Students call Dean posters a hoax

by Steven Orbuch | 11/13/03 6:00am

Yesterday morning, Dartmouth students awoke to find posters -- complete with Confederate flag backgrounds -- advertising today's lecture by Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean on bulletin boards across campus. The poster, which purported to be an ad created by the Dean campaign on campus, was a hoax and neither Generation Dean nor the Young Democrats was involved in its creation, according to Young Democrats President Paul Heintz '06.

"Whoever is doing this is engaging in the most negative form of campaigning imaginable or participating in the most awful sort of prank," Heintz said.

Heintz said that he found out about the posters early Wednesday morning via blitzmail. Heintz also said that he is particularly concerned that many students actually think that the flyers were made by either the Young Democrats or Generation Dean.

"I actually got a blitz to the Young Democrats account saying that they were offended by the posters that we put up," Heintz said.

Though the posters had a visible presence throughout campus, Heintz said that he was uncertain as to how many of these posters were actually distributed.

He said, however, that he is almost sure that most of them have been taken down because he blitzed the presidential candidate campaign managers on campus asking them to remove any of the posters that they saw.

According to Heintz, campaign managers have informed him that they had located and removed the Confederate flag posters in locations such as Novack Caf, Baker and Berry Libraries and a handful of dormitories.

Cayelan Carey '06 of Generation Dean said that she thinks that the poster issue has been drastically blown out of proportion. She said that she doubts that the poster will have a negative impact on Dean support. "If someone stops and sees the sign then they might be confused if they are not familiar with the campaign," Carey said.

Carey said that the premise of there actually being a Confederate flag on a Dean campaign poster is essentially a joke.

According to Carey, if one were to actually sit down and read the speech by Dean which the flag is poking fun at they would understand that the accusations implied by use of a Confederate flag on the posters are completely false.

Most people who were aware of the Dean poster hoax said that they consider it to be an gross affront to Generation Dean and the Young Democrats.

Bush campaign representative and Dartmouth Review Publisher Michael Ellis '06 said that the poster was unethical even though he thought the Confederate backdrop was a clever way to critique Dean's recent "demeaning comments about southerners," because it falsely represented Generation Dean as its creator. "It is wrong to put someone's name on something that they did not sponsor," Ellis said.

Greg Klein '04 of Generation Dean also said that he was troubled by the fact that someone tried to pass off the posters as an actual Dean advertisement. However, Klein said that he was not worried that the posters may have been meant to insult his student group.

"This posters speaks more of the person who created it than of whom it is directed at," Klein said.