UF political parties point fingers at Election Commission meeting


Published: Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 9:37 p.m.

The Orange and Blue Party, which gained no seats in this week's University of Florida Student Government elections, will leave no business unfinished before it leaves the student Senate.

General Counsel Cain Norris and Sen. Jonathon Ossip, both members of the party, filed three accusations against the Unite Party at an Elections Commission meeting Friday evening.

All were ruled to be violations.

Complaints included placing Unite Party campaign fliers on Domino's pizza boxes, which were delivered to students and to an Orange and Blue Party meeting.

Any type of party promotion should be done by official campaigners, which Domino's personnel are not, argued Norris.

Although Unite Party President Kevin Reilly conceded his party did this, he added the pizza company contacted the party on its own initiative. He called the accusation "just another silly complaint filed by Orange and Blue."

Also, a Unite Party member was accused of driving and parking a white Jeep Liberty on Turlington Plaza, which contained Unite T-shirts for distribution. Ossip insisted this obstructed pedestrians' space.

Ossip further argued that the Unite Party Web site - www.uniteparty.com - did not have a Reg. Pol. Ad. logo on the first page, which is required for all written campaign material proving it is a registered political advertisement.

The Elections Commission issued a public reprimand to the Unite Party for this violation and a warning for the other two.

Also at the meeting, Keg Party President Frank Bracco filed three accusations - two against the Progress Party and one against Orange and Blue.

The Elections Commission ruled Bracco's complaint that the Progress Party used someone else's support without permission as a non-violation.

The Progress Party had put up a photograph of its executive ticket members - Bejamin Dictor, Heshan Illankoon and Jose Ortega - and pasted images of President Barack Obama and rapper Lil' Wayne on the same picture.

"We put them on our banner to demonstrate both our progressive mind and bad assery," Dictor said, livening the meeting.

The commission did not rule this as a violation of misrepresentation as Bracco argued.

Bracco's other two accusations were ruled as violations, including his complaint that the Progress Party had a campaigning photograph, which was unregistered for about a five days, and that the Orange and Blue Party had two banners on its table on Turlington Plaza when they are only allowed to have one.

Both of the Progress Party's photographs are on its Facebook group page and the second one depicts Treasurer Candidate Jose Ortega on a horse with the words "Look girl, I am for Progress" inscribed in Spanish underneath. The party was fined $1 for this.

The Orange and Blue Party faces a warning and public reprimand.

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