presidential candidate

Maly files complaint against Jones-Dargahi, alleging failure to declare campaign workers

With less than a day left in the Student Government runoff election, defeated presidential candidate David Maly filed a complaint against Braydon Jones and Kimia Dargahi, alleging they failed to declare one of their campaign workers to the Election Supervisory Board.

Tanner Long, who was re-elected as Liberal Arts Representative last week, sent an email to newly elected Assembly members Saturday and urged them to vote for Jones and Dargahi in the Executive Alliance runoff election. Maly said he believes Long’s action is tantamount to acting as an official campaign worker, although Long was never registered as such.

In the complaint, Maly said failing to list Long as a worker was a clear violation of the Election Code.

“The email indicates a clear and obvious coordinated connection between Long and the Jones campaign, as Long issued a formal invitation to a campaign-specific function on behalf of the candidates,” Maly said.

Long, a government senior, told The Daily Texan that he asked the SG Judicial Court whether newly elected representatives could endorse Executive Alliance candidates before he sent the email. The court told him endorsements were allowed, as long as he made it clear he did not speak on behalf of SG.

Long said he sent the email on his own accord and said he is not a campaign worker for Jones-Dargahi.   

“I wasn’t endorsing them on behalf of Student Government,” Long said. “I think that might have been misunderstood. It was an individual endorsement, [but] it was an unintentional consequence of it.”

The board will conduct a hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday to resolve the complaint. Voting for Executive Alliance runoffs continues Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Results will be announced at approximately 6 p.m. on the Main Mall.

Maly is simultaneously pursuing a complaint against Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu, the other candidates in the runoff election. To read more about his second allegation of wrongdoing, click here.

For a full recap of platform points, candidate descriptions and Texan coverage of the Jones-Dargahi campaign, click here.

Student Government president and vice president candidates Kori Rady and Taylor Strickland listen to their defense given by senior Kent Kasischke to the Election Supervisory Board regarding a complaint filed by finance senior Danny Zeng.

Photo Credit: Sarah Montgomery | Daily Texan Staff

Updated (3:10 p.m.): Thursday afternoon, the election supervisory board released an opinion to dismiss the complaint brought against the Rady-Strickland campaign. At a hearing Wednesday night, Danny Zeng, finance and government senior, accused the alliance of committing privacy violations by sending him unrequited emails.

The board dismissed the complaint on grounds that there was a direct connection between Zeng and Rady-Strickland worker Joshua Tang, a history major.

Tang and Zeng both said they had a direct connection to each other through their involvement in Up To Texas, a case competition to raise awareness about the national debt deficit.

According to the opinion released by the board, “the executive alliance acted within campaign guidelines when collecting the plaintiff’s e-mail.”

Updated (11:40 a.m.): Thursday morning, the Election Supervisory Board determined the Villarreal-Wilkey executive alliance in the Graduate Student Assembly elections was guilty of sending of unsolicited emails and ordered the alliance to cease all campaigning until 5 p.m.

According to the board's opinion, “the worker, though ignorant that her actions were in direct violation of the Election Code, was found to be the source of mass emails sent to multiple, substantial academic listservs within graduate departments.”

The board determined the executive alliance committed a Class B violation and must remove all campaign material and cease all campaigning until 5 p.m.

The board released opinions on three of the four complaints it heard late Wednesday night. A resolution regarding the Rady-Strickland hearing in Student Government executive alliance elections has not been released.

ESB chose to dismiss the second complaint involving the Villarreal-Wilkey campaign. Their opposing candidates accused Villarreal and Wilkey of using platform points that were not their own. The board dismissed the case stating there was not enough proof to make a decision.

“We concluded that we could not determine any possible similarities between the platforms were a result of coincidence or not,” the opinion stated.

The board also dismissed a complaint against University Co-op Board of Directors candidate Ben Tillis in a case involving destruction of campaign property. The board determined there was not sufficient enough evidence.

Polls close at 5 p.m. Thursday and results are announced at 6:30 p.m. at the Main Building.

