Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ossip, O&B, and the Independent Movement



"The walk-out was a last resort we used after the majority Unite/Gator Party voted against a one-week postponement to allow Senators time to actually look through the applications. The first time Senators actually knew about the nominees was when the agenda was published about 12 hours before the meeting. The R&A meeting at which these names were reviewed was at best held with limited notice, and Senators were not emailed its time and location, so no minority members were present. Also, 48 names, the agenda, and some replacement seats were all approved in about an hour or so, raising suspicions about how thorough a job the majority-only committee did in reviewing those applicants.

As for the actual events of the walk-out, we decided to leave after realizing that there were only 55 Senators in attendance, 8 of them affiliated with Orange and Blue. As quorum at the present time is 49 due to the spring class seat increase, we quorum-busted and ended the meeting. All we wanted was to postpone the nominations long enough to actually read their applications, and the majority denied us the time we absolutely needed to make an informed decision. As such, we took matters into our own hands and ended the meeting."


Sen. Jonathan Ossip



I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo proud of the Orange & Blue Party -

THAT'S WHAT BEING A GDI IS ALL ABOUT!

Ken, you should cover this as well. QUORUM-BUSTING - genius!
With Access we had so much power and still felt limited, these kids, with a minority footing in only one branch of government, a divided footing as it stands, are able to make their presence felt. These are serious posts that should be filled by qualified candidates -- not hastily through midnight appointments.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Valiant attempt. However, the system is strong and despite inevitable bickering about the choices made, the slate will be approved and sent on.

I'll be the first to admit that it is unfair and under the table, still... O and B efforts are futile.

The early adjournment did nothing but allow Unite/Gator senators to get a head start at Swamp. One might say O and B gave us more of a present than a predicament.

Anonymous said...

Where has the Progress Party been? Every week the Orange and Blue Party is mentioned in the Alligator about how they are trying to bring reform to Student Government, without any mention of Progress. I'm shocked!

Christian Duque said...

I, too, would like to know the answer to 3:27's question.

Ken said...

I will be adding a commentary to my blog when I get a chance - my family is in DC, so I've not been online as often as I'd like.

Still, seems like a par-for-the-course O&B tactic - bold parliamentary moves that generate publicity for a valid SG issue.

That's been the best feature of the O&B team - having no fear for of bold moves. Now they need to add that to that strength with wider campus organizing, because Obamamania won't fuel high turnout this fall.

Anonymous said...

That is because Progess has yet to actually do anything for the students other than vote with Unite 100% of the time.

Anonymous said...

Ask your boy Dave Schneider what he thinks about this. Or Ben Dictor. Or Justin Wooten. All of their answers will be rooted in some bullshit about "resistance is surrender" and the walkout being a perfect example of why O&B is "counter-revolutionary". The Prog Party is a group of frauds who don't have what it takes to confront the system. Duque is starting to get it. Its only a matter of time until the indie base does also.

P.S To the professional protesters, surrender is surrender. As you prove every week in Senate.

Anonymous said...

JOSSIP!

Joshua said...

"Bold parliamentary moves?"

More like the actions of petulant little children. Ossip is on the verge of getting expelled from Senate proper for his antics, and yet all of the appointments still went through on Tuesday. Amount actually accomplished? Nil.

You can continue to lionize these arrogant, obnoxious, juvenile do-nothings, Duque, but do so at your own risk. You and I both know, vis-a-vis 3:27, that if just getting into the Alligator is the standard of success, then O&B, or what's left of it, is doomed.

Christian Duque said...

Josh:

You make a good argument, but I still feel that what O&B is doing serves a greater good. The students need to know the GDI's are resisting the injustices perpetuated in the name of ALL STUDENTS, by System Drone with questionable calibers of integrity and good government.

I think the question remains on the table: where's Progress?

If O&B is acting incorrectly, what is Progress doing?

I did endore the Party and do believe in its tenets, but WHAT ARE YOU GUYS DOING?

