The following guest post was written by a comrade who organizes actively with AWDU at UCLA. In it, he rips through the hyperbolic rhetoric of recent USEJ communications, demonstrating many of their claims to be sheer falsehoods at best and fabrications at worst. Read on…
Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish,
Or, Why We Should All Be Happy to Change How We Run Our Union
- Why return to the contract vote and the elections proceedings?
- The leadership caucus has continued to use the contract as a platform point and may potentially attempt to invalidate the election.
- Their use of the contract, and the election, as a platform point has not been fully transparent or, even, correct.
- If we don’t understand how the leadership’s presentation of the contract is symptomatic of an unwise method of leading our union, we won’t understand why AWDU wants to make the changes it does, or why it mobilized around the contract in the first place.
- I, like many of us, often don’t have the time to go to meetings. Accordingly, online communication is an essential means of informing me, and the vast majority of the membership, of what’s going on. So if these communications don’t actually inform me, but rather misinform me, my relationship with my union is pretty messed up, right?
- What we won with regard to monetary gains
- 2% ‘minimum’ wage increase – Oh wait just 2%
- ‘Tripling’ (not really) of the child care benefit and the gradual exaggeration of gains – from clear, to unclear and misleading, to outright false.
- The History Making 1.5% – ‘Historic’ partial remission of international and professional student fees
- Winning what we already had – ‘Guaranteeing’ our fee remissions
- The 0% increase of 2009-2010 – ‘Our union has won increases in compensation every year since 2000!’
- What other unions have won
- Our ‘unprecedented’ gains (6% wage increase over a 3 year period plus up to another 12% increase in compensation if you’re an international teaching assistant student-parent with a summer and a year long appointment for the 2010-2013 period!)
- AFSCME – Health Workers and Service Workers (26% minimum increase in wage compensation for 2008-2012)
- UPTE TX and RX (8.5% increase in wage compensation plus a $1000 lump sum payment for 2010-2013)
- A note on layoffs – While other unions actively fight layoffs, we sit there and take it!
- In defense of honest communication
- Statewide membership meeting in LA during the contract vote? Why then? Why there? So that you won’t hear any criticism of the contract before you vote, dummy!
- Contract vote reminder: ‘vote yes!’ and ‘Here’s why!’ (oh wait hundreds of members think that’s maybe a really bad idea. But who cares what they think.)
- ‘We could lose it all’ (if we ignored California labor law)
- Contract Ratified by ‘62% margin’ in a 62% yes, 38% no split (How does that work again?)
- See vote splits… at a now non existent website (http://www.uaw2865.org/elections/upcoming.php)
- ASE Working Conditions Survey – from the executive board? (Wait, no, made by AWDU members, disseminated ineffectively by the executive board!)
- ‘Election Reminder’ – There’s no disagreement here, kids.
- On Ballot Presentation – Opposing caucuses? What opposing caucuses?
- ‘Partial certification’ of the ballots’ with 3/6 election committee members present voting.
- Resolving the election of the future Joint council by the present Joint council
Why return to the contract vote and the election? Why dig up old disputes and not move on to new possibilities? Well, because I think the only way to effectively move on is understanding from exactly what we are moving on. After a hotly contested election which has seen lots of mud flying around (in my view, chiefly thrown from one side, that of USEJ), the original dispute between the administration caucus and AWDU can be hard to pick out. But there was a real, substantive dispute between the two, and it had to do with how our union is run.
Well, how was our union run? A relatively uninvolved participant might be inclined to think it was working just fine. Involved participants who had no difficulty working with our elected leadership tend to think it was working great, and that’s understandable. But a significant number of individuals, who tried to work within the union so as to have their voices heard, felt shut out. They felt that there was something deeply problematic with the way our union was run. But why? Well, one way of understanding that is to talk to them, or read their stories – that is, to hear and see what they thought. But then you might just look at the testimonials from those who thought the union was working fine and throw up your hands in confusion (if you can even find the time to read all the back and forth and ‘he said she said.’)
