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The Death of My Senate Run, Irony

My confirmation hearing to Senate was last night, and, in what can only be described as a gross perversion of democracy and justice, I was voted down 0-12-2. I’ll let ODE reporter and blogger Alex “Tomcat” Tomchak take it from here:

CJ Ciaramella’s appointment to the ASUO Senate failed Wednesday after the Oregon Commentator editor responded to concerns he would not take the position seriously by trimming his facial hair in the style of Wilford Brimley and reciting Barack Obama’s inaugural address before the Senate.

Not one senator voted to appoint Ciaramella to the empty seat representing the journalism school after a hearing that forced one spectator to leave the EMU Board Room clutching his mouth to stifle his laughter and several Senators unable to restrain grins.


Ciaramella refused to definitively answer questions about whether he wanted to be on the Senate in the first place.

“I do want to be on Senate,” Ciaramella said. “But sometimes it hurts me inside.”

Ciaramella said he was attempting to represent journalism students, whom he said “have a black sense of humor.” When Sen. Sandy Weintraub read the letter in which Ciaramella accused senators of being “nominally more intelligent than a trained circus bear,” many senators laughed openly. Afterwards, however, Sen. Hailey Sheldon told Ciaramella she could not vote for him.

“I personally love irony–,” she began before Ciaramella cut her off.

“I don’t actually like irony,” Ciaramella insisted.

Sens. Weintraub and Cassie Gray said Ciaramella’s use of Obama’s speech offended them.

“Maybe your constituents think that’s funny, but I don’t think that’s funny,” Gray said.

There’s more, so much more, such as the part where one Senator questioned the “nefarious underground sources” I cited under the “how you heard about the position” part of my application. I also enjoyed reading the inaugural speech, which had several passages that were strangely appropriate when taken out of context. To wit (emphasis added):

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics. We remain a young nation Senate, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works […]. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

I have an audio file of the whole thing, and I’ll be putting it up somewhere on the Internets shortly.

  1. Alex Peters says:

    >>You can accomplish the change you want no matter what form you have to take to make it happen.<<

    Did Barack Obama just admit to being a shapeshifter?

  2. Matt says:

    Ah damn. This is the worst news since my dog died.

    I think a lot of us involved in campus media were definately pulling for ya. If for no other reason than the fact a Senator CJ Ciaramella would have generated the best ASUO column inches since Nate Gulley and his ASUO adventures.

    I think the greatest ASUO irony is that if they didn’t take themselves so seriously, they probably wouldn’t be so much of a joke. It’s like they’re simultaneously less professional and more self-important than any real government I’ve ever dealt with.

    Anyway, if you decide to run in the actual election, you can count on my vote!

  3. Barack Obama says:


    Thank you for taking inspiration with my words. I strongly encourage you to seek the position of senator again. You can accomplish the change you want no matter what form you have to take to make it happen.


  4. Niedermeyer says:

    Congrats CJ! Keep sticking it to the humorless bastards. You prominent conservative, you!

  5. Well played, sir. Also:

    Sens. Weintraub and Cassie Gray said Ciaramella

  6. Timothy says:

    Excellent work, CJ, it’s nice to see the OC’s tradition of mocking the ASUO find a home in the senate. Not since The Tamir has senate been so resolutely and thoroughly put in its place.

  7. Sakaki says:

    CJ was only following Joe Biden’s example.

  8. Jake says:

    First: Mike Hunt = Classy

    Second: As a J-school alum I can’t think of anyone better to represent us besides C.J. Unless Ryan Knutson is still around.

  9. Jobetta says:

    CJ, I can honestly say that I wish you’d been appointed when I was the ASUO reporter. I would have loved to write that story.

    The Commentator candidates were always fun. Ted is the reason that some of the ODE spell check dictionaries recognize the word douchebag.

  10. Mike hunt says:

    Senators are about as awful as porns where they shit in eachothers mouths

  11. Rockne Andrew Roll says:

    In the words of Snoop Dog, later repeated by Ben Folds:

    “Man, fuck that bitch.”

  12. Vincent says:

    No one’s disputing that.

  13. Vincent: That was really your favorite part? God, I have no talent.

  14. Vincent says:

    This is my favorite part:

    Sens. Weintraub and Cassie Gray said Ciaramella

  15. Lyzi says:

    We will be airing parts of the hearing on KWVA, 88.1fm on Friday from 6:30 to 7pm, also available online at Listen for the epic clip of everything Cassandra Gray said, including the laugh-inducing comments on CJ’s “nefarious underground sources.” Epic.

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