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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Reece unopposed for exec VP post after Tubbs DQ

    Rhonda Tubbs
    Rhonda Tubbs

    The ASUA supreme court upheld Sen. Rhonda Tubbs’ disqualification from today and tomorrow’s general election, meaning that David Reece will become next year’s student government executive vice president if he receives 50 percent of the popular vote for the position, according to a former ASUA elected official.

    For Tubbs, this is the second disqualification from the Associated Students of the University of Arizona election because of elections-code violations. The ASUA supreme court reinstated her into the election last week after the elections commission disqualified her.

    The supreme court ruled 4-1 last night to uphold the election commission’s decision against Tubbs, but some admittedly had reservations in deciding the verdict.

    The four justices who ruled against Tubbs’ reinstatement based their decision on the grounds that Tubbs couldn’t provide sufficient evidence to prove that a violation didn’t occur, said Jennifer Baker, chief justice of the ASUA supreme court.

    “”This isn’t something we wanted to do, but from a legal perspective, our hands were tied – we had no choice,”” said Baker, a third-year law student. “”Four of us were bound by the (elections) code.””

    Jordan Miller, ASUA’s elections commissioner, said the supreme court delivered the right verdict in upholding Tubbs’ disqualification from the election, though she admitted she’s unhappy when any candidate gets disqualified.

    “”There’s a relief this is all over with,”” said Miller, a marketing senior. “”I’m happy there is a resolution. The court made their decision based on the fact that the code isn’t to be ignored.””

    According to Tubbs and Sara Birnbaum, who is involved with many of the candidates’ campaigns, Tyler Carrell, former elections commissioner and former chief of staff to student body president Cade Bernsen, approached Miller in confidence to say Tubbs had violated the elections code by hanging posters supporting her candidacy next to non-campaign-related materials in the CǸsar E. Chǭvez building last week.

    Birnbaum, last year’s executive vice president, is no longer affiliated with student government, but she said executive vice presidential candidate David Reece will need to receive 50 percent of the executive vice president popular vote during today and tomorrow’s election in order to be elected into office.

    Carrell, who is also Bernsen’s roommate, couldn’t be reached for comment last night by press time.

    I’m now calling into question anything ASUA has ever stood for…There needs to be a change in the way ASUA composes itself.
    – Sara Birnbaum,former ASUA executive vice president

    Miller said the elections commission thoroughly investigates all complaints brought forward against any candidate and said Tubbs’ situation was no different.

    “”There wasn’t any malicious intent brought forward by the accuser,”” said Miller, a marketing senior, adding Carrell was a former elections commissioner who always upheld the code.

    Tubbs said Carrell has gone out of his way and is directly connected to those seeking to disqualify her from the election.

    “”(My campaign staff) has learned that Tyler Carrell does not have any classes in the CǸsar Chǭvez Building,”” Tubbs said in an e-mail to the supreme court. “”And since it is a building used mostly for classes, there seems to be no reason he might have, out of good intent, found the violation and felt moved by the spirit of the law to report it.””

    If Reece doesn’t receive the 50 percent needed to be elected, the matter could be appealed to the supreme court for a possible special election to be held in April for the office of executive vice president, Miller said.

    This could allow Tubbs to appeal once again to re-enter the race, though the process hasn’t been clearly spelled out at this time, Miller said.

    In the meantime, Tubbs will be left off the ballot for today and tomorrow’s elections.

    Birnbaum, who is supporting Tubbs’ candidacy for executive vice president, said leaving Tubbs off the ballot isn’t fair and doesn’t give students a voice in a democratically run election.

    “”Not checking any name is a vote of no confidence,”” Birnbaum said. “”Students still have a choice for executive vice president.””

    The supreme court also considered more of Tubbs’ and Miller’s arguments through e-mail exchanges yesterday before delivering their oral verdict to both parties, Baker said.

    The five justices met Sunday night until 11:45 and corresponded by e-mail with one another “”all of yesterday morning”” in deciding the case before reaching their decision around 6:30 p.m. yesterday, Baker said.

    A written report, which is supposed to be released 10 days after deliberations take place, will reflect the justices’ concern that there are flaws in the elections code and that the court will make suggestions to change next year’s code to avoid future proceedings like Tubbs’, Baker said.

    On Friday, Tubbs incurred a minor violation, which would have only resulted in a written warning. But since Tubbs had already accrued two major and two minor violations, this incident constituted her third minor violation, which resulted in a major violation and ultimately Tubbs’ disqualification from the election, Miller said in yesterday’s Arizona Daily Wildcat.

    Tubbs appealed the decision to the elections commission Friday, but the decision was upheld by the commission over the weekend, forcing Tubbs to appeal to the supreme court, Miller said in yesterday’s Wildcat.

    Birnbaum said she’s been disappointed by the whole process and said she has never seen such a “”disregard for democracy.””

    “”I’m now calling into question anything ASUA has ever stood for,”” Birnbaum said. “”I’m disappointed in the integrity of this organization. There needs to be a change in the way ASUA composes itself.””

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