Joshua said...

Duque,

It's a fair point, and we're in the unfortunate circumstance that a lot of us are away for the summer (you know, since we don't live for SG and have our own jobs and responsibilities) so we've been a little slow getting off the ground.

But I'm working with our senators on at least one bill that should be coming forward in the next couple weeks to fulfill one of our campaign promises, and there's at least two more platform points that I'm going to be working on with them before I have to leave Gainesville in Summer B.

I think that's one of the major differences between Progress and other past "indie" parties, is that we're actually willing to put in the time and work to do what we say we do and not just opt for flashy parliamentary tactics every week to show up in the Alligator.

As far as what you say about "the students needing to know GDI's are resisting injustices," or whatever, I disagree wholeheartedly. Turnout in SG elections is so low and virulent apathy so high because students read these stories in the Alligator and think "one side's corrupt, and one side just whines about it." The reason Progress did so well in the Spring is because we were able to break out of that dichotomy. I probably had literally hundreds of students try and walk by me while I was campaigning saying they weren't interested until I talked to them and they understood that we weren't one of the old major parties.

Whether or not you want to call it that "resistance is surrender," the fact is that O&B is shooting themselves in the foot every week with this nonsense because it's simply bad politics. And if there's anyone who would know about shooting oneself in the foot politically, I should think it would be me. :-)

Christian Duque said...

Josh:

Great statement, if and only if, Progress actually does present something.

I supported the breakout party, but I have to be honest, I haven't seen the revolutionary vanguard so much as look up at the System...and it's O&B that's exchanging punches with it.

Quit telling us about what you're going to do...when were senators inaugurated? Seriously, I want you guys to do well, but sitting on your hands for months on end doesn't exactly look too promising.

Anonymous said...

So if standing up the system is futile and not worth Progress's (or anybody's) time...

...and the Progress Party cares too little about SG to bother to write any legislation...

...then it really begs the question: What the fuck was the point of the Progress Party?

I have a lot of respect for Unite and O&B both. I don't agree with what Unite stands for but at least they stand for something. I don't always agree with everything O&B does but at least they stand for something.

Progress is interested in power only for the sake of power. Its voting record has made that clear. Its complete lack of an attempt to produce legislation has made that clear.

Eric Conrad's resignation as Progress Party President to become the mouth piece for the United Gator Party has made that crystal clear.

The Progress Party cares about their own personal advancement, just like the Gator/Unite Party, but at least the Gator/Unite Party stands for something even if that something is despicable!

The opposite of good isn't evil, it's apathy.

Anonymous said...

Using these tactics may be memorable and fun because you think it achieves something, but it is probably a waste of time. Woohoo pat yourselves on the back, but you just lost that token committee seat in I&C or R&E. O&B was able to get away with their little stunt because some Gator party senators were either in the restroom, or eating downstairs. A slight annoyance but nothing else. Like a previous poster said, earlier time to go drinking at Swamp.

I'm not sure an indie party campaign has ever told their slates respectively, Fall or Spring that they will not be able to get elected in districts A, B, C and freshman, sophomore years. Party leaders probably just ask candidates pay the money $75-$100 goodbye, (at least during 2005-2008 SG senate races) thank you very much, now let's go buy the beads and T-shirts with them. Which they definitely need the money to at least mount some credible campaign but it's kind of wrong anyways.

There have to be creative ways to change the fundamental rules of the game, and obviously, Senate is not it. It's the polls. The indie parties need to get together and make some tough constitutional amendments, to let's say, get rid of the Fall senate, and implement a proportional representation on allocation of seats. First-past-the-post electoral systems will always put the indies at a disadvantage because they don't have a large political base to begin with. So in a sense, the indies, are, unless the stars align for them once every ten or twenty years, the party of no, with a couple of Rush Limbaughs every now and then bouncing on the podium of public debate.

I've watched too many remakes of this movie and they are all highly predictable. Yawn.

