Groups Trade Insults, Allegations

By Michael M. Luo

As the Republican party prepares itself for a heated contest among party candidates for the presidential nomination in 1996, the mudslinging has already begun among Harvard Republicans.

A list of allegations of improprieties about the Harvard Republican Club (HRC) was anonymously delivered to The Crimson last week. Among other charges, the list accused the HRC of "electoral fraud" in its February election of officers and engaging in "exclusion and lying" in the expulsion of William Zerhouni '98 from its executive board.

When The Crimson attempted to confirm the authenticity of the charges listed, students responded by portraying a wide rift between the leadership of the College's two Republican groups, complete with name-calling and accusations of "shady dealings."

After the February HRC executive board elections, several members of the club, upset by alleged "under-handed behavior" in the HRC, split from the club to form the Harvard Republican Alliance (HRA).

According to Luke A. Sarsfield '95, a member of the HRA, the new club embraces "all brands of Republicanism" and differs from the HRC in that it does not exclude those who fall short of a conservative "ideological litmus test."

Amanda P. Williams '96, president of the HRA, said the club was formed not only because of an ideological conflict but because of the "under-handed behavior" of the previous board members of the HRC.

"Our original intention was not to found another club, but it soon became apparent that we could not compete with their underhanded election methods," Williams said in a telephone interview last week.

Election Padding

Williams alleges that conservative members of the HRC, led by former president Bradford P. Campbell '95, enlisted personal friends to join the club to stack the election in favor of candidates who shared their "ultra-conservative" views.

"If you look down the list of members, you'll notice the relationship of approximately a third of those members to the Peninsula: girl-friends, brothers, neighbors," Williams said. "And then you'll also look at the activity of the people since the election, and you'll see that they've done nothing since."

Williams lost in a two-person race for president of the HRC in February to James M. Dickerson '98.

Campbell is a Guardian on Peninsula, a conservative publication on campus. In addition to Campbell, Peninsula Guardian G. Brent McGuire '95 and Peninsula council member Brian E. Malone '96, who are both Crimson editors, also held executive board positions on the HRC during Campbell's administration.

In addition, Williams said that members of theHRC had exploited a November promotion to attractDemocrats to the organization. Following theNovember Republican election landslide victoriesin the House and Senate, Campbell offered membersof the Harvard Democrats an opportunity to jointhe HRC at five dollars, half of the normal price.

Williams said that under this cover manystudents signed on to the club who were not evenmembers of the College Democrats, and eventuallyvoted in the executive board elections, paddingthe election in favor of the ultra-conservatives.

Response from the HRC

Campbell dismissed Williams' charge that theHRC is essentially a "Peninsula puppet."

"A lot of [the Peninsula] is conservative. It'snot surprising that they're in the RepublicanClub," Campbell said. "There's like 10 or 15people from Peninsula. That's only 10 or 15percent of the club."

The former HRC president said that the HRAcould not even qualify as a Republican clubbecause it fails to follow the Republicanplatform.

"The official position of the HRC is directlydetermined by the national platform," Campbellsaid.

"I find it hard to believe that you can callyourself a Republican if you don't even follow theRepublican platform," Campbell added.

He accused the founders of the new RepublicanAlliance of wanting to pad their resumes with thefounding of a new organization.

"When you lose an election, it's kind of niceto say for law schools that I'm president of HRA,"Campbell said. "It's kind of interesting when youlook at the membership of the club, everyone is anofficer."

"If that's not resume padding, I don't knowwhat is," Campbell added.

Scott L. Tribble '98, secretary of the HRA saidthat the HRA has approximately 80 members.

"Our exec board does not have 80 members. Ourexec board has about 10 members," Tribble said.

`Silence Tactics'

Another accusation included on the listsubmitted to The Crimson was that certain membersof the HRC had sought to silence its more moderateopponents in the organization and even went so faras to use deceit to force William Zerhouni '98,the former HRC freshman member-at-large, from theexecutive board last month.

