Bill Johnson at Youngstown State
Last Friday, the soon-to-be president of Youngstown State University, Representative Bill Johnson, held a press conference about his appointment. Yesterday, the Wheeling Intelligencer carried a report of the conference filed by Ogden’s Youngstown Vindicator reporter, David Skolnick.
The news conference included several issues. Among them was Johnson’s stance on the results of the 2020 presidential election. Was Johnson, in his statements and votes, an election denier? Here, for example, is a graphic from the New York Times’ coverage of the critical vote on January 7, 2021:
But this was Johnson’s response at the conference:
On Friday Johnson said he is not an “election denier,” and recognizes Democrat Joe Biden as the president, but still maintains there were irregularities committed in Pennsylvania by its secretary of state.
Note what Johnson did in his response: he “recognizes” that Biden is president but does not address the more important implications of the "election denier" question being raised -- who won the election and was the election conducted fairly? This was a chance for Johnson to easily put all the “election denier” charges to rest by simply stating “I believe Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election.” Instead, Johnson pivoted to the election-denier's mantra: “irregularities.” (I could be wrong, but I doubt that any of the reporters suggested to Johnson that his “irregularities,” including his Pennsylvania example, have long since been disproven.)
Here is more weaseling by Johnson:
As for the more than $1.3 million Johnson has in his campaign fund, he said, “I’ve got to get with the clerk of the House to see legally what I can and cannot do. The extent I can use that to help Youngstown State and the Mahoning Valley and the region (I’ll do), but I have political expenses to wrap up.”
What a great guy! Johnson is going to see if some of his million-plus campaign funds can be applied locally. Yeah, right. Johnson has served in the House since 2011 and I’m sure he knows that this sort of action is not permitted. It doesn’t matter; it sure looks like he cares about Youngstown State and the region. And that, for Ogden, is all that matters.
E. Gordon Gee and West Virginia University
Here is an excellent article on what WVU’s president and the Republican legislation have done to the state’s flagship university:
From the article:
West Virginia’s Democrat turned Republican governor and GOP legislators have played their role in WVU’s sad drama, pointedly declining to share a penny of the state’s $1.8 billion surplus with their flagship campus. Yet this isn’t just a MAGA morality tale. Gee has waved off talk of lobbying for more state cash as a salvation for the university.
Since summer, there have been several excellent articles about the problems at WVU. (I referenced some of them here.) This is easily one of the best. If you care about the future of higher education in West Virginia, this is a must read.