Friday, October 20, 2006
Senator Donald Rizzo is going to pay $22,679 of your money because he feels bad. And, sadly, he's not the only one.
Katlyn Carter's Thursday article on the ASUC meeting ("Executives Address Legal Bill Concerns," Oct. 19) did not mention an important visual: Watching four people talk about how they are each more than $5,000 in debt because the ASUC messed up. And in response, people saying, "Well, that’s politics!"No, they're more than $5,000 in debt (ha!, yeah right, Gabriels) because they hired lawyers when they didn't need to. The error there belongs to the executives.
People are calling this a partisan issue. What sounds more political to you: reimbursing the executives for the expenses incurred while trying to regain their democratically elected positions, or refusing to do so even though our own ASUC Attorney Mark Himelstein strongly recommends doing so on both legal and historical grounds?When those costs were unnecessary, and that attorney has been working for the direct recipients of this money to the exclusion of the rest of the ASUC, I think I come to a different conclusion than Donald does.
Of the six lawyers that reviewed the case, not one thought that disqualifying the candidates was legally justified.Nor, for that matter, did the ASUC Judicial Council.
If the ASUC Executives had not dropped the case in Alameda County Superior Court, the ASUC would have been forced to settle the litigation.Is this even true? The DAAP case was dismissed after DAAP got its position back through the Judicial Council. The case was refiled to charge free speech violations, and that case dragged on until the ASUC finally agreed to a settlement. But Student Action has made no indication they will refile.
This settlement, by reasonable estimates, would have incurred costs much higher than the $23,000 sought by Student Action candidates, and would have come out of the Legal Defense Fund.Strong words, coming from someone who approved paying the money out of the Legal Defense Fund in the first place. Now Rizzo wants to paint himself as a champion acting to protect the Legal Defense Fund?
The ASUC Judicial Council committed a disservice to Oren Gabriel, the other executives, and all of the students on our campus.They were acting on the rules that the Senate gave them. But sure, blame the Judicial Council, that's easier than taking responsibility.
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