Original Story: Late Wednesday night, after the first day of voting, the Election Supervisory Board heard four allegations of misconduct, including one that the Rady-Strickland executive alliance campaign had violated students’ privacy by adding students to an email listserv without permission.

The hearings, which began at 10:30 p.m. and continued on past 1 a.m., also addressed two charges filed against Graduate Student Assembly executive alliance Villarreal-Wilkey including allegations they were campaigning on platform points that were not originally their ideas. The board also heard complaints from two candidate for the Co-op board of director position who claimed an opponent had torn down their fliers.

Danny Zeng, finance and government senior, accused Student Government presidential candidate Kori Rady and running mate Taylor Strickland of unauthorized use of his email address.

“I really don’t know the scope and reach of this operation,” Zeng told the board. “I just know my privacy is being intruded from the negligence on their part.”

History senior Joshua Tang and Kennon Kasischke, a biology and psychology senior, represented the Rady-Strickland campaign at the hearing. Tang, who is registered as a worker for the Rady-Strickland campaign, said he was not speaking in any way in his capacity as SG administrative director.

Tang said Zeng was added to the campaign’s listserv after Rady and Strickland asked their agents and workers to contact the leaders of the student organizations in which they held membership. Tang and Zeng both said they had a direct connection to each other through their involvement in Up To Texas, a case competition to raise awareness about the national debt deficit.

“The emails that I submitted were sent to people I know are engaged on political matters on campus,” Tang said.

Kasischke, a Rady-Strickland agent, said he felt the campaign team was selective in choosing whom the emails were sent to, and kept well within the boundaries of the guidelines about email messaging in the board’s code.

“If your team is using the directory to email someone you know, you need to have someone on your team to have a direct connection to him,” Kasischke said. “We developed a list of 668 emails.”

Zeng said he felt the campaign should not have assumed he wanted to get the campaign email.

“I appreciate what they said, but in this country, with mass marketing, we have an opt-in system rather than an opt-out,” Zeng said.

Tang asked the board to have the case dismissed. Board Chairman Ryan Lutz said the board was required to release a resolution and would have the response within 24 hours.

The board also addressed two separate complaints filed against Graduate Student Assembly presidential candidate David Villarreal and running mate Brian Wilkey. Their opponents, presidential candidate Frank Male and running mate Virginia Luehrsen, filed a complaint against executive alliance Villarreal and Wilkey over “misleading campaign activities.” Luehrsen said the duo claimed other candidates’ platform points as their own.

“Misrepresentation of facts and the work involved is damaging to our campaign and to the Graduate Student Assembly,” Luehrsen said. “If students did this in my class, I would report them to Student Judicial Services.”

Villarreal said he was alarmed by the lack of specifics the opposing candidates brought forward.

“We fundamentally believe it is our job to campaign for ourselves,” Villarreal said.

A second hearing was called to address allegations against Villarreal and Wilkey concerning an economics graduate coordinator forwarding an email to several departments endorsing their campaign.

Economics graduate student Anna Klis accused a worker of sending a Villarreal-Wilkey endorsement email to the economics graduate coordinator, which was then passed along through graduate departments in the College of Liberal Arts. Klis said she believed the email could be confused by graduate students as an endorsement by the college.

“In a case like this — this is almost cause for disqualification,” Klis said.

Villarreal said the worker had been his close friend for several years, and said she was likely unfamiliar with UT student election codes. Wilkey said if his team had been aware of the worker's plans to send the email, he and Villarreal would have prevented her from doing so.

“We apparently have a rogue agent — we are upset about this,” Wilkey said. “There may be no way to rectify this.”

The board also addressed allegations made by business senior Alexander Bryan and undeclared freshman Christian Trudeau, both candidates for the Co-op board of director position. Bryan and Trudeau claimed that finance sophomore Ben Tillis, who is also running for the position, removed their campaign fliers in the McCombs School of Business.

Bryan said he and Trudeau could not offer proof Tillis had torn down the fliers because they did not have video camera footage, but said he knew of at least nine fliers that had disappeared that were at one point clearly visible in McCombs.

