The student government elections committee found presidential candidate David Ambrose and his running mate April Ragland guilty of campaigning before the official start of elections and assessed a fine of $75 Tuesday night.
Jordan Von Bokern, a campaigner for Cooper Anderson and Jennifer Babos who filed the complaint, cited e-mail correspondence between Ambrose and Tim Campbell, president of Students for Concealed Carry at CSU, in which Campbell promises Ambrose and Ragland an official endorsement.
The e-mail, sent March 2, explicitly requests that Ambrose explain how he plans to address the issue of concealed carry on campus, a practice the CSU System Board of Governors banned last semester. The policy will officially go into effect on or before August 1.
Ambrose replied that while he appreciated the support, Campbellâ€™s organization could not begin campaigning before March 12, 10 days before the sanctioned election period.
Paul Wade, who represented Ambrose and Ragland to the committee, said, before filing an official declaration of candidacy to run, the team was not â€œlegally boundâ€ to any elections rules.
In the e-mail, Ambrose said he and Ragland have considered creating a paid position in the ASCSU Cabinet to have constant contact with lobbyist groups at the state Capitol and suggested to Campbell that, if interested, he or another officer from Students for Concealed Carry at CSU would be considered for the position.
Ambrose and Anderson spent last semester drafting and pushing a resolution supporting a gun friendly campus through ASCSU Senate, on which they both sit.
During the discussion and debate portion of the hearing Anderson told the committee Campbellcontacted him about the issue, but he refused to comment.
â€œHe (Ambrose) knowingly blatantly violated the rules,â€ Anderson said.
But Wade urged the committee to recognize Ambroseâ€™s attempt to keep Campbell from early campaigning and said, while he misstated the date, â€œitâ€™s hard to find conclusive evidence of a deliberate violation.â€
â€œThe verbiage in David Ambroseâ€™s reply is well within his reach as a senator,â€ he said.
Emily Malin, clerk for the elections committee, said because the issue of concealed carry â€œholds so much weight at CSU,â€ early campaigning on a promise to keep fighting the ban â€œcould very well sway the vote.â€
Earlier that same night the duo was assessed a $25 fine for posting libelous comments about a competing campaign on their Facebook page and a $50 fine for allegedly violating residence hall guidelines regarding the distribution of platform handouts.
Another hearing, in which the committee will determine the â€œfair market valueâ€ sending the handbills to all dorm residents, will take place on Friday.
Ambrose and Ragland will have three business days to pay all fines assessed during Tuesdays meeting.
A barrage of complaints were filed Wednesday morning against the campaign of Anderson and his running mate Jennifer Babos by members of the Ambrose/Ragland ticket, ranging from copyright infringement to a violation of local animal cleanup rules.
In the latter, two small dogs took presence wearing campaign merchandise. One of the dogs defecated on the plaza, and the campaigners did not clean it up, which Ben Weiner, who filed the complaint said violates city ordinance.
Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.