Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Professor" Dan Seals Criticized by Real Professors for His Northwestern Professorship Claim (UPDATED)

The Daily Herald ran a story today (finally) investigating the claims of Dan Seals that he is a "current" adjunct professor at Northwestern University. As regular TA readers know well, this space has been extremely critical of Seals' claims since last October that he is a "current" adjunct professor.

As the article sets up the issue, "In the 10th Congressional District's Democratic primary campaign, candidate Dan Seals of Wilmette has touted his position as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. But he doesn't start that job until April. Are these guys [Seals and other candidates mentioned in the article] stretching the truth? Or are they outright lying?"

The issue is not only whether teaching a single night school class qualifies one to call one's self a "professor" (even an adjunct), but much more importantly, whether a prospective intention to teach at a school some many months down the road is something that a candidate for federal office should be claiming as a "current" credential, more than six months before he actually gains the teaching experience that he is seeking to leverage as a campaign selling point. For the whole backstory, see here and here.

The Herald article gives an analysis by Kent Redfield, a political science professor at the University of Illinois' Springfield campus, and John Jackson, a political scientist and visiting professor at Southern Illinois University's Paul Simon Institute (two REAL professors).

In the article, Professor Redfield said flagrant misstatements or resume-puffing can be costly to candidates at the ballot box. He said voters are more likely to look in that direction than toward candidates' positions on the issues. "They understand about people telling the truth," Redfield said of voters. "If it turns out you fudged on some things, that becomes the issue."

As to the investigation of Seals' claims specifically, the article finds:


Seals, running against 42-year-old Jay Footlik of Buffalo Grove in the 10th Congressional District, at one time said he was an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. But 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."

Jackson said the difference between a lecturer and visiting professor isn't great, but Seals should have known better considering this is his second run for Congress. He added Seals should have been clearer about when his employment began at Northwestern.



So, as TA has stated for some months now, the issue ought to be before the voters as to whether Seals' claim gives them pause as to Seals' veracity and character. And, if Seals is making these kind of "miscues" during the campaign, what does that say about his capacity to hold high public office?

Simply shrugging off the issue may work for the primary, if Seals can hold on to his apparent lead. But even if the voters don't catch on in time to give Seals serious heartburn in the primary election, there are many months before the general election to give everyone a chance to really reflect on this issue and what it says about Dan Seals as a candidate.

Professor Jackson sums up the issue pretty well in the article: 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."


NEWS UPDATE: Bad News Seems to Come Daily for Terry Link: Today, a News-Sun columnist picks up on Lake County GOP Chairman Dan "The Bulldog" Venturi's call to the Illinois State Board of Elections to investigate the reason why State Senator Terry Link's campaign disclosures did not include payments to some individuals who were identified as having been paid for collecting signatures. Read the recent GOP press release here.


UPDATED 01.30.08: More Mainstream Media Attention on Professor-gate: Today, as pointed out by one of our commentors, the Pioneer Press picked up on the Seals "professor" claim. Read all about it here.

After we challenged the MSM last week to pick up this story (which we first discussed even prior to January 5th), the prize for breaking the story goes to the Daily Herald, as noted above, but we commend Pioneer for also running with the story and we note that Pioneer is a weekly, not a daily. Pioneer also took a cue from the JTA Blog, which TA noted a while back had posted a story on Jan. 16th with statements from Jay Footlik's campaign on the issue, and Pioneer also interviewed Footlik's campaign manager for a statement.

Speaking of the Herald, there was also a Letter to the Editor in today's edition that picked up on the professor scandal. Read the letter here.



27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let's ask Jay about this one:

LEWINSKY recalled one time when LEWINSKY and JAY FOOTLIK went to the Oval Office so LEWINSKY could deliver a tie to CLINTON. LEWINSKY and FOOTLIK bumped into GOODIN outside BETTY CURRIE's office and the three sang a parody of the song "You don't bring me flowers."

Team America said...

Excuse me, Anon 9:16, but you're WAY off topic. We'll worry about Lewinsky if Hillary gets the nomination; today we're talking about "Professor" Seals.

If you absolutely have to talk about issues with Jay Footlik, head over to Ellen of the Tenth, she is always happy to entertain slams on Footlik, no matter what the topic of the day is.

Anonymous said...

I love when the Seals people bring up Lewinsky. She has more federal policymaking experience than Dan Seals. If only she lived in the 9th district so she could run for congress in the 10th district of Illinois.

Team America said...

