The Con Court has made a ruling and denied a motion for reconsideration that sets the precedent that ASUO candidates cannot advertisement with, specifically, the Oregon Daily Emerald, and by default, the Oregon Commentator.
A motion of clarification filed by Tony Mecum brings into question Election Rule 6-12, which states:
that no candidate “shall employ, for any purpose relating to such election or ballot measure, any University facility or resource to which other electors do not have equal access.” Election Rule 6-12.A.vi defines “University facilities and resources” as including “[p]ublications produced with University and/or student funds.”
Executive candidates Sam Dotters-Katz and Johnny Delashaw signed a contract with the Oregon Daily Emerald to run 10 half-page ads during this week and next week. Con Court ruled this breaks rule 6-12 because the Emerald can choose to not negotiate with a advertiser.
The Oregon Daily Emerald newspaper is a publication produced with student funds and as an independent paper has the right to run only the ads it wishes to, making it not necessarily accessible to all electorates. Therefore Election Rule 6.12 bars any electorates from employing the Oregon Daily Emerald newspaper.
A footnote in the opinion says:
This is just an interpretation of the Election Rule 6.12, not a determination of the validity of said rule.
This is absurd. First of all, ASUO President Emily McLain’s campaign ran an ad in the Emerald last year. Second of all, candidates have always ran ads in both the Emerald and the Oregon Commentator. We have several examples of this. Finally, both publications have advertising policies that clearly state both publications will not deny an advertiser based on political reasons, only if said advertisement is deemed offensive. (Actually, in the OC, pretty much anything goes as long as we get our dough.)
This is a preposterous precedent that the Con Court has set. It will deliberately take away much needed revenue from two students groups, both this year and possibly in the future unless this gets cleaned up.
CORRECTION: I originally said that Mecum filed a grievance. Mecum, a member of the Oregon Action Team, actually filed a motion of clarification.