Monday, November 13, 2006

Birthday Post

It's my birthday, I have a cold, still scared to re-take the lsat but I must; I'm loving the sub-teacher job (though I do get depressed that I have to say goodbye to my kids) so I'll be applying for certification for f/t in December, so that' spretty much where I currently stand, but really, who cares? (Viva SG Baby!) More importantly, let's talk about this Cingular issue that's on it's way to CONTROVERSEY-Defcom-9-stage.

By this stage I've already received letters and/or extensive commentaries from both Senators Baker & Brett, I've also made contact with Senator Loh, and I've begun the process of speaking to key members in the Swamp organization. I'd really like to receive a "re-produceable" copy of the bill, as Sen. Brett tried sending me one that I couldn't open and seemed protected by some pesky copyright seal. I would also like a print-out of the votes (if done by roll call) or list of senate votes on the bill. Granted, this may not be a very flashy bill, but this blog is aimed at covering SG and boasts of an SG-Insider-Audience, so what the Alligator considers a story and what I consider a story may very well be two different things. I want to put as much attention on this matter because I think it speaks to the very core of the message behind outgoing Sen. Ryan Nelson's Q&A urging new senators to write bills and of my own private beliefs in that SG should continue to be pragmatic but pro-active as well. Fix the problem when it's a leak, not when the water's washed away the dam.

In my day bills, minutes, and vote results were provided online, fully accessible to all. Where are they now? Don't tell me 2006 won't up until 2007, I love it! LOL

...Next I'd like to pose a question to you all.

What are your views on lobbying? Yes, UF has a Lobby Coordinator and the student body actively invests in the practice both in Tallahasse through private lobbyists & the Florida Student Association. However, does SG's participation in lobbying efforts allow for or tolerate for private entities to lobby for Student Funds through individual members of the Student Senate?

Those of you ready to shout "bribe!" -- hold your tongue, because to lobby is a legal maneuver for private interests to have a more favorable standing in the public sector (e.g. Government). If UF's SG participates in lobbying as an entity, could it then turn around as a participating-entity and prohibit its members to engage in lobbying individually?

For the record, the question(s) I'm posing is strictly hypothetical and is not related to any current factual data on the Cingular Controversey that's rocked the UF Student Senate or is it relevant to the votes (either pro or con) of any member of UF Senate in relation to this bill, at this time.

UNITE! Senator Gavin Baker,
Cited Comment From Previous Post:

"What a waste of time. I spend my time trying to explain an issue to someone who's not my constituent -- who's not even a student -- who criticized me based off a news article without any additional information, let alone having actually been there. The reward for this? More criticism. Way to advance public discourse, Christian."

As a NON-student, NON-constituent I have:

1). Endorsed Gavin for CLAS
2). Done Q&A With Him
3). Praised Him Extensively
4). Had his link at the top of my blog for months with no sort of link-exchange

As a NON-student, NON-constituent Gavin has been very kind in receving accolades, yet at the first mention of disapproval since the days when I was ripping Unite a new one, he's become quite pissy.

I've challenged Sen. Brett equally, yet his response was formal, diplomatic, and showed respect both me as a person and for this site. In my day I have challenged many from Tommy Jardon, to John Boyles, to Chris Carmody, to Diane Kassim, to Joe Goldberg, bar none. Yet no one has taken it personally and I just hope Sen. Baker has not either. Point is, no one is forced to write on this blog, so for the record I'm not expecting explanations from anyone. However, if you give a stupid explanation, regardless if I like you or hate you, I have to be fair and I will call you out on it.

Sen. Brett claimed in the article that Cingular was not a nuissance to Student Government. In an earlier comment-reply, Sen. Baker implied that SG depended on Cingular for operation of its Blackberry units. From both comments, I've inferred that Cingular may in fact be a problem affecting the student body as Sen. Loh's bill sought to remedy - BUT - from their own mouthes, losing or disrupting Cingular sought to be a 'nuissance' to SG. Brett disqualifies Cingular as being a nuissance to SG, Baker asserts that SG depends on Cingular [losing that service, makes me believe it would be a nuissance to the Student leaders].


Anonymous said...

I am a Swamp senator who voted against the Cingular bill. I am also a fan of this blog. However, I think you are blowing this one way out of proportion. If you listened to all of the debate, Cingular has already issued a timeline for improvements of its system in Gainesville.(FYI, the poor service is a result from growing pains after a merger with AT&T I believe) This resolution would have been redundant and useless.

Had this been presented 6 months ago, I would have been all for it! However, at the present time, Cingular is already addressing the issue and there is no need for us to pass a resolution on this matter.

Christian Duque said...

Thanks for your readership and your well-written comments, but please do not get sidetracked by the issue-at-hand. While I am focusing on the Cingular bill, there are greater concerns at heart:

1). A greater focus on the Senate's need to address Student concerns above and beyond issues that directly affect Student Government.

2). A strong emphasis on Fmr. Sen. Ryan Nelson's urging of new senators to land running, to dive into the legislative process and not waste time.

3). To stress the underlying slant of the "student" press, which in my opinion is best described by Dan Burroughs' recent column. Senators need to be aware of the hostile bias that the student paper has historically had for the entity and in so doing should watch what they say. If you speak responsibly, taking words out of context becomes a difficult feat and if done so maliciously at that point, would constitute a valid case of downright libel.

4). Being fair is a hard act to carry. Being fair in my book is key. At this stage in the game it's clearly NOT popular because both ends of the spectrum are taking some heat, but in my private letter to Senators Loh & Johns, I congratulated them on their efforts and quite frankly, between their actions and the limited accountability that just one blog can whip up, we've had some good reactions.

Let's face it, come election time there will be half a dozen blogs updated by the minute, but in the down-time, in the dark, when everyone's asleep...tis when the dirty work takes place:

TR never sleeps:) Thanks.