Apr 062009
Authors: Jim Sojourner

In what the Associated Students of CSU Elections Manager Zane Guilfoyle called an “odd year” for campaign violations, this year’s presidential campaigns have racked up seven total violations since the beginning of the campaign period.

The Reed/Panagakos campaign has received four of the seven citations, the Miller/Donovan campaign has received two and the Gearhart/Hole campaign has received one.

Gearhart/Hole’s single violation, one of Miller/Donovan’s violations and three of Reed/Panagakos’s violations resulted from failures to turn in all hard and electronic copies of their Donations and Expenditure Reports by the designated times.

Melisa Panagakos, Shaun Reed’s vice presidential candidate, said these violations stem from “a lot of gray area” and the election committee’s failure to express “exactly what they need.”

She said that, due to a miscommunication, her campaign believed it was getting its reports in by the deadline when it was in fact missing that deadline.

Guilfoyle said he agreed that most of the violations stemmed from miscommunications but said there has been an unusually high rate of violations for failing to get reports turned in on time this year.

With two days left in the election season he said there “could possibly be more.”

“There are a lot of rules. They’re valid and have good meaning but are also easy to forget,” Panagakos said.

Aside from Donation and Expenditure Report violations, Miller/Donovan was fined for a supporter who wore a campaign t-shirt in an establishment that denies entry to patrons under the age of 21, violating the election code.

Vice presidential candidate Jake Donovan said the campaigns have so many supporters that it is difficult to keep track of everyone and make sure no one violates the strict guidelines.

“It comes with the territory,” he said. “Kids make mistakes.”

Panagakos and Reed were fined for using their position in ASCSU to obtain a key to gain entry to the ASCSU Senate Chambers rather than following procedure and asking the Lory Student Center to unlock the doors — something the average student would have to do.

“It’s simple,” Reed said. “We had access, it was a weekend, we used the resources we had.” Reed explained that he and Panagakos wanted access to the chambers to make a campaign video found on their Web site. He said they had only 48 hours to put together the video, so finding the quickest possible solution was necessary.

Donovan said no campaigns had committed any serious violations.

“Everybody is doing (this) pretty clean,” Gearhart said. “At least so far.”

Assistant news editor Jim Sojourner can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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