Sunday, February 22, 2009
Due to an accident of fate around 7 years ago, I ended up on the Israeli Action Committee mailing list. I'm still there, so I still receive e-mails such as this one:
[Iaclist] URGENT! We need your help!It does look like IAC might be hovering near the "Endorse, fund, or otherwise take action positively or negatively on campaigns for propositions in ASUC elections" prohibition for ASUC-sponsored groups. Whether or not it's a technical violation of their obligations, I think it's ethically quite tacky to use resources derived from their existence as an ASUC group to take sides in an ASUC election. I wouldn't be enormously surprised to find this kind of thing going on in many ASUC-sponsored groups on both sides.
Dear IAC Members,
This Monday and Tuesday, there will be a recall election to kick pro-Israel senator John Moghtader out of the ASUC Senate. The slanderous and vague accusations made against him are a baseless and pathetic attempt by anti-Israel groups to silence the strongest pro-Israel senator. Protect our voice in the senate and remember:
VOTE NO this Monday or Tuesday at
Thank you so much, and remember to do the right thing and VOTE NO,
Israel Action Committee Co-chair
I forwarded it to the Attorney General, who did not feel it warranted action.
Update: Berkeley Hillel is claiming the Jewish Student Union has also taken an official position against the recall. As is disturbingly common, the statement references approaches for removing a Senator, none of which actually exist:
If students believe that recent events have affected Senator Moghtader's ability to serve appropriately in his elected position, then a proper method of addressing those concerns is through processes stipulated in the constitution for this specific purpose, such as impeachment or a "vote of no confidence."They even say "stipulated in the constitution" about procedures which are unambiguously not stipulated in the constitution. I don't entirely understand why everyone keeps referring to such nonexistent procedures. (Dalia Marina's op-ed references the invisible "impeachment" procedure as well) Where do these people get their information? And given the availability of the primary source (DOC), why don't they use it?
In any case, I can't confirm the JSU resolution independently from the Hillel newsletter, so I suppose it's possible they're misinterpreting something.
Update 2: Tommy Owens has used the Berkeley College Republicans mailing list to call for a no vote as well. It's probably a lot closer to legal on the BCR side of things, though it has always seemed to me that it should count as "Using ASUC authority, facilities, funds, or resources, including Eshleman Hall, for campaign purposes, including for long term or bulk storage of campaign materials," a campaign violation. In the past, though, I think such mass e-mailings have been allowed, though I don't recall if those involved ASUC student groups.
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