Christian Duque said...

1:19AM

I think the time you posted may be the main culprit in your yawning... because Indie parties that get results on the campaign trail -or- on the Senate floor, have done so b/c they opted for a combative stance against a far larger, better entrenched enemy.

How can you bargain if you're forever to be found on your knees?

I fear "Progress" may have been nothing but a test for a few arrogant pricks to get into FBK - but still not sure. What's troubling is that from Wooten, to Figueroa down, there's some real leaders in this organization and I hope for their sake, that their "party" is actually going to be a party in the vein of what was sold to its supporters.

Anonymous said...

It is true that most of the FBK backed senators succeed. But, running with the FBK Party comes with a price. Every Gator/Unite Party Senator is like Ariel from the Little Mermaid with FBK being Ursula the sea witch. Ursula gives Ariel the position in life she wants in exchange for her VOICE to be used by Ursula as she saw fit. To be a Gator/Unite Party Senator is truly to give up your voice in exchange for a position.

GimmeTheGrundy! said...

And where is Armando Grundy in all this?

francisco said...

Joshua, I don't quite understand your argument; is wanting one week to read the applications themselves a bad thing? EVERYONE, and I MEAN EVERYONE (and their MOTHERS too) knew these appointments were going to pass, but I would hope most people would actually want to be informed on what they are voting on. Delaying the vote for three weeks (a la Sam/Cain/Frank/last year style) is antics, wanting to know what you are voting on is prudent. Remember, no one was given the names of these appointees until 12 hours before the meeting. Apparently the United Gator Swampy Party does not subscribe to the idea of being informed about what you are voting on, so (based on what I have read and heard) O&B took it into their own hands and made it so everyone had a chance to inform themselves on what they would be voting on and who they would be voting for.

Keg Party Approves!

Christian Duque said...

I can sit here and debate Indie Ideology all night...but I think it would be most productive to see what comes of this Simmons/Bracco debate. 1-2yrs ago I would have thought the pairing a bit unfair, as Simmons was then far deeper in the movement.

However, Bracco has become a SERIOUS force in indie politics over the years. Agency Director, party candidate, organizer, & executive board member, SGVP candidate, active on intiative-drives, etc.

(hope Frank enjoyed that).

francisco said...

Haha, LOVE IT Christian. Sadly, I am an old man now and graduated with a ed-u-ma-ca-tion. I decided to pull a Lacey Logsdon and graduate in 3 years instead of sticking around for 4. I am proud to say I am off the Senate fix; it is great no longer attending after three long years of going and only missing half-a-dozen meetings or so.

I simply know what I know and what I know is what I know...get it, got it, good :-). While I respect Josh and he knows I value his opinions more than most people, I just think his physical involvement in SG has been rather limited and his interactions with system folk has been rather circumstantial. Ryan Day (another person that is legit in my book) and Kim don't count as system folk since they really aren't sheep and can actually think for themselves. If he had the same type of involvement as others, he would sink into "the system sucks, SG doesn't accomplish much, so we might as well do what we think is RIGHT even if we piss off people" mentality that us old geezers have developed. That is the mentality that allowed for nearly 6,000 sigs to happen for SOLVe without the help of "progressives" like Ben Dictor and "conservatives" like Josh, it is the same mentality that filed a lawsuit against UF for SOLVe, it is the same mentality that allowed for us to cut the salaries of Supreme Court and Honor Court Justices, it is the same mentality that led me to believe it might just be a good idea to actually have someone doing the job of IMAGE in those 5-6 months Kevin didn't appoint someone, and it is the same mentality that was displayed when Ossip basically said people should have time to review the applicants.

What I don't understand is it would be so easy for system folk to actually appear more legit than they are, but yet they don't even take the time to do so. They create the positions, they create the rules for applying, and they hold all the votes they need to appoint their friends...yet, somehow, they still appoint people that never even applied to the positions, they don't let Senators know who they are appointing until it is too late, and they don't use common sense (knowing full well their appointments will pass) and say "sure, yeah, it might actually be a good PR move to take a week and 'review' these applicants for 'merit'".

