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Archive for the '2012 ASUO Elections' Category

ASUO President Yanked From Office

January 22nd, 2013 by Ben Schorr

ASUO president Laura Hinman has been removed from office for nonfullfilment. To be candid, the reasons behind the removal are disappointing, considering the bar set by ASUO scandals in recent years.

The UO Constitutional Court ruled in favor of a grievance filed against Hinman, stating that she failed to appoint an elections board by a specified deadline. The ruling can be seen here. The grievance was filed by Joanna Stewart, manager for the notorious Katie Taylor and Alex Sylvester campaign.

Vice President Nick McCain will take over the position, though a petition to reinstate Hinman began shortly after the court decision.

The ASUO executive has not yet made a statement on the matter.

The Con Court doesn’t look anything like this…why?

Edit (2/18/13): An update on this issue can be seen here.

“Perceived” Rights and Smoker Ethics

December 11th, 2012 by C.W. Keating

After getting off of work in the dungeon that is the Knight Library basement, I stepped into the afternoon rain. I pulled a pre-rolled cigarette from my pocket (Bugler brand – mangy, disgusting Bugler) and lit it. Standing off to the side so as not to spread smoke, an elderly woman shot me the evil eye before stopping in front of me: “There’s no smoking on campus. Go smoke across the street.”

I stared at her until she left.

This kind of situation has become all-too-common since the Healthy Campus Initiative, in partnership with the UO Health Center and the administration (with a special guest funding appearance from the ASUO), implemented a campus-wide smoking ban at the beginning of the Fall. The idea of a smoking ban isn’t anything new; the Smoke Free Campus Task Force (SFTF) issued a report in 2008 that sought to

tak[e] up the matter of campus smoking policy with the understanding that the issue is fueled by strong personal convictions for perceived personal rights, both the right to be free from the effects of secondhand smoke and the right to choose to smoke cigarettes (STFT Report, emphasis mine)

The rest of the report either references student support from polls drawn from other universities, or flat-out neglects student responses in order to reference various studies, policies, and polls from other universities. Under “Synthesis of Survey Findings of UO Faculty, Staff, and Students,” the report states that

Many survey respondents are ready to support the move to a smoke free campus… [and] also were confident that this could be accomplished with designated smoking areas… (Ibid.)

Oh, hey, there’s a reasonable point. But no! The STFT simply cannot concede, because “enforcement becomes very difficult and compliance suffers as a result.” You don’t say.

No matter what the administration does, what programs it implements, what funding it pulls or pushes, students will push against it. Lord knows the Commentator will. The Healthy Campus Initiative tried to remedy this student disconnect with the “STFU” posters, a internet-conscious campaign that seemed to confuse people more than encourage quitting (check out this post about the issue from our very own Editor Emeritus Sophia Lawhead).

Another argument is that it unfairly targets lower-income UO workers. Even those filthy hipsters at the OV agree with us on this point. Making workers go off campus for a 15 minute smoke break is not only inconsiderate, but damaging to already-strained labor relationships.

“All I wanted was a non-fat, cream-jizzed latte with peasant tears in it!”

So why bring up this almost-5-year-old report, you may ask? Because Frances Dyke and company never really cared about what students thought. The UO has become a brand, and it needs to sell itself in order to keep flagging state funding and private donor contributions steady. The publicity surrounding the ban has relentlessly focused on the “progressive” aspects of the program without attending to the opinions of students or faculty – and if so, only through narrow data samples used to prop up their point.

But the effects of secondhand smoke are serious. I completely understand the goal behind the smoking ban. Cigarette butt litter continues to be a problem, and has only been exacerbated by the ban — take a look at the 13th and Kincaid entrance to campus if you don’t believe me. Families with young children and people with respiratory problems are also rightfully concerned.

