Apr 042011
Authors: Courtney Riley

The Chase and Justin campaign was found not guilty after a complaint was filed by Taylor Jackson, a member of the Eric and Rachel campaign, for violating the Associated Students of CSU Code of Ethics.

A hearing was conducted by the Elections Committee Monday night and the campaign was found not guilty of a violation in a 3-6-0 vote.

The complaint accused Chase Eckerdt and Justin Safady of violating the ASCSU Code of Ethics that states no employee of ASCSU while acting in their job shall use influence of their position for or against any candidate for elected office of ASCSU.

Jackson’s ASCSU Elections witness statement said she was walking through the MorganLibrary parking lot on March 31 at 2:30 p.m. and saw a parking citation for violation of “misuse of permit” on the empty truck that the Chase and Justin campaign has been using to transport their campaign materials on and off the Plaza.

Eckerdt has been using his A lot parking permit, allotted to him through his role as director of Community Affairs, while borrowing Sen. Joe Eden’s truck, which does not have a parking permit in Eden’s name, for the campaign session.

Keegan Schulz, a member of the Chase and Justin campaign, said that Parking Services stated this is common with students and faculty, and he said the reason Eden’s truck got a ticket was because the permit, under Eckerdt’s name, had not been transferred to Eden’s truck.

Schulz said Parking Services allows students and faculty to switch permits to other vehicles for a finite amount of time, which the Chase and Justin campaign has done as of the afternoon of April 1.

Parking Services has waived the ticket.

“Had we gone in and transferred it over, we wouldn’t have had an issue,” Schulz said.
The transferring to the Special A Parking Permit, he said, did not use Eckerdt’s influence or prestige to change someone’s vote for the Chase and Justin campaign.

“Having Joe’s truck in the library parking lot has given Chase and Justin no upper hand or unfair advantage,” he said.
Jackson said the advantage she was referring to in her complaint was that other campaigns who do not have or use the special parking permit have to drive off campus to park their vehicles they used to transport campaign materials, which temporarily forces volunteers who can directly influence votes off campus.

Eckerdt said there has never been campaign materials in the truck while it was parked in a special parking lot and no campaign materials have been loaded or unloaded into or from the truck while parked in the A lot.

“This was not in any way about getting votes or using my position to gain an advantage in the campaign,” Eckerdt said. “It was about getting to and from campus.”

Matt Strauch, a member of the Elections Committee and the public relations spokesperson for ASCSU, said he couldn’t see how this wasn’t a way to campaign.

“To me this is a very clear violation of the ethics code,” he said.

But Tim Sellers, a member of the Elections Committee, said it in no way was a violation, and in no way aided in gaining votes.

“In my eyes, at least, they drive the truck onto campus, drop (campaign materials) off and the campaigning stays with the materials as long as I’m concerned,” he said. “I think it’s petty. I think it’s silly that we’re hearing this violation.”
Jordan Von Bokern, a member of the Elections Committee, also said he didn’t think using the special parking pass serves any advantage.

“I don’t see any misuse of privilege,” he said. “There’s not even a hint of scandal or wrongdoing here.”

ASCSU Beat Reporter Courtney Riley can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 4:11 pm

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