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ASUO Senate Report: Absence Makes The News A Little Better

The lame-duck Senate has been especially boring the last few weeks, doling out the last bits of surplus money, and not doing much else. Your intrepid ASUO correspondent has been taking advantage of the lull, by not going to meetings for the last few weeks. It appears that not much has been missed, untill this week, that is.

In what should be the last full meeting of this years Senate, Senator Karl Mourfy was appointed to replace Justice Roberts on the Constitutional Court. Mourfy has more integrity and credibility than just about anyone on Senate, and will be the most competent Con Court justice since Wally Hicks. His testimony at Wednesday’s confirmation shows how well he understands the court’s current shortcomings, and how to fix them.

“I want to hear from both parties. Is it politically charged? I would like to have people settle matters outside the court,” he said. “Don’t just go to the court.”

Prompted by Papailiou, Mourfy also discussed his belief about the role of the judiciary.

“I believe the court should deal only when there is a conflict,” said Mourfy. “The court should not play politics.”

Many Senators praised Mourfy prior to unanimously approving him for the court.

Perhaps spurred by the recent embarassments of Con Court, Senate actually questioned the other appointee, former Pac-8 candidate Zach Basaraba, and found that he was lacking some fairly basic knowledge.

Sophomore Zach Basaraba faced tough scrutiny by Sen. Erica Reiko Anderson who asked him about his knowledge of the Clark Document – the guidelines for allocating incidental fee funds.

Basaraba was unfamiliar with specifics.

“I don’t know detail for detail how to operate, but I know what’s acceptable and what’s not,” he said.

Basaraba had further trouble responding to the questions concerning the role of a non-political judiciary and his views on coming to judicial decisions.

I wish I could have witnessed this, because when the Emerald reports in it’s news coverage that a nominee is “unfamiliar with specifics,” he must have been REALLY unfamiliar with specifics. Good riddance too, because the last thing the Con Court needs is another inexperienced, biased political hack.

The other good news out of Senate, is that after receiving $2,000 under scurrilous conditions for a Washington D.C. trip, the USSA was denied the option of spending $1,000 of the allocation which was unspent on a board meeting in Santa Cruz. ASUO Federal Affairs Coordinator Lisa Harris requested that $1,100 which remained unspent be used to send “a three-person group including Sen. Chii-San SunOwen and ASUO Vice President Juliana Guzman” to Santa Cruz. In a brave display of leadership, SunOwen apparently argued eloquently to send herself on the trip, contending that the money didn’t all get spent because one person dropped out of the D.C. trip. “It wasn’t misspending, irresponsibility. It was something out of our control,” she said. Oh, OK, well in that case, go ahead and have another little trip on the student dime… Santa Cruz is lovely this time of year.

Of course, the best stuff comes from the people’s champion, Nate Gulley:

Sen. Nate Gully suggested many Senators were over-scrutinizing the USSA request because they were seeking revenge.

“I can think of at least five occasions when we’ve created a item budget for groups to move money,” he said. “Just because you have a grudge, doesn’t mean it has to come out now.”

In March, Gully voted in favor of the surplus funding for the USSA Washington, D.C. delegation, which he attended. All other Senators who were also members of the delegation abstained from the vote, citing a conflict of interest.

Gee, Nate, why would people be holding a grudge about this? We all know the saying… “scam me once, shame on you; scam me twice, shame on me.” Oh, and why did SunOwen abstain? There’s no rule against voting for surplus allocations that benefit you personally, is there?

  1. michael grey says:

    damn. Stellar write up.

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