Yes, if bringing up Monica Lewinsky is the best the Seals camp can do to misdirect attention from Professor-gate, now that it's finally broken in the MSM, they are in very big trouble indeed.

Anonymous said...

Professor Jackson joins you, TA, in stating the obvious: if you lie on your resume, what else about you is also not truthful. That's been your issue all along. The Daily Herald story is just the beginning of the unraveling of this latest chapter in the Dan Seal's "employment" saga. In today's world I don't know of a company that would hire someone who was untruthful on one's resume and work history. Dan Seals should have been upfront and honest and said that he WILL be working part time in the Continuing Education Division at NU, teaching 10 classes. He didn't do that. His lame excuse in the Daily Herald article continues to tarnish his image.

Team America said...

Right on, Anon 9:25. Except I think you meant a "10 hour class", not 10 classes! ;-)

i could be potus said...

Does anyone know the longest period of time Seals has ever held a job? Seals supporters, please chime in on this one. It seems to me, one's professional job history and crudentials are certainly relevant in an election.

I seem to recall somone previously posting that if elected to Congress, it would be the first time The Pup will have had the same job for two years.

If true, that seems pretty pathetic for someone who wants to be a US Congressman.

Rob_N said...

Anonymous,

Prof. Jackson was talking about a completely different candidate running to replace Aaron Schock's State House seat....

--

TA,

In reading the article, the professors quoted offer quite benign statements regarding Seals. In fact, the only thing the Herald reports on the subject is: "[SIU Prof. John] Jackson said the difference between a lecturer and visiting professor isn't great, but Seals should have known better considering this is his second run for Congress. He added Seals should have been clearer about when his employment began at Northwestern."

Further, neither of these profs quoted is at Northwestern, where Dan Seals is.

...Yet again, you're trying to make up an issue out of thin air. So be it.

Team America said...

Rob_N, you do a commendable job as an apologist for Seals, but I suggest you open your ears and listen. That's the sound of the thin ice cracking around you.

Say what you will, it's not just loony TA making this case anymore, it's a lot of other people. Seals is going to be held accountable for his misrepresentations, and it will be by the voters, not us pundits.

Anonymous said...

Rob_n, get a grip on reality. Your guy is simply not truthful, period, end of the story. It IS an issue when someone is applying for a position, whether in industry or even better, to represent us in the US Congress that he is honest about everything. Dan Seals has never taught at Northwestern University. To say that he IS teaching is simply not true. Deal with that fact. The fact that Dan Seals hasn't worked since he was not welcomed back to GE after his defeat in 06 also needs clarification. This guy simply doesn't hold onto a job. What he does hold onto is running for office on a daily basis. That's his job. So deal with it, Rob-n.....and stay on the issue.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Footlik has gone Negative!

Herb G said...

Go Jay - finally the gloves off.

Anonymous said...

Seals is a slick protege of Jan and the chicago cloutsters that have driven this state into the gutter in 6 years and wanted us to cede Iraq to Al-Qaeda. He's absolutely covering up that his job right now is running for Congress and given all the corruption in chicago and the fact he's getting his campaign money from lobbyists downtown I am VERY VERY concerned about his lying and dirty tricks with his resume. The guy has already said he will vote to get rid of the taxes and as Republicans Kirk is our last and I mean last chance at having any sort of sane representation anywhere.

If the Daily Herald or Tribune or Sun-Times had any reporters with balls or lets say a use for their job other than following up on the Mayor's latest press release they would take a long hard look at Dan's finances the last few years and ask how the fuck someone could afford to run for Congress for 4 years living on the north shore, this isn't some middle class house in oak park mind you, and not have a white collar job.

Someone's getting an awfully big chit for feeding his family so he can gain a seat in Congress and we have a right to know who he's REALLY going to represent in congress.

I really wish Mark fought as hard as Rahm on going negative because we could end this guy and I am worried he's going to be too soft or that we dont know how to get tough.

Anonymous said...

TA. hey take a look at Anon 7:54.
Finally, someone gave MS. Shrill a piece of their mind. I love it.
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=5663711&postID=6406467715080220899

Anonymous said...