Joshua said...

Frank, I think the reason you "don't understand my argument" is because you think it's inherently inconsistent with yours. I completely agree with you, though, that everyone should have WANTED an extra week to consider the appointments and inform themselves, even though everyone knew they were going to go through anyway, but what you don't consider is the COST of getting that extra week, at least in the manner that O&B did.

By storming out of the Senate chambers like a bunch of toddlers whose mothers wouldn't give them a candy bar, the O&B kids may have won themselves an extra week to look over the appointments, but made themselves look like assholes in the process. If you expect ANY other Senator to want to work with them on legislation after that, then you're out of your mind.

That's the thing that I've never figured out about O&B - how they can storm into Senate every week, make a gigantic fuss over generally pretty insignificant stuff (or at least things that never make difference), and then turn around with an innocent smile and want to pass legislation through committees controlled overwhelmingly by Gator/Unite Senators. The amount of arrogance that it must take simply boggles the mind.

So, yes, another week to consider the appointments was great, I'm sure (I won't even bother broaching the fact that no one who voted for the appointments actually took any time to look into why they were voting for them), but this idea that there wasn't a gigantic cost in political capital is just nonsense.

Now, since we agree on the fact that another week to look over the appointments was generally a good idea, even if it didn't impact the end result, then you seem to be assuming that the manner in which O&B managed to get it was the best/only way possible. But Progress Senators, from what I've heard, managed to get a couple of nominations considered separately the next week just by asking. JUST BY ASKING! Did anyone try to just ask for an extra week to consider the appointments?

See, here's the thing. If the O&B Senators didn't love the sound of their own voice so much, and actually cultivated relationships with the Gator/Unite people they loathe, then they'd get far more done. Instead, they go into Senate every week knowing that they're not going to accomplish anything, so they figure what the hell and just listen to themselves talk to pass the time. And in that way, resistance truly is surrender.

Joshua said...

Duque, I don't think it's a debate, and I don't think there's any difference specifically in "ideology" between myself and Bracco (whatever that word means in an SG context), simply one of tactics and political understanding.

In any case, I think this thread is swiftly turning me into the Dick Cheney of the indie movement. I'm just on here stirring up trouble, and it's time someone stuck a fork in me. :-)

francisco said...

Haha, great the Dick Cheney reference! Haven't heard anything about this "Progress just asked" stuff, but I highly doubt it. I will keep this short because today has turned into a 12 hour workday for me and I am ready for food and a shower.

So Josh and I are on the same page about this whole week thing, but how did he plan to get this week? He planned to get this week by asking! Well, from what I have read and been told, Ossip and other Senators asked in advance of the meeting to delay the hearings in order to allow for review - DENIED! The senators then rose on the floor to ask for the nominations to be delayed - DENIED! So, as approvals were coming up to vote, what else is there left to do? Everyone knew that most of the summer replacements were in their first meeting and HAD NO IDEA WHAT MOST OF THESE POSITIONS WERE LET ALONE IF THESE PEOPLE WERE QUALIFIED (yes I meant to yell). Further, even those senators that were not summer replacements on the Swampy United Gator side of things likely did not even know these people were coming up for appointment. Mr. Ossip did what Republicans and Democrats alike have done when there is no other option available - after asking before the meeting, after asking on the floor, and after arguing the idea in public debate - he delayed, and he did a damned good job. Democrats in Texas fled the state in the early 2000s to avoid unfair redistricting after asking time and time again for time to review and come up with a better plan. Republicans delayed and delayed and delayed most of the Clinton lower court appointments, even after they had the information. Life goes on.

