Winter 2005 ASUCD Election/Disqualification Controversy

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  1. The Disqualification
  2. The Code in Question
  3. The Debate
    1. Christine Schachter's letter to Rob Roy
    2. Igor Birman's Letter to the Election Committee Regarding Rob Roy's Election Controversy
    3. Sallie Boorman's response
    4. Ryan Basilio's Letter
    5. Christine Schachter's response to multiple people
    6. The reversal
    7. The Aftermath

The Disqualification

In the Winter 2005 ASUCD Election, the Elections Committee chose to disqualify candidate Rob Roy on the second day of voting. Their decision was based on his inability to file certain receipts verifying his campaign spending.

The Aggie reported on this [WWW]here

The Code in Question

According to the ASUCD Government Codes Chapter 1: Election Regulations Section 112(8):

A. No candidate, ticket, or Ballot Measure campaign coordinator (pro/con) in a General
election or Recall election may falsify expenditure forms. This may include but is not
limited to: False signature, incomplete forms, not claiming purchases/donation used
for campaign purposes.

B. If the Election Committee find that any candidate or ticket have falsified their
expenditure form(s) they may be assessed three(3) violation point therefore; may be
disqualified from the Genereal Election determined by a unanimous vote of the Election
Committee upon severity.

Forgetting some receipts is somehow SEVERE enough for someone to get disqualified (3 points)? Spending more than the allowed $250 gets you one point. A candidate walking around with a laptop having people vote gets two points - one for campaigning within 100 feet of a polling station, and one for using a candidate's personal computer as a polling station. Now that's pretty bad shit, but the Elections Committee decided that forgetting some receipts (and they've verified that the numbers were correct - Rob only spent a little about $100 on his campaign!) was worse.

The elections committee cited section 112(8), stating that Rob's incomplete form qualifies as a falsified form, and assessed violation points accordingly.

At tonight's (2/24/05) Senate meeting - the majority of senators disbelief of this latest development, as well as support for Rob Roy. It was addressed both at the beginning of the meeting, as well as during public discussion at the toward the end of the meeting.PaulIvanov

The Debate

What follows is a series of hasty missives and comments on said missives sent back and forth on Thursday and Friday of Election Week. Much of this is probably redundant, old, and should be deleted.

Christine Schachter's letter to Rob Roy

This is the e-mail sent to Rob Roy by the Elections Committee chair informing him he was disqualified.

Rob:
We would like to inform of the following Election Committee's unanimous decision:

After extensive review and investigation into an expenditure form that was
submitted by Robert Roy, on February 16, 2005, he has been found to be in
violation of ASUCD Government Codes: Chapter 1: Election Regulations,
Section 112 (8): “No candidate, ticket, or Ballot Measure campaign
coordinator (pro/con) in a General election or Recall election may falsify
expenditure forms. This may include but is not limited to: False
signatures, incomplete forms, not claiming purchases/donation used for
campaign purposes.”  Therefore, because he failed to include any receipt or
documentation of purchases, he has failed to submit a complete expenditure
form.  Adhering to subsection B of Section 112 (8): “If the Election
Committee finds that any candidate or ticket have falsified their
expenditure form(s) they may be assessed three (3) violation points;
therefore, may be disqualified from the General Election determined by
unanimous vote of the Election Committee upon severity.”  Thus, by
unanimous vote, the Elections Committee has assessed Robert Roy three (3)
violation points resulting in his disqualification.

ASUCD Elections Committee


Igor Birman's Letter to the Election Committee Regarding Rob Roy's Election Controversy

Legal superhero Igor Birman jumped into action in Rob's defense the night of the disqualification: 11:30 PM PST 2/24/05

Dear Ms. Schachter:

In regards to the Elections Committee's purported disqualification of
Mr. Rob Roy, a duly qualified candidate for the office of ASUCD Senator,
this notice is to inform you and other members of the Committee of the
inherent illegality of such action.

As election officers of a taxpayer-funded and publicly-owned University,
the actions of your Committee are governed by relevant U.S. and California
State Constitutional provisions and statutes.  Your actions to "disqualify"
or otherwise penalize Mr. Roy without due process of law, and without an
opportunity for Mr. Roy to confront and examine witnesses and evidence
against him are in direct violation of the provisions contained within
the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and applicable to state
actors such as the Elections Committee.

Furthermore, your actions may result or possibly have already resulted
in the disenfranchisement and civil and voting rights infringement
of thousands of otherwise duly-qualified electors who lawfully chose
to cast their votes for a duly-qualified candidate in an election
conducted by a quasi-governmental body.

I urge you to reconsider your decision forthwith and take into
account the severe consequences and substantial civil penalties
that may follow as a result of federal civil rights litigation
in connection with the above-referenced matter.

Sincerely,
-Igor Birman


Sallie Boorman's response

In response to public outcry, Elections Committee member Sallie Boorman offered these words

To all....
First of all, I would like to thank you for voicing your concern and
taking action for something that you believe so much in. I would like you
know that I have read all of your emails, and agree with many points
(though I cannot say which, because of the restrictions of my office) but
I think that it is important and fair for everyone that has taken their
time to write to us that you receive some kind of response in return. I
would also like to state, that this is in no way is an official statement
of the elections committee, but the humble opinion of one of its members.

