Wednesday, February 28, 2007

PANTS: A REAL GDI PARTY!



Let's give credit where credit is due. Whatever the results tonight, PANTS has truly embodied the Independent Party superfluously! They have worked against the odds, against a very real Machine (backed might I add by FBK, the large Greek house leaderships, and the equally despotic AA leadership). Let's also not forget to mention the traitors, PANTS has been able to carry on without the turncoats.

And let me just say the video with Tommy Jardon, I believe that too was dirty campaigning. The video was shot w/o Executive permission, the video is for candidates (Jardon is the ONLY non-candidate participant), and on youtube the preview image is not that of Bruce Haupt (who went first) or the PANTS Exec )which went last), but that of Tommy Jardon (which clearly took some work digging through the footage). Whether implicitly or explicitly from Tommy Jardon or not (his drunken state is a great defense) the video made many Indies think Jardon had crossed back, when in fact nothing had changed. But once again PANTS bounced back.

The PANTS fliers UNLIKE previous "Independent" fliers had no sponsors, they didn't sell space on the Student's Platform to private companies and PANTS unlike other parties aren't pushing platform initiatives to satisfy what is to become the initial wave of private businesses becoming "lobbies" at UF SG.

The recycling bin in the middle of Turlington, that's old Iron Fist right there. I'll have to tell my friend Dan Fitzpatrick about that one. Just a bin to the mainstream kids, to the GDI's that's the real deal.

The candidates are blue-collar, they talk to students, they sweat in the trenches alongside their staff. While the mainstream parties are working on improving this part of their image, they're still glamor whores and snobs; I've seen system candidates in '02, '03, and '04 decked out, dressed better than John Gotti, more dapper than the dapper don just stand there, I've seen would-be voters try to shake hands with these suits and the suits tightly smile and look over at a campaign worker to come deal with this undesirable trying to touch them! You think I'm embellishing? I'm NOT!

After interviewing the great Nina DeJong I guess I also seriously raised the bar (that was already high to begin with) insofar as women leaders go...only to see women dressed less than professionally, using skills of seduction, and not even talking about their platform or their party, merely talking about the convenience of voting, it's pretty depressing. If somehow I could have these women sit down and listen to Nina, I think she'd make a really positive impression on them. I could care less if you support PANTS or GATOR, but if you don't respect yourself as a person, why are you even out there?


I see it election after election, even being away almost two years, first thing I saw when I got back was the same tired, humiliating campaign tactics -- the Gator Party whether knowingly or not is benefiting at the polls through the exploitation of women and I am up to debate anyone on this matter, b/c I know how they're told to campaign and they'll talk if need be. It's a real shame, so even if Gator wins tonight, look how low they've had to go...there's some things parties, namely GDI Parties just won't do, b/c looking yourself in the mirror is still more important to some folks, that a celebratory toast at the O&B.

**NOTE: Important Note from Video: "people going into cars." This refers to handing stickers through passenger window and/or leaning inside, also refers to people following would-be voters to their cars. I've put this note up at the same time as the video.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

VOTE PANTS!


Gator Having Some Trouble?

The almighty Gator Party is not doing such a great job of holding the line. In various spots throughout campus (namely Turlington Plaza) the machine seems somewhat weak. In a last hour gamble Gator members have tried to file complaints against PANTS use of I-Voted-Stickers with threats from the Elections Committee threatening disqualification of the entire PANTS Party slate. This coming from a board that barely has the symbolic (not even legal) power to enforce a $20 fine and has absolutely no power outside of UF, these folks are certainly taking a big risk in attempting to suppress PANTS. I myself would continue handing out stickers and campaigning, if PANTS wins, I would love to see that commission disqualify them...ah...it would bring back memories of the Gil Sanchez' lawsuit.

Meanwhile over at Levin, my good friend & original Access Party colleague Andrew Hoffman is running for Law College Council President. Andrew tirelessly worked on behalf of undergrads, serving as President of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Council & later as one of five senators representing the college. In campaign politics he was an integral force of the original Access Party and served on the Executive Committee of the ill-fated Impact Party.

Despite being a first year law student, Andrew is poised to take on leadership positions and continue on with his career of public service. Though I could probably count the law students that visit TR with my two hands, I still think it's critical to mention Andrew b/c he's the best candidate, even if Tommy "The Turncoat" is supporting Andrew's rival. Good luck Andrew!
NINA
I also would like to thank Nina for a wonderful interview! We have a good chunk of material that didn't make it, so perhaps (with NINA's approval) we can re-release the interview in the coming months with about 15-25% more stuff! Def. worth the read!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Nina DeJong Interview


[02/04/07 Maude's] TheRadikal:When did you arrive at UF and how did you get involved in Student Leadership?

Nina DeJong: I came to UF in 2003, this is my fourth year, and I graduate in May. I think four years is a good amount of time to stay, unless you're doing engineering or something like that and need to stay longer. I'm from South Carolina and only applied to schools out of state because I wasn’t a huge fan of SC. My mom was a Kappa at Cornell and she was the one who encouraged me to join a sorority.

I got involved in leadership through Kappa. I hung around the house all the time and I made friends with a lot of the older sisters. My first position of leadership was as a Fall 2004 Access senator.

Inside story: Spring '03 our FBK leader was telling us all about the open positions, and I showed some interest, although she didn't explain senate very well to me at the time. She got a group of us who thought they were going to slate, but then that day I had a huge test, and I was like "I'm not going to do this today." And since a group was already going to slate for Kappa, I didn't think me not showing up could be a problem.

Apparently somebody had slated my name and I hadn't gone to be interviewed and so I get three phone calls after my chemistry test from three different girls I didn't even know (they were all graduate or law students) in FBK, and they were telling me basically that ' Because I didn’t go to the interview,' that I made the house look bad, 'don't expect to run for anything else again, because we won't support you,' and just basically told me that I had flat out made a huge horrible sin for not going to slate.

I kinda showed them and I feel really good about that! They were just trying to intimidate me and it didn't work! Ever since then our house has gotten rid of that mentality. I'm really proud of what our house stands for in UF politics and Greek affairs no matter how significant or insignificant it may be.


TR: As a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma what roles have you held in the sorority? Also what are some of the service/philanthropy projects you are most proud of having participated on?

NINA: President, Vice President (which works with Alumni Relations), liaison to SG, and Scholarship Committee. As far as philanthropies, this is where Greeks get a bad name. They're mostly not geared toward the community, rather at just making money using the Greek population and not caring how high-quality the event is. We used to have softball and bowling tournaments but turnout was less than great.

Our new philanthropy is a wing eating contest aimed at the community, where families could bring their kids and raise money that way. It's kind of geared towards fraternity guys as well.

As far as service, one thing I'm proud of was a simple fundraising event I organized post-Katrina. I put signs up around the house signs asking members to bring $10 to chapter for an unknown reason. In 15 minutes we raised $1,000 at chapter. Once everyone knew what what the money was for, they had to help out.


TR: Could you explain to what extent, if any, does the Panhellenic Council play on Student Government? Also, how do sororities go about selecting a party to support and what consequences can rogue sororities expect?

NINA: To be perfectly honest I think there are meetings that go on about which party to support, but we're not particularly invited. It's a group of eight houses that think they're important. PC doesn't really act as a political force in SG. There's cohesion in the PC itself, but as far as SG it's really every house for herself.

TR: Why did you choose to run for Student Body Vice President? At any point in time were you advised against and/or intimidated against running? And do you feel your candidacy put your house in harms way as far taps, appointments in SG, or with the Panhellenic Council?

TR: I was in DC for the summer going to a lot of different Women's leadership forums dealing with hierarchies in the real world and I correlated these to UF. While I was there, Adelle [Fontanet] called and told me I should run for Vice President as Lydia [Washington] had to resign. So the first thing I did was interview for John Boyles.