“It seems like somebody was directly targeting [Trudeau] and I’s campaign,” Bryan said.

In response, Tillis said his fliers were also removed from their original locations and encouraged the board to check security footage. ESB chairman Ryan Lutz said he would consult with McCombs representatives Thursday.

At roughly 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning, when the hearings ended, Lutz said the board would release resolutions for all four allegations within 24 hours. Student election polls will close Thursday at 5 p.m.

Additional reporting by Bobby Blanchard

Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff

Kornel “Kori” Rady, a government and corporate communications senior, said he hopes to represent as many different student groups as possible, which drew him to selecting corporate communications junior Taylor Strickland as his vice presidential candidate.

“I wanted to get together with someone who is different from myself and can make the University a better place,” Rady said. “Taylor was the obvious choice.”

Strickland said her involvement in Black Student Alliance, the African American Culture committee, Texas Dance and Student Government would help to ensure every student group has an equal voice.

“Sometimes communities just get left out,” said Strickland, who also serves as a Univeristy-wide representative for SG. “There’s no excuse for it. We plan on meeting with these members and seeing what they want on campus and what they want out of their college experience.”

The executive alliance candidates’ platform focuses on student life, safety and transportation, academics and civic engagement. 

Rady said he referenced his own personal experiences at UT when creating his platform points. His initiative to expand the URide program to reach more neighborhoods began when a drunk driver hit a friend from his hometown. Rady said although he draws inspiration from his own personal experiences, he encourages students to reach out to him and voice
their concerns.

“It’s not about [Strickland] and [Rady]. It’s about UT,” Rady said.

Strickland said one of the platform goals she is excited to work toward is expanding the student section at games. 

“There have been many times where me and my friends are separated in our seating,” Strickland said. “All of our platforms are from experiences we’ve had or our friends have had.”

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson speaks about his political platform in Hogg Auditorium Monday afternoon. Johnson said he would pursue a foreign policy of non-intervention, legalize gay marriage and replace current taxes with a national sales tax.

Photo Credit: Raveena Bhalara | Daily Texan Staff

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson sought to differentiate himself from the two major presidential candidates during a speech in Hogg Auditorium on Monday.

Johnson said voting for a third-party candidate does not constitute wasting a vote if voters believe in the principles the candidate adheres to.

“What is a more wasted vote than voting for someone you don’t believe in?” Johnson asked.

Johnson, who served as governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, said he would not take military action against Iran. Presidential candidates Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, and President Barack Obama support military action as an option to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“We bomb Iran, we’re going to find ourselves in a two-year bombing maintenance program of Iran,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he would end combat operations in Afghanistan immediately and pursue a foreign policy of non-intervention.

On national security, Johnson said he would have vetoed the PATRIOT Act, a law that expanded law enforcement agencies’ surveillance abilities. He said he also would have prevented the establishment of the Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security. According to his campaign’s website, Johnson would repeal the PATRIOT Act and would allow private security firms to provide airport security.

He also said he would have vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012, which contains a provision authorizing the indefinite detention of persons suspected of terrorist involvement by the federal government.

Johnson said Obama has not taken enough action on gay rights and affirmed his own support for gay marriage.

“Marriage equality is a constitutional guarantee,” he said.

Obama presided over the repeal of the U.S. military’s “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” policy, signed legislation that added sexual orientation to federal hate crime laws and announced his support for gay marriage.

Johnson also criticized the Obama administration for allowing the Drug Enforcement Administration to raid medical marijuana dispensaries in states that have legalized the use of medical marijuana and said he would legalize the use of marijuana.

“The more we talk about it, the more people understand it’s just like the prohibition of alcohol,” he said.

On economics, Johnson said he would repeal the income tax, corporate tax and the Internal Revenue Service and replace them with a nationwide sales tax, which he said would eliminate tax loopholes and deductions for corporations.

Christina Graves, international relations and global studies senior, said she did not know anything about Johnson before attending the speech, but identified with his views, which she characterized as socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

Graves said she normally identifies as a Democrat but is not sure who she will vote for in November.

