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Archive for April, 2009

Apropos of Nothing

April 20th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

I hope everybody is having a good day.

Just make sure not to shoot your friend in the face, which, of course, is very likely to happen when you’re smoking The Devil’s Harvest!

Some Cheese With That Whine

April 19th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

In case you haven’t seen it, the Daily Emerald has its article on the final ASUO election results up, and it’s full of hi-larious quotes from the Oregon Action Team’s campaign manager Marcus Krieg. Here’s Krieg talking abut how the OAT got an absolute shellacking:

“What’s unfortunate is I think our candidates ran a real honest and good campaign,” Krieg said. “It’s real tough because I think the ASUO will miss the Oregon Action Team this year.”

Krieg also mentioned “bad press” and the manner in which Kallaway and her running mate Getachew Kassa administered their campaign. He cited their decision to ally with slates whose presidential candidates lost in the primaries as evidence that their claims to independence were false. “They’ve run a really shitty, really petty campaign,” he said.

The article goes on to say that new ASUO president elect didn’t receive a congratulatory phone call from either Michelle Haley or Ted Sebastian, although she did receive some from ASUO Sen. Demic Tipitino and current president Sam Dotters-Katz. Kallaway also said in the article that she hopes OAT members still apply for some of the open positions in the ASUO. Krieg’s classy response?

Krieg said he is skeptical that there will be a place for his candidates under Kallaway. “Every time they look at us, they’ll know that they won a really underhanded campaign,” he said.

Krieg must be gunning for a PR job with the Republican party, what with that charming, conciliatory attitude.

Honestly, I wish the OAT had won a few more seats because we need diversity of opinion in the ASUO. Having a single party in power is never good. But when they conduct themselves like that, it’s hard to muster a lot of sympathy.

On Just Saying No

April 19th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

From a Washington Post opinion piece and probably one of the best articles I’ve read on drug legalization:

Here is a glimpse of what lies ahead if we fail to end our second attempt to control the personal habits of private citizens. Listen to Enrique Gomez Hurtado, a former high court judge from Colombia who still has shrapnel in his leg from a bomb sent to kill him by the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar.

In 1993, his country was a free-fire zone not unlike Mexico today, and Gomez issued this chilling — and prescient — warning to an international drug policy conference in Baltimore:

“The income of the drug barons is greater than the American defense budget. With this financial power they can suborn the institutions of the state, and if the state resists … they can purchase the firepower to outgun it. We are threatened with a return to the Dark Ages.”

Speaking of Baltimore, here’s David Simon, creator of The Wire, in a recent interview with Bill Moyers:

I would decriminalize drugs in a heartbeat. I would put all the interdiction money, all the incarceration money, all the enforcement money, all of the pretrial, all the prep, all of that cash, I would hurl it, as fast as I could, into drug treatment and job training and jobs programs. I would rather turn these neighborhoods [ghettos] inward with jobs programs. Even if it was the equivalent of the urban CCC, if it was New Deal-type logic, it would be doing less damage than creating a war syndrome, where we’re basically treating our underclass. The drug war’s war on the underclass now. That’s all it is. It has no other meaning.

I tend to disagree with the some of Simon’s argument, which is fairly anti-capitalist (you should watch the whole video), but it just goes to show the breadth of drug legalization support.


April 17th, 2009 by Vincent


Election Results to Be Posted at Five P.M.

April 17th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

ASUO election results will be posted at five p.m. I’ll update this post when I get them.

Apparently all the confusion has been sorted out, but not before elections board chair Aaron Tuttle received a high volume of obscene phone calls and emails. I’m sure it had nothing to do with certain candidates posting his cell number on Facebook last night. Definitely not. Stay classy, guys.


Okay, here’s the results. Emma Kallaway and Getachew Kassa won the executive ticket by a vote of 2031-1368. The Oregon Action Team lost bad, taking only one contested Senate seat and a couple of uncontested. They won a few positions on the SRC advisory committee and EMU board as well.

Personal Message for Zack Vishanoff

April 17th, 2009 by Guy


This is a bit untimely, but the OC isn’t in the message business. Someone named Nina called the office up sometime early last term looking for you. She said she was in California and wanted you to call her back as soon as possible regarding a personal matter. Her number is 661-323-6250.

Better late than never?

Always The Bride’s Maid

April 17th, 2009 by Timothy

Radley Balko has announced the AFF Blog Contest Winners.

