The Winter 2008 ASUCD Election occured. Voting started on Wednesday, February 21st, and ended on Friday, February 23rd.
|LEAD||Ivan Carrillo/ Molly Fluet*|
|Independent||Andrew Peake 1 / Laura Nevins2|
|Independent||Joseph Bleckman3/Andrea Thomas|
This election has generated the least amount of interest of any ASUCD election in the past few years (since at least 2000 — probably longer). One reason for this lack of enthusiasm is the low number of candidates for ASUCD Senate: 9 running for 6 seats. Without a large, organized opposition to LEAD, the incumbent party, most candidates drive to get out the vote is essentially lower.
One reason for this is the apparent collapse of the GO leadership. GO, a new slate formed from Focus last year, failed to recruit anyone as a candidate for President and Vice President, which likely speaks to internal divisions. Additionally, GO/Focus had a traditionally Greek base, much of which may have gone to Interfraternity Council President Andrew Bianchi, who ran with LEAD. GO who had invested so much in the previous election without any real change in their fortunes, simply did not have the momentum to organize a large-scale campaign for this election.
Without any major public scandals within the current LEAD incumbents, there are fewer campaign points for independent candidates or new slates to rally support around. This is not to say LEAD does not have its problems, nor imply a lack of fundamental policy cleavages in student government. However, there is so little money available in the past five years for the diverse operations of ASUCD that unless one cuts stuff (which is doable) budget battles are confined to a few line items with a total value under $10,000. This arguably isn't the climate to lead to a vibrant election.
On Tuesday, February 26 Aggie columnist James Noonan wrote about voter apathy.
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2007-11-18 17:35:10 LEAD's Ivan Carrillo/Molly Fluet executive ticket is the best ticket for president regardless of which GO members are selected as the candidates for president and vice president. Senators Carrillo and Fluet have the capacity to not only lead but to work with others should they need help leading. Call it selfish but I'd like to have people I can work with in charge of ASUCD. I am voting for Carrillo/Fluet. —GregWebb
2007-12-01 17:32:09 The coronation and their welcoming committee will not go uncontested. —J. Bleckman, potential President-elect
2007-12-04 17:47:06 I assume Andrew and Laura are pulling a Rob and Arlen. Also, given the organizational ability of LEAD and with the shared qualifications and popularity of Ivan and Molly I cannot foresee any ticket being able to defeat them. Hell, any ASUCD Presidential candidate ticket willing to spend $500 worth of their own money when they don't have a shot are (unless they are making a political statement) essentially telling the voter they do not understand the concept of money and feel no burden as a tuition payer. At least that is what I think, currently, from my jaded perspective. I can always change my mind when the saga unfolds, but I pity the fool to play David against the Ivan and Molly Goliath. That said, no one should feel too cocky in politics - just watch Rudy and Hillary crash and burn. —RobRoy
I think it would be great to get a clip of Ivan yelling "You can't stop me, I'm the Juggernaut bitch!" -JamesSchwab
2007-12-04 18:02:48 I wouldn't say we are pulling a rob and arlen, but we not going to spend any money (we are also not accepting the fliers so we don't spend the students cash either) I don't expect to win. Molly and Ivan are amazing and deserve to lead the association. But I do have a few things I would like to say before they kick me out of here. —AndrewPeake
2007-12-05 19:40:47 Free hammocks as far as the eye can see! —MattBlair
2007-12-06 18:17:45 I have noticed a severe lack of hammocks on campus in the past year. Are there any candidates willing to step up and address this Hammock Crisis head on? —BrentLaabs
"I am pro hammock. Always have been, always will be." Andrew Peake
2007-12-08 05:12:45 I would like to formally start the controversy of the bad slate campaigning in the dorms.. too early? —DavidPoole
I was in the dorms a couple weeks ago talking to students about ASUCD, Andrew was too. We're bad bad people. -GregWebb
It's a poor situation that this matter is taken so jokingly. The visitation logs on the elections server have shown for the past few elections a series of votes coming from one dorm room, then the one next to it a few minutes later, then the next, then the next, etc in this highly artificial manner. - ChrisThielen
2008-01-27 20:24:50 Are there really only 3 GO and 1 indie? I dont think Ive ever seen this few of senate candidates. —JamesSchwab
Count again, there are now only 2 + 1 running outside of LEAD. About the same is going on in the Presidential Election. Either the generation after ours is pretty bad at developing leadership, or the Senate has been doing so much pointless arguing and displays of pride that few really want to join that body. —BrentLaabs
