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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Tubbs faces second DQ

    Rhonda Tubbs
    Rhonda Tubbs

    Executive vice presidential candidate Rhonda Tubbs was disqualified from the student government elections for the second time in a week after having posters for her campaign posted next to non-campaign related materials in the CǸsar E. Chǭvez building on Friday.

    Tubbs appealed the violation to the elections commission Friday, but the decision was upheld by the commission over the weekend, causing the student government senator to appeal the matter further to the Associated Students of the University of Arizona supreme court last night.

    The supreme court didn’t reach a decision last night but is expected to reach one later this afternoon, said Jennifer Baker, the ASUA supreme court chief justice.

    The violation is considered a minor violation because the posters in question were positioned next to other non-campaign-related materials which constitutes an elections violation, said Jordan Miller, the ASUA elections commissioner.

    Under normal circumstances, the violation would have only been handled as a written warning. But since Tubbs had already been barred from further campaigning, she received her third minor violation, which constitutes a major violation according to the elections code, Miller said.

    Miller said Tubbs appealed the violation on Friday after receiving word from the elections commission that a violation had been brought forward against her.

    While Miller said she doesn’t believe Tubbs would stoop to such behavior knowing she could no longer campaign, she said she has to assume her campaign staff is responsible because Tubbs’ first elections-code violation stemmed from a similar situation.

    Tubbs said she feels “”targeted”” and said she hasn’t campaigned for more than two weeks after being told by the elections commission to stop further campaigning and said she has no idea who put up her campaign posters last week.

    Despite all the hardship, Tubbs believes students want her in office because she won the primary election for executive vice president with 34 percent of the vote.

    “”I think the student body wants me to be part of ASUA,”” she said. “”It’s a very weird position for me to be in to run a race, get kicked out twice and be an elected official now. It’s just a very hard thing to overcome.””

    Miller said violations brought forward to the elections commission are investigated thoroughly for their merit and said Tubbs’ was no different.

    Miller said no one is targeting Tubbs because the violations that resulted in her disqualification came from two different individuals, and the individual brought forward the same charges against five other candidates, including Tubbs, in this most recent incident.

    “”I don’t feel there has been any wrong doing. You can tell if campaign material has been tampered with in any way,”” said Miller, a marketing senior. “”I didn’t see any signs of foul play, and so I had no other option but to impose a code violation.””

    Matt Van Horn, a candidate for student body president who was one of the five individuals to be sanctioned, said he hasn’t hung posters supporting Tubbs since she was told to no longer campaign for office more than two weeks ago, and he doesn’t know of anyone else who has.

    “”I think she is being set up,”” said Van Horn, a senior majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship. “”It was done deliberately and my name got involved to make it seem like it wasn’t just going after Rhonda.””

    Tubbs said the elections code is too strict for its own good, and he believes Miller has been overly strict in handing out elections-code violations, adding that presidential candidate Erin Hertzog has taken back all of her shirts and pins for fear she may incur an elections-code violation.

    “”Candidates are now scared to run because they’ve seen what has happened to me,”” Tubbs said. “”We really needed an awesome election with the year we’ve just gone through, and unfortunately we haven’t had that and we won’t have that because people are scared to do anything.””

    By ruling in the elections commission’s favor, Tubbs believes the supreme court is setting precedent that any individual could go out of his or her way to attack a rival opponent’s campaign, cause violations and ultimately disqualify the candidate from the race.

    Miller disagreed and said future candidates running for office will decide they can break the elections code any time they want to if the supreme court overturns her decision.

    Van Horn said he believes there need to be some “”major improvements”” to the elections code for next year.

    – Danielle Rideau contributed to this report

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