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Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Somehow, I found time to write this today...
Here is the down-low on the three new lawsuits filed to the Judicial Council.
1) LaFata v. DAAP. This is based on Yvette Falarca’s participation in the 04/09/2004 SJP rally. Same basis as one of the charges in LaFata v. CalSERVE. Here’s the exerpt from the by-laws again.
13.2.7 of Title IV – “Using ASUC authority, facilities, funds, or resources, including Eshleman Hall, for campaign purposes, including for long term or bulk storage of campaign materials.”
Break it down. Authority. SJP is a group that is recognized and supported (if not financially, in other ways) by the ASUC. Therefore, using an SJP event as a launching pad for a personal political campaign is using ASUC authority for a personal political campaign. Facilities. Where did the sound equipment come from for the rally? It was either paid for by SJP, donated to SJP (in which case it can still be counted as a campaign expenditure), or provided by the ASUC. Either way, the facility clause is violated. That’s two parts of the rule broken without even addressing the finance issue, depending on how you interpret the law, though I think this is pretty clear-cut. For this reason, I think the Judicial Council may rule in favor of LaFata in both this case and in the Cal-SERVE case. In addition, I think campaigning at a non-related political rally is in poor taste anyway, and any penalty these parties get they have coming to them.
2) LaFata v. Leybovitch. This is based on the now-infamous “spam letter” that Misha sent out to half of the campus. Yes, the rule on email use was probably broken. Yes, the “I have a computer virus” defense is pretty weak. But there are some aspects of this case that do seem suspicious. For example, why would Misha Leybovitch send out a campaign email to Hermanos Unidos, a student group that Student Action would have little to no chance of gaining the support of? And this wasn’t even the only student group hit by the campaign email. This case is not clear-cut at all, and a lot of the case will have to do with how strictly the by-laws are interpreted by the Judicial Council. The cases heard before this one will set an important precedent, and Misha's fate is very much tied to that of his opponents.
3) Kroll v. Leybovitch. This is another case of Misha’s “spamming”, I believe. Same set up as Misha’s other charge, though this email specifically involves emails sent to the Queer Resource Center (I believe that’s the name of the organization, as cited by the Daily Cal), while LaFata’s charge is one of blanket spamming. The results of this charge are directly related to those of the previous charge, and the results of one will probably mirror the results of the other.
My predicted endgame: All these lawsuits won’t mean jack. If DAAP and Cal-SERVE are nailed for the SJP rally, then any punishments will probably be overturned for the sake of the election. With the precedent of being weak on campaign by-laws now being established, Misha probably will not be DQ’ed from the election. So, after three weeks, nothing will have changed, and we’ll find out who our next ASUC government is going to be. Which, really, is probably how it should be.Email This Post!
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