TR: How real of an interview was it?

NINA: Well it was a phone interview for me. I gave him stellar responses with Ryan [Moseley] and him asking me questions regarding what ideas I had for the upcoming semester.

TR: Now, are you in {Florida] Blue Key?
NINA: No, I've been denied twice.
TR: No shame in that from where I'm sitting.
NINA: [laughs] I know that.

-----------------------
More Into FBK:


TR: You're not bitter about FBK are you?
NINA: Am I bitter? Of course I'm bitter. How can you not be bitter? Especially when you think you are totally qualified for something.
TR: I mean sorority president is a major...as long as you oversee a budget over $30k.

NINA: I don't know...we don't have anybody in [Florida] Blue Key right now, nobody's fighting for me, no incentive to fight for me.
TR: You know I still have my doubts about the Fall election.
NINA: You know what's really funny is that Brian Aungst ... when I had my FBK interview there were seven men in the room, one of them was Brian Aungst, they only woman was Nina Vag, and all of these older white guys, old men.

TR: Old people? Like how old?
NINA: Old people, like 50's, 60's; old white men, like five of them. The only thing that they asked me was exactly how many hours of community service I'd done and my major (same exact thing as the year before). And I was just like, 'what are you doing? What's the point of this?'

TR: Do you think your campaign hindered your chances?
NINA: No, or at least in principle it shouldn’t. There was no one in Kappa to fight for me. Plain and simple.
TR: Were you in Savant?
NINA: No [laughs]. I think that's silly. What is that?
TR: Well Savant used to be the women's version of FBK prior to FBK allowing women to join in the 1960's.
NINA: Oh...they don't do anything.
________________________________

So there were other people interviewing, there was the younger of the Goodwin sisters, I was hearing that name being thrown around.


TR: She's running for Vice President now.
NINA: Is she?
TR: Yeah.
NINA: I'm not surprised. So I'd heard her name and Arturo's.
TR: He's basically a yes-yes man.
NINA: Well sure.
TR: He's in deep with Pedro Allende and all that.

NINA: I know that. I know he won't have any political impact, he's just a place-holder for FBK, I understand that. So I didn't get the position, Arturo did, and that made me all the angrier b/c it looked like a handout to me, where yes I'm sure he did a wonderful job in undergrad positions and not doubting his leadership abilities, but the mere principal that he's in law school, has as I would imagine many other priorities when you're in your second year of law school than worrying about programming for undergraduates. I didn't see the connection or the purpose for him running. And finally I was angry that another guy was going to be put in a top position.

TR: And the Vice-Presidency is really the third position, where the women have been placed (Puckett, Medina, Washington).

NINA: Sure. [laughs] I know. The point was there was no women's representation. I think women need one of those spots, I think women need to have other women to look up to. I looked up to Jennifer Puckett, whenever she'd come into senate. She was always very professional and working with these men at the same level, so what if it was V.P., at least it was something. And the point is if you’ve got women as Vice President, the hope is that eventually they'll get to President and Treasurer.

TR: Any offers not to run?

NINA: No. Honestly. A few people, old people in [Florida] Blue Key. I didn't really play it up until I got my signatures. I didn't cut any deals, I'm very proud of the way we ran our campaign.

TR: During the Fall campaign, Armand took heat from the Alligator for defending the SG Banquet tradition, however, when senators Baker & Morales tried on separate instances to reform these expenses, the senate voted down their measures, proving that SG seems supportive of the tradition. This having been said, what are your opinions on this event and where the funding for it comes from?

NINA: I've never gone. I do believe in keeping that tradition and honoring people that have worked hard in a cost effective way. I think people use this to symbolize SG corruption, but this is really not the problem. Student leadership is volunteer-based and the banquet provides some incentive. But I don't think there's anything wrong with the principle of it.

TR: On the topic of the Alligator, they seemed somewhat against your campaign at first (questioning the feminist element, your lack of a stand on issues), but then endorsed you? How real was the support?

NINA: Basically it was just speculation; they hadn't talked to me yet. Until I released my platform and started actually campaigning they didn't know who I was as a person or what I stood for -- it was just talk they'd heard on the grapevine. However, when I went into the interview, they saw that I was experienced; I sold it; I liked them and they liked me. It was a real endorsement. I didn't go in there with any bullshit agenda, I was honest with them and that was that.

TR: Had you won office, what are some of the programs and/or improvements you would have carried out in cabinet? Also do you believe cabinet is allocated sufficient funds to operate properly?

NINA: My platform was basically women. I would have done like they do in the real Congress and immediately held a forum with women focusing on why we don't have as many women in leadership roles and SG or entering FBK. Is it because women aren't getting involved until they're juniors or seniors? "Is it b/c people are afraid of this male-greek power vote? Is it legacies?" I would have created a Women's Caucus (crossing party lines).

Also, I'd organize more organizational outreach, helping organizations register through all the new technologies out there, as well as in making budgets and special requests. I'd also try to get more people to work on environmental issues, making the cabinets more efficient. I mean we have an environmental affairs cabinet and I can't tell you a single thing they've done.

I would have also started conversations with the Office of Sustainability. I would start planning projects with the Multicultural Affairs cabinet for one major multi-cultural event instead of many poorly-attended events. Also having all the tools available for new students to get involved, especially since most people don't find out about this till sophomore or junior year. Lastly I'd keep cabinet small and effective; I voted against the recent cabinet expansion, primarily because as "majors" these offices were created to get people into Florida Blue Key.

The money, cabinet could do with a little more, but I see cabinet as more of an administrative body.


TR: Had there been a runoff leaving Swamp & Action for the second round, what would have been your course of action?

NINA: I wouldn't have supported either of them, because neither of them had a woman candidate; I mean that was the issue. I had already been approached by Chris Chase saying "we'll endorse you, if you endorse us" in a runoff and simply said, "I'm not endorsing anyone, sorry," that would have gone completely against the message.

TR: Name Association Time:

Ryan Moseley - we both started at the same time; he found a strategically-placed wave for him and rode it. He did a good job as treasurer, but treasurer is not about good ideas, it's accounting.

John Boyles - Shiney (the other day saw him on campus, with his hair slicked back). Things that are shiney look good on the outside, but at the core? I don't know?

I think he's a good person, I supported his candidacy, but I think he just lost touch. On the surface he was caring about students, but he says he's not about politics in his culture...and I just don't know...
TR: From Access to Cigar Puffing...
NINA: That's what angered me most. When they lit the cigars... that actually made me cry in my car.

Josh Weiss - Jolly. He has issues he works on, he comes from the AEPi political machine (which I don't support), but I would have supported him for president.

Sam Green - [rolls eyes] [long pause] [real long pause] Well... we worked together to assess the situations at La Casita and the IBC in attempts to make some improvements, and I would have thought he would have had more interest, it's his house he always goes to, the IBC. I didn't have a personal connection to either, but I wanted to help.

He just wasn't into it and I wasn't impressed with his work ethic. He's just kind of there. He just goes to things, and that is about it. He is just not effective and doesn't get things done.


TR: What presidential success do you think he would have had? I mean you know they blocked him from FBK?
NINA: I don't blame them, he doesn’t have the grades.
TR: But he's the highest ranking African American in SG.
NINA: So...[laughs] it's because he's gotten handouts.

Bruce Haupt - Bruce is great, he has great ideas.

Kevin Bacon - Very dedicated, I like him; he was my treasurer; over-analyzes.

Gavin Baker - [Pauses] Ok, my opinion's skewed. I was in a class with him where we worked on a project that he didn't help out on. Good voice in student government, very democratic in his thought process.

Lydia Washington - very passionate about cabinet, but honestly an opportunity for me.

Adelle Fontanet - Genuine, caring, passionate, wonderful friend. She encouraged me to do this.

