Filmed at the University of Connecticut Law School, the newest online ad by the Green Party’s gubenatorial candidate, Cliff Thornton, touts his plan to make higher education free for everyone. “As governor, I would use lottery and casino revenue to fund free tuition at our public universities and colleges for our young people. Upon graduation, let’s ask them to stay for more four years,” Thornton says in the ad.
Thornton said, by making post-graduation residency a requirement for free tuition Connecticut can keep the vitality and energy of its youth here, and make the state a more exciting place to live. Why is he offering this as a solution?In June, UConn’s Board of Trustees increased in-state tuition 6.5 percent for 2007. According to a recent story in the student-run UConn Free Press, that raise brings “the total cumulative tuition hike since 1990 to 316 percent for in-state students and 264 percent for out-of-state students.” What’s even worse, Thornton noted, was that the The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education gave UConn and an “F” for affordability. Thornton said he hopes to use the online ad as an organizing tool for students and parents, but as a way to raise money to buy airtime for it. Last week Thornton was left out of the televised debates by the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor. Click here to see the ad.