By Stephen Huebl
RyeSAC presidential candidate Dave MacLean is accusing fellow candidate Ken Marciniec of conflict of interest for using RyeSAC funded buttons as part of his election campaign.
MacLean sent a letter to Chief Returning Officer Nick Gauthier outlining how he thinks Marciniec has crossed the line between his current role as vice-president education and campaigning for president.
“Ken’s entire campaign is on ‘freeze the fees’,” MacLean said. “Giving away buttons that say ‘freeze the fees’ is campaign material.”
MacLean said the buttons should at least be disclosed as campaign material and should be counted against Marciniec’s spending limit. Each candidate has an allowance of up to $250 to spend on campaign material.
“If I had the privilege to use the buttons in my campaign it would be an asset to me,” MacLean said. “I feel like I’m being cheated.”
Marciniec said it’s part of his job description to hand out the buttons, and that he has not given them out while he was campaigning.
“It sounds like a frivolous complaint to me,” he said. “I’ve been pretty vigilant about not mixing up my campaign with my current job.”
MacLean argues that Marciniec has not been actively handing out the buttons until the campaign started.
“If he had been handing them out all year, then I could see this as being part of his job,” he said.
Asked about the complaint, Gauthier said it would be something he’ll have to decide on.
He said the allegation will have to be proved before he and an elections procedure committee make a decision on it.
RyeSAC election by-laws say that if a candidate exceeds their $250 allowance on campaign material, they can be fined $50 and become ineligible for their spending refund. If they exceed their limit by more than five per cent, they would be disqualified.