In regards to the disqualification of Rob Roy, I think that there is much
misunderstanding surrounding the situation. I must call to the attention
of many that it is not the elections committee members that make the
government codes and rules that we must enforce. Those rules and
everything surrounding them (such as the severity on which points are
assessed) are actually written by the senators. We as a committee must
enforce the rules regardless of whether we personally think they are fair
or just. The fact remains that it is not within the jurisdiction of the
elections committee to determine how the rules should change. We are there
to enforce what the senate has determined as acceptable codes. I am
pleased to know that so many think these codes, most specifically the
system with which violation points are assessed, are unjust.  I now urge
you to voice these concerns to the people that can implement the changes
you seek...your senators.

Sincerely,
Sallie Boorman


Ryan Basilio's Letter

A former Elections Committee member, Ryan Basilio, gave his input on the controversy.

To whom it may concern:
I have been very worried about the current situation that has happened
to senatorial candidate Rob Roy. Let me explain some things first. I
was in the elections committee during the fall of 2003 elections. During
those elections Mr. Kalen Gallagher and Ms. Paloma Perez were running
Student focus’s campaign. The elections were running smoothly until the
first filing period for finance disclosure had passed and as the candidates
dropped off their disclosure forms FOCUS it seems had not received a
receipt that we needed to verify their spending. Attached is a document
that explains their case. They have stated in the document that they
did not produce a receipt and therefore could not verify their financial
records. Kalen actually drove down to Clairmont in southern California
to produce a receipt. Anyways the current chairperson for the committee
was on that same committee that allowed for the receipt to be produced
2 days after the disclosure deadline therefore violating the campaign
finance agreement. The Committee let this as a precedent to allow late
receipts.

So if my understanding is correct then the deal with Rob Roy not
producing receipts should not be an issue for disqualification until
the final financial statements by the candidates. Thank you for your
time and energy.

you can view the evidence please see this link : [http://math.ucdavis.edu/~neustrom/scan.jpg scan.jpg]

Ryan Basilio


Christine Schachter's response to multiple people

Mere hours before the results were to be announced, Christine Schachter let loose another e-mail expressing her feelings on the subject.

Fri, 25 Feb 2005 08:35:18 (PST)
        Thank you for voicing your concern, as the Elections Committee has not
taken this issue lightly, nor did it in making its decision of
disqualifying Rob Roy.  However, whether or not you believe Rob Roy to be a
trustworthy and identifiable candidate, the fact remains that he failed to
turn any receipts with his expenditure form, placing him in violation of
government codes.  If you feel strongly about this issue, then the way to
make a difference is to talk to one of the ASUCD Senators, as they have the
power over writing and changing the codes; while it is our sole duty to
implement them.  Also, please take into account where you receive your
information from and make sure that you have all the facts straight.  If
you would like a copy of the government codes as to become better informed
about ASUCD and the Election, they can be found on the third floor of the
MU.  If you do feel this strongly, I urge you to apply for the Elections
Committee next year, and make the change you want to see happen.
                                          Christine Schachter
                                       Elections Committee Chair

The reversal

ECannouncesRob.jpg[WWW]Watch the Elections Committee reverse their decision

The elections committee decided that they could not disqualify somebody after the first vote was cast, so they reversed themselves and announced their reversal when they announced the election results.

Rob Roy went on to be elected in the first round of vote counting, going over the threshold by 130 votes. This was the first time since Choice Voting had been implemented that any candidate had won in the first round.

The Aggie's [WWW]report on this after the reinstatement.

The Aftermath

Rob's reinstatement brought some Aggie attention, in the form of an editorial and some letters. [WWW]The editorial concluded that Rob Roy should have been disqualified after the election, but the Elections Committee's mistake made his getting a senate seat possible. However, [WWW]letters written by Chad Van Schoelandt and Paul Ivanov of Friends Urging Campus Kindness supported Rob. The Aggie also [WWW]published a letter from Rob Roy the day he was sworn in to office.

Comments:

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2005-02-24 17:28:14   Total bullshit. It seems like the committee could have censured him without a DQ. His infraction wasn't severe enough to merit a DQ. This is a farce. Emails have been sent to the committee members. —JackHaskel


2005-02-24 17:32:27   I sent an email to the committee members asking them to reverse their decision. —MikeIvanov


2005-02-24 17:46:19   Question: tomorrow, when the judicial constitutional ammendment passes, who will have the power to rule on the results of this election —KenBloom


2005-02-24 17:55:14   The IRS standard is that receipts be maintained for items over $25. And unless explicitely required as an attachment, need only be retained for a specified number of years by the declarant. Ironic.—JaimeRaba


2005-02-24 17:57:55   Someone check the instructions on the forms. (I don't remember, because I didn't spend any money when I ran) —KenBloom


2005-02-24 18:00:35   Form instructions may not be legally sufficient to effect a disqualification. Usually the standard is falsifacation. And also there is perhaps some due process requirement here, too. —JaimeRaba