Arturo Armand - [long pause] Mr. Armand, umm...image of him with Cuban cigar. He has nothing to say. I wouldn't even listen to him if he was speaking.

Ryan Nelson - He's great, best SG friend.

Allison Cullin - Oh [laughs]...met during recruitment. Very casual hi & bye.

Pedro Morales - The one people listened to in Senate, or at least should listen to.


TR: Based on the current showdown between the mighty Gator Party and the brave independent Pants Party who do you see yourself supporting in the upcoming elections?

NINA: Not getting involved. Bruce talked to me. I met with Josh Weiss' rep in November and Moseley and I just didn't make any commitments.


TR: If you had to vote?
NINA: There are only two choices?
TR: Yeah.
NINA: [mumbles] That sucks. Umm..
TR: How would you vote today? Not at the elections, just right here, right now?

NINA: I'd vote for Bruce. [pauses] Well, wait a minute now. Is Bruce in grad school? I wouldn't vote for any of them honestly. I mean some grad representation is good, but the bulk of SG should be for undergrads. I mean what's with Arturo, a second year law student dealing with primarily undergraduate programming? I didn't think it was right.

The whole point is for undergrads to develop this tool to interact properly and get involved in politics. When you're in law school or graduate school, you should be on your way to getting involved in real politics. So as of today, I don't know who I'd vote for.

I will say during the Fall I voted mixed slate.


TR: Did you vote for any men?
NINA: I'm in District A.
TR: Sororities
NINA: If that's the only way to get women in, then so be it.

TR: How would you rate the Boyles/Swamp administration? With Boyles conducting a recent student workshop, with an attendance of "2," do you think his party has lost touch with students?

NINA: I don't know what they're doing. I couldn't tell you a single thing they've done. Basically the role I've seen SG play recently has been to serve as a place for people to play politics, 'show you how government works.' Even like the Bush administration, for 8yrs, what has he done? Exact same thing and he wasn't even technically elected. Corruption is there too.


TR: Any parting words?


NINA: I really enjoyed the interview! Thank you so much for providing an outlet for people in UF politics to get to know others another, more personal, or perhaps more political level. It has been quite a ride. All the best.

Christian Duque & Election Coverage

(pd. pol. ad, photo available upon request)


In regards to PANTS,I couldn't be more proud of a party and I know that going into this election they carry with them the true GDI tradition. I am also happy that Tommy Jardon has returned and I'm ecstatic about what last-minute ideas he'll bring to the table. Still, I could not ignore my duties to flame him for his past actions and question why (a stand I still take) was he placed on the first and quite possibly only full-candidates video? Nonetheless, it took guts for Jardon to return and for that I give him kudos.

Grapski, Nina, & The Mega-Site!

  • I finally got an email from Charlie and all is well, never been better. I have asked Charlie to answer a few questons concise (under 150 wds each) so that TR readers know what's going on.

  • NINA is currently making some edits to her interview.

  • TheRadikal.com has been secured. Mega-site to be released 1/1/2008.


"You Wore That Shirt?"

With Peter leaving to South Florida for the week and Andrew having other plans I almost didn't attend Erica's going away party. But after returning home from the gym I decided to call Andrew and see what he was doing; sure enough he was at Erica's and said he'd wait for me, so there I went. Upon entering the house, I shook hands with Jason Sanchez (original SA member) whom cut to the chase and commended me on my column to the Alligator in defense of the PANTS Party. Inside I found the good Mr. Hoffman wearing, you guessed it, an original Access Party t-shirt. "You wore that shirt?" I couldn't believe it, I shoulda worn one too, instead I wore my "Highagain" shirt. My eyes haven't bloodshot in almost two years and those days are over, but the shirt was clean and it went with my black jeans so that's that.

Erica looked beautiful as ever. She gave me a huge hug and I was instantly sad to see her go. I got to talk with an old bro of mine, Eric Gordon (we both sub teach in the county). Eric will be off to NY in June, being accepted as a Fellow at a teaching program there. I'm very proud of my fellow Access-mate. I also got to chitchat with another Student Alliance great, Dan Fitzpatick, who like me just can't seem to leave Gainesville.

So after a few beers I got ready to get goin, head over to meet a another friend, and then off to paint the walls. Andrew parked in a well lit area, however, in walking with him to his car (not his idea, just being nice & getting a ride back to mine), we had to walk through a sketch-ass super dark side-street with what looked like a meth-lab on the right-hand side...GOOD WORK ANDREW! LMAO

Friday, February 23, 2007

Josh, Tommy, & All Your Turncoat Favorites!



Ah, the man that accused me of "slandering" Gator in a written essay, returns with one of the most socially-irresponsible/Sad-Turncoat columns to grace the Alligator in a long time. Members of the Indie Bastard Class of '07 seem to becoming slightly desperate in their ways as of late. With more and more Indie leaders supporting PANTS officially (e.g. Nikki Grant), tepidly (e.g. Ryan Nelson), like chicken-shits, fearing to burn social ties (e.g. can't say), or giving free & sketch campaign advice to the side they abandoned (e.g. can't say), the offering of the bastard class to their Greek/FBK masters may not pan out quite as accurately as they'd pereceived early on.

The Indie vote won't win an election. Let's put that baby to sleep already. However, the turncoats didn't go in offering the AA community or the IFC houses, they went in with an offer that albeit no one at Gator particularly cared about, they still made bold assurances even on this very site that the Battle for the Independent community was a non-factor.

This morning before heading over to school (the joys of a planning period to post), I sent several folks a question and an opportunity to comment on Josh Simmons' horrible letter to the Alligator. One of the first responses was Will Foster, whom simply replied with this:

"Heh and just over a month before the sell out wrote this
http://www.alligator.org/pt2/070116column1.php"

This letter was written by a genuine GDI -- or was it? Those of you that remain in denial in regards to my theories tell me, explain, enlighten me...how did this GDI go from writing a letter for students to vote, to writing a second letter encouraging students to not vote? TURNCOAT! TRAITOR! TURNCOAT!


From Charlie Grapski:

Christian,

I cannot comment on this individual - as I have no idea who he is. And I have not followed the particulars enough to know.

However I have seen this kind of sentiment before. And I believe it reflects an extremely naive as well as irresponsible sentiment.

It often reflects one of two things, however:

1) This is often the sentiment expressed by those who have been thoroughly defeated - they have given up the struggle. This is unfortunate. But it is understandable. When facing this kind of entrenched power - and when the "law" that is supposed to prevent their abuses is silent - it is not easy to continue the struggle. But that is what they rely on. Because it is not a particular victory that is important in such a struggle - to fight an entrenched power, when you are but individuals without such authority, requires a war of attrition strategy. No single battle will determine the eventual outcome. No single victory will solve the problem. Nor will a single defeat be a disaster. The key is to keep up the struggle. Many, however, will give up - and when they do - this is one of the most common reactions.

2) I have also often seen this come from those who were only in the
struggle for their own self-interest. They first try to join "the system" - but are shut out. Then they stand up against it - and in such cases they blend in with those who are struggle against it for principle (not self-interest). When they gain some power in the opposition in this way - they are often approached by the system to work cooperatively with them. They often do - and effectively become co-opted by the system. But they are never really taken in to that system. So if their self-interest is their motivating factor, they tend to then react back again. This time they don't come back and fight - they give up the fight. But they cannot do so simply - so they discourage others from joining in the struggle. If they can't win, no one can. But then again - their goal was never the same goal as those fighting for the principle. Thus this is not inconsistent behavior - from the perspective of their aims and objectives.

Like I said - I cannot judge this individual or their motives - as I have no idea of the facts of the situation or the person.

But my experience suggests the likely explanation for this kind of
column - which if you review the history of SG elections you will find is nearly identical to others over time - is one of the two above. Which one - that is up to those who know the facts and the individual to decide.

