The Arizona Desert Lamp

One day of campaigning, one elections code violation

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 16 February 2009

I’ve pointed out elsewhere the hypocrisy of ASUA Senators urging new candidates to delete their Facebook groups immediately after the election, yet refusing to do the same for their own sites. Hypocrisy may lead to a violation, though, in the case of Sen. Stephen Wallace, who is running for reelection. Mr. Wallace’s group was one of those, and the group is very interestingly entitled, “Steve Wallace for ASUA Senate,” without the year attached. This means, naturally, that the group could be equally applicable to this year’s election as last year’s. This group was extant long before the “allowed” campaigning period, that began today; ergo, a violation.

For the record, the specification violations then would be against the following clauses:

5-3.01 – Campaigning shall not begin before the dates as established by the Elections Commissioner.

. . .

8-2.03 – Any and all websites, web pages, and/or profiles on online networking sites including, but not limited to Facebook and MySpace, utilized for the purpose of campaigning by a candidate and/or a member of their campaign staff shall be approved by the Elections Commissioner. Any change made to the aforementioned after initial approval does not require subsequent approval; however, the changes are subject to the rules and regulations of this Code.

. . .

8-4.02 – All General Election candidates shall remove all campaign materials within one (1) business week after the results of the General Election are announced. This includes electronic resources such as Facebook Groups.

I have no doubt that Sen. Wallace was doing his best to adhere to the Code, and in no way meant for this to happen. I also happen to think that these are pretty repugnant provisions. But it cannot be readily forgotten that Sen. Wallace very consciously chose to support the Elections Code in its entirety, including the Facebook group provision. If ASUA elected officials are not above the laws that they pass, then it appears that Senator Wallace will be hoisted on his own pitard.

UPDATE: The group ostensibly for this year’s election is also “Steve Wallace for ASUA Senate.” It’s exactly the same as the last group’s name, which incidently is still extant.

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8 Responses

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  1. Laura Donovan said, on 16 February 2009 at 7:38 pm

    What purpose would deleting a Facebook group serve? Why is this even a rule? It’s a really petty requirement…

  2. Gabriella Ziccarelli said, on 16 February 2009 at 11:22 pm

    To clarify, the initial thought behind the addition by the commission was to prevent students who had formerly ran in the elections the option of Facebook messaging those students in the group to vote for candidates that the owner of the group supported in current elections (which since it needed to be approved originally as a form of campaign material, would need to be removed at the end of elections as with the rest of the flyers, etc.) . Such actions had occurred in the special elections as well in last year’s elections, and thus the addition was made to go into effect for this year’s election.

  3. The Arizona Desert Lamp said, on 18 February 2009 at 10:52 am

    […] violations among this year’s student government officials (topics that Evan was on top of three, four, and seventy-six days ago, respectively). But a letter published pages later makes me wonder […]

  4. Stephen Wallace said, on 18 February 2009 at 11:44 am

    First off, I sincerely apologize for violating the elections code. I NEVER intended on doing so. To tell you the truth, I never thought it was a big deal that I did not delete the Facebook group. As Gabby mentioned, the intention on adding this to the code was to prevent individuals from benefiting from the Facebook group messaging. I never sent out any messages prior to the campaigning date. Furthermore, as soon as I found out that people perceived this as a “breach” of the code, I deleted the group. I am not trying to justify my actions because I know that by being a current senator I should know better. I am writing this message to apologize for my actions, and to promise The U of A student body that it will not happen again.

    Apologies,

    Steve

  5. […] 2009 Connor has already covered most of this (the first violation, in case you missed it, was here); yet in addition to Mr. Nagata’s letter-cum-campaign-message, there’s also this […]

  6. […] 2009 Connor has already covered most of this (the first violation, in case you missed it, was here); yet in addition to Mr. Nagata’s letter-cum-campaign-message, there’s also this […]

  7. […] if there hadn’t already been enough elections madness for one year, the ballot itself has now been changed in media res: Voters logging on to the student […]

  8. […] regulations were written in Bizarro World, I did so half in jest. But as the tragicomic reign of elections commissioner Kenny Ho draws to a close, it feels more and more like the procedures of […]


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