WEB EXCLUSIVE: Kapoor fights campaign violations, delays election count

The Student Association will postpone counting votes for the presidential race until the SA Student Court decides whether Roger Kapoor will remain on the ballots after receiving enough campaign violations to end his race, Joint Elections Committee officials said Tuesday night.

The Student Court will rule on two violations Kapoor contests which involve community facilitators campaigning for him, JEC Chairman Josh Hiscock said. Kapoor will remain on the ballot through Wednesday’s voting.

The Joint Elections Committee issued eight penalties to Student Association presidential candidate Roger Kapoor Monday night – the amount needed to take Kapoor off the ballot.

But after an appeal by Kapoor, the court granted stays on two of his violations, allowing him to continue his campaign, said SA Sen. Josh Rothstein (U-CSAS), who will represent Kapoor in his appeal.

Hiscock said he received many complaints about Kapoor’s campaign
tactics, but the JEC decided to stop counting at eight.

Kapoor contested two violations for allowing seven community facilitators to post campaign material on their residence hall room doors.

The JEC ruled that community facilitators are paid University employees and cannot campaign under JEC rules.

But CLLC officials said Tuesday that CFs may campaign for candidates. It legal for CFs to post campaign material on their doors’ bulletin boards because they are private property, Assistant Dean of Students Mark Levine wrote in a memo to the JEC. He also wrote that being a CF is not a 24-hour job, “nor has it ever been.”

The SA Student Court agreed to resolve the matter.

Several SA candidates attended the JEC hearing Monday night to testify against Kapoor, including presidential candidate Daniel Loren, vice presidential candidate Mike Pellegrino and SA Sen. Bill Eldridge (U-ESIA). SA President David Burt also testified.

Burt said while campaigning with Bob Simon he met students in Thurston Hall who said Kapoor was hosting pizza parties. The parties violate JEC rules against bribery, which state that candidates cannot distribute food or non-alcoholic drinks to students in common areas, the JEC ruled.

Pellergrino testified that posters displaying Kapoor’s face were too large. The JEC found that four posters were two inches larger than regulation size.

Two students also testified to seeing pizza parties in which campaign literature was handed out.

After issuing eight violations, the JEC ordered Kapoor in contempt of the committee, meaning he would be ineligible to be certified as SA president, Rothstein said.

Rothstein appealed the decision to Jon Rodeback, chief judge of the SA Student Court, first requesting an injunction of the entire election, which would have halted voting.

“It would have caused irreparable harm,” Rothstein said. “There shouldn’t have been a cloud of doubt about whether the candidate was running.”

Rothstein then amended his petition to stay, or put on hold, the two CF postering penalties until the SA Student Court case.

“We believe the charges are bogus and the bylaws of the elections charter are ambiguous,” Rothstein said. “I’m confident that we can win the court case, what worries me is that more violations will be filed, although there shouldn’t be.”

The JEC received three more allegations of Kapoor violations Tuesday, said Alicia Piontkowski, counsel for the JEC. The committee will hold hearing on each of the complaints Friday after it decided whether a campaign party at the Delta Tau Delta fraternity house Saturday violated JEC rules or not.

Kapoor said the violations the JEC charged him with are “completely unwarranted,” and he win continue to campaign.

“There are always bumps in the road,” he said. “We are pushing through as normal and will continue to have fun with it.”

-Alex Kingsbury and Russ Rizzo contributed to this report

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.