Charlie

From Gavin Baker
Reactions
***J.S. Alligator quote(s)
Gavin Baker


***"The Gator Party has been nothing but forthright, friendly and considerate - at least as much as an SG political party can be."

***"Pants, on the other hand, has run the dirtiest campaign in recent memory."


I haven't heard that much about Gator's tactics (other than the ratherunsubstantiated rumors about candidate intimidation). But Pants clearly does not fit the description he labels it with. It's been a bit negative, but -- the dirtiest in recent memory? Where was the author last year when a Unite partisan wrote that John Boyles had sold his soul? Mr. Simmons worked on that campaign, and I would argue it was alot worse than Pants has been. And I guarantee that Unite is not the low mark "in recent memory". So basically, this is bullshit.

***""The outcome of this election has been assured for a while, and despite whatever the blue- or brown-clad campaigners tell you, your solitary, worthless vote is not going to make one iota of difference. On Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, I encourage you to flaunt with pride your indifference, your apathy and your deliberate lack of an "I Voted" sticker."

It's pretty fucking lame that, rather than focusing on all the reasons TO vote, he would rather encourage voter apathy and perpetuate the disengagements of the students from their Student Government. Pretty fucking lame.

From Amanda Kane

Christian,

My opinion on the matter (for publication or not, your choice):

Josh is one of the most intelligent, hardworking people I met at UF; regardless of personal differences people may have with him now, I don't think that opinion will ever change. He also has the snarkiest and most cynical sense of humor on campus. I think anyone who selflessly worked on three campaigns (either side) has the absolute right to get up and say whatever he thinks in a public forum without being called names, much though I may disagree with idea and underlying sentiment of his column.

I also think it is quite important to remember that many of the people you criticize are 18, 19, 20 years old. I'm sure at 19 I was a barely formed human being (probably not even capable of tying my own shoes). Yet these kids have had to develop in an environment that I can only describe as toxic. I'm not sure what I would say about SG and voting if my first three semesters at UF were spent in such a state.


Thanks again for keeping me updated and all the best,

Amanda

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Nikki Grant Speaks Out!

[From Monday; Fully Authorized]

"After witnessing the former so-called leaders of the Indie movement all up the asses of system kids last Tuesday at Swamp (I was there for a Savant social), then reading the pathetic onslaught from these wannabes in the Alligator, I'm disgusted. These people used to be my friends, and even now, I still love them dearly. But it angers me to the nth degree to see what sheep these cowards have become. I have no doubt that a few of them truly believe that Gator is the better, more qualified party. The rest, it sickens me to say, are just mindless followers, hoping to lap up the dregs....its just as you said, Christian...they're below the table, waiting for crumbs.

I know I shouldn't have the right to say this, because I left SG and all its drama behind. But when I stopped being an SGer, I NEVER stopped being an Indie. Out of the Impact 6, only Ally Cullin and I can say that we're clean. And that's just sad. Two people who I was elected with in Fall 2005 are now working on their FBK applications and dressing up their resumes. I understand you now Christian. I used to think you were just a nutty alumni who couldn't let go of the past, but now I understand, because it HURTS to see my old friends become SHEEP, nothing more than...not even tools...just willing pushovers for the system. I'm not even saying that because we're indies, we should automatically go with the non-mainstream party. But the way the former Indie kids, esp Action exec go on, even to the point of verbally attacking their FRIENDS in the Pants party (ie, Liz Stinson, David M, GOD BLESS HIM)....it makes me know that you were dead on in your estimation in that video you made a posts back. I have lost all respect for the lot of them, and I hope none of them attempt to run a party ever again...I hate SG, but I'd give up my plans and start a party to give the REAL indies a real choice before supporting them.

Positively disgusting. Thanks for saying on your blog what the rest of us can't." -- Nikki Grant


This was recorded late last night; off to work I go

Sen. Amador's Less Than Convincing Letter

Sen. Amador sounds very similar to another former H/L senator that crossed over, though I can't elaborate on that b/c I can't publish that information until 2008. I love how she talks about "what's best for her constituency" and when flat out makes this comment [about not running with PANTS and instead going with Gator]: 'if we "independents" stay on the sidelines, how will we ever achieve the ideal of true representation?'

Folks...read the letter for yourselves and read it thoroughly b/c she basically acknowledges I've called her a turncoat, attempts to make a rebuttal, and digs herself deeper by her own words (not mine). Apparently it's all about winning and the beloved "constituency" -- yeah I'm sure.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ryan Nelson Responds!


"INDEPENDENTS DO NOT SUPPORT A PARTY; THEY SUPPORT A PERSON.

First, thank you to all the candidates who met with me and incorporated my ideas into the platforms this Spring. I'll be contacting the new execs and senate class with some ideas after the election...ideas shouldn't die just because their advocate left Senate.

My likely votes...

SBP/SBVP:
Undecided. I am leaning towards Bruce/Eve. I believe Ryan/Vanessa would do an amazing job, but I believe Bruce/Eve would too. Both platforms have their pros/cons, and both sides have extensive experience and new ideas. However, I wonder if I were to apply for a position in SG (say Lobby or a seat on a University Committee) as a qualified, 2-year senator and Party Chairman which SBP would give me a shot? I'd love to say Ryan, but I know the reality he has to deal with. That being said, I think Ryan would do a significantly better job than John (which is technically if he does anything at all).

p.s. John, where are those $50k commercials you defended in the Advertising Line (not SoE line)? Did we use the Senate/Honor Court lines yet? And thanks again for rejecting me from every university committee. You are a great public servant. Love ya!

SBT:
EJ. Liz is qualified, but EJ has more experience after 2 yrs serving as IRHA Prez. He was also Chair of the Transportation Advisory Commission, and knows the budget inside and out (on the state and local levels). Right now, he is my only 100% sure vote.

Senate:
I was going to vote for Jesse Kirsch, David Meyrowitz, and 1 of the remaining Pants guys I liked...but then I realized I'm not in the BA college anymore due to my less-than-stellar "SGPA."

I'm CLAS, and after hardcore facebook stalking I am only 100% voting for 1 person - Allie Fugate (G). Never met her, but her statement of why she is running is strong, and her ideas are well thought out and candid. I like her already. Other than that, probably Rene (G), Eddie (P), Earl (P), and 1 vote undecided.

...

In reality we're gonna see a Gator sweep, with the possible exception of Engineering (6 candidates). To everyone still in the game - remember you can support a party and still vote occasionally for the other side. Tell your friends who you support, but if there's this 1 amazing candidate on the other side, push for them too. You know there's at least 1 kid on your slate who has NEVER campaigned and you've barely even met...don't vote for them! Gator Party ideals and platform points can still be accomplished by Pants Senators. And vice-versa.

Last, for leadership positions, I'd love to see the following:
- ACCENT: Weiss (wait around a year and try again damnit!)
- SGP: Matt Jones (bribe him to stay if you have to)
- Lobby: Tommy (no one on campus could do it better...except maybe Rose but she's graduating)
- Sen Prez: Agrusa
- Sen PT: Asher (um, where the hell did PC go in this election?
Are you gals content just rolling over and dying?)

That's all I got. Parting words:
Play nice. Go to class. And regardless of where fault lies, the
700 Codes are NOT bureaucratic idiosyncrasies.

Thank you.
CLAS Sen. Gavin Baker was invited to participate in this forum, but declined.

God Bless The GDI's

Speaking Out

I would like to thank the Alligator for taking my criticisms over the course of 2006 and still showing their true Independent side by publishing my column. There were a few type o's but I am happy with the end result. Oh & btw "Virgil" I didn't slander anyone, I wrote about common knowledge and if need be I can substantiate it. I think one Charlie Grapski is all that's needed...

p.s. Slander is the spoken word, I think what you meant to write in that comment Virgil was "libel." No, I do not believe I committed any wrongdoing, I simply stated facts as I believe them to have occurred and substantiated by legitimate sources. I couldn't bare to see a Party I really believe in get beaten up day after day by turncoats, it's bad enough they abandoned their supporters, but to have them beat up on the GDI's that remained to fight...well that's just to use an Argento line, "not nice."

p.p.s. Expect upcoming revelations from CURRENT STUDENT LEADERS in the next few days.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Elizabeth Stinson Speaks


Exact Same Questions w/one joke included

TR: Why are you running for SBT? And what direct experience, if any, do you feel you have for this position?