Congratulations are in order to the current OC staff, as for the second year in a row this very blog has taken Second Place! Like the print magazine, the OC Blog is consistently sharp, witty, and apparently award-winning. Keep up the good work, folks. And be sure to spend all the money on blow.

You’ve done papa proud.

This Ain’t Over

April 16th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

In case you were wondering, ASUO elections have not ended. Online polls were supposed to close at five p.m., but there was some mix-up. Apparently students at the American English Institute and the Continuing Education program weren’t able to vote. No word about hanging chads. Word on the street is this will be resolved when the elections board meets with Vice President for Student Affairs Robin Holmes in the morning.

About that Gadsden Flag in the Office…

April 16th, 2009 by Vincent

Well, we knew it all along, but I guess it’s nice to know it’s official.


Con Court Smacks Down Elections Board

April 16th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

Finding that the elections board does not, in fact, have the power to unilaterally dismiss candidates or enforce state laws or university conduct codes (who would have thought?), the ASUO Constitution Court has summarily reversed the boards’ decision to remove the Oregon Action Team from the ballot and dismissed the grievance filed against it by David Griffin. From the ruling:

Indeed, it is neither within the its [sic] jurisdiction, nor the intended function of this Court, nor any other body within the ASUO, to hear, review, or otherwise consider any allegation of violations under Oregon law, or the Student Conduct Code. Should a member of this Association be arrested, held, charged, tried, found, convicted, or similarly disposed under Oregon law or the Conduct Code, resulting from actions of a type alleged here, or any other related action or activities, then the Court may consider such evidence in its own adjudication.

Without such a process duly undertaken by the proper authorities on the respective matters, the Court does not consider any statements that pass judgment as to the illegality of any alleged actions.

Upon hearing the court’s ruling, elections board chair Aaron Tuttle reportedly roared mightily, flipped a nearby table and exclaimed, “I AM THE LAW!” Okay, that’s not true.

The silver lining behind all of this is that we are actually getting somewhere close to clearly defining the role of the elections board, the Con Court, etc.

Finally, we can get back to the business of electing people based on cronyism and colorful t-shirts – y’know, the way a representative republic is supposed to work.

Anti-tax ‘tea parties’

April 15th, 2009 by Scott Younker

I’d heard about this a couple of days ago but didn’t see anything come of it in Eugene. 

However, I came across this article whilst browsing MSNBC a little bit ago, and this article features some of the best/most hilarious quotes that I’ve seen in a national “publication” in sometime. 

Here are my favorites:

“All you have to be is a mildly awake Republican candidate for office to get in front of that parade,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

Julie Reeves, of Covington, brought her Chihuahua Arnie, who wore a tiny anti-IRS T-shirt. “I want the government to get its hand the hell out of my wallet,” Reeves said.

But unlike many events around the country, politicians were not allowed to speak at a separate rally in San Antonio.

“They are welcome to come and listen to us, for a change,” organizers said in a statement.

Protesters even threw what appeared to be a box of tea bags over the fence onto the White House grounds, causing a brief lockdown at the compound before the package was declared not dangerous.

Kate Maloney held a cardboard sign that read “Pin the tail on the jacka$$” with a picture of Obama on a Democratic donkey.

And finally, what I think is the best one of the article—two reasons, 1. They used Twisted Sister in a protest and 2. Remember when everyone was comparing Bush to Hitler? This one is even funnier.

Other protesters also took direct aim at Obama. One sign in the crowd in Madison, Wis., compared him to the anti-Christ. At a rally in Montgomery, Ala., where Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” blared from loudspeakers, Jim Adams of Selma carried a sign that showed the president with Hitler-style hair and mustache and said, “Sieg Heil Herr Obama.”

You should actually read the article, it’s pretty interesting in and of itself but I just wanted to point out some of the more notable parts, or at least I thought they were notable. 

I wonder how many students we could rally if we held an Anti-iFee ‘tea party’?

ASUO Elections: OAT Still on the Ballot?

April 15th, 2009 by Scott Younker

Tomchak is getting all the news over at the ODE blogs, then again, Tuttle is force-feeding him information.


According to a post, the UO Administration told the IT guys not to remove Haley and Ted from the online ballot for the elections.

So, they’re still on the ballot?

In other news, Tuttle provided Tomchak with the “evidence” that supports Haley’s alleged involvement in the parties, stickers, and bribery alcohol. He also got the letter to Tuttle about the parties, from someone…

Bloom and Haley’s Exchange

The Letter – (names removed because people feared for the writer’s safety…what is he going to get assassinated?)

