Trustee Stephen Smith denies that he “bought” the election

In a recent issue of the Daily Dartmouth, Mr. Smith denies the charge that he “bought” the most recent trustee election.

The leading charge is that I essentially “bought” the election. The amount I purportedly spent keeps going up, but the current claim is that I spent “as much as $200,000.”

With all due respect, claims that I “bought” the election are not only absurd but insulting to alumni. As I told the Associated Press last month, I spent approximately $75,000 — the same amount Sandy Alderson reported spending. Almost half of what I spent went to gathering signatures because, unlike my opponents, my place on the ballot was not guaranteed.

From start to finish, I spent money only on four items: letters to alumni, a website, ads in College media and a trip to Hanover. Although I am flattered by the unintended compliment, I used no public relations or political consultants to prepare my campaign materials, as some have speculated. (Evidently, the Dartmouth Writing and Composition Center knew what it was doing when it named me a “proficient writer” as a sophomore!)

I personally wrote my two alumni-wide letters (which cost $32,000 each), my thank-you letter to alumni who petitioned to get me on the ballot (which cost $5,000), and the content on my website (which a computer whiz-kid from Ohio designed for me for $1,600). My two print ads cost $3,900. I traveled to Hanover via Jet Blue ($125) and a rental car from Boston ($200), spending the night at my fraternity after a late night of pong (priceless).

Seen in light of the facts, claims that I outspent the field may soothe bruised egos, but they just are not true.

Truth be told, I was badly outspent because the administration spent lavishly to defeat me.