The only way to fight this ban, then, is to implement a personal smoker code of ethics to demonstrate smoker commitment to a healthy campus and personal freedoms. Here’s mine:

  1. Always smoke away from buildings and large groups of people, and/or areas of great traffic.
  2. Stop inhaling and pull the cigarette as far away from passing families with children.
  3. If someone asks you to smoke off campus, politely decline or simply don’t say anything at all. You’ll be finished if and when they call DPS.
  4. Put butts out and make sure they’re extinguished before throwing them away.
  5. Throw butts in the trash.
  6. If an officer asks you to put your cigarette out, assess the situation. Fines suck, but so do the deprivation of “perceived personal rights.”
  7. Overall, recognize that your activity is looked down upon. Take pride in this.

It’s not perfect, but it works for me. The Commentator will continue to fight this arbitrary ban with articles, letters, appeals, and upcoming events like Tobacco Appreciation Day. But the ball is in smokers’ courts. We at the Commentator will do our best to point out the massive cavalcades of bullshit directed at students who make the choice to smoke. This smoking ban is just another attempt at nannying the student populace; the administration never does anything without direct benefit to them, and they’ve fucked smokers to bolster their public image under the pretense of “knowing what’s best.”

The whole campaign feels like yet another pat on the head, another assumption about our intelligence, actions, and responsibilities. But we’re not kids anymore. We’re adults, students, workers, and yes, smokers. So smoke ’em if ya got ’em. It’s going to be a long, long battle.

ASUO ELECTIONS ’12: We Are Oregon Sweeps General Election

April 20th, 2012 by Rebecca

It’s over!

Laura Hinman and Nick McCain will assume their positions as ASUO President and ASUO Vice President at the end of the term.

Read some statements here.


This happened?


ASUO ELECTIONS ’12: Vote Vote Vote + Futile Update

April 19th, 2012 by Rebecca

Elections are finally sputtering to a halt. We can tell because notable ASUO proceedings have been pushed to page three of the printed Ol’ Dirty Emerald today. But before we update you on that, we wanted to encourage you waste your time by participating in our ineffectual student democracy before 5pm tomorrow. But most of all, we wanted to seize the opportunity to post this cute vintage pin-up thing.

Yes, we at the OC like to convince ourselves that people actually turn to our blog for this stupid ASUO shit, and thus, here is what we hope to be our final 2012 ASUO elections update. Enjoy.

1)      Irrelevant for the most part, last night Lamar Wise was reinstated as ASUO Senate President by the ASUO Senate. Last week, Con Court removed Wise in response to Senator Lindy Mabuya’s grievance that charged Wise of non-fulfillment.

The ASUO senate body made this decision after considerable efforts to “address the elephant in the room” that was Wise’s removal from office. And by “considerable efforts” I mean circular discussion about Wise’s character, an awkward weighing of the value of “cultural competency training,” and brief shit-talkin’ about current Senate VP (and only other Senate Prez nomination) Harlan Mechling.

*It is being said, yet has not been confirmed that this decision has been invalidated due to lack of senate quorum..


 2)      Manny Garcia has removed himself from the current ASUO Elections ballot. He had the nerve (and the bizarre good fortune) to continue to run for a position on the Student Planning Construction Committee (SPCC) on the Ben & Lamar slate after the Katie & Alex campaign was dissolved.

As we had forgotten to report earlier, Blake Sedgley, the campaign manager of We Are Oregon, filed a grievance earlier this week that petitioned Garcia’s presence on the ballot after Garcia had admitted to having taken part in this.

We’re not offering any commentary on the implications of the Ben & Lamar campaign ever allowing Garcia to run on their slate … because it doesn’t make any sense / we don’t care.

ASUO ELECTIONS ’12: Ain’t That Peculiar ? Not Really.

April 16th, 2012 by Rebecca

Today I was solicited by the Ben & Lamar Campaign. Before I was able to unleash the hard, blunt Commentator brush-off, I was handed their new campaign handout listing their new campaign slate.

I scanned the list of names and realized that many members of the extinguished Katie & Alex slate have curiously assumed positions on the Ben & Lamar slate. I was agape.

Well, no I wasn’t really agape. This is the ASUO fucking elections. If I’ve learned anything at all these past few weeks, it’s that there are no surprises with these people.

