A Long-Deserved Tribute to Joseph Asch: Dartmouth Old Boy, Obsessive, Candidate(?), Alleged Fraudster(??), Accused Racist(???)
Joseph Asch, a member of the Dartmouth class of 1979, and perhaps best known for his involvement with the Dartmouth blog “Dartblog” recently wrote his “last post.” In lieu of seeing him go, IvyGate would like to a pay a tribute to the man, the mystery, the sensation that is Joseph Asch.
Joseph Asch is mister Dartmouth. This man seriously loves Dartmouth… After graduating in 1979, he went to Yale Law School and — according to his profile on the Dartblog, which publishes posts almost exclusively by Mr. Asch — he founded a few companies, lived in Paris for a while, then moved to Hanover. And, um, since the early 1990s he has been auditing classes at Dartmouth college. He also
“speaks French and Italian fluently, is fond of good wine and his wife’s excellent cooking, and has a passion for history. Each spring he experiences a curious fascination for the music of Mick Jagger.“
Douchey? We’re not sure.
Anyway… So, Joe Dartmouth, as he will henceforth be referred, started blogging on the Dartblog earlier this year and then decided to run for the Dartmouth Board of Trustees. His campaign was going great… I mean the man represents everything your average Dartmouth Review-loving Dartmouth Man stands for, and I’m not just talking about green turtlenecks.
Then The Dartmouth did some supposedly “investigative journalism” into Joe Dartmouth’s hazy past and found out that — whoops! — his company allegedly committed “une fraude fiscale” (French for “fraud”). His Paris-based company Arand Ltd. evaded a few taxes, but according to a comment by Joe on the Dartmouth article it was NBD. His “accountants interpreted the French tax code differently than the matter in which France’s tax authorities did”. (English for he forgot to pay some taxes, worth around $8000). When he found out about the mistake the taxes were paid in full and relations with Asch and France were again “amicable”.
Seriously, though- what Ivy grad doesn’t commit a little (albeit, potentially accidental) fraud here and there? As Tom Donaldson, professor of “ethics and law” at a Penn’s Wharton school of Business would say,
If the devil exists, he no doubt has a high IQ and an Ivy League degree.
On the verge of recovering successfully from his fraud allegations, everything seemed to be going swimingly.
Then Dartmouth found out that Joe was maybe a racist? What?
Scandal galore after the jump.
After “le scandale Parisienne” Joe’s opponents John Replogle and Mort Kondracke (who have adorable matching campaign websites) grabbed hold of the opportunity to show what a crazy guy Asch was. The “Chief technical officer” for their combined campaign’s email address was the registered email for a website smear campaign against him: Joevsdartmouth.com, which is now only vieweable in this screen shot from one of Joe’s blog posts. Both Kondracke and Replogle claimed to know “nothing” about the site.
As it turns out, they didn’t even really need to spread the word about his fraudulent ways… BADA, the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association was already starting a campaign against Asch for his alleged “demonstrated racism on numerous occasions”, citing this blog post in which he says the employees of Dartmouth’s Office of Institutional and Equity (OIDE) “should be reduced to the legal minimum as quickly as you can say ‘budget cut.’”
Or this one where he blames the OIDE for the bankruptcy of the Hanover Inn because it made the Inn “jump through the same diversity hoops in hiring that hobble the rest of the College”. Or this post where he compares a statement by President Kim to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech” (points for not being racist) and then says that he’s all for President Kim “encouraging diversity” on Dartmouth’s campus as a non-superficial attempt (even more points for not being racist). (Basically this blog post wasn’t even a bit racist, it just mentioned diversity).
At the end of the day, Asch lost to Kondracke 5,823 to 14,176, and ‘resigned’ from his post at the Dartlog (though he still put up another post two weeks later) and “decided that in the future [he] will be devoting my time and energy to things other than Dartmouth College.” I’m not a Dartmouth student, but surely Dartmouth will miss crazy Mister Asch, a man who loves Dartmouth like a first-born child, and despite having graduated in 1979, is still living in his glory years and has a blog to share it all.