I looked at Seals "resume" today on this site. It's pretty commical. Someone should investigate further. In his big claims to government experience, he mentions several "fellowships." Someone should investigate and make sure these fellowships aren't actually internships. He talks about "working in the Senate" as if he were a Senator or some person of lofty position. He claims to be a consultant one day and then he's a professor the next. He kind of seems like a con artist trying to B.S. his way into an election. He reminds me of "Professor" Harold Hill in the MUSIC MAN trying to con a whole community into believing he's something that he's not. He's going to find out that the citizens of this district aren't a bunch or rubes and don't like being lied to. I'm outraged and insulted that this wanna-be thinks we're so stupid. I think we should a new trend among citizens of the 10th District, and start mockingly referring to Dan Seals as "Professor" Seals...air quote are encouraged.

Anonymous said...

By now Alan Cubbage and the Northwestern PR team must realize something is wrong. When will we see action to protect the university from losing its IRS status?

Scott said...

Pioneer Press picked up the issue this morning (http://www.pioneerlocal.com/libertyville/news/768724,li-sealsresume-013108-s1.article).

Anonymous said...

Now the mainline media has learned that Dan Seals is misleading reporters about his resume.

Anonymous said...

a presidential management fellow is an intern. Dan got coffee for senator lieberman and commerce is such a joke-it's where they stick major donors kids who have b.a.'s from second tier schools and get wasted in georgetown before getting an mba and going to run one of dad's companies.

This teaching thing is a joke, and someone really ought to call on dan to release his taxes which would show what he does for a living, where he lives, who's been paying him for 3.5 years while he's run for congress and who he owes chits to on votes. Would also show what he did with that campaign cash he used for personal expenses which is a definite no-no.

Dan, show you are an honest man and release your taxes!

would also show footlik's a dirty lobbyist.

Anonymous said...

Where did Seals work in the Senate? He served as a fellow in Lieberman's office -- the man who's the leader for escalating war in Iraq!!!!

Dan Seals -- come clean about working for Joe Lieberman

i am sparticus said...

TA,

Just to clarify this idea that a "fellow" is bigger than an intern, you need to put yourself in the shoes of a congressional office.

You are a senator or congressman. You will be there for 6 or 2 years. Someone who rolls in for 3 months cannot be given real responsibility in any part of your work -- because your re-election would hinge on it. You need to give real work to the people who will be there all year round.

Fellows get to do research for the real staff. That's a fact. Mark Kirk was chief of staff to a congressman. He worked for him for like 5 years. He did real work then -- oh and by the way he's done real work for almost 8 years as a CONGRESSMAN.

Sparty

i am sparticus said...

TA,

Just to clarify this idea that a "fellow" is bigger than an intern, you need to put yourself in the shoes of a congressional office.

You are a senator or congressman. You will be there for 6 or 2 years. Someone who rolls in for 3 months cannot be given real responsibility in any part of your work -- because your re-election would hinge on it. You need to give real work to the people who will be there all year round.

Fellows get to do research for the real staff. That's a fact. Mark Kirk was chief of staff to a congressman. He worked for him for like 5 years. He did real work then -- oh and by the way he's done real work for almost 8 years as a CONGRESSMAN.

Sparty

Anonymous said...

BREAKING: TRIBUNE PICKS UP PROFESSORGATE!

http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/clout_st/2008/01/web-site-descri.html

Anonymous said...

Keep the story alive-he's not been a professor-how can he afford to live in Wilmette without a job?


RELEASE YOUR TAXES!

The tribune took out Jack Ryan over a sex club-they read the finances of garbagemen on the southwest side-they owe it to us to see what Also-Ran Dan 's been up to and who he owes for his free ride.

Releas your taxes!

Anonymous said...

http://directory.northwestern.edu/index.cgi

Anybody can search for Daniel Seals here. He doesn't exist!

Anonymous said...

Let's poke the crap out of Dan Seal's Facebook profile until he comes clean on all this. http://hs.facebook.com/poke.php?id=500032108

Yes, it's childish. All the more fun ...

i could be potus said...

Hey Pup,
Before we get to the tax return issue, and we will get to the tax return issue, how about posting a complete, updated copy of your resume, with dates, showing all the jobs you've held for the past 10 years? You certainly have a copy at your finger-tips, you had to give it to NU to get a partime night job. Why not put a copy on your website for the voters of the 10th District to see?

Note to Pup supporters, these are just facts we're asking about. If your guy is affraid to show his resume, kinda makes you wonder if he's affraid of the facts doesn't it?

(For the rest of the folks, I know we would all like to see this happen, but don't hold your breath. It would once and for all expose the inflated persona and bloated resume that makes up a "business consultant," I mean "a professor," I mean "an adjunct professor," I mean "a lecturer"...aw crap, I don't know what the guy does, so let's just stick with "The Pup.")