ASUC delays selecting new attorney general until fall

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After failing to select an attorney general at the last ASUC Senate meeting of the semester Wednesday, the senate will extend current ASUC Attorney General Kevin Sabo’s term until it can decide on his successor.

During the first round of voting last week, Jeremy Gordon — a former opinion editor for The Daily Californian who also spent two semesters covering the ASUC — was unable to obtain the two-thirds majority, or 14 senate votes, necessary to confirm his appointment. After being nominated again, he was unable to obtain enough votes during the second round this week.

This spring, 12 candidates applied for the position, including two candidates from Sabo’s office, but Gordon was nominated by the constitutional review committee both weeks.

Following his nomination, many in the ASUC Senate voiced concerns over his qualifications and lack of experience working in the ASUC.

“He has no experience in parliamentary procedure, writing bylaws or running elections,” Sabo said. “Because competence and capability are such critical aspects of being attorney general, I don’t know if I’d be comfortable with him in this position.”

Gordon argued that his experience covering the senate for the Daily Cal has given him a working knowledge of the ASUC and a “unique vision” for the role of attorney general.

He added, however, that the process was highly partisan and said because of a lack of transparency, he was not given the chance to fully defend his nomination. As a member of the Greek system, which typically supports Student Action candidates, Gordon felt he was portrayed as biased by CalSERVE senators and argued that they did not bring these concerns to him in time.

“I wanted the position because I didn’t want to be involved in partisanship,” Gordon said. “But because attorney general is such an important position and can affect the outcome of elections, the nomination has become a proxy for the political wrangling of the parties themselves.”

Sabo, who faced opposition after his own nomination because of a perceived affiliation with CalSERVE, agreed partisanship had contributed to the increased scrutiny on the attorney general nomination process but said it did not play a major role in why Gordon was not confirmed.

CalSERVE senator Sean Tan said Gordon’s prior involvement with the Daily Cal and his “disappointing” answers to questions during hearings raised concerns over neutrality and his suitability for the position.

Gordon said he will apply for the position again this fall. Sabo will continue to carry out his duties this summer, but until a new attorney general is selected, the ASUC will be unable to approve any new funding requests.

“If they can’t confirm an attorney general, eventually it will spiral off into a fiscal shutdown,” Sabo said. “I’m hopeful that the new senate class will come in with a fresher perspective.”

Contact Kathleen Tierney at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @kathleentierney.