Vice presidential hopeful punished 1.5 points for campaigning early
The Student Government Elections Commission found vice presidential candidate Katie Thompson guilty of two campaign violations Wednesday night.
The commission penalized Thompson, a second-year public relations student, one violation point for violating Code 411.11 of the SG Constitution, which forbids candidates from soliciting student organizations before filing begins on Jan. 18. The commission also cited a sentence in the e-mail to penalize her .5 points for violating 411.15, which prohibits the distribution of campaign speeches before the mandatory candidates meeting.
A candidate who receives five points is disqualified.
Shah Himali, president of the International Student Association, reported an e-mail her organization had received Jan. 17 from the “Katie Thompson for U, Us and USC” campaign.
The e-mail, sent from a USC Beaufort account under the name Daniel Monroe, offered to “schedule a date that would be best for Katie to come visit and speak to your organization.”
Himali is helping with Rohail Kazi’s campaign for student body president, but she is not registered as part of his staff and said she may quit now.
Thompson said the commission had her full support and that she respected the decision “100 percent.”
Zachary Lamb, the senior adviser to Thompson’s campaign and a fourth-year broadcast journalism student, handed out a statement at the violation meeting arguing the campaign had no knowledge of Monroe’s e-mail and that Monroe was merely a “close personal friend” of Thompson rather than a member of her staff.
The commission disagreed, pointing out in its findings that Monroe initially appeared on the list of Thompson’s staff but “was crossed off the list and dated on 1/18/11,” a day after the e-mail was sent.
Himali said that the Thompson campaign’s early contact of student organizations gave it an unfair advantage.
“She already has her schedule. I’m still scheduling stuff, and I’m not sure where my candidate is going to go the next day,” Himali, a fourth-year international studies student, said. “I’m pretty sure the damage is already done ... I don’t want them to get disqualified. I just want them to understand that this is a slap on the wrist, that this is not cool.”