Students looking to run for the Associated Students of Madison spring 2018 elections will have to be transparent about their campaigns, Student Judiciary determined Tuesday.
Candidates must now disclose campaign donations over $100 to the student election committee as well as campaigning materials or services that they received from a third party organization.
Last spring, Turning Point USA — a national conservative organization — provided Student Services Finance Committee members Max Goldfarb and Dylan Resch with materials for their campaigns.
“I don’t think I had a formal endorsement, but I’ve definitely been in contact with them,” Goldfarb said at the time. “They were just like, ‘We really appreciate what you’re doing and would love to support you in any capacity that we can.’”
Several representatives from Student Council came to the meeting to urge Student Judiciary members to make amendments to the election rules to make funding from third party organizations more transparent.
Outreach Director Yogev Ben-Yitschak pointed out that in state and national elections, these numbers are available to the public. He called this system a “compromise.”
“Voters should know where you’re getting your influence from and where you’re getting your funding from before they vote for you,” Ben-Yitschak said. “They [candidates] should be allowed to get funding, but they should have to report it and it should come out to the public so they can see it before the elections so when people vote, they know who the influencers are, where they’re [the candidates] are getting the influence from.”