Warning: This is certifiably nuts: A conservative student group with Turning Point USA was approached by a professor at the University of Houston Clear Lake and accused of “probably receiving Russian funding.”
Dr. Michael LaMontagne then leveled charges at the chapter that they were taking funds from the Kremlin. He is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology with the College of Science and Engineering. He was caught on video obtained by Campus Reform doing so. “You are probably receiving Russian funding,” the professor told the students.
He was then informed by the students that the chapter is part of a non-profit educational organization and does not receive financial support from Moscow, but the professor continued to question the goals of the group.
“You are non-profit, but who is profiting from this?” he said. “I am educating you that this group here is advocating against the very institution that it’s existing in — public education, higher education, federal funding for research — is advocating against national [organizations] like NASA…” He seemed to be specifically upset that the group supports the privatization of NASA through other independent groups such as Elon Musk’s Space X program. One of the conservative students pointed out that the group also supports gun rights and the Second Amendment. The professor replied by stating, “at least you have the balls to show what you stand for.” Professor or not, I don’t think this guy is all there.
When the students countered the professor’s arguments by asking him about waste in higher education, he shot back that there was almost no waste in it, “I know exactly. I am involved with it. I look at the budget — it’s very little,” he said. “You know where the biggest waste is? It’s in the military budget. Compared to everything else, it’s the largest area, which I am not advocating against.” That is a standard liberal talking point and right on cue.
Kristy Ybarra, a student who was working a table for the group, said that the professor began the confrontation by pointing to TPUSA’s “big government sucks” sign and accused the students of not supporting the military since it makes up a large portion of the federal government. Which is a straw man argument. You can be for smaller government, less spending and still be for a strong military. Ybarra added that the professor also accused the group of being anti-NASA since conservatives frequently argue that the organization should be funded through the private sector. Which it should be. It would be more innovative that way.
At one point in the video, LaMontagne weighed in on the issue of gun control and gun violence, stating that he does not support the Second Amendment “if it involved shooting kids in schools.” That’s just it, the Second Amendment allows teachers to protect kids. Killers will get guns to kill if they are determined to do so, whether it is legal or not. Teachers should be allowed the option to train and conceal carry so they can protect their students. There should also be armed security on patrol.
Immediately after that, the professor asked about the AR-17, an exotic shotgun that he apparently had confused with the AR-15. Which is understandable, considering he has no idea what he is talking about. “What percentage of discharges of an AR-17 have been used is self defense?” he demanded, at which point he was informed that the AR-17 was a weapon sold only briefly during the 1960’s. “I’ve looked into this… and what we know for sure is that if guns were the solution to violence, we would have none in this country,” he said. No, if we were allowed to carry as the Second Amendment says we can, there would be far less violence in this country, but it will never entirely go away. And if progressives get their way, it will get much worse.
Campus Reform interviewed LaMontagne. He would not defend his claim about Russian funding, saying he was merely arguing that political organizations should make their donors public. Right. “First of all, I was unaware that I was being recorded,” he said. “I believe that’s a violation of my privacy.” No, you were in a public forum and you had no such expectation of privacy there. When specifically asked if he still believes that the student organization is sponsored by the Russian government, LaMontagne said that he has “no idea, because I don’t know who funds Turning Point.”
“I didn’t make that claim in the public forum; I’m not stating that. I am debating that, but I am not stating that,” the professor reiterated. “No, I am not claiming it. I am claiming that a campus organization that is presenting a political viewpoint has to make their donors public.” You mean like the hundreds of liberal campus groups who don’t?
When pressed again about his comments in the video, LaMontagne said he is “not a political investigator,” adding that the sources of funding “should be investigated by groups like you or by appropriate authorities life the Federal Election Commission.” Either donors to all groups should be made public or they should be able to donate in private. But if you apply it to one group, then you had better apply it to all of them. That would be very illuminating on the left side of things.