Sunday, September 14, 2008

Radikal Updates XXIII

Today marks the end of the so called Duque-Grapski Feud (as somewhat named by fellow blogger Ken Kerns). Nothing has really gone on between us, but I reflected on some words with my good friend Peter Gruskin over Ethiopian food in D.C. last July. Perhaps I was a bit hard on Grapski and while it took me a great deal of time, I'm once again starting to believe in my friend. I've watched the video over and over several times and while I can't put my finger on it, I just know I've got Charlie all wrong. keeping with my plans to bury the hatchet so to speak, I've deleted 12 videos from YouTube, totaling at around 1,500 views and sent Charlie a private email.

Duque on Independent Tactics

I have never believed in career politicians, especially in Senate; matters are different in the other two branches. The Legislature should consistently receive new faces, training more students (on both sides) how the lawmaking process works so that they may return to their orgs and to the general student body with a greater respect and understanding of Student Government.

While I have apologized to Sen. McShera, his letter still speaks to my point. We need independents that are willing to work hard, get elected, do great things in public office, but when that term's up -- GET OUT! We need the kind of leaders that will move on to new battle-stations in this theoretical war with the System. Students would respect a class of out-going student senators campaigning for a class of new-incoming senators. That kind of humility is what winning campaigns are made of (see Argento, Access Party 2004).

Another fine example of taking on different roles is Frank Bracco. Bracco applied, was hired, and literally saved a key SG agency in the administration of a System President, Ryan Moseley. To his credit, Bracco, was able to show the Machine that GDI's could do the job without bringing their personal politics along for the ride. Bracco's commitment to serve was ironclad, the kid that was holding 'pants on a pole' in front of Warrington was now one the Alligator loved to write about & photograph, meanwhile a top asset to another FBK-backed regime.

And that is what I would like to have seen Mark McShera do. Instead, we see a leader (a great leader) making himself comfortable in familiar territory. Imagine what McShera could do if he seriously began organizing the Party for the Spring election, if he worked on scouting Exec. candidates (since he seems to find himself unwilling), and/or serving as a consultant to the new senators he'd help elect. Instead, he will surely get slated by his party, return to familiar territory, and in my opinion...deprive another Mark McShera the opportunity to learn the ropes and carry on this never-ending movement of ours.

What did James Argento gain by the Access victory for himself? He didn't gain any titles or fanfare for himself, but he left UF having made a huge contribution to those left behind. But that's why James Argento will down in SG History as an honorable man of high principles.

Slice. Eat. Horde.

Slating, Day 1: O&B Beats Out Gator

How pathetic it must be to be a member of the beleaguered Gator Party, with its Treasurer Fiasco, it's senators acting in collusion to silence any and all voices of dissent, its Student Body President appointing ghosts to year-long posts, its continued support of undemocratic lines (e.g. Online Voting), the alleged rumors of internal feuds, the alleged rumors of secret pacts behind its already shadowy scenes, and the recent arrest of its former Student Body President no less.

There's no doubt that tomorrow and Tuesday, the large houses will invigorate, if not downright threaten, their Pledge Masters to get the armies of eighteen year olds out to the Reitz. Dozens upon dozens will surely appear, many of which serving as nothing more than padding. Big stacks of applications that will never get read, but will serve a greater purpose, a psychological purpose.

The Machine is in overdrive. Times are tough and everyone has their eye on Spring. They can deny till their blue in the face, but sections of Gator seem to have (at some point) conspired against their African American colleagues. While this blog can scare just about anyone, we all know 8 GDI's, even united, were not going to impeach Paul Drayton. So why did he call in? Why did he believe there was a chance he'd get the boot? ....

Rumors were Naadira Renfroe would be Gator Party President. Did that happen? Did Sam Green ever run for SBP? Will Paul Drayton? When will UF have its next serious, African American candidate for SBP? 2019, fifteen years from Access?

I've never seen the GDI party beat out the system in a day of slating, much less the first day. I can only imagine the cell phones ringing and the angry emails pouring in from alumni statewide. I remember the turnout in '04 and I can only imagine how Gator's leaders must feel today. Kinda like Gator's top brass just were recipients of an O&B Circle Jerk.

*Hands Gator a towel.*


Ken said...

The last time I saw the GDIs beat out FBK during any day of Slating was before FBK began using the Alligator coverage of Slating for psychological purposes.

A cog is definitely missing from the Gator Party machine. Or at least it was on Friday. We'll see how it all shakes out.

francisco said...

