Friday, February 01, 2008

Professorgate: Interest in Resume of 10th Congressional Candidate Dan Seals Widens

Two years ago, 10th District Congressional candidate, Dan Seals, was a darling of the “Act Blue” crowd, who couldn’t line up fast enough to send out-of-state money to an out-of-district candidate who, by any historic measure of past local election results, was trounced decisively at the polls in November, 2006. Following his loss, Seals never really stopped running as a candidate, and lately has come under fire for padding a resume which is suitable for a downstate representative, but thin for a Congressman.

Since Seals campaign has a history of national interest, it’s no surprise that the issue of Seals describing himself as a “professor” is being discussed around the country. Yesterday we weighed in with a “Professorgate” post, and today the Team America blog has a round up of who is discussing the teaching issue swirling around Seals. In addition, today’s Daily Herald takes off the gloves. According to the Herald,

"Seals doesn't begin his position as a part-time School of Continuing Studies lecturer until April, a Northwestern spokesman said. Shrugging it off as a miscue, Seals has started calling himself a lecturer in public forums, though as of Tuesday afternoon, his Web site still listed him as an adjunct professor.

'What it might show is I don't know what the proper terms are," said Seals, 36. "The idea that I'm trying to mislead or be deceitful is baseless.' "

Thin as Seals’ resume may be for a job in Congress, we would note that Seals major life pursuit to date—other than running for Congress—is gathering up degrees from prestigious educational institutions. Nevertheless, Seals seems to be lacking the skill to perceive the differences in teaching academia mastered by most college freshmen. We would submit that Seals—who has been the recipient of an education most 10th district parents only dream of for their children—has, in the words of lawyer Team America, “an issue of his veracity and credibility.”

Truth and believability are important issues in any campaign. According to the Herald, John Jackson, a political scientist and visiting professor at Southern Illinois University's prestigious Paul Simon Institute, said "[T]hat while all politicians exaggerate, they must be careful not to cross a line in campaign materials, interviews or at public events. 'It's a job application,' Jackson said. '"And you're not supposed to lie on your job application about what your credentials are.' "

Trouble for Seals, for sure, but it is a problem of his own making. If Seals had been honest and upfront with the voters from the beginning, he would never have had this problem.



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