Malcolm Macleod, member of Libertarian Longhorns, which sponsored the event, said he agrees with Johnson’s position regarding balancing the federal budget and reducing the national debt.

“That’s the best thing we can do for the future: not leaving mountains of debt,” Macleod said.

Printed on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 as: Candidate states views

“When we recognize that commercialization is a tool for the university to achieve its mission — research, education, service, public good — the way we deal with industry will fundamentally change. Our goals become aligned with industry and industry’s goals become aligned with our faculty.”
— Brett Cornwell, Texas A&M University’s associate vice chancellor for commercialization, on the value of commercialization of university technologies, according to The Texas Tribune.

“I really don’t have any details, and I just feel very, very sad that it ended up where we did. There are a lot of people in El Paso that are quite disappointed and upset.”
— Diana Natalicio, president of the University of Texas-El Paso, on UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa’s decision to cancel a high-profile boxing match that was to occur at the Sun Bowl Stadium on June 16, according to The Texas Tribune.

“One thing that would make Obama more competitive in Texas is the very, very off chance that Rick Perry was on the ticket. In that case Romney’s advantage over Obama would be reduced from 50-43 to 50-45.”
— Public Policy Polling on Mitt Romney’s chance to win Texas during the November general election, according to its new polling results released Tuesday.

“What we lack is the moral vision to do what is right. Mark my words, if we fail to come back into special session to restore education funding, then either the leadership doesn’t care about public education or they are too afraid to admit they were wrong.”
— State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, on the possibility of using higher-than-anticipated state tax revenue to reallocate funding to education, according to his column in The Houston Chronicle.

“Frankly, I think this is beneath the dignity of the White House. ... For the president to make a campaign issue and then to travel to three battleground states and go to three large college campuses on taxpayers money to try to make this some political issue is pathetic.”
— U.S. House Speaker John Boehner on the Obama administration’s response to legislation that would double the interest rate on some federal student loans, according to The Associated Press.

NANTERRE, France — She calls herself the anti-system candidate who will ensure social justice for the have-nots and purify a France losing its voice to Europe and threatened by massive immigration and
rampant Islamization.

The message of far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has seduced thousands, kept her consistently in third place in polls and scared President Nicolas Sarkozy as he seeks a second term.

The conservative Sarkozy is trying to woo those who would vote for Le Pen in Sunday’s first round of balloting to bridge the gap with frontrunner Francois Hollande, a Socialist whom all polls show will win the May 6 election.

In an interview Wednesday on BFM-TV, Sarkozy named her directly, asking, “The vote for Marine Le Pen serves whom? Francois Hollande.”

Le Pen, putting the accent on patriotism, deplores what she says is France’s loss of sovereignty to the European Union and to globalization, the nation’s perceived loss of identity and what she claims are real dangers hidden within France’s Muslim community, is the largest in western Europe.

Le Pen wants France, and other euro zone nations, to give up the euro currency. She wants to drastically reduce the number of immigrants — to 10,000 a year — and, a top theme, to crack down for good on what she claims is the growing footprint of Islamic fundamentalists in France.

The image Marine Le Pen projects is less linked to the extreme-right than that of her father, said Nonna Meyer, an expert on the extreme-right vote at the prestigious university Sciences Politiques.

Meyer said that it is impossible at this point to predict how Le Pen will fare in Sunday’s balloting because there are too many unknowns, including the level of voter turnout.

“I think there really is no chance that Marine Le Pen will be in the second round,” she added.

French incumbent President and Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) candidate for the French 2012 presidential elections Nicolas Sarkozy arrives on stage to give a speech during a campaign meeting in Nancy, eastern France, Monday, April 2, 2012.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

PARIS — French presidential candidate Francois Hollande, leading in polls but lacking in ideas that stick in voters’ minds, finally dropped a bombshell: As president, he would levy a 75 percent tax on anyone who makes more than
€1 million ($1.33 million) a year.

