Bill to amend Redbook’s election expenditure policy moves forward

By By Rochelle McConkie

By Rochelle McConkie

After passing in both the ASUU Senate and Assembly, the U Board of Trustees will decide on a Redbook amendment clarifying election expenditure policy.

Dealing with a candidate’s obligation to disclose all campaign purchases, the bill would change Redbook to more clearly state how and what needs to be reported.

“Redbook used to read that a party’s expenses had to be listed at everyday retail price, and it was really unclear,” said Lorraine Evans, elections registrar of the Associated Students of the University of Utah.

Now, all expenses have been divided into three price categories: everyday retail value, wholesale value and non-perishable value.

At everyday retail value, candidates should report the expenditure at the price it would normally be valued, disregarding any special deal they were given.

Items should be listed at wholesale price if they are purchased from a wholesale company and are accompanied by an electronic receipt.

Perishable food items that have lost their retail value, such as day-old bagels, would be listed under the non-perishable value category.

At Thursday’s ASUU Senate meeting, senators debated over whether the bill needed to specifically define wholesale in order to be effective.

College of Nursing Senator Piper Morrell said, “Without a definite, clear-cut way to define wholesale, there’s still ways to take advantage of the bill, which leads to more focus on complaints than the actual quality of elections.”

Evans said that amending the bill would prevent it from passing in time to be put in effect for the upcoming elections, and that the bill was not ready until this senate and assembly cycle. She said she will include a definition of wholesale in the elections packet.

“The elections packet is definitely as legally binding as Redbook, and we will work toward an amendment (to include a definition of wholesale) in the spring,” Evans said.

While Senator Morrell said she supports the bill and believes it will make elections more fair, she said, “Redbook is extremely important to me, and if we’re going to make changes, they must be the most thorough and the most accurate so that there is no room for loopholes.”

Student Body President Jake Kirkham said he also supports the bill, as it provides more clarification for candidates.

Last year, the issue of accurately reporting election expenditures became an issue for the BLOC party. Candidates reported the purchases of signs at prices given to them from a banner company with which they had made a deal, making the amount they reported almost $1,000 less than what it would have been if listed at everyday retail value.

“I was the presidential candidate for the BLOC party,” Kirkham said. “It was a mistake we made–we should have reported at fair-market value and we reported at a deal we got. With more clarification, we may have not done that, but we made a mistake.”

Evans said she hopes this bill will prevent any problems from happening in the upcoming elections. “I don’t want candidates to have to go through that again,” she said.

Students and candidates can find information on the upcoming ASUU elections and the elections bill at