Yet again, I think this whole idea of "wanting to work with you after this stunt" reveals Josh's profound misunderstanding of SG. The real work for the students does not happen with legislation and stupid resolutions (sorry, I hate resolutions; that is why I used them to my advantage to get stuff on the ballot and "stick to the man", haha – joking on the "stick it to the man" part). Most of these Senators in there now don't really want to work on anything anyways, and those that are actually productive will work with anyone that is willing to put their best foot forward outside of chambers. There is a reason why I still get e-mails from individuals regularly asking for advice on this, that, or the other – including past and current Senators, agency heads, and SBPs (including an e-mail just today): because they knew I was an individual that was going to work hard. I was a huge jerk towards Senate in my final semester and a half at UF, but those that actually were productive know that I am productive/semi-productive as well. If Ossip, or anyone for that matter, distinguishes themselves as someone that is willing to work, rather than someone that is willing to "simply vote and drink" or "pay lip service" (like others I know), then I am sure they will be fine as long as they don't pull "Sam Miorelli" (love ya' buddy) tactics EVERY WEEK. I think Ossip’s actions were justified, but if he were to have asked for a second week then I would have said shame on him.

Sorry to toot my own horn, but I am officially done with UF SG and I am quite happy I don't have to be politically correct anymore...well, to the extent that you could call my previous comments "politically correct."

Anonymous said...

But then you would be pro-Cheney, Simmons? Or wait, was that last week?

U Suck Simmons

Anonymous said...

What has "building personal relationships" ever actually accomplished in Senate Josh? Ben Dictor sucked the Gator Party's dick and but he never "built a coalition" that passed anything of note. You can build all the personal relationships you want but there are always going to be enough loyal system senators to prevent the indies from passing anything. Senate refused to pass the SRI resolution for god's sake.

This notion that the indies have any political capital to lose is flatly ridiculous. The Progs have been castrated in exchange for Dave's Allocations seat. What groundbreaking work is Dave doing on that committee that is worth sitting in silence every week? You can "make personal relationships" with the system all you want, something Josh can tell you all about, but the only way to defeat them is at the ballot box. Rare as this may be, because of adroit manouvering by the so called "cabal" the indies came within 150 votes of a clear victory last fall. 40 independent senators would have meant real change in senate. Electing 7 people, having 5 resign within a month and bending over is surrender. Don't try to sugar coat it and fool yourself.

Justin Wooten said...

The way Ossip acted last Tuesday was absolutely despicable. It was way, way worse than anything I've ever even seen Miorelli do. The only thing Ossip got out of that was a threat of Censure and some leeway from Audrey just to get him to shut up.

The fact of the matter is that these appointments were happening regardless. To throw the childish temper-tantrum over them being voted in as a block was a waste of everyone's time, and didn't accomplish jackshit.

Everything we said during the campaign trail is now more true than ever: O&B is all about dilatory nonsense that doesn't do a god damn thing for students.

Christian Duque said...

Justin,

Ok... but what is Progress doing, expect for pointing out the flaws in O&B?

Anonymous said...

Wooten, haven't you been deported back to FBI boot camp yet?

Anonymous said...

FBK says: Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.

Progres says: Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.

O&B says: War!!!!!!

TBoyd said...

The executive appointments are quite probably the most important thing that the senate has power over (Yes I think they're more important than the budgets, we only really have limited control to do anything drastic with the budget).

I only know anything about one of the cabinets because I was in it, and that is Research. I've been in research for the past year and I know everyone who has been involved. I have no problem with Alex Andrade, he's a good guy and he's been there as long as I have. However, I was concerned to see Laser Kaplan on the list who has NEVER been to a meeting of the cabinet and I only know who he is because my roommate was friends with him and he was part of the Unite Party's 7:30AM setup crew at the Reitz. I know that David Yakobovitch would have made a much better choice, he had been in Research, had written the first draft of most of our final reports, and was recommended for the position by the former director Russ Ward.

Like I said... this is the only one I know about so I can only assume that the others are as badly chosen. The thing is, this may piss off Unite and Progress senators, but when I talk to other people who aren't already within party lines, they're impressed that Orange and Blue was willing to use whatever minuscule limited power they have to accomplish what they set out to do.

