Commission clears charge against Pierce and White

The All-Campus Elections Commission dismissed a complaint Tuesday against Amy Jo Pierce, Katie White and their campaign for Minnesota Student Association president and vice president.

The complaint – filed Monday – involves Pierce and White’s campaign Web site, which uses a Comstock Hall domain. The complaint suggests the commission must audit financial information turned in by Pierce and White to verify no student fees were used in the construction of the Web site.

Campaign finance rules prohibit candidates from receiving financial contributions using student fees money.

The complaint was dismissed, because all Web site expenditures were verified as not coming from Comstock Hall, said Adam Engelman, the commission’s public relations commissioner.

The commission reviewed receipts relating to the Web site, said Engelman, a first-year student.

The complaint was also dismissed because Comstock Hall is not a fees-receiving group, he said.

The complaint was filed on behalf of all the MSA candidates, Engelman said.

White, a College of Liberal Arts sophomore, said the complaint was meant to distract voters.

“We’re the strongest of the candidates on the issues and so, instead of trying to compete, (the other candidates) decided to file a complaint,” White said. “They warned us about the complaint before they filed it, and we thought it would be dismissed.”

Rubens Feroz, an MSA presidential candidate, who wrote the complaint, said the MSA candidates wanted to establish that Pierce and White paid for the domain name and no student fees went toward it.

Feroz, a finance junior, said that he wrote the complaint when he learned the Web site domain was registered to Comstock Hall.

“We didn’t know who paid and what they paid, and we wanted to make sure that no Comstock Residence Hall Association money went towards their Web site,” he said.

Feroz said he and his fellow MSA candidates will probably not appeal the decision.

“The dismissal doesn’t go into detail about why they dismissed the complaint, but it’s late enough in the campaign that we need to focus on getting people out to vote,” Feroz said.

“We don’t want to discourage people from voting by bringing too much negativity to the campaign.”

Kristen Denzer, another MSA presidential candidate, said she supported the complaint because of previous campaign violations by Pierce.

“After last year’s scandal, she has a history of not running a credible campaign,” Denzer said.