So I want to do something different. I want to talk about what our union, and what some of our incumbent leadership, has said to us, and compare it to the facts on the ground. Go check your e-mails, go check our contract, go check other union’s contract, go check USEJ’s website, the e-mails it has sent out, or its comments in media outlets. It’s all there for you to see. And none of it has to do with who was being ‘intimidating,’ or ‘aggressive,’ or ‘racist,’ or with who’s a ‘careerist’ and who isn’t ‘really’ representing our membership or doesn’t ‘really’ know what we want as academic student employees. You can figure that out yourself by talking to the people involved, though it might be better to just stay away from that whole quagmire and assume that, actually, everyone involved has primarily good intentions and maybe made some bad decisions when thrown into a conflictual situation.
So what will you find if you look at these statements? Well on my account, if not outright dishonesty, at the very least exaggeration, misrepresentation, obfuscation, and straight up error. But why? Well, perhaps because a union run from the top down, wherein union officials have to cajole, prod, and shepherd the membership along doesn’t share the same commitment to honesty, openness, and transparency which a union based upon collective, democratic decision making does.
So, once more, why return to the contract? Well, because the contract is a theme which has run through the state-wide mobilization of the AWDU movement and its contested election with the USEJ slate, and has been bandied about as all that’s right with USEJ (‘we’re running on our record of winning great contracts’) and wrong with AWDU (who wished to reject an ‘unprecedented’ contract which is beyond reproach). Well before we decide who’s right and who’s wrong, let’s start with what’s right and what’s wrong about what we’ve been told about the contract.
So What Exactly Did We Get?
First, what we won in the contract (note, I’m leaving out a couple things – appointment notification and changes to healthcare – that I haven’t fully researched):
Well, there’s the increase in wages, a ‘minimum’ increase of 2% per annum, which could go as high as 4%! But, wait, let’s take a look at that minimum. Our wage increases will be higher than 2% if the state gives the UC more money than it received in the 2007-2008 academic year, exclusive of the hundreds of millions of cuts made since the financial crisis and California’s acute budget crisis. If that doesn’t happen, then we just get 2% per annum. Do you think the UC is going to get more money from the state anytime soon, now that they’re trying to gut it of half a billion dollars, let alone more money than they got in the 2007-2008 academic year? Yeah, me neither. So let’s forget the bullshit about a minimum – that’s just language the bosses use to try and placate us
Then we have the tripling of child care benefits to $2400! Well, not quite tripled, it was previously $900 per annum. Nearly tripled. But not really even that. More like doubled to $1800, because the other $600 is only there if you get a summer appointment. So doubled, and then increased by a third if you get a summer appointment. Which is great, but why oversell it? The first e-mail announcing the gain had the total dollar amount possible and was pretty clear about the distinction between the doubling of the benefit and the extension into the summer, an important distinction since summer appointments are relatively rare.
But then things got simpler. By December 1st, when the vote on the contract was occurring, the subsidy was ‘nearly tripled,’ full stop. By the time it came to remembering the contract and using it as a campaign plank in April, even the nearly had been lost. The child care had been tripled! But from what to what? Well, who needs the numbers, those might not look as good as ‘tripled’ does.
Then we have the ‘historic’ partial remission of fees for international and professional students. Well, it was historic, right, so it must be good? Well, not quite. The total amount remitted was $408. Which is nice. But it’s not much – it’s something like 1.5% of the 27k + in tuition charged to international students here at UCLA. I’m not sure how history-making that is.
Then we have the guarantee of fee remissions. But is that really a victory? Late in contract negotiations the UC proposed a nice little redefinition that would have made it possible to not remit any fees for TAs. And the contract bargaining team won language foreclosing this possibility which was opened by a little creative redefinition by the UC. But is this a gain? Looks like just running defense to me.