2005-02-24 18:02:10   (To some extent, Federal AND State election laws apply to even Student Gov't elections at Universities.) —JaimeRaba


2005-02-24 18:04:15   I think they only did this because they had a personal vendetta against members of the Friends Slate, and therefore should be removed for acting in a biased manner. —BrentLaabs


2005-02-24 18:11:26   Gabriel Bang had some kind of campaign expenditure form penalty as well. I think he didn't turn it in on time or it wasn't properly filled out. He was able to take office and was only given a few hours of community service in the CoHo as a penalty. —MikeSiminitus


2005-02-24 18:16:52   I remember that there was a case involving UC Riverside and UC Irvine where the respective student governments had imposed mandatory spending limts, and the district court ruled this as unconstitutional under the standard set by the US Supremee Court in Buckley v. Valeo (1976). I wonder if this was ever overruled? This is significant because it could—by analogy—extend other relevant law into this situation. Let me know if there is further interest in this topic. —JaimeRaba


2005-02-24 19:14:36   Additional details: The elections committee called all of the places Rob listed on his form and confirmed he listed the correct prices for all his items. They know he wasn't lying, but they still deemed this severe enough to give him a 3 out of 3 possible violation points. Total bullshit. —PhilipNeustrom


2005-02-24 18:54:48   can someone mention the specifics of what is on the expenditure form that doesn't have reciepts? how much isn't accounted for? —RishiTrivedi


2005-02-24 19:19:36   This is crap. I want to see this in the Aggie front page tomorrow so everyone can read about this, fair and square. —MilesHookey


2005-02-24 19:29:27   It seems pretty clear to me that the article "A" quoted above says you can't submit an incomplete form *with the result that your form is falsified*, not just that you can't submit an incomplete form, period. So in order for Rob's incomplete form to even fall under that article, they would have to show that his form had been falsified, which according to this page they have explicitly denied. —KenjiYamada


2005-02-24 19:41:59   If this does prove to be complete bullshit by whatever body makes that decision, will the members of the Elections Committee be punished at all? —JenniferChu


2005-02-24 19:42:29   Has anyone contacted Judicial Affairs Office about the legality of this? —MilesHookey


Could someone please make sure that Rob Roy is still listed on the ballot (that they didn't delete him when they DQ'ed him)? — KenBloom


2005-02-24 19:56:46   fully the lamest thing that has happened. there is no place in ASUCD for personal fucking agendas. Let's get as many people as we can to the 1st floor tomorrow when they announce the results... 11am east conference room —MikeyNolan


2005-02-24 20:26:46   This is freakin' retarded - this is obviously a ploy to get rid of the most influential member of F.U.C.K.—DanXie


2005-02-24 20:39:17   i got your back Rob —GeorgejAndrews


2005-02-24 20:47:47   Actually, its in the East Conference Room on the first floor. 11am, tomorrow (Friday) morning. —TeresaKenny


2005-02-24 21:01:23   Show up where the Elections Committee will announce the results, 11am Friday, East Conference Room, 1st sloor MU. —TeresaKenny


2005-02-24 21:42:46   Another supporter of Rob, and crusader against Swords and Sandals Scandals —JamesSchwab


2005-02-24 21:47:21   I'm in. Let's have a good ol' fashioned flash mob —ScottRitchie


2005-02-24 22:42:47   There's usually a flash mob anyway. People want to know the results. —KenBloom


2005-02-24 22:49:55   I just wanted to let everyone know that I have contacted Igor Birman in Georgia and i am briefing him on what is going on in California. He is utterly fuming over this and you know what happens when Igor gets mad...ask the California Aggie and ASUCD —GeorgejAndrews


2005-02-24 23:31:15   RevChad could you post what the elections committee wrote word for word to Rob Roy Disqualified? —KenBloom


2005-02-24 23:41:00   Unfortunately, according to Elections Committee, the ASUCD Judiciary can't help out on this one; Elections Committee issues are sent to the same guys you see if you cheated on a test.TravisGrathwell



2005-02-25 09:57:30   * Paul, that's exactly what Ryan Basilio said to me on the phone last night. —MilesHookey


2005-02-25 14:21:30   I am proud to have written in to the Elections Committee. Harassment for a just cause can and does make a difference. I had felt that this sort of direct action was useless but the whole F.U.C.K. slate has definitely renewed my faith in democracy in action. —BrandonKeene


2005-02-25 19:11:49   Congratulations to everyone who won, and also to those who ran. I'm especially happy the "third party" did well. It's sad that not every deserving person won, there are certain would-be senators who made huge impact despite not winning. —JaimeRaba


2005-02-28 13:42:38   Hey all, I have yet to find time to read and digest everything on this page, and moreover I'm not sure whether with the passing of the judicial amendment I can still comment on these things or if even these immediate events fall under my potential jurisdiction, but I just wanted to say that I think the title of this page/scandal, currently "Elections Committee Scandal" seems a bit vague. There have been a number of "elections committee scandals," and they're usually titled after the specific action. Perhaps Expenditure Form Scandal or Receiptgate, or I dunno, just not "Elections Cmmtte Scandal" —KrisFricke

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