Jesus Christ. The ASUC continues to eff itself up the A and eff the student body in the process. This time, Attorney General Michael Sinanian claims that the results of Senator John Moghtader’s recall should be invalidated.

Why? Because apparently Moghtader

is now making available to select individuals—after long withholding it for legal reasons—a piece of videotaped evidence that clearly exculpates him from any accusation.

And this mysterious videotape couldn’t have been brought to our attention, oh we don’t know, before the recall happened?! Before the ASUC shelled out tens of thousands of dollars for his ass?

Last month, Moghtader even told the Daily Cal:

“It’s a sad day-SJP and CalSERVE wasted $25,000 trying to squash opposition in the senate.”

If he had this precious video at his disposal, wouldn’t it be fair to say that Moghtader himself wasted a supposed $25,000?*

We’re very confused. We also think this is a truly douche move. Seriously, if this video had been made public before any of this hoopla happened (and if it actually shows what Sinanian says it shows), none of this ado ever would have happened.

So, from the point of view of the student body, our demands are twofold:

1. Make the tape available to the public, pending legality.
2. Uphold the recall results based on the fact that Moghtader failed to act in a responsible manner in regard to his recall election (i.e. acted like a butt knuckle).


Image Source: Chris Chung, Daily Cal
ASUC Attorney General Alleges Recall Based ‘On Lies’ [Daily Cal]
ASUC Attorney General Asks Judicial Council to Invalidate Recall [Notes From the Field]
Earlier: Controversial ASUC Recall Election Begins

* In the same article, Elections Council Chair Emily Liedblad said she expected a cost of less than $20,000.

EDIT, 7:00 p.m.: The Daily Cal has released a summary of the tape that Moghtader showed the paper earlier today.

yaman said:
Mar 11, 2009 at 4:44 pm

As someone who strongly supported the recall efforts based on the allegations of the three students who said they were attacked, I am extremely shaken by the possibility that there exists a video that challenges the students’ claims about what happened on November 13th and the nature of Moghtader’s involvement. That said, I am reserving final judgment until I can see the video with my own eyes, rather than draw a judgment based on one person’s interpretation (Attorney General Sinanian).

However, I will mention one thing. In a conversation I had with Sinanian this morning, he suggested that the reason the video hasn’t been released (and you can affirm there were rumors about the video months ago in the comments section of the Daily Cal around Nov 13) was that Moghtader was worried it could incriminate his friend former Senator Gabe Weiner and that he did not believe the recall would succeed anyway. That is Sinanian’s account so I can’t convey its accuracy. But if that is the case, then not only is the financial cost Moghtader’s fault, but he was not entirely forthcoming and the fact that he did not release the video in order to protect his friend from punishment in a violent incident involving Cal students (rather than save us from the awful experience of this whole recall fiasco) poses a serious ethical issue.

Nevertheless, I hope that the video is posted or shown publicly as soon as possible. If it indeed vindicates Moghtader of any wrongdoing, then I will be the first to renounce this recall and apologize to Moghtader for the shameful process that has taken place–if the video actually vindicates him.

Ariel said:
Mar 11, 2009 at 5:17 pm

It is appreciated, Yaman.

Ariel said:
Mar 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm

It is worth noting, Christine, that the recall election would presumably have happened either way, since the recall petition didn’t mention the fight. So the money would have been spent either way. I blame that on the recall petition organizers and CalSERVE, who virally spread the petition and urged people to sign it under false pretenses.

jay said:
Mar 11, 2009 at 5:38 pm

The reason the video wasn’t released is because of pending libel litigation

Cal Student said:
Mar 11, 2009 at 5:55 pm

The logic that John is responsible is ridiculous. Blame the people who BLATANTLY LIED and got us in this mess in the first place! the burden of proof should lie on THEM to corroborate their story. there are several reasons why the video couldn’t be released, legal and other. but most importantly, the recall was not officially based on his involvement in the fight until the voters guide came out the day before the election. releasing the video perhaps could have helped him win the recall election, but the election shouldn’t have happened in the first place, and that charge can only be filed AFTER the election took place.

some dude said:
Mar 11, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Moghtader has maintained his side of the story from the beginning.

The blame for all this lies on the people who turned up in large number to give false reports to the police. THAT’S the butt knuckle move.

Student said:
Mar 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Way to go Clog, blaming the victim instead of the people who started this false campaign against him.

Christine Borden said:
Mar 11, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Thanks for all your comments.

@Yaman: I’ve heard the Gabe Weiner angle too, but only as hearsay–nothing that has been corroborated or explored much.

@Ariel: I agree that Moghtader isn’t totally to blame for the recall election, and I said that comment in jest, though maybe that wasn’t clear. I mean, no one really wants to bring a recall election upon himself. My point, though, is that if he had evidence that proved himself innocent, it should have been made available before the election was held and money was spent.

If @CalStudent is right implying that this sort of thing can only happen after a recall election has passed (though there seems to have been an opportunity with the lawsuit re: specificity in the recall petition, but I don’t know if the video was shown to the Judicial Council or not), then this is a problem for the ASUC in making sure its money is well spent and the spending is justified. Of course, that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be some system of appeals.

In the end, you have to admit that the whole thing is so silly, and it’s a giant clusterfuck for all involved.

Ruby Elizabeth Lee said:
Mar 11, 2009 at 8:10 pm

His lawyer advised him to use the tape only as a “last resort.” I guess being recalled qualifies.

Ruby Elizabeth Lee said:
Mar 11, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Maybe he can release another video entitled “If I Did It.”

UCB Student said:
Mar 11, 2009 at 11:24 pm

I understand that Moghtader is withholding the video from public release due to a pending libel suit, but I don’t understand why he waited until now to privately share that video with The Daily Cal and the ASUC Attorney General. Why couldn’t he have shared the video with those parties sooner? If the video does exonerate Moghtader then it would have saved him the struggle (and the students the price tag) of the recall election.

I think he needs to come up with a better explanation for why he waited until now.

Concerned Student said:
Mar 11, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Let’s clear this up. Accuse Moghtader?

Moghtader tried to stop the recall by taking claims to the judicial council, multiple times. His main claim was that the petition to recall him WASN’T specific enough. It wasn’t. It didn’t accuse him of doing anything that was defensible. Therefore, the video wouldn’t stop the election, because the petition NEVER accused him of being involved in the fight. It was only DURING the election that Dina Omar, SJP, and MSA accused Moghtader of battering students. But it was secretly circulated through the petition and the mailing list before the election (and the judicial council REFUSED to use these emails as evidence). What lies! They should be sued by the student body!

Christine Borden said:
Mar 12, 2009 at 1:35 am

@Concerned Student. You should, like, sue the entire ASUC, and then I’ll really have something to blog about. Whee! What fun!

Brock Keeling said:
Mar 12, 2009 at 9:33 am

Criminal mischief aside, Moghtader is way hot.

UCB MechE said:
Mar 13, 2009 at 12:26 am

The ASUC should be disbanded. The only function that it realistically serves is the disbursement of funds to campus groups, which doesn’t merit a fuckwad body like the ASUC.

They are a bunch of attention-whoring kids who want to pad their resume with Model-UN-style bullshit on our dime, while your average engineer or optometrist on campus could care less.

Christine Borden said:
Mar 13, 2009 at 1:05 am

The Daily issued an editorial today on this subject (the video). It cracks the whip at Moghtader.

adfadsf said:
Mar 15, 2009 at 1:57 am

lie detector tests! demand lie detector tests!! blah bloah blah!