SA candidate penalized for offense

By Matt Gronlund

A decision to penalize Student Association presidential candidate Abe Andrzejewski for campaign violations was made Wednesday.

Andrzejewski, an SA senator, announced his campaign, outlined his platform and announced his vice presidential running mate for the March 30 and 31 elections during a questions and comments session at a March 14 SA senate meeting.

As a result of these actions, Andrzejewski and David Gonzalez, a vice presidential candidate as well as an SA senator, are being sanctioned for campaigning before the official start date and for campaigning before a captive audience.

SA Election Commissioner Laura Niesman did not make the decision until Thursday because she was delayed on an out-of-town trip.

SA Bylaws state candidates for executive office shall be bound by their signed petition to comply with all applicable regulations and SA Bylaws.

According to SA regulations pointed out to all candidates at the Executive Board Candidates Meeting, campaigning was not to begin until March 15.

Because of their actions, Andrzejewski and Gonzalez are forbidden from distributing campaign materials campus-wide for a 24-hour period, from 8 a.m. March 22 to 8 a.m. March 23. This includes verbal campaigning and passing out fliers.

“I don’t think it will affect my campaigning negatively,” Andrzejewski said.

Though Gonzalez himself did not commit any campaign violations, Andrzejewski did announce him as his running mate. Under election rules, candidates are responsible for all those campaigning for them.

According to SA bylaw Article IV, Section G-3b, “Independent candidates and slates will be held responsible for the actions of all persons campaigning on their behalf.”

Andrzejewski, before the sanctions, said he felt the campaigning rules were vague and could be interpreted in a number of ways. “I didn’t realize I was doing anything wrong,” he added.

Andrzejewski’s opponents had two very contrasting opinions on the incident.

SA President and presidential candidate Paul Middleton said, “I’m sure it was just a mistake on his part, I’m sure he didn’t realize he was doing it.”

Presidential candidate Eric Grice, however, had an opposite

point of view.

“I think it’s setting a standard for the type of SA he would run,” he said. “If he can’t abide by the rules now, I see him having a hard time being able to do it as president. I think it was purposely done to upstage Paul (Middleton) and myself, and to make us look bad in front of our peers.”

Andrzejewski said he is not going to appeal the decision. “I’m not appealing because I want to talk about the issues, not the transgressions,” he said.

Gonzalez was unavailable for comment.