Politicians are politicians, no matter what stage of their career. We always hope that the petty attacks, slanderous statements and lack of regard for professionalism during elections will slowly work their way out of our political discourse, especially now that Rick Santorum has suspended his campaign.
While the race for the presidency has narrowed to two career politicians, an election a tad closer to home is bringing out this negative perception.
A presidential candidate for the Downtown campus was disqualified Monday after she failed to list an item on her campaign expenditures sheet. Rules are rules, that is understood, but this reported violation about a missing item and its surrounding circumstances brings out the worst in politics.
What item might you ask? It was a whiteboard used to ask students what they wanted from next year’s Undergraduate Student Government Downtown. How did they possess it? Her running mate already owned it, which means it wasn’t purchased or donated. An entire campaign was brought to the ground by the terrible admissions of an evil whiteboard. Ridiculous, right?
It gets better. The violation was reported by a volunteer with the competing candidate. This person took a screenshot of the opponents’ campaign Facebook page displaying presidential candidate Erika Green with the aforementioned whiteboard. Then, the whistleblower submitted the photo with the expenditure report to the USGD Elections Committee — just hours before the voting was slated to open online.
However, Green remained on the ballot and awaited her appeal, which took place Wednesday at 10 p.m.
Let us continue.
The elections committee then received a second complaint Tuesday, this time from Green’s campaign.
The allegation accused incumbent USGD President Joseph Grossman of prematurely campaigning.
How did it happen? Grossman said at USGD Senate meeting on Feb. 3 he would not appoint people to the judiciary board as he planned to run for office again. That’s it. That’s all he said.
The complaint was unanimously dismissed because he didn’t actually start.
So here is the overview: Green was disqualified for using a whiteboard that was owned by her running mate and not placed on an expenditure sheet. Grossman was approached with a violation of his own after he briefly mentioned the possibility of running for re-election. Both complaints were filed by the opposing campaign.
In the words of USGD Director of Administration Rudy Rivas, “It almost seems to be a tradition for the Downtown campus to have violations.”
It’s unfortunate how accurate he is. Petty violation reports have muddled an election and confused a Downtown student body.
A good presidential candidate has confidence in his or her campaign, and doesn’t look for petty ways to remove the opponent.
Being a good leader and representative is more important than an unlisted whiteboard or a comment in a senate meeting. Unfortunately those characteristics are lost in the bickering.