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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Accusations of 'illegal' campaigning by Students for Obama

Reports of illegal campaigning by UW-Madison student political groups has led to an investigation by the University of Wisconsin Police Department. 


Posters hung by members of Students for Obama became the subject of controversy Monday night when unidentified students began ripping the posters down at various locations around campus. 


According to Ald. Eli Judge, District 8, the students taking down the signs down were members of Students for McCain, however, University Police Sgt. Jason Whitney said the suspects have not been identified as affiliated to any student group.  


I saw this happening and put a call into the chair of College Republicans, Sara Mikolajczak,"" Judge said. After receiving his call, Judge said Mikolajczak sent an e-mail out to College Republicans through the group's list serve asking students to stop ripping down the signs. Soon after, the message was relayed to UWPD at 11:23 p.m. 


Mikolajczak said there is no proof anyone from the College Republicans or Students for McCain were involved in the tearing down of posters.  


""I can assure you that nobody from the [College Republicans] was involved and if I found out that someone claiming to be from the [College Republicans] was involved they will no longer be affiliated with [us],"" she said.  


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Whitney said the Obama signs had been posted too close to polling stations. A Wisconsin state law prohibits any political propaganda from being posted within 100 feet of polling stations.  


""Some posters were taken down, but a majority of the signs have been left up,"" Whitney said.  


Early Tuesday morning Students for Obama campaigners responded to the accusations citing they were simply trying to help elect their preferred candidate and that students in support of McCain have hung posters within the past few weeks as well. 


Ami ElShareif, chair of UW-Madison Students for Obama, said she is not aware of anyone from Students for Barack Obama or College Democrats taking part in illegal campaign activities. 


""Anyone who has [participated] must be part of some fringe group or a random person who is volunteering with us,"" ElShareif said. 


Members of Students for Obama posted signs in areas on campus including buildings on Langdon, Park, Johnson and Lake Streets and Observatory Drive. 

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