Editorial: By Golly, A Little Too Much Wally?



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ASUC President Teddy Liaw has made his first prominent executive decision - a questionable appointment of a prominent ASUC senator to the chief of staff position in his office. The consequences - a direct conflict of interest and a ridiculously obvious political maneuver intended to establish a senator as an heir apparent.

Liaw's appointment of Student Action Senator Wally Adeyemo to serve as his chief of staff is a move that speaks either of his inexperience in the job or his desire to blatantly continue playing party politics.

That a senator is able to serve as the chief of staff in an executive office tramples over the concept of separation of powers inherently built into the ASUC constitution. Liaw's actions are akin to President Bill Clinton selecting a prominent senator to work in the Oval Office. Further, the fact that Liaw chose Adeyemo, who has logged in as many hours in the office of the president as Liaw himself, to fill the position clearly shows that Liaw is not as in touch with the campus as he claims to be. While Liaw defended his appointment by saying, "Students voted him in as a leader, and students wanted him in both positions," the reality is that students elected Adeyemo to serve as a senator - not to be primped and primed to be the next Student Action presidential candidate.

Liaw's appointment of Adeyemo, Student Action's anchor candidate in last spring's election, speaks more of the partisan politics Liaw promised to end than it does of efficiently running his office. It is hypocritical, then, that Liaw's politicking is far from subtle. Adeyemo is a well-placed, well-respected and well-liked senator who has served as a CalSO counselor and is involved in many campus organizations. Adeyemo, who is black, also represents the diversity that Student Action has historically been criticized for lacking.

With all this in mind, The Daily Californian is confident in making the following early elections prediction: Wally Adeyemo will receive Student Action's nomination for president in the spring.

If Adeyemo continues to hold office in the senate while acting as chief of staff for the president's office, he will not only be in the position to lobby for and vote on bills and funds that affect his office, but will also monopolize two very important positions in the ASUC. And while it is traditional that the ASUC president appoint a member of his or her political party to the chief of staff position, a senator/chief of staff is a clear conflict of interest.

A troubling element to this situation is that there will be no judicial body to appeal Adeyemo's appointment for at least another month. An ASUC attorney general has yet to be appointed by the ASUC Senate.

The ASUC was designed to be a voice that speaks for all UC Berkeley students , not just the members of one political party. Student Action already holds every executive position in the ASUC and the majority of seats in the senate. While Student Action rightfully won all those positions, placing one of its own senators as second to the president, the party is crossing boundaries that will do little to help students and even less to further the goals of the ASUC.

Wally Adeyemo, clearly a potential ASUC executive candidate, should not be too eager to place himself as Liaw's heir and learn to understand the implications of political maneuvers such as these. Wait for your turn, Wally.

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