Realistically... in this senate you are never going to get enough Unite swing voters to pass any legislation that goes against their party. And you have to realize also that the only things that Senate controls that are important outside of Senate are the budget, executive appointments, and to some extent the 700 codes.

On a completely unrelated note... is there really a Senator Boyd in senate now?

Anonymous said...

Yeah Ossip went pretty nuts.

Sam Miorelli said...

I think the thing to remember here is that the indies largely rejected the Simmons approach to SG in the wake of the ACTION flameout. For those of you who don't remember, the ACTION Party was (with a few late-breaking exceptions) the most positive indie campaign ever. They (we) carefully avoided negative attacks on the whole "we need to provide a reason to vote for us" idea.

Score: 1 seat who affiliated Swamp on Day 1.

In the wake of that the movement was pretty split and whatever you think of the personal crap that went into the defection/Pants Spring 2007 race, it was largely a split at the end of the day between the folks who said "fuck the system" (even on the t-shirts!) on one side (Haupt, Meyrowitz, Trimboli, myself, Stinson, Clouston, and (belatedly) Jardon) and the people who had been the primary supporters of the ACTION play-nice strategy on the other side (Cruts, Simmons, Grove, and Day (though he was largely uninvolved in the ACTION strategery, he has expressed strong support for that as the good old days of indie campaigns to me)).

The point of all of this is that the split you saw there resulted in the combative indies going on in the wake of Stickergate to put together the strongest indie movement in decades, unified around the combative philosophy. The movement only had trouble when the "let's-play-nice" folks came back. Truthfully this misguided approach had its roots not only in Dictor and the Progs, but also (at least initially) in many of the newly-elected Fall 2008 O&B kids. There were DRAG-OUT fights in Dauer hall as early as October about whether or not to play nice with Gator and it was not just Dictor who supported it (Gillespy, Yanuck, Bennett, Schneider (of course), etc.)

In the toolery of the first few weeks of that session the play-nice philosophy largely died away and had it stayed dead, I think the indies could've united in Spring 2009 and maybe even behind Dictor. The real reason people like me had against Dictor internally wasn't that we disliked him as a person (at least not for me and not initially, though that changed when he started lying about me) but that he was the personification of all the wrong ideas about how to handle an indie campaign. His entire philosophy was based on this idiotic idea of "political capital" and "false dichotomies". The truth is that the battle lines are as real as anything and the only capital is that of the initiative and amendment process in the ballot. Ignoring that is deadly to the movement and I hold up as Exhibit A for this thesis my months-ago prognostication that Progress didn't survive in Senate until Summer A...

The only hope indies have is through hard-line opposition, aggressively exposing scandal, sweeping reform measures on the ballot, and making sure that the few folks who get elected along the way are committed enough and active enough that they serve their entire terms and stay with it until the end.

Anonymous said...

To 2:31 AM -
If you are going to use a Star Trek reference, at least get it right:
Unite/Gator: The Romulans
FBK: The Tal Shiar
Progress: Xindi Primate
Orange and Blue: The Dominion

... no body who sits in those chambers comes anywhere close to the Federation nor the Borg...

Get Your Trek Right...
The SG Resident Trekkie

gladys said...

Mi querido Michael J., estará por siempre en nuestros corazones, por una personita de tan buenos sentimientos y el don de caridad que tuvo con la gente mas necesitada.
Allá en el cielo Dios lo recibirá con bombos y platillos, porque cumplió la misión aquí en la tierra.
Hacer feliz a la gente con su música inconfundible. Como Michael nadie.
DIOS lo tenga en su Santa Gloria. Michael nos hace muchisima falta. Siempre estará en nuestros pensamientos. Paz y mucha Paz, Michael. Amén. Amén. Amén.

Anonymous said...

no ps mis pesames pa la familia de michael....dios los i bendice el los kuidara siempre..