Honestly, though. You’d think that Ben & Lamar would want to, I don’t know, disassociate with every Katie & Alex slate member—considering the fact that their campaign was infiltrated by them and all. But like I said. ASUO Elections 2012, ain’t no surprises. Ain’t no surprises..

But absorbing the enemy’s tagline too? C’mon, Ben & Lamar. Where’s your pride?

I do realize that this red rover, red rover, send so-and-so right over kind of thing is not that big of a deal—in the sense that 1) some of those poor, former Katie & Alex slate members probably had no idea that Mr. & Mrs. Charles Denson were going to ruin everything—like they do— and 2) the Ben & Lamar campaign and the Katie & Alex campaign share(d) many of the same, lofty platform promises.

Maybe I’m just not seeing it. Maybe this comes naturally. Maybe it’s comin’ free and easy.  Maybe this whole thing is just very progressive and inclusive! Maybe this is the obvious next step after undergoing political sabotage by a rival campaign.

Ah yes! You’re the ones who hacked into my Gmail account, tampered with my campaign materials, cost me an immeasurable loss in votes, and contributed to my initial loss in the primary election? Please, join my team.

Or maybe it’s just what I think it is: weird, absurd, contradictory, alarming, ironic, paradoxical, inconsistent..

Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. We’ve said it before and we’ll keep sayin’ it—we’re the only ones who care about it anyway.

It’s true! We’re basically a team of election transparency-seeking angels over here at the OC. In fact, we’ve literally created a table that maps this shit out just for you, so you can see the peculiarities yourself.

And if you’re lookin’ for a good laugh, you can read today’s Ol’ Dirty article where Ben Bowman literally says shit like “There is a unified progressive campaign now,” and “We are coming together to create one big party so we can defeat the conservatives,” right here.

Finally, for your reference and voting pleasure this week, here’s that table.

Position PREVIOUS Ben & Lamar Slate Katie & Alex Slate NEW Ben & Lamar Slate
PFC Eric Lee Erica Alexia Ledesma Erica Alexia Ledesma
PFC Samantha Harmon Elizabeth Luh Elizabeth Luh
ACFC Kevin Sullivan Naduah Wheeler Kevin Sullivan
ACFC Kelsey Green Taylor Simon Taylor Simon
DFC Colin Bourdin Kelsey West Kelsey West
EMU Board Clara Broderick Holly Hopkins Clara Broderick
EMU Board Chris Torgeson Michael Reeves Chris Torgeson
ASPAC Alex Worth Carli Barnum  Alex Worth
SRC Board Katherine Casey, Jan Raether Andrew Stove Katherine Casey
SRC Board Cody Koenig Michael Schmidt, Marina Claveria Marina Claveria
Senate Seat 1 Nina Nolen Jesse K. Fukawa Nina Nolen
Senate Seat 2 Andre Lubash Hussein Abu-Hamden Hussein Abu-Hamden
Senate Seat 4 Jeff Mullen Alexandra Flores-Quilty Alexandra Flores-Quilty
Senate Seat 5 Greg McAteer Caienna Bierwirth Caienna Bierwirth
Senate Seat 7 Christina Hardesty Lindsay Damiano Christina Hardesty
Senate Seat 9 Azia Calderhead Luis Armenta Azia Calderhead
Senate Seat 12 Alex Burns Casey Drobnick Casey Drobnick
Senate Seat 14 Harlan Mechling Michael King Michael King
Senate Seat 15 Estella Taylor Eric Koechlin Eric Koechlin
Senate Seat 16 Megan Gleason Nicholas Schulze Megan Gleason
Senate Seat 20 Austin Palacios Allie Sasek Austin Palacios
SPCC Taylor Johnson Manny Garcia  MANNY GARCIA?????

ASUO ELECTIONS ’12: Con Court Does Good, Invalidates That Entire Election We Just Had

April 12th, 2012 by Rebecca

Decided April 11, 2012. Opinion by ASUO Con Court Justice Schultz:

Since the effects of the “Katie and Alex” campaign’s
egregious misconduct is immeasurable and unknowable,
the Court concludes that the only fair remedy is to
invalidate the Primary Election results, for the ASUO
Executive race only. To this extent, all three ASUO
Executive candidates who participated in the Primary
Election, excluding Katie Taylor and Alex Sylvester, shall
be permitted to run in a new election commencing Week 3
of Spring Term.

