A political campaign opposing California's Proposition 37 has landed in hot water with Stanford University after the university said a political advertisement and campaign literature violated its policies.
The political ad features Dr. Henry Miller, a research fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and a spokesman for the "No On 37" campaign. In the ad, Miller is on campus speaking against the proposition, which would require genetically altered plant and animal products to be labeled as such.
Both the ad and mailers sent by the campaign identify Miller as "M.D., Stanford University."
University spokeswoman Lisa Lapin said the ad violated university policy because it was shot on campus without the university's permission, it appeared to identify Miller as a physician at Stanford rather than a research fellow and because the ad could have been interpreted to show Stanford as having a position on the issue.
"Stanford doesn't take political positions, but individuals are allowed to," she said. "As a nonprofit educational institution, we don't take a position on candidates or ballot measures, and we don't approve of any advertising that gives impression that Stanford has a position or is giving support to an issue."
Stanford ordered the television ad to be reshot off campus and to have the misidentification corrected in the ad and campaign mailers, although some of the mailers had already been sent out.
In a press release, the "Yes on 37" campaign stated that the misidentification of Miller also appeared in a brochure, but Lapin said she was not aware of any other appearance.