Finally, in their campaign platform USEJ claimed responsibility for winning increases in compensation every year since 2000. Well, I don’t have records going back to then (why not? Shouldn’t this be something publicly available on our union website), but I do know that our previous contract, which expired in 2008, was extended for academic year 2009-2010. And I know that our contract, like the other contracts for bargaining units in the UC I’ve looked at, stipulates pay increases for specific academic years, not simply a rate per annum. And I know that TAs who were paid through 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, when they compared the relevant amounts, did not see any increase in compensation. Which is all to say that I’m pretty sure we did not receive an increase in compensation from 2009-2010. So much for increases in compensation every year since 2000.
But What Did Everyone Else Get?
(Or, What Could We Have Gotten)
Now that you’ve got an idea of what we actually did win, I’d like to do a little compare and contrast. Recently USEJ candidates have said, in campaign e-mails and during the course of campaigning, that our contract is ‘unprecedented;’ that it’s better than any other bargaining unit on campus has done; and in sum that we should be grateful for what we got. Well, is that true? Quite simply, it is not.
There are two cases we should look at. First, the AFSCME units for service and health workers. How are they doing? Well, let’s look at the press release for the patient care employees. They have a 26% minimum increase in wage compensation for the contract period 2008-20012, working out to an average of an increase of 6% per annum. We have an increase of 2% per year working out to a total minimum increase of 6% for the contract period 2009-2013. How about AFSCME service workers? Well, by the end of their new contract period, 2008-2012, average hourly wages are expected to increase 28%, from $14.35 to $18.39 per hour.
What about the UPTE RX and TX bargaining units? Well, things don’t look quite as good for them, and they’ve been fighting attempted layoffs by the UC. Of course, lay offs are relatively clear cut for them. For us, as TAs, decreasing the number of employees is a little bit more opaque, because we have to be rehired from quarter to quarter. And if one takes into account the proposed benefits decentralization plan and the increasing shortage of TA positions, we are already essentially facing layoffs and potential replacement by lecturers, who can be more cheaply compensated since they don’t require tuition remissions. So let’s set aside the question of lay offs by the administration, and focus on gains. While UPTE RX and TX has had to moderate its pay increases, they nonetheless are seeing raises during the 2010-2013 contract period of 2.5%, 3%, and 3%, for a total of 8.5%. This is in addition to a $1000 lump sump payment to all members for the failure to receive a raise in 2009-2010 (just like us! Oh, except for the unfair labor practices suit getting us a thousand bucks for 2009-2010. We don’t have that.)
So let’s let the members decide whether our contract was the best we could do with a clear and transparent description of our gains. To that end, let’s sum them up. A 6% raise (what will have been effected after 3 years of 2% raises) for a half time annual Teaching Assistant (the lowest level in GSI positions) will result in a $1018 per annum increase in compensation by the end of the three raises. Those with children will receive another $1500 if they have a summer appointment, those who receive the new remission another $408. This totals ~$2930 if one were to receive all these benefits in the 2012-2013 year. This reflects an 18% increase in dollar compensation for those who receive all these benefits (so, foreign or professional student parents with a summer appointment). (Note that the percent increase will be lower for higher positions in the GSI hierarchy (Associate, Fellow) because the child care and fee reimbursements are lump amounts – ~15.5% for Associates and 14.5% for Fellows – but again, this is only foreign or professional parents with summer appointments.)
So all members will get a 6% increase in compensation and a very particular group of members (Teaching Assistant International Student Parents with Academic Year and Summer Appointments) will get an 18% increase in compensation. If you will recall my initial data, AFSCME workers will be receiving at least a 26% increase in dollar compensation by the 2011-2012 year, seeing at least an 18% increase in compensation in any given comparable 3 year period. The UPTE workers in the contract I looked at will receive an 8.5% increase by the 2012-2013 year as well as $1000 in lump sum at the beginning for all employees (not just foreign parents). So, is our contract the best contract you can get from the UC? Well, AWDU doesn’t think so. Do you?