While the ASUO Elections Board ruled to simply replace Katie & Alex with Ben & Lamar on the upcoming ASUO General Election ballot, the ASUO Constitution Court does something important for once and pulls rank on the Board’s ruling, annulling the first primary election altogether. Now another primary will be held during next week (Week 3), including all of the same executive candidates as before, except for Katie Taylor and Alex Sylvester. Everybody be cool, they’re still out of the race.

This decision comes as a result of a petition for review filed by Blake Sedgley, campaign manager of the We Are Oregon executive campaign. We Are Oregon was actually requesting that only the votes for Katie & Alex be invalidated. Had this been granted, We Are Oregon would have earned %54.7 of the votes, and actually would have won the whole goddamn thing. Here’s the excerpt from Sedgley’s grievance:

Petitioners [We Are Oregon] urge the Constitution Court to overturn Respondent’s [ASUO Elections Board] determination that votes for Katie Taylor and Alex Sylvester be unallocated. Petitioners ask that Constitution Court declare the votes for Katie Taylor and Alex Sylvester invalid.

Well in a surprising, intrepid turn of events, the ASUO Constitutional Court makes a coherent decision to throw out all executive votes, deeming the entire executive primary invalid. Here’s the relevant part of the Court’s decision:

In this case, the
election results were skewed by the misconduct of
members of the “Katie and Alex” campaign. But the
Petitioner [Sedgley, We Are Oregon] suggests an unacceptable remedy: the
disenfranchisement of hundreds of student voters.

While the applicable federal prohibitions against such
treatment is bountiful, the Court need look no further
than Bush v. Gore. There, the Supreme Court concluded
that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment guarantees to individuals that their ballots
cannot be devalued by “later arbitrary and disparate
treatment”. 531 U.S. 98 (2000). The Petitioner literally
asks this Court to recognize some votes and deny equal
weight to others based on the voter’s selection.

Shoulda’ known that George W. Bush was gonna work his way into this somehow!

And to address the reason why I’ve italicized “executive” just prior to the excerpt– the Ol’ Dirty Emerald addresses this decision today in their mildly-opinionated editorial, where they get all hot-and-bothered about the fact that the Court only overturned the votes that were cast for executive positions, and allowed the votes that were cast for senatorial positions to remain valid:

Though the Executive primaries were restarted, the senatorial primaries (with victors from the Katie and Alex campaign, including a certain Manny Garcia) will not be revoted upon.

Considering that students generally vote across slates, and that the phishing scam likely gave many senators on the Katie and Alex slate an advantage over their competition, a revote should have been ordered for the senatorial primaries as well.

Did the senators running under Katie and Alex’s slate have access to illegally acquired phone numbers from their competition? If Katie and Alex hadn’t made it through primaries, would their senators? We don’t know, but the immeasurability of this hacking scam is reason enough to reset not only the executive primaries, but the entire ASUO election.

Man, ain’t nothin’ like reading an ODE opinion piece. It’s almost as if I can hear the bitchy eleven year-old who wrote it.

Heeeeeeeyyyyyyy that doesn’t count !!!! Nuh-uhhhhh !!!!!! Re-do !!!!!!

Look. We’re a hopeful bunch here at the OC, and while we still wait in vain for a cruel-and-unusual-yet-still-appropriate punishment to be cast upon Mr. & Mrs. Denson and friends, unlike the Ol’ Dirty, we’re just not that concerned with the future-less future Senator Manny Garcia, or the possibility of Katie & Alex slate having access to “illegally acquired phone numbers from their competition.”

Leave the commentatin’ to us, Ol’ Dirty colleagues. We keep our expectations of all ASUO branches nice and low, then focus on the bigger implications– like the fact that this decision is proof that the Con Court lives and functions as it should.

