ASUC Body In Violation Of Election Regulations





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The ASUC violated the rules on campaign spending disclosure but holding another election would be futile, the judicial council ruled this weekend.

Jeff Holman, chair of the judicial council, said the elections council had failed to print candidates' self-determined spending limits in the ASUC Voter Guide, as it is required to do.

But he said the omission did not alter how students voted and that holding another election would be pointless.

"It didn't substantially affect the outcome of the election," Holman said when announcing the council's 5-0 decision Friday. "There is nothing we could do in holding a new election that would remedy this problem. Our decision is in favor of the defense, but only because we couldn't think of a way to have a new election that would be fair."

Former ASUC Senator Todd Dipaola filed a suit with the judicial council and said the missing information in the voter guide directly violated a constitutional amendment students overwhelmingly approved last year.

Candidates must determine their own spending limits and make them available to voters.

Dipaola said the council's ruling gave him a "moral victory" but that he had mixed feelings about their refusal to call for another vote.

"I'm happy that they were able to look at this case in an objective way," he said. "ASUC violated the constitution, they violated the bylaws, but there couldn't be a remedy. It just wouldn't be in the best interest of the students to hold another vote."

The council's decision demonstrates that the senate often fails to adhere to its own regulations, he said.

"I felt vindicated," Dipaola said. "People in the ASUC kept telling me I was wrong. This proves that the ASUC doesn't follow their own rules."

He said he hopes the decision will set a precedent for future behavior.

"They did stuff they weren't supposed to do, and there was no fallout from that," he said. "I am unsure that the outcome will affect the way ASUC accomplishes things in the future."

ASUC Executive Vice President Conor Moore said he agreed with the judicial council's decision and that a new election would cost too much money.

"The person who was suing us was arguing a valid point, but he wanted us to invalidate all the results on the basis of a clerical error," he said. "It's just not appropriate."

He said the omission of the self-determined limits was a serious error but one that does not merit another vote.

"It would penalize all the candidates and cost the ASUC tens of thousands of dollars to run another election," Moore said.

In other business, the council reinstated independent candidate David Nabti, who received three censures on Thursday night and was subsequently disqualified from the race.

The judicial council eliminated one of Nabti's censures Friday, allowing him back into the race.

"The charges were illegitimate and unsubstantiated," he said. "I tried to run a different kind of campaign, with less emphasis on money."

He said his status as an independent candidate puts him at a disadvantage in a climate controlled by political parties.

"It's frustrating having one party in the dominant role," Nabti said.

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