Now, one might counter that UPTE and AFSCME have had to fight lay offs, and we haven’t. But our union not fighting lay-offs doesn’t mean we aren’t being laid off. Our lay-offs just get hidden, because student-workers who aren’t working are still students. That’s what benefits decentralization, increasing section and lab sizes, and limiting TA appointments to guarantees (as has occurred in my department) effectively does. Do you know how many TAships are being lost to these sorts of cost cutting, speed-up, and piece-rate lowering measures by the UC administration? I don’t, but I’m not sure our union does either, and that’s a problem. AWDU members designed a workload survey to try and figure this out, so there’s a start.
There’s one last thing we should note, too. Raises are only raises if they keep up with inflation. Otherwise an increase in compensation is just a means of treading water. So we can’t really understand what’s happening to our compensation without understanding the rate of inflation. To that end, here’s a handy little chart, prepared by Northern VP Candidate Sara Smith, which just might mitigate the rather dramatic claim to a 69% increase in compensation from 2000 to 2010 (do you really think you’re living that much better than a TA in 2000?).
2007 Inflation: 2.85%
2007-2008 Wage Increase: 5%
2008 Inflation: 3.85%
2008-2009 Wage Increase: 1.5%
2009 Inflation: -.34%
2009-2010 Wage Increase: 0%
2010-2011 Wage Increase: 2%
What You’re Seeing Isn’t What You’re Getting, Or…
Maybe You Would Have Liked to Know There Was an Internal Leadership Battle in Your Union?
Ok, so maybe our contract isn’t so great. And maybe the UC is screwing us in all sorts of ways that we barely even know about and understand. But our leadership surely has its members interests at heart, right? They want us to be fully informed about our union, right? Well, maybe not. I’ve tried to show how there’s something just a little bit deceptive about how our union leadership has talked to us about our contract. But maybe we should forgive a little hyperbole and exaggeration. Well, I don’t think we should forgive it. I think we shouldn’t forgive it because the presentation of the contract has been, on the one hand, a political tool to discredit and suppress disagreement within the union, and, on the other hand, symptomatic of what I consider to be a pattern of outright dishonesty and manipulation.
Let me show you why, with a little history of the internal affairs of our union from contract ratification to the present day, as it informs the communications between union leadership and union membership.
So you may remember an e-mail sent out November 16th, just before the tentative acceptance of our contract, announcing a statewide membership meeting, to be held in Los Angeles. Why call a statewide meeting then? Do you remember the last time a statewide meeting was called? I can’t find any record of the last one, but I’ve heard tell it was a pretty long time ago. So, why now? Shouldn’t we have had a membership meeting before accepting our contract rather than after, or at the very least before the vote on the contract rather than during it? Wouldn’t that make more sense?
Well, yeah, it would. That’s why AWDU members decided to call a statewide membership meeting to be held in Berkeley in the first place – to discuss the contract and how we wanted to deal with the UC administration. But the same day AWDU submitted a petition for a meeting, they found they had been beat out by a petition submitted by the incumbent leadership. And they found that the contract which they were profoundly unhappy with had been… accepted? But the previous e-mails sent out by our local had seemed so upset with the UC. And the meeting was scheduled for… November 30th, right smack dab in the middle of voting on the contract, which spanned from November 29th to December 2nd.
You’d think the leadership would want the membership fully informed of what they were voting on, but by the way they scheduled things, you might be a little suspicious of that now. Well, let me help confirm your suspicions. So let’s return to that voting period. Check your inbox. You’ll notice that every day of voting you got a nice little e-mail from UAW Local 2865 telling you to vote yes with those talking points I’ve so carefully tried to clarify up above. Why the insistence on only presenting one side of the debate, and presenting it in an exaggerated fashion? I guess that’s how you treat a child you need to hoodwink into doing the ‘right thing,’ but as a graduate student don’t you think you yourself are fully capable of arbitrating two sides of a debate and deciding for yourself? Do you need to be coddled and guided into making the right choice?