The flashy idea from the normally bland Socialist proved wildly popular, fanning hostility toward executive salaries and forcing President Nicolas Sarkozy to defend his ostentatious friendships with the rich. It also unleashed debate in the French press about whether the wealthy would decamp for gentler tax pastures.

As much as France likes the plan, it does not seem to have assured Hollande’s victory, which, just three weeks before the first round of voting, is growing more uncertain as Sarkozy reaps the benefits of projecting presidential mettle following France’s shooting attacks.

Polls put the two men neck-and-neck in the first round April 22, and show Sarkozy gaining on Hollande for the decisive runoff May 6.

Centrist candidate Francois Bayrou has dismissed the plan as absurd — contending that when all was added up, the top bracket would be taxed at nearly 100 percent. Many economists are also scratching their heads over the tax — seeing it as dangerous at worst and ineffective at best — and even Hollande admits it’s not meant to balance the budget.

The “Fouquet’s tax” — so named by some in the press after the tony restaurant where Sarkozy celebrated his 2007 presidential win — is riding and in part fueling a resurgence of the French left. The tax-the-rich proposal has garnered as much as 65 percent approval in some polls.All that has helped Hollande, often perceived as amiable but uninspiring, to distinguish himself from his main opponent, said Jean-Daniel Levy, a pollster and political analyst.

“Nicolas Sarkozy has a double difficulty: On the one hand, he is perceived as a president who is close to the rich, which is not a good sign in France. And he is also seen as a president who oversaw inegalitarian policies,” he said. The tax, he added, “allows Francois Hollande to take control again and to paint a negative portrait of Nicolas Sarkozy.”

But there is a danger that Hollande hit the nerve too well.

Many voters have swept right past Hollande and into the camp of far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who has electrified voters with calls for a new French revolution and who some polls say will come in third or fourth in the first round of elections. That could bleed support away from Hollande in the first round, depriving him of crucial momentum going into the second one.Antipathy for the rich is widespread in France, where wealth is meant to be discreet and climbing the social ladder to build yourself a mansion isn’t a common narrative.

Hollande himself once famously declared “I do not like the rich” — a statement that only boosted his political standing among those who think wealth should be redistributed instead of accumulated.

Following his 75-percent tax announcement, front pages treated the rich like some strange, migrating species, declaring that they would decamp to Belgium if the tax was put in place. One presidential candidate, Dominique de Villepin, himself quite wealthy, warned France not to “kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.”

While there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest the wealthy are eyeing the border, tax lawyer Sandra Hazan said there’s nothing new in rich people fleeing France. But they don’t pull up the stakes simply because taxes are high.

“The problem is not the level of taxation you suffer,” said Hazan, who heads the tax department at law firm Salans. “The problem is when you cannot anticipate how much you will be paying.”

The French tax code has long been unpredictable, she said, but it has become even more so in recent months. As Sarkozy’s administration has tried to keep a series of budget targets that are central to his credibility and reassure markets that France can manage its debt, the number of changes to tax law have come fast and furious.

When he put taxes at the center of his campaign, Hollande unleashed a new flood of tax proposals, creating more uncertainty. Sarkozy, too, has vowed to hunt down French people who have fled the country purely to escape high taxes and make them pay the difference between what they’re paying in their haven and what they would have to pay in France.

In all the discussion about how much the rich make and how much they should pay, Sarkozy has also been put on the spot — again — about a lavish party to celebrate his presidential victory at Fouquet’s and a vacation on a friend’s yacht he took shortly after. These moves quickly earned him the moniker “President Bling Bling,” and he has struggled ever since to shed the image of a man too comfortable with money.

Five years after the victory party and the yacht trip, Sarkozy is still fielding questions about them. He most recently defended the vacation in an interview not long after Hollande’s proposal when he called it a last-ditch attempt to save his marriage to Cecilia, whom he divorced not long after taking office.

But Hollande has struggled to harness this momentum.

Hollande bungled the announcement of his new tax, initially saying it would apply to those bringing in more than €1 million — about $1.33 million — a month, before clarifying he meant a year.

