Saturday, September 12, 2009 Comes to Town

Some guy named Micheal Balsam put up a table and tent the other day in front of the HUB and video taped his efforts to sign up students for a firearms club (h/t Andy at Onward State). His show was shutdown by  campus authorities, which,  of course, he video taped.  He posts  some of this  video to YouTube with a complaint about his first amendment rights being abridged.  I love Andy's response to Balsam's whining over at Onward States.
You’re allowed to yell and hold signs, but setting up structures on private university property is illegal.  Otherwise, the Willard Preacher would preach from a replica of Noah’s Ark.
There are two other videos on his YouTube channel. One is also shot in front of the HUB with him doing the same schtick over abortion and another was shot at  Slippery Rock University.

Balsam doesn't show up in the Penn State student directory or the local phone directory.  So who the hell is he and why is stirring things up here in Happy Valley?

A clue can be found on his YouTube channel. One of the four subscribers to his channel  is  is a new social networking site for college conservatives affiliated with The Leadership Institute,  an old school inside the beltway outfit which trains conservative hacks. Its founder,  Morton Blackwell,   is close to the center of the web known as the vast right wing conspiracy, with  roots going  back to Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign.  Blackwell  got his start in politics with the College Republicans and  as Franklin Foer reported in the New Republic a few years ago, "Republicans learn their dirty tricks from practicing on one another," as College Republicans.

The mission statement of begins is designed to provide conservative activists with the resources, networking capabilities, and skills they need to revolutionize the struggle against leftist bias and abuse on college campuses.
It has pages set up for colleges across the nation where students can report on sordid   "left wing" stuff going on at their schools.

Balsam, the non-Penn Stater,  has an account at  under the Penn State Main Campus page,  but he isn't just some dimwitted schmuck inspired by the Teabaggers that happened to sign up.

Balsam is a Leadership Institute Field Representative, also known as an outside agitator.

It should come as no surprise that he also has an account on the Slippery Rock page and I'm sure on other Pennsylvania college pages as well. I'm not going to waste my time digging down that hole.

Other than snitching on campus leftists, has a whole lot of suggestions for budding Karl Roves. Here's one that any Penn Stater with a bit of historical memory will get a chuckle out of.
Do liberal activists control your student government? How many hundreds of thousands of dollars have these leftist sucked from your student fees? Do the student government officials claim to speak for the entire campus community as they force the advancement of their leftist ideology? It’s time to fight back! Regain control of your student government! The Leadership Institute will teach you how.
The last time the College Republicans took control of student government at Penn State things didn't work out too well for them.
Pictures posted on the personal Web site of College Republicans chair Brian Battaglia spurred a strong response from student groups and university officials yesterday, with some calling for his resignation.

The photographs, taken at a private Halloween party at Battaglia's apartment, show multiple students in what Battaglia called "controversial or politically charged costumes," which included portrayals of Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Vice President Takkeem Morgan, an "oversodomized frat pledge," "sorostitutes," a "liberal hippie" and a member of the Ku Klux Klan.


..Battaglia called unrelated reasons, he resigned as a USG town senator early Wednesday morning, before these events transpired..
The bottom line is that is a new organization, but it has  a deep pocketed, well connected, smooth patron in Morton Blackwell. While it has superficial resemblances to a  clownish David Horowitz operation, Blackwell's track record suggests that has the potential to be far more dangerous.

We on the left should be prepared to go head to head with  before it grows too strong.

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Amanda said...

I really believe you are piecing all this together. I think you should look further into the "vast right-wing conspiracy" and write another blog. People will then look to you for guidance on how to tackle these problems that are Campus Reform and Morton Blackwell.

Chris said...

Or perhaps you could drop the whole "us vs. them" mentality and realize that some conservative ideas may actually be right. I, for one, am sick of both sides. Your blog post reeks of bias, though Campus Reform's antics don't do much to help his case, either.

Lastly, since this is a leftist site, I merely want to say that good intentions are no substitute for a working system. Fiscal conservativism generally makes the most sense until our nation gets a whole lot smarter, but right now, we're too stupid to elect people who actually know what they're doing.