2008-01-31 18:44:06 Given the patterns of the past that I have noticed, I think given the relative lack of attention given to the alleged controversies of this past Fall election this kind of makes sense. The government is really not something a lot of people want to participate in unless there is a perceived wrong done that warrants corrective action, and since most of the general student body did not really know about anything bad happening, they feel there is no need to get involved since the busses are running, the coffee house is still serving, etc. What we need to increase participation is a perceived wrong to occur that is widely recognized immediately (such as the Fall 2004 controversies), and then the public will respond by its increased participation (example being Rob Roy's candidacy in the Winter 2005 elections). —PaulAmnuaypayoat
2008-01-31 23:17:51 I didn't participate much in last quarter's election process at all, but I think an overwhelming number of people heard about the indiscretions of last quarter's candidates by word of mouth. Certainly most people in the Greek system knew of some of the events, as it functions as one giant rumor mill at times. I think the lack of people interested in running has to do with the lack of integrity a lot of people witnessed last quarter. Most students ask "why bother" when there is so much drama and unproductive intensity. —AndrewBianchi
Ya, I think the coming challenge will be to see if the government can make the students realize that they are stakeholders in the government. Its almost like we would need another Tiqula Bledsoe to come about and do alot of bad things as ASUCD President AND also have something catastrophic occur simultaneously like Unitrans shutting down or something. Things have to get really bad, and then immediately after, we need a candidate to run on a platform of change (kinda like US Politics today). Only while things are percieved as bad AND costly to the average student can we expect to increase participation in both candidacy and voter turnout. - Paul Amnuaypayoat
I think there is a bit of a contradiction there. I agree that the Aggie didn't cover any of the election scandals and that there were no major ASUCD scandals or threats during the Fall 2007 election. Furthermore, I agree that there was a lot of drama and unproductive intensity, from what I heard. However, the Fall 2007 election saw the highest voter turnout in a Fall election in a long, long time. The turnout was even higher than the Winter 2007 election which had a fee referendum to "Save Unitrans". I think Andrew was close to the mark in regards to winter '08's low candidate turnout, however I think the "why bother" mentality came from the long hours and hardwork both sides put in. I think potential candidates might have been a bit put off by the amount of hours needed to win...the top two victorious senators in Fall 2007 both broke vote-getting records. Isn't that what people want out of an election? - Candidates and there supporters trying to engage as many students as possible and talking to them about the issues. Of course there is going to be conflict, that's the nature of an election in any country, at any level of government. - JamesSchwab
Paul, if you wish - I can be that guy. I can be the catalyst for change. I can be the "Gay Ceasar." I'll even authorize a subversive Youtube video expose to be featured on the "Down with Andrew Bianchi" facebook group. All jokes aside, the reality is that things aren't that bad. We had the highest turnout in a long time last quarter. Let's roll with the lack of competition this quarter and see what happens next year. I bet it won't be the case next fall. The opponents to LEAD put all their cards on the table Fall quarter, and did not plan on running a P/VP ticket. - Andrew Bianchi
2008-02-16 16:35:00 There is only one solution to this lack of candidates, have a random "ignite" wink, wink slate run with the inside help from George Andrews and those DCR guys. haha, jk. Seriously, this is the best opportunity for an independent to run as long as that person has somewhat of a base, a little organization and is willing to chalk and put posters up everyday. I pulled it off 2 years ago in a similiar situation. But Ivan and Molly will win Pres. and at least 4 LEAD candidates will win senate seats like in the Winter 2006, as long as there is only 9 cnadidates running. Anyways, I am glad I am a Naval Officer next friday and not dealing with ASUCD anymore. —MichaelMolnar
2008-02-17 10:02:19 I'm genuinely concerned with this year's election because voters are faced with fewer options. Furthermore, what does this say about our association? I think people are starting to believe that ASUCD has only one "political" viewpoint and without the representation of other opposing parties, ASUCD will be looking at a long road ahead. —EmilyTung
