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
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
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
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
“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
“I’d hate for a candidate to win on a technicality because of a
last-minute minor violation of another ticket.”