The Alaska Democratic Party (ADP) this morning accused Republican Mat-Su State House candidate David Eastman of lying in his submission to the state’s Official Election Pamphlet (OEP) about having attended the University of Oxford as a graduate fellow.
According to Alaska Democrats, Oxford officials deny Eastman ever attended their institution and they say the “Graduate Fellow ” title “is not a phrase we recognise.”
We have asked Eastman for his response to the charge, but have not yet heard from him. To be fair, we only asked about 20 minutes ago. We will post his respond if he offers one.
UPDATE — Alaska Republican Party (ARP) Chairman Tuckerman Babcock contacted us this afternoon to respond to the ADP’s charges against Mr. Eastman. He said, “since it was the Democratic Party speaking, it’s the Republican Party speaking back.” That was a pretty good bit of strategy on the ARP’s part to respond to the charge while keeping Eastman himself out of the fracas.
In response to the charges themselves Babcock said, “Anyone who knows how the English university systems operate would know how funny that is. The reality is, if you go to summitoxford.org, you will see exactly the fellowship program David Eastman participated in.” Babcock continued, “David’s fellowship program was for one term, August-December 2009.”
The link Babcock refers to does show an academic program generally in line with what Eastman described in the OEP. Since neither the ADP or ARP have put forward any documentation from the University of Oxford, we don’t know what educational programs Mr. Eastman did or did not complete there.
Even if this resume padding charge turns out to be true, it is hard to see it swaying the outcome of the general election on November 8th. Eastman is running for the District 10 seat, which takes in some of the most staunch and reliable conservative areas of the state including Houston, Willow, Western Mat-Su, and the areas of Greater Wasilla lying north of the city limits. A Republican victory here is as certain as almost anything in Alaska politics.
Here is the Alaska Democratic Party’s full press release detailing their accusation:
Republican House Candidate Lies in Official Election Materials
David Eastman caught lying about academic background
ANCHORAGE: Republican candidate for State House, David Eastman, has falsified his Official Election Pamphlet resume.
In the Official Election Pamphlet — and elsewhere — Eastman claims to have been a “University of Oxford, Graduate Fellow,” a claim denied by the University. The University of Oxford has no record of David Eastman ever attending.
“It’s disappointing that a candidate for public office would exaggerate and inflate his educational credentials,” said Party Executive Director Kay Brown. “If he lies about his qualifications in official state election materials, how can voters trust him?”
Eastman has claimed several times that he attended the University of Oxford as a “Graduate Fellow,” a title that the University points out “is not a phrase we recognise.” His submissions in the 2012 and 2016 Official Election Pamphlet (OEP) contained this same false information claiming he attended the prestigious university. His website links to the misleading 2016 OEP.
The University of Oxford Information Office disputed Eastman’s claim in an October 12 email, writing: “we can find no record to indicate that a Mr. David Eastman attended the University of Oxford as an undergraduate or postgraduate student or attended any non-degree courses offered by the Department of Continuing Education.”
The State of Alaska’s Official Election Pamphlet, in which candidates may purchase space to tell voters about themselves, is mailed to every household with a registered voter and is offered in English, Alaskan Native languages, Spanish, and Tagalog. The OEP is also posted on the division’s website.
Eastman is a Republican candidate running against Patricia Faye-Brazel to represent House District 10, which stretches from Wasilla to Talkeetna and beyond.