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Law professor launches truth in politics campaign

September 7, 2018

Hot on the heels of Rudy Giuliani’s assertion Sunday on Meet the Press that “Truth isn’t truth,” a Duquesne University law professor is mounting his own campaign for truth in politics on a highway billboard.

Law Professor Bruce Ledewitz said he’s so disturbed by the direction politics has been taking that he dipped into his own pocket to underwrite a billboard on Interstate 86 near Erie with the banner “Tax Cuts Threaten Social Security.”

He isn’t battling to preserve Social Security. Rather, Ledewitz wants to focus on the lies politicians tell to justify their votes.

“Democrats and Republicans both lie to the voters,” Ledewitz said. “When they had power, Democrats told us we could keep our doctors and medical plans under Obamcare. Now the Republicans tell us that tax cuts pay for themselves. If tax cuts really paid for themselves, the tax rate would be 1%.”

He said he chose the location about four miles south of the New York border because the congressional district that voted for Obama twice before flipping to Donald Trump seemed an ideal spot to spark the conversation about truth in politics.

“It’s not true that politicians have always told bald-faced lies. It’s not true. Politicians always exaggerate. They always minimize their failures, but politicians did not used to lie about the obvious affects of their politics,” Ledewitz said.

The timing of Ledewitz’s billboard with Giuliani’s comment Sunday that “Truth isn’t truth,” during an exchange with Chuck Todd was coincidental, Ledewitz said.

The law professor, said he can empathize with President Trump’s lawyer, noting that truth indeed can seem fluid when a prosecutor begins questioning a witness.

#giveusthetruth, from the song by the rapper, Flame, is the logo for this campaign.

Ledewitz said it is part of a broader campaign Duquesne University has launched called the Truth-Justice-Democracy Initiative to heal American public life.

It includes a Kickstarter fundraiser for the Bends Toward Justice Podcast Series. The podcast series highlights Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s teaching that the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice, in an effort to improve the tone of American politics.

Ledewitz also hopes to launch a bi-partisan caucus of law professors, an army ready to cross party lines and denounce political falsehoods perpetrated by their own member.

“We’re talking about Republicans who would denounce gerrymandering and Democrats who would denounce partisan impeachment,” Ledewitz said.

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