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Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator


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 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.

  1. Toby says:

    Well, I think back a few comments we hit the nail on the head, ConCourt is not a real court and has no power.

  2. THUNDERLOVE says:

    total bullshit i’m just pissed you guys have more grievances

  3. Niedermeyer says:

    Where was Mourfi on this?

    I say ignore the fuckers. Run your ads, wear your shirts… you can always sue if you get removed from the ballot. None of this is particularly surprising… just more proof that Con Court badly needs to be gutted and replaced with people who are not connected with the good old ASUO interests. I have literally never read an opinion by those clowns that has made a tiny bit of sense, and yet they basically have absolute power over the ASUO.

    As Ian says, bullshit like this happens every year. Roll with it kids!

  4. Sam Dotters-Katz says:

    Greviences have been filed against us, and elections board has ruled that if there is an add starting monday we can not wear campaign t-shirts that day. If we do we are subject to removal from the ballot. I WILL be wearing my t-shirt on monday. Believe that.

  5. I'm back... says:

    Actually, campaign rules are defined as institutional regulations. And in a student election, all participants consent to abide by the election procedure prior to actually running. If Sam and Johnny had a problem with this rule, which is totally absurd, then they still should have made note of this early on. If this matter were taken to court, it would be quickly dismissed. First, the OAT campaign still has several outlets to express their voice. Secondly, the legal system is SLOW…so if you decided to pursue this in court, then a decision would not be produced immediately. Furthermore, if Sam and Johnny were not to pull the ads, then the Con Court (infamous for terrible rulings) may decide to kick them off of the ballot.

    Anonymous…good effort but you need to think this through. Now is not the time to get hyperemotional and lose rational thought. One more thing, the opposing slate could not be held accountable in court. Only the UO can be viewed as a state actor, thus the other slate is off of the hook.

    Sam and Johnny…just pull the ads and divert your attention elsewhere.

  6. Sakaki says:

    This is one of the reasons why I advocate the Con Court’s disbanding for the rest of the term.

  7. Anonymous says:

    On another note: the con court could have struck down the rule. Instead they chose to validate the rule, and limit speech in a manner which they are not legally permitted to do so.

    Again, I highly recommend taking this to real court if there is any issue with your ads being published. The con court really only had one option with this case, and they chose to not exerciser it. That option was to strike down a rule which is illegal. That section is not in line with State or Federal free speech protection. And it needs to removed. The con court should have struck it from the books. Instead, they simply interpreted it.

    What a weak, shameful decision. This is the kind of absurdity which brings about horrible decisions like Plessy v. Ferguson – either biased or weak jurists trying to maintain government control where control is absolutely prohibited.

  8. Anonymous says:

    SAM and JOHNNY: Ignore this ruling. Free speech cannot be limited in this manner. Political campaigns have an all but absolute right publish speech in advertisements. This would be akin to the Con Court saying that campaigns can’t buy flyers.

    The Con Court has overstepped their bounds and this clarification should never have been submitted in the first place. The Con Court has made a ruling which is not within the reasonable principles of the constitutional law – they are saying you cannot purchase ads in a newspaper and run for campus office. This is not only rediculous, but it is invalid.

    If for some reason action is taken against your campaign for printing ads in the Daily Emerald, then I would advise your campaign to seek legal counsel and take this case to a real court, where the ASUO Con Court’s decision will promptly be thrown out based on the most basic principles of first amendment case law.

    Shame on the Con Court for publishing such a shortsighted ruling. I can forgive them considering they’re a campus institution. But they would not be able to pull this shit in real court. Again, ignore this ruling, publish your ads. If the opposing campaign brings a grievance and tries to disqualify you all, then take them to real court. You’d have a solid case.

  9. Ossie says:

    I’ve been drunk every night this week. So, yea.

  10. Timothy says:

    It also explains the drinking.

  11. Ian says:

    Now, I know why Ted went a little crazy last year.

    The ASUO does stupid shit and the OC editor goes (at least) a little crazy every year.

  12. P says:

    “Technically when I was on PFC, the ODE wasn

  13. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Well, the ODE is still running ads for Oregon Action Team, and we’re running a full backpage ad for them this upcoming issue. So, yeah. I’d like to see those illiterate space cadets try and do something about it.

  14. Timothy says:

    This ruling interferes with a the fundamentally guaranteed right to freedom of association. You guys and the ODE should collude to publish candidate ads for FREE and see what the Con Court does about that.

  15. Ossie says:

    This ruling is just utterly absurd and Con Court should feel silly. There is a huge difference between employing a University resource and being a customer of a student publication. Candidates do not use newspapers or magazine when they advertise; their money is what is used, to buy inches in a publication that are equally accessible to all candidates.

    Con Court needs to read through the ODE and OC archives and see how many times candidates have run paid advertisements in both over the years. Their “interpretation” is not strong enough grounds to reverse this practice.

    I repeat, the Commentator and Daily Emerald would never deny an advertisement for political reasons. In future elections, it should be clear that paying for advertisements in campus publications is a valid practice.

  16. Toby says:

    Technically when I was on PFC, the ODE wasn’t a paper “produced” with student funds as per the decision but rather the fee paid is a “subscription fee” that pays for every student to have the opportunity to have a paper. There are serious flaws in the logic of the con court.

  17. Jake says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous. You have a government dictating what a newspaper can publish. Where’s the outcry? Where’s the 72-point head with “FUCK” in bold letters? And how can someone be a judge and write a sentence like “This is just an interpretation of the Election Rule 6.12, not a determination of the validity of said rule.” God damn this is infuriating. Now, I know why Ted went a little crazy last year.

  18. Sam Dotters-Katz says:

    There is a serious flaw in the logic of this Con Court ruling. When the ruling cites rule 6-12 about unfair access, this would only be applicable if, for example, a candidate besides myself tried to buy advertising and was denied. The legal term for this is Ripeness, and because no candidate IN REALITY NOT THEORETICALLY was harmed or denied access, citing 6-12 as an arguement completely lacks ripeness. But I am sure Con Court already knows this.

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