Commentary Magazine


Topic: Florida Leadership Council

The Al-Arian Connection

Tom Campbell is struggling to explain his association with Sami Al-Arian, a convicted terrorist from whom he accepted campaign money and who he defended when Al-Arian was canned by the University of South Florida. (Both these actions occurred before Al-Arian’s conviction.) He’s not the only politician who has struggled with this. In 2004 Betty Castor ran for the Senate in Florida. Her tenure as president of  that same university and her handling of Al-Arian made for campaign fodder. An ad taken out by a group, the Florida Leadership Council, attacked her thusly:

With just a tweak here or there, one can imagine that Campbell’s opponents will have a similar line of attack, as he took Al-Arian’s money and went the extra mile to write a letter in support of him, the latter in the name of “academic freedom,” you see.

Tom Campbell is struggling to explain his association with Sami Al-Arian, a convicted terrorist from whom he accepted campaign money and who he defended when Al-Arian was canned by the University of South Florida. (Both these actions occurred before Al-Arian’s conviction.) He’s not the only politician who has struggled with this. In 2004 Betty Castor ran for the Senate in Florida. Her tenure as president of  that same university and her handling of Al-Arian made for campaign fodder. An ad taken out by a group, the Florida Leadership Council, attacked her thusly:

With just a tweak here or there, one can imagine that Campbell’s opponents will have a similar line of attack, as he took Al-Arian’s money and went the extra mile to write a letter in support of him, the latter in the name of “academic freedom,” you see.

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