Joe Little to Defend Charlie (Again)
Following The Grapski Case
I found this on youtube.com and I think it's a great resource for many of you that are interested in learning more about what's going on with our good friend Charlie Grapski. Charlie has been charged with felony-wiretapping but according to earlier information, the State offered to drop all charges in exchange for Charlie to drop charges against Alachua City Manager Clovis Watson. Charlie chose to stand his ground and will face charges. Whatever you may think of Charlie, he is clearly GDI #1.
After an interesting flurry of posts, emails, and comments I'm happy to say that some accountability has been had. While I'm one quick to criticize the Independent Florida Alligator, I openly admit they are my #1 resource in following Student Government. Because the paper (under various editors from Mike Gimignani to Stepanie Garry & others) have chosen to stop printing my letters and never once published a single op-ed, The Radikal came into being. In a very real-way, TR is almost like an Op-Ed machine of sorts. This having been said, I argue based on the information available to the average student because as an independent it's my goal to bring the average student into the elite of SG, that was always my dream and it was the vision (even if not ultimately carried out) of the Access Party of Spring/Summer 2004.
The Cingular Bill should not be cast aside. Sen. Brett offered me a 2-3 page response and I am actively awaiting that reply. I am not satisfied with the response(s) given to me by Sen. Gavin Baker. Sen. Loh wrote a bill on behalf of student interests and cited student facebook groups, groups where members appear with full names, photos, class years, and majors. There is no better way to gauge student-interest than Facebook. Sen. Baker's clipboard idea is ridiculous and probaby just a way to steal Sen. Loh's spotlight. Someone should walk up to his clipboard, pick it up, walk over to the trash can, and toss it.
The only major problem I've heard from most senators is the writing-quality of the bill, but only a few have cited problems with the actual intent of the bill. As printed in the Alligator, Sen. Brett stressed that [if] Cingular was a nuissance to some students, it was not a nuissance to Student Government. In comments left on this blog, Sen. Baker asserted that SG used Cingular to operate its blackberry units and in my opinion, suggested that disrupting Cingular services could in fact disrupt SG.
The article in the Alligator makes Loh's bill seem irrelevant to SG, Baker's comments seem to make Cingular very relevant, and Brett's delay over providing me with a formal (& extensive) explanation email, suggests to me, that there is something here.
Let me stress this, let me write in stone. My efforts here today are not aimed at getting a bill passed or shunning members of senate. My efforts are aimed at true Senate-Reform. If and when student senators actually start monitoring facebook and other legitimate avenues of student participation (legitimate as in real, not as in symbolic like SBP John Boyles latest spam'esque survey), then bill-writing will take on a new, almost new-frontier'esque dynamic. When senate bills become more relevant to real student interests, then Public Debate will be extensive, public opinion will change, and even the Alligator may find itself forced to embrace the new SG.
As it stands right now, it's very difficult to refute Dan Burroughs' column in the face of the actions taken against the Cingular Bill last week and bills like it in the future. Please don't forget whom you're representing in those chambers.