It’s about fucking time.



KEZI9 Covers ASUO Phishing Scam

April 10th, 2012 by Nick Ekblad

So, we’ve all heard about the ASUO phishing scam, but just in case you were too lazy, busy or hungover to read anything about this fucked up shit, here is the story via this KEZI9 Youtube video to save you some time.

Former ASUO President and current UO Law Student Sam Dotters-Katz in the video: “I think that we’ve gone beyond student government at this point, when you have federal crimes being implicated against members of the student government.”

Word up, Sam! Indeed, this kind of shit simply doesn’t fly. This is what is wrong with America. My only further comments are, “YES THIS GOES BEYOND STUDENT GOVERNMENT,” as well as “HOW SELF-RIGHTEOUS DO YOU HAVE TO BE IN ORDER TO ATTEMPT TO RIG A COLLEGE ELECTION???”


Face-palm. Goddamn.

ASUO ELECTIONS ’12: Justice.

April 10th, 2012 by Rebecca

The ASUO Elections Board has removed Katie Taylor and Alex Sylvester from the election,

Ben Bowman and Lamar Wise are back on the ballot,

and the angels sing.

*No, Katie Taylor hasn't been arrested for computer hacking. The Oregon Commentator simply found this picture to be fitting. We think it's from that one time in D.C. when she was "making a stand" or whatever.



ASUO ELECTIONS ’12: I’m Tellin Y’all It’s SABOTAGE

April 9th, 2012 by Rebecca

Updated 4/9/12 – 3:35 PM

1) ASUO Constitution Court rules “these matters are best left to the ASUO Elections Board for adjudication.”

And also! Both related and unrelated..

2) ASUO Constitution Court rules to remove VP Candidate Lamar Wise from his position as ASUO Senate President as a result of a grievance filed by ASUO Senator Lindy Mabuya.

A Statement from the Katie & Alex Campaign:

“We made it a standard to run a clean campaign and I am extremely disappointed that this isolated incident has occurred where two individuals exercised extremely poor judgment. It saddens me immensely that this has occurred, as the rest of the Katie and Alex team, as well as the Ben and Lamar team, ran an amazing outreach drive to engage students on extremely important matters. The individuals responsible for this have been removed from the campaign.”

Ben Bowman and Lamar Wise of the Ben & Lamar campaign, along with Sam Dotters-Katz of the YES (Your EMU SRC) campaign, have filed grievances against the Katie & Alex campaign; they claim to have been hacked by Chuckie-D himself (Former OSPIRG Chair Charles Denson, spouse of VP Katie Taylor), and that their campaign materials were fucked with.

Wait what? Ben & Lamar’s management team confronted the Katie & Alex campaign, and “at least five” members “came forward with this information and all showed remorse except for Denson*.”

Hacked how? Wise says he lost access to his Gmail after opening a phishing website disguised as a Google Calendar component. Dotters-Katz says his email was also tampered with.

Fucked with how? Denson apparently used “find and replace” to jumble 12,000 phone numbers on a contact list of possible Ben & Lamar voters. The grievance states that hundreds of volunteer hours were wasted making calls to the wrong people. Dotters-Katz had a similar complaint, claiming that contacts of the YES campaign were either deleted or tampered with. Among the deleted was a list of student leaders in support of the campaign.

So who exactly? The grievances name Katie Taylor, Charles Denson, Kerry Snodgrass, Molly Bennison and Andrew Rogers as the people aware of the act.

Sam Dotters-Katz is calling this an “unprecedented act of cyber espionage.”

The Ben & Lamar campaign is calling for an immediate injunction on the election.

As for us at The Oregon Commentator, we’re calling for Katie Taylor and Charles Denson’s expulsion from planet earth. That’s right. We’re tired of writing about them. Did you think we were actually surprised by this? They’re simply living up to what we’ve called them out on being all along: the devil’s spawn. Look, this isn’t an absurd accusation. They’re a young married couple! Why else would they devote themselves to a life’s work of student manipulation? It just doesn’t make any sense.

