Not all Associated Students of CSU presidential candidates are
dropping big bucks on their election campaigns this year.
“We’re trying to keep the spending as minimal as we can,” said
Mike Bystrom, ASCSU vice presidential candidate. “It’s also to show
that we’re dedicated enough to do our own work.”
Spending regulations have been a focus of ASCSU debates over the
last few years. In the 1999-2000 academic year, there was no limit
on campaign spending.
Last year the limit was set at $3,500. However, candidates were
only required to report one-quarter of the cost of donated items.
This rule created a loophole that allowed candidates to spend up to
$14,000 if they reported everything as a donation.
“It was just getting kind of ridiculous,” said Nathan Steinberg,
ASCSU elections manager. “When you’re in college you should
probably be spending money on other things.”
This year, spending is capped at $3,000. This includes the
market value of any donated, contributed, imposed or already-owned
items. Any discounts must be reported as the amount paid plus 25
percent of the discount given.
Candidates are required to turn in an expense report twice a
week so election managers can keep track of their spending.
As of Monday, Katie Clausen and Ben Goldstein had spent the
most, with their campaign expenses totaling almost $2,500. On the
other end of the spectrum, Dave Hoff and Bystrom have spent less
than $200 on their campaign.
Much of the money for the Clausen and Goldstein campaign has
come from donations, Clausen said.
“We don’t really have any out-of-pocket expenses,” said Clausen,
the current ASCSU vice president. Dustin Zvonek and Brittany Burke,
both presidential candidates, said the same.
“The small amount of money we have has been (donated) through
parents, family and other people on our campaign that believe in
what we’re doing as strongly as we do,” Burke said. “We’re hoping
that this year our passion for CSU will supercede the amount of
money we’re able to contribute to our campaign.”
Bystrom said his and Hoff’s campaign spending was smaller
because they did not receive any donations.
“I don’t like taking money from people,” Bystrom said. “We’re
trying to keep ourselves separate.”
Most candidates said they want to focus less on money and more
on ideas in this year’s election.
“I would love to see people spending less and competing on ideas
rather than gimmicks,” Clausen said. “Sadly enough, it’s one of the
only ways to get people to stop and listen to you.”
Burke is hoping that this year will be different.
“In the past, the campaigns that spend the most money have won,”
Burke said. “I think that advertising is important and money helps,
but I think the message should be the No. 1 priority of
Ashleigh Knapp, a freshman music student, thinks most of the
ASCSU campaigns have been effective and informative.
“We get so many fliers walking between classes,” Knapp said.
“Before all this was happening, I didn’t think about it at
Campaign spending as of Monday
Katie Clausen and Ben Goldstein – $2,218.74
Dustin Zvonek and Kyle McCarthy – $1,511.10
Brittany Burke and Kristen Schowe – $746.41
Dave Hoff and Mike Bystrom – $174.17