Apr 072004
 
Authors: Taylour Nelson

It all came down to $1.52.

After an adjustment to funds, the Dustin Zvonek and Kyle

McCarthy Associated Students of CSU presidential campaign spent a

total of $2,988.48, $1.52 under the $3,000 limit for campaign

spending.

In the hours before the winners of the ASCSU elections were

announced, a violation was filed by president-elect Katie Clausen

and vice president-elect Ben Goldstein said Nathan Steinberg, ASCSU

election manager. The violation stated the Zvonek and McCarthy

campaign did not record all of its campaign spending. The violation

notice stated that with the adjusted amount, the campaign’s total

spending could exceed the $3,000 limit.

There was some speculation that if campaign spending exceeded

the limit, Zvonek and McCarthy would not be considered valid

candidates, although there is no defined punishment for

over-spending.

This year spending was capped at $3,000, down from a $3,500

limit in last year’s election. The $3,000 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 were required to turn in an expense report twice a

week so election managers could keep track of their spending.

Sara Stieben, a member of the Zvonek and McCarthy campaign,

purchased plastic flower leis for $751.80, which the campaign

reimbursed and recorded in its expense report. Stieben then paid

the $150.36 shipping and handling fees and it was recorded as a

discount to the campaign.

The violation notice stated that the shipping and handling

should be considered a donation, and the total amount should be

recorded in the expense report, including 25 percent of the $150.36

shipping and handling charge. This total amount was expected to

exceed the $3,000 capped amount.

The election committee voted 3-1 and Zvonek and McCarthy were

found guilty of not recording all their campaign spending. They

were fined $5 – the minimum amount for campaign violations – and

$37.58 was added to their expense report. This brought the total to

$2,988.48, and Zvonek and McCarthy were still eligible candidates

for election.

Katie Clausen, who won the ASCSU presidency Wednesday night,

said she was pleased to see they were still in the running.

“I didn’t want to win that way,” she said. “(The situation)

became very emotional very quick.”

ASCSU President Jesse Lauchner said in the future the ASCSU

election committee needs to define the punishment for exceeding the

campaign-spending limit.

“This uncovered a major hole in the election,” he said. “And put

a lot of stress on the committee and all the tickets involved.”

Lauchner also said these violations put a “new spin” on

winning.

“I’d hate for a candidate to win on a technicality because of a

last-minute minor violation of another ticket.”

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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