More updates as they come.

ASUO Elections Achieve New Heights of Absurdity

April 15th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

We’re entering uncharted territory here, folks. Beyond thunderdome, if you will. The Oregon Action Team exec ticket has been kicked off the ballot, with the rest of its slate also under the axe. The OAT is threatening legal action. ASUO Exec Sam Dotters-Katz has issued a statement calling the election board’s ruling “one of the most reprehensible and shameful acts I have witnessed at the ASUO,” although he said he would not try to intervene.

All in all, it’s a complete disaster. Either the OAT is guilty of bribing volunteers with alcohol, or their opponents sandbagged them with false accusations. It’s a lose-lose situation for the student body either way.

This is why the Oregon Commentator did not endorse any of the executive tickets. I know that both campaigns have been doing these shady things all along. The problem is I don’t know which one to distrust more.

For example, the following is from the ODE article on yesterday’s exec debates:

“I had the pleasure of going to a conference funded by student fees,” Haley said. She said she used the conference as an opportunity to lobby legislators on behalf of students, but that, “Every morning at 6 a.m., Emma was meeting with two people from the ASUO planning her campaign.”

Kallaway then snapped back, “At six in the morning, I’m pretty sure that you were sleeping and I was being more educated about the ASUO.”

After the debate, Kallaway said she had been meeting with ASUO alumni who did not want to be identified. She said it was “a privilege to see old perspectives” on a variety of issues, and the way she spent her time in Washington D.C. indicated her ability to get the maximum use out of available resources.

Do you know what they’re talking about? It’s called Fight Club. The progressive bloc in the ASUO have their own Mystic Society of No Homers to organize their campaigns and get “the right people” in office. Most everybody around the ASUO knows about it, but it’s hard to get anyone on the record because … well, you know the first rule of fight club.

But this is the kind of atmosphere that pervades the entire ASUO on both sides of the spectrum; the conservatives have their little Karl Roves as well. It’s all insider politics, backroom deals and smoke and mirrors, and it’s disgusting.

Most people expected the Commentator to support the OAT. We did last year, and I don’t regret that. But besides opposing OSPIRG and paying lip-service to lowering the I-fee, it’s hard to see how this year’s Oregon Action Team slate qualifies as particularly conservative. As the ODE noted, their idea to increase football tickets is unrealistic, especially in an economic crunch. The rest of their platform consists of maintaining and/or expanding services. How this will lower the I-fee is beyond me. The OAT seemed more concerned with fostering an image and winning seats than promoting fiscal responsibility.

So there you have it: Stuck with the choice of the “ASUO tested, Fight Club approved” candidates or a faux-conservative slate full of mostly lackluster people and ideas, we chose neither. (Well, actually we chose “Deez Nuts.”) No one on the Commentator staff was interested in endorsing any of the exec tickets. The students of the University of Oregon deserve an open and transparent government, not a bunch of self-serving twits.

I don’t give the benefit of the doubt to any ruling coming from the elections board, and their ruling once again seems completely arbitrary and nonsensical. However, I have trouble being outraged because, frankly, we were doomed from the start.

The cherry on top of all this is 80 percent of students could care less.

(Oh, P.S. Emma and Getachew voiced conditional support for bringing OSPIRG back next year, so if Michelle and Ted are completely off the ballot, you can expect to see those money-grubbing clowns again come budget season.)

Oregon Action Team Response

April 15th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

The Oregon Action Team just issued this press release:

The Oregon Action Team is shocked and astounded by the Election Board’s ruling.

Their ruling is based on hearsay. Literally, somebody (not even the minor allegedly furnished alcohol) told David Griffin that we furnished alcohol to minors and Griffin filed the grievance. Based on Oregon State law, you need to be caught in the act in order to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt on these sorts of issues.

There is zero evidence that the Oregon Action Team was involved in giving alcohol to minors. Anybody could have put our OAT stickers on the liquor bottles; they were being handed out for three days on campus.

Anybody could have taken the pictures in question after affixing the stickers. Thus, there is absolutely no link between the OAT Executive Ticket and the fictional event in question.
Finally, the Election Board determined that handing out OAT stickers was in violation of rule 2.4, but that is classified as campaign paraphernalia, which is protected by rule 2.4.: “with the exception of campaign paraphernalia”. The Oregon Action Team believes that last bit illustrates how badly the Elections Board wants to hurt our campaign. It demonstrates once again how biased the Election Board has been against us.