Elizabeth Stinson: I'm running for SBT because as a student working directly with the office I felt that there were major changes that could be made in order to help students and student organizations reach their greatest potential on campus. After being involved on campus I simply wanted to make a difference in how student government helped students and felt that this was the best way to do it.

As for direct experience with the SG treasurer's office, I am currently the Conference Services director for the Model United Nations debate team on campus. I've had to work directly with the treasurer's office regarding ModelUN trips which are subsidized 50% by SG. I've seen the inner workings of the treasurer's office from a student's point of view, and have learned quite a bit about what goes on to make the treasurer's office work.


TR: What are some issues that you feel are of particular importance to you? And what innovations, if any, do you have for the office of SBT?

Elizabeth Stinson: Streamlining of the process that students go through in order to use their budgeted money is a very important priority for me. Student groups on campus need to be able to access their funds quickly without all the messy useless red tape that they have to go through now. I want to make it easier for student groups to access and use their funds for what they want to do.

I also want to make it where groups can use more of their budget for food expenses. If a group hosts a lot of events, or has a use for it, there is no need for them to be capped to the small amount that they are now in the amount of food they can buy. It's their money; let them use it in a way that's useful for them.

I want to make the processes more clear to students. Putting the information about SARs, various budget rules, etc. into a friendly format that students can read online would be a main point for me and be a big help for students. When I was working on travel for the Model United Nations team, I made a lot of trips to the treasurer?s office that could have been eliminated if I had a user friendly website with all of the codes and information in one place that was easy to read.


TR: In what ways, if any, does the PANTS Party differ from the Gator Party?

Elizabeth: This is an easy question. Pants differs from Gator in that we want to represent the entire student body and not just specific
interests placed on a platform. The Pants Party platform is student oriented and practical. A lot of our platform points are ideas that should have been put into action years ago. We want all students to have an active role in student government. We want an open administration that attempts to communicate with Students weekly not twice a year during the elections.


TR: To your knowledge, has the PANTS Party run a clean campaign up to this point and should your party ever consider carrying out ethically-questionable tactics, what would your response be? As the SBT candidate, how informed are you of campaign-related operations?

Elizabeth: Pants has run an extremely clean campaign. We feel that our campaign should be as clean and open as we want student government to be. All of our meetings are open to the public and anyone is welcome to attend. We even invited the Alligator to watch us as we picked our candidates. All our candidates have the opportunity to help out in the process of campaigning. If someone in the campaign has a good idea, we'll use it. Pants isn't about secrecy, we aren't about back-room deals or bar tabs at local bars. If the campaign considered dirty tactics, my answer would be no, but that's sort of like asking what I would do in the event of an alien invasion.

TR: Are the pants being displayed on these poles clean? There are growing concerns that your party has not done the laundry.

Elizabeth: We use a ton of Febreeze.

TR: What are you feelings on CLAS cuts and the growing concerns that some of UF's best professors are in fact on their way out? Do you feel that there is any way SG can have an impact on this realm of campus policy or do you think SG's critics use to SG's detriment since student officials are virtually powerless on the matter?

Elizabeth Stinson Student Government can be a very powerful lobbying tool to tell the faculty what the students want. We will do what we can to express to the administration that the students are unhappy with the proposed cutting of the CLAS budget. We understand that CLAS is vital to the majority of students on campus and we are upset over the unfair cutting of the CLAS budget. This is going to adversely affect UF's reputation and the quality of the education that UF provides to its students. We will do everything in our power to let the administration know that we are unhappy with their policies regarding class.

TR: Tell us about your presidential candidate, what qualities do you believe he possesses (aside from his cabinet directorship) that truly make him a better choice to lead students than GATOR Presidential candidate Ryan Moseley?

Elizabeth Stinson: Bruce is one of the most dedicated and creative student leaders on campus. He's got the drive to turn student government into something much greater than it is now. His ideas and enthusiasm for student government are unmatched by pretty much anyone here at UF. He started Pants on his own as a true indie party on campus and has taken that idea from last semester and turned it into a party with great ideas for the campus as a whole. Starting a movement on your own is an incredibly difficult thing to do, and Bruce has managed to do it with flying colors. Hopefully the student body will help bring Bruce's idea of a student oriented student government to fruition.

TR: Any parting words?

Elizabeth Stinson: Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be interviewed on your blog. It was a lot of fun to answer your questions. I'm really excited about the elections this year and am glad that I got to answer some questions for your readers.

Friday, February 16, 2007

E.J. Walicki Speaks



TR: Why are you running for SBT? And what direct experience, if any, do you feel you have for this position?

E.J.: I am excited to become a better leader on our campus and improve my leadership skills. This will provide me with the chance to make UF a better place for all students. For the past few years I have had the pleasure of representing mainly the on-campus residents. Now I have a chance to represent the whole student body. I have been involved in SG through replacement senate seats and committees but never to the level that I wanted to, but now I can. It was the position that fit my leadership style, my abilities, and my experiences.

I have held leadership positions at the University of Florida for the past four years. I was the IRHA Auditor, which is the chief financial officer of the organization. I have sat in during the last four budget hearings for IRHA, and the last three for Residence Hall Week (IRHA's special event). As President, I still have to review and approve any SARs for our organization. I have worked with Student Body Treasurers and the finance office and I know what my fellow organizational Presidents want to see from the SBT. I understand what student groups go through during the budget hearings and what we can work to improve upon for next year. I have also served on committees ranging from Transportation and Parking, to the Faculty Senate, to University Employee Searches. All these are important in understanding how UF works and how we can work with other areas of the university to offer the best resources and services to our students.


TR: What are some issues that you feel are of particular importance to you? And what innovations, if any, do you have for the office of SBT?

E.J.: There are two issues that are of importance to me. The first one is safety. Our students need to know that this is a place where they are safe and secure. We need to make sure that we are doing everything we can so they do not have that anxiety while they are here. By increasing the ARREST programming we will give the students more education on how they can take proper precautions to protect themselves from violent acts. This also gives them more opportunities to attend and take advantage of these programs.

Then we have sustainability. It's everywhere on this campus. The university is taking strides to make this campus that way and I see no reason why we shouldn’t try it for Student Government. We should be setting the example for sustainable initiatives and practices. A big goal of mine is to identify where we can be more environmentally-friendly in the third floor offices.

There are a few innovations that I have been thinking of for SBT. First, I want organizations to put down dates for their programs when the go through budget hearings. This way, my staff and I can look at their budget, see when the program is, and send out a reminder 6 weeks or so before time to submit their SARs for the event if they have not done so. I don't want student organizations, the finance office, or myself to be rushing around at the last minute for these requests. If I am reminding them about submitting SARs, then they know they have been told about it. It's important to take a proactive stance on this issue. Also, if there are issues (with an office resigning or some communication problems) then we have 6 weeks to work it out instead of submitting the SAR right at the two week mark and possibly not having it approved. I want these programs to take place because I want the students to have the opportunity to partake in them. I also want to have a training session at the beginning of the fall semester where all presidents and treasurers come in to a group orientation session. There will still be individual training, but sometimes it is better if they see it first hand and someone will usually ask a question that another person may not want to ask or wouldn't think of during a one-on-one meeting.


TR: In what ways, if any, does this new Gator Party differ from the Boyles' Swamp Party? Do you feel that being dubbed the mainstream or FBK-backed party does Gator justice? Why or why not?


