Gubernatorial banner causes flap at MU fraternity

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | 5:31 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — A fraternity at MU is removing a Republican campaign banner after concerns were raised by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's communications director.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence hung a banner last week on a house being built for Beta Theta Pi, where Spence is an alumnus.

Fraternity chapter counselor Jason Swindle said he got a phone call the next day from the fraternity's national office saying Nixon aide Sam Murphey had expressed concern the banner might jeopardize the nonprofit status of a fraternity foundation.

Murphey declined Wednesday to comment to The Associated Press about any actions he took.

Bill Toalson, a Beta representative on the construction site, said the banner was taken down because some alumni had reservations about favoring one candidate over another.

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Steve Spellman May 23, 2012 | 9:21 p.m.

No free speech zone.
If the action by Nixon's office is true, that's dirty.

At the same time, what would have been the action if it had been a "Re-elect Jay Nixon" banner?

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