He has also failed to provide a coherent narrative for why the tax is needed. He started out by saying that, in tough times, the rich had to pay their fair share, before later conceding it would only bring in about €100 million to €300 million each year. France’s public debt is €1.7 trillion ($2.3 trillion).

Then he said it would put pressure on companies to lower ballooning salaries, noting that that executive pay for France’s 40 largest public companies — the ones that make up its CAC-40 stock index — rose 34 percent in 2010, while most of Europe was fighting for its very existence.

In the end, Hollande has settled on casting the tax as simply the right thing to do.

“It’s not a question of return,” he told RTL radio station. “It’s a question of morality.”

Winning candidate Thor Lund talks on the phone Thursday night after the Student Government results were announced to more than 80 supporters. Lund and his running mate Wills Brown captured the presidency with 2,571 votes over John LawlerÂ’s 2,112.

Photo Credit: Rebeca Rodriguez | Daily Texan Staff

Weeks of campaigning, candidate disqualifications and judicial review culminated in a Thursday gathering of more than 80 supporters for Student Government presidential candidates John Lawler and Thor Lund.

Lund and running mate Wills Brown captured the presidency with 2,571 votes, defeating Lawler, who received 2,112. A total of 4,483 students voted.

The campaign period extended from Feb. 15 to March 29, about six weeks compared to the usual two. Voter turnout for the presidential and vice presidential race decreased about 41 percent compared to last year, when 7,883 students voted in the runoff election for current SG president Natalie Butler and former presidential candidate Abel Mulugheta.

In 2010, 8,654 students voted in the presidential runoff, with president-elect Scott Parks receiving 4,801 and opponent Minator Azemi receiving 3,853.

This year is the first time the Election Supervisory Board disqualified two presidential candidates since SG outlawed the ticket system in 2008, in which students could run together under a party or banner that year in order to give each candidate a fair chance at getting elected.

Lund has never been involved in SG and said he is facing a sharp learning curve. While he and Brown started alone at the beginning, Lund said the most challenging part of campaigning was wondering if elections were ever going to happen.

“A lot of people were wondering if we were ever going to have this day,” Lund said. “With each challenge we grow stronger. We’ve come out so much stronger and better after this. It has been a blessing in disguise.”

Lund said he ran a campaign focused on the students and wants to provide 24-hour access to the Perry-Castañeda Library, renovate Anna Hiss Gym and provide healthier late-night food options, among goals. Lund said he and Brown bring a new perspective to SG, and he invites everyone to get involved.

“Don’t be discouraged,” Lund said. “Anyone who wants to get involved, get involved. Me and Wills have no bias against anyone and we’re very excited.”

Lawler said he is surprised at the low voter turnout. He said during the election he did not anticipate Madison Gardner would sue UT, the prolonging of the elections or running with two great candidates like Lund and Brown. Lawler said he is grateful for the students who supported his campaign.

“What would I do differently, I would say not a thing,” Lawler said. “There have been several things that were out of our control, but at the end of the day, Terrence and I are very proud of the issues-based campaign we ran.”

Lawler said he would continue to be involved with SG as much as possible and fulfill his campaign promise to fight for students at UT and in West Campus. He said he would welcome any opportunity to work with Lund and Brown next year.

Former presidential candidate Madison Gardner was disqualified twice, once on Feb. 22 and again on March 21, for violating the SG Election Code. Former candidate Yaman Desai was disqualified on Feb. 20 for misrepresenting his campaign and committing fraud.

Gardner said Monday he expected voter turnout to be low this year because students had not been given the chance to elect their own SG president and vice president because of the disqualifications. With more than 100 campaign volunteers, Gardner had one of the largest campaign teams this year.

Election Supervisory Board chair Eric Nimmer said elections were different this year because there was a functioning Election Code and judicial body to make sure rules and procedure were being carried out.

“In prior years, if something happened the Election Code could not be drawn out,” Nimmer said. “We have a functioning means to [address] bad behavior.”