E.J.: Gator is very much its own party. We have a fresh, diverse group of people on our Senate slate. In fact, only 6 of our 45 slated Senators were previously registered with Swamp. With a group assembled from all corners of this campus, we are able to design a new platform with innovative ideas. Yes, CD course packs is one that has carried over but that has been an issue that Ryan has been working on and we feel it is beneficial for the students. I do feel that our big focus is on the relationship between SG and the students. Our ticket is going to be very proactive in reaching out to students and student groups, not waiting for them to come to us.

I don't think being dubbed the "mainstream" party even matters. If putting qualified candidates for our executive ticket and having a very impressive and diverse senate slate is considered mainstream, then I will take it every election. We want to have the greatest impact on the student body and the Gator Party has the best people to do that. Everyone who is involved with the campaign has worked hard in their time at UF and it is the students that have been, and will be the ones benefiting from it.


TR: To your knowledge, has the Gator Party run a clean campaign up to this point and should your party ever consider carrying out ethically-questionable tactics, what would your response be? As the SBT, how informed are you of campaign-related operations?

E.J.: We have run a clean campaign. Everything we tell candidates and volunteers is about being positive and focusing on the experience of our ticket and slate, as well as the issues and concrete goals that we have set forth. We are committed to an upbeat campaign that will benefit the students. I stay very well informed from a variety of the staff who is working on this campaign.

TR: There have been alleged sightings of Tommy Jardon leading a group of unknowns around the Reitz Union. Witnesses aren't can't make a clear ID, but they have seen what resembles a shoe-shine-box. Has Tommy or any member of Action shined your shoes or that of any candidate of the Gator Party?

THIS WAS A JOKE QUESTION, JOKE!

E.J.: The only person who has been shining my shoes is me (with a few tips from my dad).

TR: What are you feelings on CLAS cuts and the growing concerns that some of UF's best professors are in fact on their way out? Do you feel that there is any way SG can have an impact on this realm of campus policy or do you think SG's critics use to SG's detriment since student officials are virtually powerless on the matter?

E.J.: These CLAS cuts are such a huge issue because so many students are affected by the college. I don't like to see cuts because then you are taking away services to the students, but the college is having some financial trouble so they need to be doing that. Until they can get back to normal or get increased sources of funding, it would not make sense (fiscally) for them to operate at the same level. I do think SG can have an impact on this area and should work hard to do so. Let's have students sit down with the Provost, the Dean of the College, some professors, etc. and look at the budget. The issues in CLAS affect so many students, so they should be involved with this process. If there is one thing I have noticed about the students at UF is that we should not be underestimated. We are smart and full of ideas. If we see something in the budget that seems out of place or there is a flaw in a certain policy, we will find it. I hope students will not be ignored because we could find something that the administration may overlook.

TR: Tell us about your presidential candidate, what qualities do you believe he possesses (aside from a number of SG titles) that truly make him a better choice to lead students than PANTS Presidential candidate Bruce Haupt?

E.J.: Ryan has a great vision for what he wants for the University of Florida and what the relationship between SG and the students should be. He is willing to go out there and start reaching out to students so they know what SG does for them. He understands the time commitments that being SBP takes; he has been around it for a year as an executive officer. He is familiar with the staff, the administrators, and the students.

TR: Any parting words?

E.J.: I am extremely excited for this election, to be running, and to be able to answer some questions. I want the students to get excited and get out there and vote this year. We have a great group of individuals in the Gator Party and I am privileged to be running with them. They work hard and it shows.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Another Day

Man...I wish I could have attended Bob Graham's presentation. Normally I don't get all jittery to hear another member of Florida Blue Key babble about making society more egalitarian, but Graham was a political legend every Gator should be proud of. From Workdays to his love of Florida to the fact he never lost an election. Hold on guys, this isn't a eulogy, this is a credibility build-up.

Not sure if any of you care, but there is a disease in elementary and secondary education going on right now. It's called the FCAT. Yes, the FCAT is another one in a long line of standardized tests that determine funding for schools and prevent teachers from teaching. They have made schools into factories, children into robots. Social studies and history are usually excluded from the curriculum until March-May once FCAT's have been completed. And the State rarely recognizes outside factors such as socio-economics or parental involvement in tabulating scores and grades.

"The average elementary student gets less than two hours a week of exposure to any of the social sciences in school," Bob Graham (Today's Alligator)


Kudos to the fmr. Senator!

Gator's Platform
It's ok...Create Opportunities for Greater Student Participation in the Gainesville Community... CLASSIC! This coming from a camp trying to elect a SBP on whose watch as SBT Chomp The Vote bit the proverbial bullet. I'd imagine the lame duck executive will be blamed for this as well as any number of other Swamp failures, but CTV was in large part a fiscal disaster.

Let Students Choose the Accent and SGP Talent. Yes, indeed! The students pick the shows, meanwhile SG will perpetuate the AEPi/TC legacies one more year.

Investigate Costly CD Course Packs. What is this Kojak, Monk, I'd hate to find out who the Gator Party's version of Andy Sipowicz is. What hogwash... does lobbying take place in student government? Who knows.

Improve the IBC / La Casita facilities through Corporate Sponsorships. Clearly you want those Sam Green AA and Pedro Morales H/L votes and mentioning the two houses are a great foot in the door, but what exactly are we talkin' here? Are you going to put five new computers in there? Are you going to re-do the carpets? Are you going to build a mult-media-ready conference hall in each so they can have better presentations? Or...are you just going to name-drop and if you win, you'll give them a new Gator Growl doormat?

I hate these broad, generic initiatives that don't commit the parties to absolutely anything. Increase SGP Partnerships with Campus Organizations, what again with SGP? Holy shit man, it's obvious you're grateful to Theta Chi, but don't give the house away. Sheesh!


THINK!


Imagine...imagine what SG would be like this very day without a PANTS PARTY. Imagine the two days of elections, probably the lowest voter turnout in decades, debates would be canceled, tabling would have no meaning, there would be no suspense in the O&B, the value of the office would plummet, the little student body respect for SG would completely wither away, the administration would finally be able to sell SG to the Board of Trustees & Tally as so powerless they can't even find two students willing to lead the Gator Nation....you have no idea how absolutely pathetic UF would have been, had it not been for Bruce Haupt & the heroic PANTS Party.


Mail-Bag
From Fmr. Sen. Pedro Morales:

Hey Christian,

Thanks for the offer. I was taken aback by the opening, I was a bit irritated that you didn't even ask for my opinion before sending me your one-line comment. So that prompted my not so thoughtful reply.

I'll take some time to write, but I will send you my comments. I'll send you a sanitized, publishable version also, but please don't post the unedited version on the blog.

Now have to combat my own inner desire to procrastinate, and read a bunch of very interesting but dull readings for my Latin American Politics seminar (CPO 6307), and I have a bunch of papers due for that class soon.

This has not been a simple decision, and I had many other choices, one of them being, simply not participating at all, and graduating peacefully. It has been quite liberating to have Tuesday nights back again. But I care too much about the institution to just let it go. You could say my world flipped upside down that night (Spring '05) in the Orange and Brew, when my name was pronounced amidst the shouts of "I said it's great to vote the Gator Party". I do mean it when I say that "There ain't no party like the Impact Party 'cause the Impact Party don't stop!", it was simply amazing.

I respect your continued interest in student government, while I simultaneously disagree with it. I have been given permission (long story) to graduate with my M.S. degree, so I have "tabled" the Ph.D. for the not-so-near (if ever) future, and I am ready to make the next steps in my life, outside of UF. Heck, maybe if you come to the elections validation & double Senate meeting you can hear my final speech, and potentially see my Gandalf costume!