We’ll just have to see what the ASUO Constitution Court  ASUO Elections Board does about this. Since these grievances concern the devil himself, let’s hope the Court Board likes a good exorcism.

Demons be gone!

*This post is a regurgitation of this ODE article, so read the original. Love you Emily!



April 8th, 2012 by Rebecca

Here they are!

It’ll be We Are Oregon v. Katie & Alex in the general election.

 EMU renovation wasn’t passed, but the SRC was. The measure allowing students to vote directly on the allocation of the I-Fee was passed as well..

ASUO ELECTIONS ’12: Grievance Filed Against Katie & Alex

April 6th, 2012 by Rebecca

ASUO Senator Ben Rudin has submitted an official complaint against the K&A campaign after he found this suspicious Duckweb link on their website. You will find a nice advisory banner to the left of that page, which tells students to:

4) Vote on the ballot measures!
Vote ‘Yes’ on all of them except the
advisory questions #1 and #2

Rudin asks that the candidates be ordered to cease campaigning for the remainder of the primary elections. The Oregon Commentaor seconds that request.

Here’s an excerpt from the official grievance.

Describe any steps that you have taken to resolve the conflict.  Include any official procedures that have been followed.

I texted Katie at 1:46 p.m. asking her to take it down before 5 p.m. She did not.


Are you aware of any laws, rules, etc. that you believe have been violated?  If so, please list them.  Please refer to University and State laws, if applicable.


“1.2.     Elections and campaigns must be carried out in the best interests of the student body, as determined by the ASUO Elections Board, and in compliance with §13 of the ASUO Constitution.”


By taking a neutral URL ( and redirecting it to a partisan page, she is abusing the credibility of that URL. With Katie & Alex engaging in a fraudulent and deceptive practice, the election is not being carried out in the best interest of the student body


“6.4.     Egregious campaign violations shall consist of, but are not limited to: submitting votes for other students; tampering with the electronic election system; harassment, intimidation, bribery or fraud with the intent of affecting the outcome of the election; libelous or slanderous statements or conduct; tampering with another campaign’s materials with malicious intent; intentional actions to mislead or obstruct the duties of the Elections Board.


6.4.a.  Consequences for egregious violations may include suspension of campaigning, removal from ballot, and removal from office.”


The Katie & Alex campaign are taking a neutral URL and directing it to a partisan website. That is clearly fraud with intent of affecting the outcome of the election.


“5.1.    Candidates, tickets, campaign committees and affiliated individuals shall be held responsible for all election-related activities explicitly or implicitly authorized by the campaign.”


This Facebook event is put on by Andrew Rogers, a Katie & Alex volunteer. Katie Taylor, Alex Sylvester, Joanna Stewart, and Alexandra Flores-Quilty RSVP’d as attending this event, which demonstrates knowledge and implied authorization.

What is your desired outcome of the grievance/complaint?

I am asking that the Katie & Alex campaign be ordered to cease and desist all use of and be suspended from campaigning for the remainder of primary elections.



ASUO ELECTIONS ’12: The Official Oregon Commentator Voter’s Guide

April 5th, 2012 by Rebecca

Mmmmmmm here it comes everybody! We’re at the climax of ASUO Elections Week. The corner of 13th & University is an absolute no-fly zone, the Ol’ Dirty Emerald is gettin’ preachy, Eugene resembles a special, nippy kind of hell, and the Oregon Commentator is providing some real damp elections coverage this year. With all of this, we see that the cogent, student voter is met with immeasurable adversity, and we beckon him to transcend! Transcend all of this vain tumult and sign into Duckweb anyway. Vote. Pick your poison. Choose the lesser of the inherent evils that will govern you next year. But before you do, learn your candidates from the only publication to have a glass of beer for a mascot—a glass of beer that has arms and a fuckin’ cigar in one hand, and a beer in the other. That’s right, a beer holdin’ a beer! Here’s what none of you have been waiting for. We are proud to present the Official 2012 Oregon Commentator Voter’s Guide.


Cimmeron Gillepsie (Abolish Capitalism)