2008-02-17 11:30:43 I don't think it says anything about the association. These kind of low-candidate elections tend to happen after large, competitive ones or when there is no major scandal. It's assured that between this election and next Fall something controversial will arise, some scandal will happen and it will spark their interest again in ASUCD. Also, Eddie Lee will be out of the Aggie by next year, so maybe the school newspaper will start covering ASUCD again to arouse student interest. The Aggie didn't even know there was an election going on until a little over a week ago. —JamesSchwab
2008-02-17 14:45:16 We need Steve back so there are more options in our elections, that's what people keep telling me on the campaign trail. And everyone misses Steve. Even LEAD brings him up now and then. —GregWebb
2008-02-18 11:39:45 I think Molnar, Shively, Cohen-Cutler, Singh, FUCK, were very effective independent campaigns that ASUCD really needs in every election. Steve couldn't get more than 50 people to vote for one of his candidates and couldn't make enough noise to stir up a real scandal. —JamesSchwab
2008-02-18 14:48:27 My favorite quotes from the candidates this quarter are "What's AB540?" and "I would ask Paul Harms". Gotta love those. —GregWebb
2008-02-19 09:06:01 How lazy was the writer who wrote those endorsements? The Aggie has really gone downhill. They use to explain their endorsements fully, now they seem to be cutting and pasteing language from previous endorements. —JamesSchwab
2008-02-19 21:12:05 The Aggie endorsements were a joke. Everyday that passes I am more disappointed with our school newspaper. —ivancarrillo
2008-02-19 22:49:31 I think the Aggie endorsements make a lot of sense, I do wish they would explain it for the general population. I wouldn't have understand the endorsement of Dietrich had I not have spoken to him on several occasions. I also think it's cool that they endorsed some of Andrew's views, it was a nice touch. And Joseph didn't do the interview because he's on the media board, that was a nice gesture whether you think he had a shot at the endorsement or not. —GregWebb
Indeed. Conflicts of interest are uncool. I did make it a point to talk to the editorial board, though, to give them a chance to jump on me if any of my ideas seemed too off of the wall. During our conversation I got the impression that they hadn't actually read the ASUCD budget. It's out of their typical realm of coverage, of course, but that did disappoint me. —JoseBleckman
I believe what Ivan meant was; in the past the Aggie actually went through candidate by candidate and explained why they endorsed them and even gave more shout outs to candidates they didn't. Sometimes they would even discuss major issues. The Aggie, like its been since Eddie Lee took over, has been lazy in its coverage of ASUCD stuff. I dont think Ivan was questioning who they endorsed but the fact they didn't explain themselves. I think its a disservice to candidates like you that would like to know why as well as the populace reading them. Its an editorial, they should editorialize! - JamesSchwab
2008-02-20 00:25:31 "In regard to the senatorial candidates, Andrew Bianchi is a standout candidate. He has experience that the senate table should find useful as former chair of the Business and Finance Commission, particularly in a year when ASUCD is facing a large deficit.
Bianchi's experience on the interfraternity council will add a "teamwork" mentality to the senate table and hopefully stop counterproductive senate discussion before it begins.
Schwartz, Webb, Blanco, Dietrich and Dayalji will bring eloquence and good ideas to student government," is from this Tuesday's Aggie. For the average student who knows little about ASUCD or the candidates all you can gather about this is that you guys like teamwork. This is a pathetic endorsement. I don't care who they choose to endorse, bur if they are going to make a endorsement they should, you know, delve deeper than 'they'll make a good team' and you know, be journalists. —MattBlair
Sounds fair. It's impossible for anyone who isn't on IFC to be good at teamwork, right? ;) —JoseBleckman
2008-02-20 00:46:24 That is exactly my point. For these endorsements to be most effective, there needed to be elaboration. One sentence total for 5 candidates is a joke. —ivancarrillo
2008-02-20 12:12:26 While we can all agree that the Aggie should be doing a better job with the editorials and keeping up with ASUCD events, honestly, consider a well written and in depth coverage of the election by the campus newspaper to be a privilege, not a right. I think the media has a responsibility to appropriately cover issues at hand, but as soon-to-be elected officials you have no right to tell the Aggie how to do their job. While the Aggie should rise to the occasion of doing so, ultimately, it is your responsibility to decrease voter apathy. Let's not forget those moments in time where the Aggie "over editorialized" the accomplishments of many ASUCD people (ahem*Entertainment Council) and how we didn't appreciate the "bad press" they generated. Consider the lack of press a nice break from what was written in the previous years.