TR here, just to give some reactions. Not sure how Sen. Morales can disagree with my interest in covering SG being that he's one of my regular contributors and remains one of my favorites in today's SG, but ok. Also do want to make the point that as of a February 3rd email I've been waiting for Sen. Morales, who in that email wrote: "I'll need some time to write the long answer to that question. Part of that answer is somewhat embedded in your previous writing, but for now, the short answer: bring on the Gator Party t-shirts and stickers."

Note To Indies: As of yet, with the exception of Tommy Jardon (& sadly most of these comments cannot be published), very few former Indies or Indie's incognito have actually delivered on why they left. I thank Pedro for allowing me to publish this portion of his email (the second part of the email has not been published at the author's request).




ACCESS The PANTS Page


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Rallying The Troops


"I always sensed a falseness in Jardon's crew. I like Tommy, Ben, Josh, Kim, Ryan etc. as people, but they are pretty mediocre SGers." -- A Key Independent Leader
"After learning more about it, I'm not dissapointed by some of the former indies, I'm disgusted. Keep up the good fight" -- Amanda Kane

Some nice emails to date. I want to thank Amanda Kane for a short but very encouraging email. I also want to let you guys know that despite working m-f, I'm trying to be there for Bruce & Pants in more ways than just on the net. tomorrow I'll be attending a meeting with Bruce & Charlie Grapski to discuss s variety of issues. I'm also talking to people I worked with in Access about fundraising (not really my forte) as well as getting more people to advise the young, independent PANTS Party.

Although I didn't attend, I heard the PANTS meeting tonight went very, very well and the candidate's meeting held earlier last week was also a huge success with all but one candidate showing up and/or excusing themselves. The Party is also finalizing its much-anticipated platform and will likely have an article in either tomorrow or Tuesday's Alligator.

I want to stress that PANTS is fighting an uphill battle against turncoats for the key backing of the Independent community. The Party needs this backing to hold a secure bloc before moving onto the unchartered waters of the Greek Rows and the multi-cultural orgs. It has been speculated that the turncoat's deals wrest on their ability to keep PANTS from regaining the GDI vote. This theory holds truth in that during many of PANTS' recent campaign stops they have not seen members of Gator in any capacity. Gator leaders are confident that the turncoats will make good on their end of the deal in exchange for deals, positions, and in some cases taps*.



ACCESS The PANTS Page


What Do You Think?





PANTS: Making A Real Difference

Ok. Part of the reason I posted the video is because as early as Friday morning I've been trying to post something on all the letters/anonymous comments in addition to all the pants-haters. Some videos ranged in excess of 15minutes and used all sorts of examples. This video is the shortest and prolly the kindest.

As far as PANTS goes. I honestly don't think any of them are delusional, I don't think they think they are going to win by sitting on their laurels (such as Gator). However, this is not your ordinary election either. For starters, voters won't see three or four choices, they will see only "2." Second of all, students won't see the Independent community split in many factions, they will simply see Indies that stuck around and rolled up their sleeves for a fight against the odds -- and they will see the full leadership of a so-called Independent Party now congregated beside the Gator Party handout-line. Thirdly, they will see a strong Independent Party that acts like an Independent Party, campaigns accordingly, and that releases statements accordingly. Fourth, they will see the transformation of a candidate that initially made a mockery of SG and now is running a serious campaign -- and really, just how frustrated does the average student get with SG? They usually don't understand, hell sometimes I don't understand it? So what do they do, some don't vote (old Iron Fist style of collecting placards to throw away), some laugh at the system (Pants, Fall '06), and some want radikal change (Put Your Pants On Right Now).

While Gator can safely count with the FBK, Greek, and AA blocs, I believe that by election time PANTS will safely be able to count with the Indie/GDI bloc. Now yes my little math majors, that's only one bloc to four, however, we're no longer talking annihilation, we're now in the bloc-conversation, where one bloc could conceivably turn into two and then it's all different ball-game as they say.


SG STRANGELAND


For the first time in a long time Mainstream Greeks and FBK are irrelevant in a campaign. That's right! This elections, at least at this point, is not between "the System" and "the Indies", rather this election is about a feud for control of the Independent vote. As has been stated time in and time again, the FBK, Greek, & AA blocs are for the most part behind Gator...but the Indie bloc remains in the air and Greeks nor FBK's will have much of an impact in how this key bloc is awarded.

There is very little movement in the Gator camp. If anything key mainstream leaders' eyes are glued on the Indie community b/c this decisive battle will call the spirit of the 2007 Campaign trail. If the turncoats are able to keep the Indie support they are currently boasting of, then Gator will easily secure victory and may not have to spend as much money or put as much manpower to work as it normally does. If PANTS secure the community they gain a bloc...if PANTS gains a bloc, then whatever the haters say, no matter how cold-hearted and vicious...now Gator faces a rival with some (even if minor) clout and that changes the entire ball-game.

I am of the opinion that right now, PANTS has a way's to go, I'm not delusional. Right now the turncoats are still credible. Destroy that paper-thin credibility through word-of-mouth and inform their supporters of what they've done and that cred and backing disintegrates. No paper trail, mere word of mouth will do it. And there is no need for slander or libel, simply pass on current information and that act will go a very long way. Long-term...I see PANTS gaining the Indie bloc and fighting for Greek votes in very real and impressive ways. I am also not going to rule out minor support from the AA community, but I'm not going to give away all the secrets, b/c then no one will buy the book;).

Let's also be clear in that this Indie support is not as subjective as many of you might think. Around the mid-February mark you will be able to sense who's leading in the feud; by the week of the election the backing of the Indie bloc will manifest itself in very tangible ways. There is a goal in sight, PANTS I believe, will win the feud and the bloc.

I think too many SG=insiders are clouding their judgment with looking too far into this race. Gator has already been invited to the big dance, they're good to go. However, for PANTS the internal battle with the turncoats is going on right now and they need to emerge victorious there to join Gator in late February. So please, keep your comments on topic, b/c the election and who'll win that is too far away, yes even in early February.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

My Friggin Pants!


Whose Voice?

"First let me thank you for the chance to say my piece. At some point in the Fall I realized Moseley was the person on campus I thought would do the best job. Never have I run someone I thought wasn't the best for the job. This presented a new dilemma for me. I never intended on bringing everyone else with me. I meant to go alone and still ask for nothing in return; and I'm definitely not applying to FBK. Others followed and for their own reasons, with their own motivations. You'll have to ask them. But I'm supporting Moseley because I was going to vote for him anyways. He did a great job as treasurer, and let's be honest, I have a weakness for former SG Treasurers running for Prez ;)
Thanks Again." - Tommy Jardon


NINA Updates!

The NINA Interview is finally on paper! Next I gotta type the monster-long interview into an email and off it goes for Edit 1. Next I have to compile names, sne a few warning emails for the two or three mentioned not-so-warmly but who are huge friends of the blog (sorry no censorship), and then I review Nina's notes on my draft and take in her notes and/or suggestions (I've decided to pull about 15min. out of the no-holds-barred interview but Nina may want it in, etc). Once I revise the interview with both our notes I send the almost-finished (Edit 2) product back to Nina. If she approves it, up it goes. Expect your dose of NINA by late Saturday or sometime Sunday.



Let's Make A Deal!

Robert Agrusa for Senate President and Kevin Reilly for Pro-Tempore - Anonymous Radikal Reader



ACCESS The PANTS Page


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Wearing the PANTS, Taking A Stand!



How a semester can change things. How wonderful is it to see the hungry and determined side of Bruce Haupt! When I endorsed him last semester, many of you didn't know why and would send the weirdest emails or call me and laugh. Now you see what I saw last semester. In the face of one of the most well-organized, well-funded, and well-connected machine-formations since the Ignite Party, Bruce and his people have been able to slate a very large pool of talented up & comers to senate, as well as a full (and impressive) Executive slate. Reading the quote by PANTS Veep Candidate Eve Rizzo in today's Alligator all but affirm the bold message of the first GDI Party at UF, arguably, since the Student Alliance in 2003.

