ASG presidential candidate could be impeached

Dan Murtaugh

If Weinberg junior Anil Hurkadli wins the Associated Student Government presidential election today, he might face a short reign.

ASG’s Judicial Board on Sunday recommended that Anil Hurkadli be impeached should he be elected ASG president because he violated campaign rules by failing to check in with the ASG Election Commission four times during the campaign week.

Hurkadli said he is skeptical that the ASG Senate would impeach him.

“I don’t think that if I were elected, the Senate would possibly impeach me for not checking in,” he said. “It would only prove that Senate takes themselves too seriously. Students don’t really care about all this ASG bureaucracy; the only ones that do care are the ones in ASG.”

Candidates for all four ASG positions were required to check in with the election commission every day between April 2 and April 8 by either coming to the ASG office at Norris University Center or phoning in.

ASG Chief Justice Aaron Winters said the Judicial Board recommended impeachment because Hurkadli repeatedly violated ASG’s election guidelines by not checking in on April 3, 5, 6 and 7. Hurkadli has received a series of increasing penalties, including a warning and a deduction of $15 from his $100 campaign budget. Since the ruling, Hurkadli has missed a fifth check-in date, Winters said.

“We felt the ruling was justified because there were so many violations,” said Winters, a Weinberg sophomore.

The check-in procedure keeps open the line of communication between the candidates and the election commission, said Mandy Stilmock, chairwoman of the election commission.

“It’s a mechanism to get in touch with (the candidates) in case anything goes wrong with their campaign or anyone else’s,” Stilmock said. “We can get any information we need from them, and they can get anything from us.”

According to ASG bylaws, if Hurkadli were elected, a student outside the Judicial Board could call for Hurkadli’s impeachment. The board would then investigate and vote on impeachment. If that vote passed, ASG’s Senate would then hold the final vote to remove the candidate from office.

Hurkadli said the check-in rule is unnecessary.

“I really don’t see the merit in it,” he said. “They make you do it so they know you’re on campus during the week, but why wouldn’t you be if you’re running for a campuswide election?”

Hurkadli also noted he wasn’t given any warning from the Judicial Board about the penalties.

“They never told me; I had no idea this was going on,” he said. “Usually the Judicial Board e-mails you so you know what complaints you have, but they didn’t do that this year so (the complaints) kind of piled up.”

But Winters said he e-mailed Hurkadli about every penalty, although he was two days late with the first e-mail.

“He was made aware of every single violation,” Winters said. “Never was a ruling given when he wasn’t made aware of a previous one.”