The Arizona Desert Lamp

Three days in, two election code violations

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 18 February 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 Facebook picture, via an Elections Commission approved Facebook group:

Gabby, Chris, and Emily

In most circumstances, ‘common sense’ would seem to indicate that Mr. Nagata – by writing a public letter declaring that, “If elected as your student body president, I look forward to confronting the budget crisis and other looming challenges,” and by posing in official pictures on an official elections Facebook group – is, in just about every sense of the word, campaigning. (By the way, whatever happened to the whole ‘one candidate per campaign material‘ rule? Looks like the third violation is on its way.)

However, in Bizarro World, unauthorized cookie distribution is the crime that impugns on the basic functioning of elections; unauthorized campaigning, meanwhile, is a petty and harmless offense.

UPDATE: Title change from 4:13 PM MST.


5 Responses

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  1. Daniel Sotelo said, on 18 February 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Campaign: “An operation or series of operations energetically pursued to accomplish a purpose”
    – Presumably, every candidate’s true purpose is not just to run in an election, but to win. Candidates attempt to win their election by informing their voters about their positions, prospective goals, and approach to attaining those goals. “Confronting the budget crisis and other looming challenges” appear to be a few of Mr. Nagata’s prospective goals if elected. While writing a public letter may not be a physically-intensive action, the text implies an enthusiastic, or “energetic”, approach to accomplishing his goal of becoming student body president. From point A to point B, from public letter to an act of campaigning, the train of logic has come off the tracks somewhere.

  2. Evan Lisull said, on 18 February 2009 at 8:20 pm

    A worthy point, but the definition more pertinent to election violations is the definition of campaigning given by the Code:


    Campaigning shall be defined as, but not limited to any public action or communication including leafleting, posting campaign material, talking, yelling, scheduling of engagements, emails, conversations, using electronic resources and/or other activities interpreted in this Code, initiated by a candidate or a member of their campaign staff with the intention of soliciting votes.

    So, yeah — assuming that this “public communication” was made “with the intention of soliciting votes,” then it’s a violation of Commissioner’s Ho’s stipulation that no write-in candidate can begin campaigning before the primary date.

    There’s also the issue of corroborating evidence with the picture. Each item taken independently is a tenuous case; but, when performed in concert, it’s very hard to reasonably argue that Mr. Nagata is not engaged in, to use your definition, “a series of operations [releasing a picture, publishing a letter] energetically pursued [a pretty editorial statement for what I assume to be a dictionary definition] to accomplish a purpose [to solicit votes].”

  3. Garrett P. O'Hara said, on 21 February 2009 at 10:20 pm

    How ironic is it that they’re wearing RED?

    I’m sorry if I’m posting too many of my old links, but this one is too good. The Facebook thing is nothing new, either. History repeats itself, indeed.

  4. […] February 23rd, 2009 Where there’s a regulation there’s a loophole. A few days ago, I posted on a picture of candidates Emily Fritze, Gabriella Ziccarelli, and Chris Nagata, citing the ban on […]

  5. […] elections 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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