The Oregon Action Team also thinks that Emma and Getachew should be ashamed of themselves for sinking to an all-time low with this grievance. It is libelous and slanderous and functions as an attempt to sabotage our campaign. Unless they can prove we performed the act in question, which is impossible because it never happened, then their grievance, quotations, and verbal accusations are all grounds for a civil suit against them.

Additionally, they are in violation of rule 2.3 for sabotage, which is grounds for removal from the ballot. We will be pursuing legal recourses.

Also, the Oregon Action Team believes this is an example of the worst kind of politics: shifting the focus away from the issues and towards these outright lies in hopes of defeating a superior opponent. We call upon our opponents to reevaluate their campaign tactics so that the student electorate can elect their student leaders absent of these shameless grievances.

OAT Exec Ticket Removed From Ballot

April 14th, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

The ODE just reported through Twitter that Oregon Action Team executive ticket Michelle Haley and Ted Sebastian have been removed from the ballot by the elections board. Updates to follow.


Here’s the ODE blog post with the election board’s opinion. Apparently the election board has evidence that the OAT gave alcohol to minors in exchange for support. Gee, I sure am glad the Commentator didn’t endorse any exec candidates this year. Because that would just be embarrassing.

In the words of the great Roast Beef, “Jesus, [Oregon Action Team], we got the chessboard out but you playin’ whac-a-mole!”

UPDATE: The ODE blog post has been updated to read: “Michelle Haley and Ted Sebastian are off the ballot after the Elections Board ruled they had provided alcohol to minors volunteers.”

Intrigue. Shenanigans. Just another hour in this perennial circus known as the ASUO elections. And if you take this as some sort of endorsement of the other slate, forget about it. I wash my hands of all these clowns.


The full text of the decision:


[April 14, 2009]



On April 13, 2009, David Griffin (hereinafter Petitioner) filed a grievance against the consolidated campaign of the “Oregon Action Team” (hereinafter Respondent) with the ASUO Elections Board in violation of the University of Oregon Conduct Code § 3.j.(B), Oregon State Law ORS 471.410(2), and the Election Rules 2.1 and 2.4. The Petitioner was informed from an anonymous source that the Members of the Respondent’s campaign were furnishing alcohol to minors in support for their candidates, which the Petitioner claims was bribery. The Petitioner requests that under the Election Rules 6.9, 7.2.d, 7.2.d(i) that the candidates be removed from the ballot.


Pursuant to Article 12 § 5 of the ASUO Constitution, the Elections Board “shall interpret the Election Rules on request and shall have the authority to hear complaints of violations.”

Pursuant to the ASUO Constitution Article 13 § 5 states that the Elections Board “shall have the authority to hear complaints of violations. The Elections Board shall have the authority to act as hearings officers and form a Hearings Committee that must include but is not limited to three Elections Board members.”


Due to the function of the Elections Board, the Board will only be addressing the Petitioners concerns regarding the Elections Rules. The Petitioner accuses the Respondent of violating Election Rule 2.1 and 2.4.

Based on credible evidence that has been provided to the Elections Board, the Board has found that the Respondent’s be held responsible for the actions that took place at the party in question, pursuant with Election Rule 6.1. Evidence provided has shown that the Presidential Candidate for the Respondent’s campaign was aware that said party was going to take place and that some members of the Respondent’s campaign would be putting stickers on items to be handed out at said party. This conflicts with statements made in the Oregon Daily Emerald (ODE) by Presidential Candidate for the Respondent’s campaign where she asserted that any alcohol with stickers affixed to the must have been provided by opposition candidates.  It should also be noted that the Presidential Candidate of the Respondent’s campaign commented in the ODE that she had handed out stickers for free to students which is also a violation of rule 2.4


Due to the severity of these actions and taking into consideration that they are also in violation of Oregon law, the Board will be permanently and irrevocably removing the Executive Ticket of the Respondent’s campaign from the ASUO Elections ballot on April 15, 2009. The Board has chosen to remove just the Executive Ticket of the Respondent’s campaign, instead of the entire slate, on the stipulation that the names of other members of the Respondent’s Campaign and their constituency present at the party in question be given to the Elections Board by 5:00 p.m. On April 15, 2009. If these names are not provided, the Elections Board will remove all members of the Respondent’s campaign from the Ballot on April 16, 2009. If these names are provided by 5:00 p.m., only those who have been recognized as being involved in these violations will be removed, in addition to the Executive Candidates of the Respondent’s campaign

It is so ordered.