But Zerhouni disagreed with thatcharacterization of his removal, saying he wasremoved from the board because of his differenceswith Campbell and Malone.

"I think the real reason I was kicked out was Isaid some negative things about Brad and Brian inPeninsula. I am more pro-choice, libertarian inoutlook and tolerant of homosexuals," Zerhounisaid in an interview last Wednesday.

Zerhouni said that Dickerson had informed himthat he had to leave the executive board becausehe had accumulated four unexcused absences fromexecutive board meetings.

According to Zerhouni, two of the allegedunexcused absences were legitimate, but the othertwo were "absolutely not true."

Zerhouni says that he was never informed of thetwo meetings, and he said that his roommates canattest to the fact that he never received any callfrom the board regarding the two meetings.

In a February 8 editorial for The Crimson,Zerhouni penned a criticism of the HRC entitled,"Fighting the Forces of Fascism."

In response to the editorial, the HRCthreatened legal action against The Crimson,claiming libel, but after The Crimson published aclarification, the action was dropped.

`House Divided'

The HRC has in the past experienced conflictbetween members of the far right and members whofeel HRC should embrace more of a "bigtent"Republicanism.

But Williams said that when she first joinedthe HRC upon coming to Harvard, the atmosphere ofintolerance that some say characterizes today'sclub was not prevalent.

"When I was there originally, it was inclusiveand all voices could be raised," Williams said."When the Peninsula members got involved, itbecame an exclusively ultra-conservative club."

Sarsfield said that the HRA was set up to"combat the ideological intolerance of the HRC."

Tribble explained that one of themisperceptions of the HRA is that it isexclusively moderate.

"It was kind of implied that we're a pro-choicegroup. We're pro-choice and pro-life," Tribblesaid. "We're not going to exclude members."

Tribble added that the HRC had engaged in apattern of irregular meetings since lastSeptember.

"The HRC had nothing in the Calendar of OpeningDays. I signed up at registration. I wasn'tcontacted for two months," Tribble said.

Tribble said that there have been only one ortwo meetings called during the entire year, andthe HRC had recruited "virtually no speakers."

"It all comes down to effectiveness," Tribblesaid. "A lot of them are bringing up thishouse-divided issue. Rather than have a stagnantclub that isn't doing anything, I think it's goodthat there's an effective, moderate conservativeforce at Harvard tapping into the conservativeenergy."

Tribble said that when he was calling studentsabout the HRA sponsored speech by Baker Professorof Economics Martin S. Feldstein, he discoveredthat the HRC was placing increasing pressure onits members to choose between one organization orthe other.

Tribble also said HRA members had encounteredopposition when they attended a recent HRC dinnerspeech by Thomson Professor of Government HarveyC. Mansfield '53.

"Our members were not welcomed there. They werebasically scowled at as not Republican," Tribblesaid.

Dickerson defended his organization andquestioned the motives behind the HRC's accusers.

"Everything's going very smoothly for us. It'sall speculation on their part," Dickerson said.

"Now that the club is running smoothly, theyseem to just want to stop it. It's just a smack inthe face," Dickerson added

In addition, Williams said that members of theHRC had exploited a November promotion to attractDemocrats to the organization. Following theNovember Republican election landslide victoriesin the House and Senate, Campbell offered membersof the Harvard Democrats an opportunity to jointhe HRC at five dollars, half of the normal price.

Williams said that under this cover manystudents signed on to the club who were not evenmembers of the College Democrats, and eventuallyvoted in the executive board elections, paddingthe election in favor of the ultra-conservatives.

Response from the HRC

Campbell dismissed Williams' charge that theHRC is essentially a "Peninsula puppet."

"A lot of [the Peninsula] is conservative. It'snot surprising that they're in the RepublicanClub," Campbell said. "There's like 10 or 15people from Peninsula. That's only 10 or 15percent of the club."

The former HRC president said that the HRAcould not even qualify as a Republican clubbecause it fails to follow the Republicanplatform.

"The official position of the HRC is directlydetermined by the national platform," Campbellsaid.

