In the first case brought to a hearing in the ongoing Associated Students elections saga, Open People’s Party was found not guilty of conducting unfair campaign violations.
After deliberation, the A.S. Judicial Council found in favor of OPP 3-0 in the case A.S. Elections Committee v. OPP. The council declared the party not guilty of accusations of collusion with two of its disqualified candidates to violate election code. Due to the ruling, the council did not apply the $50 per party member fine that the petitioner – the A.S. Elections Committee – requested.
In the case, the petitioner charged OPP of being complicit with two Rec Sports News editors who were found guilty of illegally using their own publication to endorse themselves and their slate.
OPP candidates Matt Berson and Joel Katz, both of whom were running for off-campus representative, are the executive editor and executive managing editor of Rec Sports News, respectively. The newsletter, which appeared as a pullout advertisement in the Daily Nexus on April 23, endorsed the two candidates and OPP. Following the newsletter’s appearance, the A.S. Elections Committee unanimously voted to disqualify Berson and Katz after it ruled that the two candidates violated the A.S. Election Code.
Meanwhile, OPP – which secured 23 of the 29 positions up for grabs in the A.S. elections – will be facing an additional hearing on May 30. In Student Voice v. OPP, the petition to Judicial Council from SV – OPP’s opposing party – requests that OPP as a collective be disqualified for alleged voter fraud during the election.