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Saturday, March 05, 2005
Another Berkeley Media Feeding Frenzy
If the Cal Patriot going and playing the martyr for the apparently imminent veto for Amaris White's Judicial Council nomination wasn't a misguided attempt at pro-conservative media attention, then this Drudge headline says it all:
Guilt By Conservative Affiliation: Berkeley Student Pol to be Stripped of Office...
And by "all", I mean everything but the truth of the matter.
For the last time, Amaris White is in the problem she is now not due to her being the art director of the Cal Patriot. It's because she got caught lying.
My quote from the Daily Cal article:
“Did she deliberately try to mislead us? The answer is yes,” said SQUELCH! Senator Ben Narodick, who confronted White about her group affiliations outside of the senate chambers Wednesday. “It was obvious that she wasn’t being forthcoming with us.”
McMike says it much better in the Cal Patriot Blog:
"It is wrong to discriminate against conservatives like the ASUC does, and if I were on the senate I’d have voted for her, but still, you all have the obligation to do the right thing.
You cannot respond to a wrong (discrimination) with another wrong (deceit) and complain about the first wrong. You lost your standing to do so."
So, yes, there is bias against conservatives on campus here. That's an undisputable fact. But, in my opinion, there is something to be said about the loyalties of a person who will deny her affiliations or political beliefs at the first sign of adversity. In addition, the nature of the Judicial Council demands a great amount of honesty and integrity. Being anything but frank in front of the Senate is not exactly representative of those desired traits.
Also, the success of other on-campus Republicans like Angel Brewer, Paul LaFata, and Mike Davis in the ASUC shows that even hard-liner Republicans, if they're the best candidate for the job, will be given the opportunities they deserve if they're honest.
So where does this leave Amaris White? In a pretty good place. Any veto attempt by President Leybovich to overturn the appointment will be challenged in front of the Judicial Council, and on very solid grounds as well. The ASUC Constitution does allow for vetoes over legislative action, but the confirmation of a nominee is not technically legislative action. Additionally, Title XXI of the By-Laws prohibits action against Judicial Council members except for under the most dire circumstances (e.g. bribery, extortion, and felony convictions). So, it appears that the Senate may just have to live with Amaris White on Judicial Council for two years.
UPDATE BY ANDY R.
Two people have brought up in comments the issue of whether she actually lied. To easily answer that questions, let's see what Mike Davis, a supporter of Amaris White and a writer for The Patriot had to say: “Amaris should apologize for lying and everyone should move on.” Even Amaris doesn't have anything reassuring to say about her conduct (same article):"I didn’t mention it because I didn’t think it was relevant." If during a confirmation hearing Senators ask you what groups you are involved in and you don't mention The Patriot or the Berkeley College Republicans, that means your answer is misleading and a lie. I certainly hope the Republicans on campus haven't been encouraging this stories exposure in such a misleading light. I would be perfectly fine with a member of BCR being on the Judicial Council, but I would be adamantly opposed to having someone dishonest on the Judicial Council, a perfectly legitimate position. Frankly, I think she should resign and seek to be confirmed based on accurate recounting of her experiences. Patriot Folks: have the strength of your convictions not to hide your particpaption in groups like the Patriot, and don't try to pretend that this is only about her being a conservative and not that she hid that about herself.Email This Post!
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