Andy Bianchi #1! —EmilyTung
2008-02-20 13:35:04 The criticism of the Aggie has nothing to do with voter apathy, but editor apathy. The lazy editorial is just another symptom of the various problems facing the Aggie, which could go weekly very if it continues down its current path. Voter turnout was increased dramatically this past fall with the help of the Aggie's coverage and enthusiastic campaigning, but then they somehow forgot the Winter election was happening....they literally forgot. Of course good coverage is a privilege, just like good enterainment is. But what is a right is the right to criticize the body that provides the bad news coverage. In the past the Aggie did sloppy jobs, over critcized, and over editorialize but at least they worked and at least allowed letters to the editor. As the future President-elect of the ASUCD, which has millions of dollars invested in the Aggie, Ivan has every right to criticize them and their management; and through the media board an ASUCD rep can tell the Aggie how to do their job. No one is trying to tell the Aggie what to write, but to just do a good job. But I agree, vote for Bianchi....who is also very critical of the Aggie. —JamesSchwab
2008-02-20 14:41:11 See, I don't appreciate the action-less commentary. "They need to do a better job." It all sounds so one sided. If the Aggie is within the realms of your governing body, then perhaps it would be in your best interest to exercise your ability to influence the Aggie. It's easy to criticize and bitch about how the Aggie "doesn't do their job well", but I would like to see how we can encourage better quality in their publications. So unless someone can provide a great way to get the Aggie on top of their shit (even if that means firing a few people), I really think everyone should keep their problems with the Aggie to themselves. If you have a problem with it, go to Media Board meetings, air your grievances, and provide solutions. —EmilyTung
2008-02-21 04:03:43 Hey all! You're right Joe, teamwork is possible without IFC experience. The endorsement article was beyond lacking. The lack of publicity for elections is the Elections Committee's fault. The lack of publicity for the opening day of elections is both the EC and the Aggie's fault. Lesson: There's little/no consistency in elections coverage, WHOOPS. Everyone who cares should come to Media Board. If I lose Senate, I'll still be a voting member as a Student Rep. Yip! —AndrewBianchi
2008-02-21 08:13:34 I think a new controversy needs to be added to the Aggie controversies page. —JamesSchwab
2008-02-22 11:07:04 Hammocks would be best to support the students, much better than gossamer idealism. —DavidPoole
2008-02-22 11:25:33 98 VOTES! —GregWebb
2008-02-22 14:26:58 Bleckman did very well considering he ran with someone that doesn't exist. —GregWebb
She definitely had that going for her. Plus, she worked really hard, had a diverse voter base, passionate supporters, and is really qualified and inteligent. Kinda like the "perfect storm" candidate. -JamesSchwab
Damnit, Greg. For a second you had me thinking StuFo had come out of nowhere and turned Dietrich and 2 LEAD kids to the yellow zone. —JoseBleckman
StuFo wins 3 seats!!!
2008-02-22 15:45:45 I'm proud to have given Sergio the votes he needed to prevail over the soft money candidate. —GregWebb
2008-02-23 16:43:59 Andrea Thomas doesn't exist??? —ChrisDietrich
2008-02-24 11:23:35 She does exist. A friend of mine told me that she lived in the dorms with Andrea. —ivancarrillo
How can you be sure your friend wasn't lying to you? —BrentLaabs
2008-02-24 19:23:40 Is anyone gonna add any data, such as who got the most last place votes, etc? —PaulAmnuaypayoat
2008-02-24 21:26:42 -yeah- do i get to be the most hated person on campus again? cus that was... kinda fun. ;) —LauraNevins
Nope. That's just the senate race. Unfortunately, creative media is lame and hasn't published the blt files, so I can't find out who won it this time. I'm upset that the campus apparently didn't like hammocks. :( Btw, I <3 you. Come by ΨΦ sometime and say hello. —WilliamLewis
2008-02-25 01:43:43 I assume H got the most last-place votes, because he didn't have a statement. —GregWebb
2008-02-25 19:17:28 reply to Chris —PaulAmnuaypayoat
2008-02-25 21:45:48 I like the spike of 7th place votes I received, glad to know LEAD likes me enough to almost vote for me. Those 109 people that ranked me 9th are haters though. —GregWebb
2008-05-24 15:59:55 I must say that at first I was apprehensive about Carrillo but he seems to be doing a pretty good job. —OscarSabino