Mims found in violation again, one complaint dismissed in post-election fallout

Nick Blank

Photo by Nick Blank

The Red Party, handling the dismissal of Vice President-elect Tajmaus Johnson, dealt with two new complaints Friday, though the outcome was not as severe.

On a Facebook post the Red Party claimed to have created the bill to advocate for renovations to Hodges Stadium in fall 2015 after extensive flooding created poor training conditions in the stadium.

Elections Commissioner Aesha Soliman said that the Red Party could not claim the bill as a party accomplishment, though Mims was primarily responsible for it.

“Where does the Red Party come in? It does not,” Soliman said. “Therefore this cannot be a Red Party initiative. We’re not denying that Mims had a huge contribution to [the bill], however saying that it was the Red Party may have misled student voters to associate the political organization with the candidate herself.”

Red Party President-elect Samantha Mims was chair of the Student Athlete Advisory committee and not a senator when she drafted the bill. The Red Party did not exist in the fall 2015 semester.

In addition to Mims’ ten day suspension when she assumes office, Soliman asked for an another ten day suspension and a public apology at the next senate meeting and the removal of Facebook post.

However, the court decided that the Red Party should remove the original post and post a clarification on their page. Mims will also receive a written reprimand on her file.

The SG Supreme Court found that the Red Party did not violate Election’s Policies and Procedures by leaving chalk and gel pens off of campaign financial statements.

The judicial complaint was filed by Rachel Bryant, the United Party candidate who lost the election to Mims by 189 votes.

“Samantha Mims swore that everything is on there and evidence has shown that it’s not,” Bryant said. “No matter how trivial it may appear, is a serious action.”

Bryant cited a Facebook video where students who were declaring to vote for the Red Party had signs with writing from said gel pen.

Mims said a volunteer brought the chalk and her roommate brought the pens. Student Advocate Cole Poppell, her defense, said leaving the items off the statement was an accident.

“We believe these were inconsequential to the entirety of the election and we do acknowledge our mistake of leaving the items off of the campaign finance report. There was no malintent.”

After the verdict, the court recommended that donated items should be required to be listed in future campaign statements.

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