SA attempt to impeach senator fails

By Greg Rivara

There seems to be as much controversy over the Student Association’s attempt to impeach a senator as there was with how the votes were counted.

During Sunday’s SA meeting, Sen. John Martin made a motion to impeach Sen. Bill Kraemer after the SA was in executive session for 1 1/2 hours. The motion was seconded by Sen Jim Valentine.

The senate’s secret ballot vote was 29_8, with four senators abstaining. President Pro_Tempore Jamie Pennington ruled that Martin’s motion failed because the two_thirds (30) vote necessary to impeach a senator was not obtained.

Pennington said 30 votes are necessary for a successful impeachment because the SA Constitution states in Article IV section 4_B that “any senator may be removed from office through impeachment proceedings …. Removal from office shall require a two_thirds vote of the SA Senate.” There are 48 senate seats.

However, SA Senate Speaker Joe Annunzio said Pennington should have based the two_thirds on the voting members present instead of the entire senate.

Annunzio said Kraemer actually had four votes against the motion before the impeachment vote was taken if the entire senate is considered in determining the two_thirds amount. Three absent senators and Kraemer’s vote should not be counted in tabulating the two_thirds amount during impeachment proceedings, he said.

Pennington said the entire senate is considered because the SA bylaws refer to the two_thirds tabulation as “… Student Senate expressed by the two_thirds majority of those present and voting…”

The two_thirds tabulation using the entire senate was used because the constitution does not specifically say “voting members present and voting.”

Annunzio said only the voting members present and voting should be included. Annunzio cited Robert’s Rules of Order which states “…when the set of members to which the proportion (two_thirds) applies—which (a) when not stated, is always the number of members present and voting (assuming there are no illegal voters),.”