Dean of Students Soncia Reagins-Lilly said she will be working with Lund and Brown during the next few weeks to address changes to the Election Code. The code encountered scrutiny when Gardner filed a lawsuit against the University on Feb. 27, claiming the association provision in the code violated his constitutional rights.

“Every [SG] group is different,” Reagins-Lilly said. “There is a new group of students and they’re learning. They’ll have to rethink and clarify the [Election Code], and I have confidence in the student governing process.”

Printed on Friday, March 30, 2012 as: SG candidate Lund takes presidency

Student Government presidential candidate Thor Lund and running mate Wills Brown came under speculation by the Election Supervisory Board on Tuesday for possibly violating University trademark rules in their promotional materials.

Law school representative Austin Carlson filed a complaint against the candidates Tuesday, claiming they disregarded an earlier Board decision that ordered them to take down materials it deemed violated trademark rules. Carlson said he felt Lund and Brown should be issued a fine or a moratorium to make up for the unfair advantage they may have gained using UT trademarked property.

The Board has 24 hours to release a decision on the case. The SG presidential elections will be held today and Thursday.

The promotional materials in question were photos on Lund’s campaign website where he and Brown engaged in use of the “Hook ‘Em” hand sign.

Lund said he was not worried when a complaint was filed against him and Brown because they have run a very clean campaign. Gardner/Guevara campaign manager Alexander Jones filed a trademark violation complaint against the pair in February. The Board found the candidates to be in violation of University trademark rules Feb. 19 but did not issue punishment.

Lund said he and Brown did not violate an earlier Board ruling because they took the materials in question down on Feb. 19. Lund said Carlson’s complaint identified a photo the Board did not rule as a violation at the first hearing.

“I don’t think we had an unfair advantage,” Lund said. “In regards to the last hearing, [the Board] said if the trademark was not the focus of the picture it was not a problem.”

Lund said any fine imposed by the Board would not affect his campaign because he and Brown have spent only about half of their $1,020 total campaign spending limit.

According to the University’s Office of Trademark Licensing, only organizations registered with the Office of the Dean of Students may use the trademarked property. Furthermore, groups may not use the marks in a manner that would encourage endorsement or approval.

Carlson said he does not feel the violation was intentional and argued in Lund and Brown’s defense.

“I don’t want these candidates to be disqualified,” Carlson said. “I just wanted to be consistent to make sure the decision was upheld. [This complaint] is not to the magnitude of my complaint against Gardner/Guevara.”

Printed on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 as: Lund, Brown face trademark violation complaint from ESB

Mayor Lee Leffingwill is endorsing John Lawler, a Student Government presidential candidate, in hopes of creating a stronger connection between student issues and city policies.

Photo Credit: Shannon Kintner | Daily Texan Staff

Mayor Lee Leffingwell endorsed Student Government presidential candidate John Lawler and running mate Terrence Maas last week in efforts to get the city to collaborate on issues affecting students this election year.

Lawler said he received the news about Leffingwell’s endorsement last Wednesday and is very excited to receive his support because he and Maas ran their campaign based on their experience in dealing with city issues that affect students. This is the first time Leffingwell has endorsed an SG president candidate since he took office in 2009.

“Oftentimes it is advantageous for the University and the city to collaborate, and with John [Lawler] at the helm, well have someone who knows the ropes of both entities,” Leffingwell said. “I look forward to working with John and his team very soon.”

Lawler said this year is a big year for students because the city will vote on whether to implement a single-member districts policy for City Council. If voters choose to implement such a policy, each of Austin’s major areas would have its own City Council member, possibly giving UT its own council member. Currently, the city elects its council members from the city as a whole for six at-large positions on Austin City Council.

Lawler interned for Leffingwell in 2009, and he said he has met with members of the mayor’s office and been to many City Council meetings throughout his tenure as a representative.

“We’re not only the candidates running for office that are talking the most about city issues, but we have the most experience and the most support going into this area,” Lawler said. “The moment we are allowed to step into office, we’ve got the relationships built to get our agenda done.”