"I find it hard to believe that you can callyourself a Republican if you don't even follow theRepublican platform," Campbell added.

He accused the founders of the new RepublicanAlliance of wanting to pad their resumes with thefounding of a new organization.

"When you lose an election, it's kind of niceto say for law schools that I'm president of HRA,"Campbell said. "It's kind of interesting when youlook at the membership of the club, everyone is anofficer."

"If that's not resume padding, I don't knowwhat is," Campbell added.

Scott L. Tribble '98, secretary of the HRA saidthat the HRA has approximately 80 members.

"Our exec board does not have 80 members. Ourexec board has about 10 members," Tribble said.

`Silence Tactics'

Another accusation included on the listsubmitted to The Crimson was that certain membersof the HRC had sought to silence its more moderateopponents in the organization and even went so faras to use deceit to force William Zerhouni '98,the former HRC freshman member-at-large, from theexecutive board last month.

But Zerhouni disagreed with thatcharacterization of his removal, saying he wasremoved from the board because of his differenceswith Campbell and Malone.

"I think the real reason I was kicked out was Isaid some negative things about Brad and Brian inPeninsula. I am more pro-choice, libertarian inoutlook and tolerant of homosexuals," Zerhounisaid in an interview last Wednesday.

Zerhouni said that Dickerson had informed himthat he had to leave the executive board becausehe had accumulated four unexcused absences fromexecutive board meetings.

According to Zerhouni, two of the allegedunexcused absences were legitimate, but the othertwo were "absolutely not true."

Zerhouni says that he was never informed of thetwo meetings, and he said that his roommates canattest to the fact that he never received any callfrom the board regarding the two meetings.

In a February 8 editorial for The Crimson,Zerhouni penned a criticism of the HRC entitled,"Fighting the Forces of Fascism."

In response to the editorial, the HRCthreatened legal action against The Crimson,claiming libel, but after The Crimson published aclarification, the action was dropped.

`House Divided'

The HRC has in the past experienced conflictbetween members of the far right and members whofeel HRC should embrace more of a "bigtent"Republicanism.

But Williams said that when she first joinedthe HRC upon coming to Harvard, the atmosphere ofintolerance that some say characterizes today'sclub was not prevalent.

"When I was there originally, it was inclusiveand all voices could be raised," Williams said."When the Peninsula members got involved, itbecame an exclusively ultra-conservative club."

Sarsfield said that the HRA was set up to"combat the ideological intolerance of the HRC."

Tribble explained that one of themisperceptions of the HRA is that it isexclusively moderate.

"It was kind of implied that we're a pro-choicegroup. We're pro-choice and pro-life," Tribblesaid. "We're not going to exclude members."

Tribble added that the HRC had engaged in apattern of irregular meetings since lastSeptember.

"The HRC had nothing in the Calendar of OpeningDays. I signed up at registration. I wasn'tcontacted for two months," Tribble said.

Tribble said that there have been only one ortwo meetings called during the entire year, andthe HRC had recruited "virtually no speakers."

"It all comes down to effectiveness," Tribblesaid. "A lot of them are bringing up thishouse-divided issue. Rather than have a stagnantclub that isn't doing anything, I think it's goodthat there's an effective, moderate conservativeforce at Harvard tapping into the conservativeenergy."

Tribble said that when he was calling studentsabout the HRA sponsored speech by Baker Professorof Economics Martin S. Feldstein, he discoveredthat the HRC was placing increasing pressure onits members to choose between one organization orthe other.

Tribble also said HRA members had encounteredopposition when they attended a recent HRC dinnerspeech by Thomson Professor of Government HarveyC. Mansfield '53.

"Our members were not welcomed there. They werebasically scowled at as not Republican," Tribblesaid.

Dickerson defended his organization andquestioned the motives behind the HRC's accusers.

"Everything's going very smoothly for us. It'sall speculation on their part," Dickerson said.

"Now that the club is running smoothly, theyseem to just want to stop it. It's just a smack inthe face," Dickerson added

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