Election Commission Fines Candidates

In a series of rulings last night and Monday night, the commission that runs the Undergraduate Council elections cited four of the five candidate tickets for violations of campaign rules--mostly involving illegal postering.

Violations cost the candidates points. Each candidate received 50 such points at the beginning of the race and if a candidate loses more than these 50, he or she is disqualified. The points also affect the candidates' spending limit.

The Commission docked B.J. Averell '02 a total of 14 points for illegal postering and for late submissions of a campaign spending report. His running mate, Amias M. Gerety '02 was docked eight points.

Justin A. Barkley '02 and his running mate Adam M. Johnson '02 were each docked two points for postering violations. Paul A. Gusmorino '02 was docked two points for submitting his campaign spending report late. Finally, Stephen N. Smith '02 and his vice-presidential candidate James C. Coleman '03 each lost five points for illegal campaigning in Annenberg Hall on Monday.

Only one campaign ticket--that of Matthew Zanotelli '02 and John F. Bash '03--did not receive violations.

A one point deduction means that a campaign's $100 spending limit is reduced by $1. For every 10 penalty points, a candidate is assessed an additional $10 "fine"--meaning that 10 points in violations equals a loss of $20 in spending.

The Commission is being especially strict this year, after accusations of campaign finance improprieties last election led to the impeachment of council Vice President John A. Burton '01.

"This year, we're enforcing both the spirit of the law and the letter of the law," commission chair Kyle D. Hawkins '02 said.