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Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator

On the Oregon Constitution, or whatever

Today’s ODE has a Q&A session with Aaron Tuttle, ASUO elections coordinator. As I mentioned yesterday, one of the big non-issues of the election is spending limits – money, after all, being the root of all evil. Here’s Tuttle talking about changes to elections rules brought on by the almighty dollar (emphasis added):

We really just want to limit bribery, and that aspect of things. We solved that. These are issues … across the board for ASUO and elections in previous years. Another rule would be the spending cap, which we’ve been focusing a lot on. (Spending) went from $2,000 to $10,000 in the period of a year, and that’s just ridiculous. We really wanted to limit that because it’s a student election. You’re not running for a state office; you’re not running for a federal office. You’re here to represent students. And that image of you spending a lot of money, what does that say to people? You’re going to be their voice, basically. We really feel that, the financial aspect, leads to a lot of other issues. You’ve got to limit that. But the Oregon State Constitution states “no spending limits.” … It limits free speech, which is what the Oregon State Supreme Court, or whatever it is, says. So we kind of had to brush that off and head toward voluntary and see what candidates might be willing to do. […] Historically speaking, there’s obviously a huge correlation between the amount spent and the people who win, so it puts us in a bit of a pickle to figure out what they’re going to do. It’s a tough situation for everyone. Other schools in the state have spending caps and they just haven’t had to deal with the legality of it. It’s “a waiting for it to happen” kind of thing. Other schools comparable to our size … have campaigns of about $1,500.

Legality, Constitution, Supreme Court, whatever. But seriously, the ability to spend your money as you see fit is freedom of speech. People only whine about “disproportionate influence” and “concentration of power” when it comes to things they disagree with (e.g. You never hear Democrats complain about George Soros’ vast wealth and power).

Tuttle also talked about how this year’s ASUO elections are shaping up to be a kinder, gentler affair. Speaking of which, the grievance count remains at zero. Anyone want to start a pool for when the first one will be filed?

  1. Niedermeyer says:

    Man does this guy appear to have his head up his ass. The thing about student elections is that if you don’t pay for them up front with off-campus money, you pay for them after you win… with student money. If you don’t raise money, you can’t reach the majority of students and you end up playing to the programs. Believe me, they will expect you to be very forthcoming with student money if you win with their help. Meanwhile, who donates to an ASUO campaign and expects a kickback or a night in the Suite 1 “Lincoln bedroom”?

    This is just like the “slates are teh evil” blather that comes around every election. Sounds nice and radicool, but it’s pure pap. Be proud to raise money for your campaign, people! If you want to administer an $11m+ budget, you should respect money and its value. And what better way to gain this respect than by asking people to donate to your campaign? It’s harder to dismiss ASUO expenditures of “just” $10k or $20k as “small potatoes” if you understand how hard it is to get someone to part with (say) $100 for your campaign. Plus you won’t owe programs and other ASUO teat-suckers a penny that they don’t really need or deserve.

  2. Betz says:

    I’m guessing next Monday, and I have a strong feeling it will be about something pithy like poster location, or the amount of Day-glo present in campaign T-shirts.

  3. Tyler S says:

    Um. There have definitely been at least one grievance filed, and we can assume it was election related.

  4. ThunderLove says:

    I got thursday for the first grievance filed

  5. Zombie Ayn Rand says:

    George Soros’s vast wealth and power makes me hungry.

    For brraaaaaaiiinnns!

  6. Vincent says:

    What a galoot.

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