"We're striving to be approachable and to be on the level of the student body."* -- Eve Rizzo (PANTS Party V.P. Candidate)


I believe that as the campaign trail expands and we get closer and closer to the week of elections, students will find many striking similarities between themselves and the strongly-GDI PANTS Party. When Eve Rizzo speaks about being approachable, it sounds so much more sincere than had a Gator Party candidate said that, but why?

Well for starters PANTS comes from the students, it was a spontaneous, almost last-ditch effort at organizing the last remnants of the GDI Community at UF against a monster freight train carrying mainstream Greeks, Keys, the pillagers and marauders of the African American community mobilizing their people to the polls merely to continue enjoying the scraps off a table they are not permitted to sit at, but rather sit below and eat System' leftovers like a pack of rabid dogs, as well as a gang of increasingly desperate power-hungry Independent turncoats.

Additionally, students will quickly realize how PANTS make with what they've got, they will relate to PANTS as being a party of students, not a party of external influences spending ten or twenty thousand dollars. They will relate with PANTS' blue-collar if you will style. They will also see a party that's struggling and learning along the way, they will come into contact with everyday talented students that want to represent them but whom are not professional politicans.

At this very early stage, I couldn't tell you if PANTS will win or lose, but I can tell you that they are doing everything according to a very old-school Indie program and if they can somehow integrate pre-Access Indie strategies alongside more modern styles of political campaigning, then they will keep the Gator strategists on their toes each and every day and they will earn rich rewards from a variety of races. To those that claim Gator will win by 2,800, to them I say "you're on crack."


ACCESS The PANTS Page

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

PANTS Party Announces Treasurer Candidate!


The PANTS Party has confirmed the candidacy of sophomore Elizabeth Stinson, a former member of the Action Party and an active leader of College Republicans, as its candidate for Student Body Treasurer. When asked why the party picked Ms. Stinson, PANTS Presidential candidate, Bruce Haupt confidently replied that she had delivered a "very strong interview."


The PANTS Party believes in empowering women, not merely relegating them to running-mate status.


The Party of Independents easily earned the 300 signatures needed to run candidates and turned in all paperwork by 11:20pm. The Pants Party slated thirty-two senate candidates (to Gator's forty-four), ensuring that PANTS will face off against the machine in key races (LS, Business, & Engineering) as well as in many other theaters along the campaign trail.

ACCESS The PANTS Page

Monday, February 05, 2007

PANTS Party Announces Veep Candidate!



The PANTS Party has confirmed that it will field Eve Rizzo, a former Chair of the SG Women's Affairs Cabinet and former replacement senator, as its candidate for Student Body Vice President. Ms. Rizzo is a sister of Delta Gamma Sorority and serves as the president of Phi Eta Sigma. During her time in cabinet, she impressed fellow cabinet director Bruce Haupt. "She was a hard worker and implemented important programs through her cabinet."

Eve joins the ranks of a very impressive list of potential candidates that have interviewed with PANTS, including Top 20 State Leaders as well as persons with Student Governance credentials from a variety of schools and universities, adding experience as well as a vital non-traditional element to an already very much independent party.

So far the PANTS Party has interviewed well over three dozen prospective candidates and will continue to interview students all day tomorrow at:

The Reitz Union,
Room # 276

Additionally, key Independents are slowly-but-surely coming to the side of The PANTS Party. These leaders will be lending their expertise and assisting the valiant Independent party in a variety of capacities.

Despite some early cases of unethical campaign practices carried out against PANTS, the Independent community stands behind BRUCE & PANTS for the long haul!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

NINA Interview Complete

I finally got to interview former Vice Presidential candidate Nina DeJong today. We met up at Maude's; the interview-recording lasted one hour and fifty minutes, covering a multitude of topics from Nina's work on campus, her political stances, interesting behind-the-scenes stories, and a great deal this Fall's past race. This was the first TR interview done in person and will be followed up by Chris Carmody.

I am extremely grateful to Nina for participating and for her candid responses. This interview will be one of the longest (perhaps longer than the Grapski & Argento ones) but I guarantee you, you just won't be able to stop reading! Now comes the daunting task of preparing the first and second edits, but once we've reached a mutually acceptable finished product it will be published on the blogsite. I am hoping this interview will be ready by Saturday.

From TheRadikal Inbox:


I'm not sure if the sender wants his name published, so it will remain anonymous until I hear back. Great question btw, I hope to read many interesting replies to it.

Christian,

I am sure you already know that the Gator Party ticket is Moseley, Goodwin, and Walicki. There is one question that needs asking:

How much are these people, and the others who will be in their administration, asked to pay to "fund the campaign." It is a one-party election for most of the spots in all probability, so are senate candidates still asked to pay 75 dollars? Are there still kickbacks from people like Premier productions? Remember, one of the reasons that Lydia had issues was because she had to "raise the money" to be on the VP ticket and couldn't pay up.


***Thanks Again for a great question.

Rumor Control: Upon checking my email a few minutes ago, I was presented with a rumor from an anonymous friend of the blog that neither Mr. Green or Ms. Cineas will be slated by Gator. Anyone care to comment?
Great Link Posted By Sen. Gavin Baker: The Machine

Saturday, February 03, 2007

From Accesss To Political Abstentionism

You know...people still talk about the Yellow & Blue, some to say that it's relevance is long over meanwhile others subconsciously try to reenact every decision, even the mistakes in frantic hopes of establishing the same victories. When I interviewed James Argento, Tommy wanted to know how (besides having the AA vote) did Access' campaign-staff win the election (a totally legit question). However, his quote in the Alligator continues down a scary road, he cites his reasons for supporting Gator as "after the Fall, a lot of the motivation wasn't there," signaling a switch in stances due largely in part to standing at the polls. Moseley's "experience" wasn't cited as the mean reason to support him, at least the article makes it seem as if the Action indies simply lost their thunder.

The need to win power alongside the lines of the still somewhat recent Access Party, has clouded the ideals of modern day independent leaders and to a certain extent they have wrongly judged their leadership abilities and the loyalty of the independent community at UF against the standards of what happens every ten years or so at UF, an Access-like revolution. Access was both due to the times as well as to the people behind it, but in most cases Indies will not take an entire branch and a chunk of a second and I think that that humility (a tradition of Indie parties) was lost with parties like Impact, Unite, & Action...parties that didn't go into it as the underdogs (kinda like how Pants is formulating their return) rather tried to go head-on with an excess-is-best mentality.

So far I like what PANTS has been doing, they took a stand against the concept of single party rule (getting a laurel for it -- then again it is the Alligator...), Jardon's blunder will probably read unfavorably with Indies (not the Indie leaders, but the actual Indie voters themselves). My only hope is that Bruce uses his fraternity this time, that he capitalize on the successes of previous Indie parties in picking up at least one or two rogue houses looking to invest in an alternative SG party, and that PANTS make a serious effort to court AA votes, even if the AA leadership has already decided. Garner as much Greek support as possible, court cultural members of cultural groups (don't go directly for cultural group leaderships that you know have FBK and SG ambitions in mind and are 100% Gator, don't assume because the leader of a group is sold that the group is also 100% behind it's leader). For instance, in Access Dennis made fliers in Asian languages and had them distributed...that's a way to garner Asian support even if it had nothing to do with ASU. There are many more ways to succeed in this area. Last, but not least, while PANTS should be meek, it should also work towards distancing itself from Gator and criticizing single-party rule. Run a clean campaign and watch everyone think the two parties are the same and PANTS will get annihilated.

Suggestions for Gator: pour yourself a tall glass of blue kool aid and drink up:) (j/k, good luck guys [even if I hate mainstream parties]).

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Radikal Video



My first (of many to come) video. *Yawn* Goodnight.