NY lawmakers threaten to punish Columbia over speech.

State and city lawmakers in New York are threatening to punish Columbia University for hosting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who spoke at the Ivy League university earlier this afternoon, by potentially “withholding public funds from the school“:

“[Columbia President Lee] Bollinger made a big mistake, and there should be consequences for him for making that decision,” the chairman of the New York City Council’s Finance Committee, David Weprin, said in an interview. “We should look at everything involving Columbia, whether it be capital projects, city and state, or other related things that we do in the city for them,” he said. […]

“It’s not going to go away just because this episode ends. Columbia University has to know … that they will be penalized,” an assemblyman of Brooklyn, Dov Hikind, who also attended the rally, said.

“Is there anyone who fails to see how dangerous and improper this is — not to mention unconstitutional — that government officials threaten and punish universities for hosting speakers whom the officials dislike?,” comments Glenn Greenwald.