Well something Christian likely doesn't know is after 2 years of attending Senate (and proposing some bills too), I finally served this summer after my CTV term ended. It was actually pretty interesting. While I don't know what will happen with Mark (6 months is a long time until re-election), I do know that there is some need for "senior" Senators. I believe a large portion of the Senators should be switched out, but those that survive and show the ability to excel very quickly should be given another go around. How many students meet this number? Well, I have a theory: there are 94 Senators, only about 30-40 or so serve on committees, and only 15 or so do work besides serving as a messenger (conduit to student groups) or party decoy...that's my feeling.

Those that serve as a messenger could be switched out for other student to have the opportunity to learn and experience Senate. Some, however, need to stay in chambers because of their firm understanding of the statutes, ability to understand the institutional framework without need a couple weeks to adjust, and their established contacts. Now, the question really should be whether term limits is a feasible idea. Should a Senator really be serving three or four terms? During their second term they are already having a chance to train the new Senators and pass on how things work.

Anonymous said...

Christian, I was there at 815 to set up the O&B slating room and was there the whole day. Some interesting points.
1) We "stole" the room the Gator and Swamp parties have had for slating for the last 4 semester by being there first.
2) The assistant SOE's haven't even been confirmed by senate. So they are doing their job illegally. If they fuck up, they will risk invalidating the whole election from the beginning.
3) O&B has someone at a table outside our room from 900 till 515 and had our doors wide open. Gator didn't have their act together until 11 am. Suzanna Hersman arrived at 11, got pissed no one important was in the slating room and started calling everyone on her cell phone screaming at them. We could hear it through the walls.
4) We had a giant banner (3x4) printed and laminated for our table. Gator had weak willed people who barely stuck around their table.
5) We had, at the very least, a dozen random good candidates who came in to talk to us. And they were angry at the Gator party. They were angry about the alcohol regulations, organizational leaders were angry Paul wasnt there over the summer, and they were angry that Gator was being useless to the student body in representing their interests to the UF admin.

Overall, I think our campaign is off to a great start.

Sun Tzu said...

pretend ignorance, encourage his arrogance

Anonymous said...

First off, Alligator is reporting 30 for O&B and 40 for gator... so this whole "beat out thing" isn't really true. What I will admit is that O and B is doing a great job compared to minorities in years past and has surpassed my expectations.

Regardless, the slating period means nothing in terms of campaign strength. These people slating for O and B are going to be the only people that campaign for O and B. On the other hand, Gator has a campaign base that trumps the minority, with probably 10-20 volunteers for each candidate.

However, looking over the numbers, the increased threat from the independent movement might be enough to overturn the tables on what is already a close competition... but I would put the chances of that happening more towards the Spring.

All we know at this point is that regardless of what happens, the Senators that have created such a frenzy over the last 6 months have another 6 to go, and this base that the independents are building will only increase into the Spring (where the independents pose a real threat).

At that point, O and B might have around 100-150 enthusiastic supporters (which would be more effective than 500 clueless Gator Supporters). With that could come some significant power and sway in the Senate and possible the ebranch.

Point of the story: This accomplishment of the O&B will produce very little this election, but in the long run means more than anyone could know.

Ken said...

Anon 3:44 AM is completely correct.

Unless O&B can pull a House or two from the Gator machine (and they won't), Fall is going to be brutal.

That said, if the first day of slating indicates anything, I wouldn't be surprised if O&B shows some life in on-campus seats and in the competitive off-campus districts (C and D). I'm thinking of a reprisal of Impact from fall 2005. A bad result overall, but better than usual for the minority.

We'll see. 30 GDIs on the first day is phenomenal. Now O&B has to augment that over the next 2 days by working to ensure all 47 seats are slated - even Family Housing.

Anonymous said...

The first day doesn't men anything, if it did - they'd call it the last day.

Anonymous said...

O&B has candidates in 46/47 seats (only Family Housing didn't get someone). Not sure what this is the best since, but definitely didn't accomplish this with Progress or ACTION or Impact, so at least since 2004.

Exec ate at IHOP tonight and to say we're excited doesn't come close. O&B literally called everyone who came out and slated to personally tell them whether they are on the ballot or not, see if Gator even tries.

Throw in a mega-scandal that broke this afternoon with Gator and you pretty much had the most energized O&B crew wandering around the law school tonight since they turned in the SOLVe petition.