I’ll leave that question hanging open. Let’s move on to some more of the content in those e-mails. You may recall being told that a no vote could make us lose all our hard won concessions. Wouldn’t that be horrible? Yeah, sure, if it were possible. What is true is that in so far as bargaining between the UAW and the UC continued, we would not get any benefits until a contract was ratified and put into effect. But, it is perfectly possible to file an unfair labor practices suit to win recompense from the UC for delaying on signing a contract – UPTE did it. And our union leadership had already been regaling us with tales of unfair labor practices and illegal actions by the UC, so why not go that route?
Despite that, we were told, repeatedly, that voting no would reverse our gains. From what I remember they told us horror stories of the possibility of an impasse. But let’s investigate the applicable California labor law. First, regressive bargaining (withdrawing concessions) is illegal according to the Higher Education Employment Relations Agreement under the Public Employment Relations Board. The administration can lower concessions given a radical change in economic circumstances, so I suppose (again, I don’t really know, because the links are dead) that the justification for this fear was that the UC could lose more funding with the re-opening of the budget.
Now, let’s look at declaring an impasse:
- The UC cannot immediately declare an impasse. Mediation requires the initiative of one party, in agreement with the Public Employment Relations Board.
- If a final impasse is reached, after an attempt at mediation, because UC has engaged in unfair bargaining practices, they cannot unilaterally set terms and conditions of employment
- “An employer may not impose conditions that are not consonant with positions previously taken at the bargaining table” – This is to say they cannot decrease the benefits they have already extended.
So, not quite as frightful as things seemed, perhaps? Maybe there was a chance of losing concessions because of the reopening of the budget, but this is an unclear point, and that’s not how it was presented. So let’s move on to the actual vote, which ultimately chose to ratify the contract. Shall we take a look at the ebullient victory e-mail of our leadership?
In an e-mail to the membership sent on December 3rd, the leadership announced, in the headline, that the contract had been approved by a 62% margin. Well, not quite. It was ratified by a 24.8% margin, with 62.4%, or 2421 of voters voting yes, and 1457 voting no. Maybe our elected officers just don’t know what a margin of victory is. But it’s a little bit of ignorance that quite nicely allows them to overstate their victory. Did you know that more people voted against our current contract than have voted for previous contracts? Striking, right? I wish I could offer you hard evidence of that, but our union website has no record of previous votes. The link to the campus vote splits for the contract ratification is, surprise surprise, dead.
Ok, forget about the contract, let’s jump forward. Do you remember the survey on working conditions sent out by the executive board? Yeah, me neither. But they did send out a survey on March 25th (you might not remember because that was the end of spring break – good time to send out a survey, right?). So, where did that come from? Well, actually, it was developed by members of AWDU and presented in confidence at a UCLA unit meeting. At this unit meeting, UCLA candidate for Trustee Kyle Arnone asked that this survey not be sent up to the executive board yet because it was still in development. Well, clearly that didn’t happen, because it’s sitting there in your inbox. Why is it sitting there? Well, because there’s actually this big old internal dispute going on in your union, which has been occurring throughout the bargaining process, which you probably knew very little about until you were recently accosted by groups of election candidates plying you for your vote a couple weeks ago. And the executive board thought it would be nice to just steal the thunder of rank and file union activists and pass it off as their own work (note that the survey is presented as the work of the executive board in the e-mail.)
Whatever, who cares about some stupid survey. Let’s move on to the crazy stuff: the recent election. Let’s start with the first election reminder, from 4/26. What does it say? You have an election. Gee, that’s informative. Might you have liked to know that you had a contested election on your hands which was going to lead to a complete revolution in the executive leadership of your union? Maybe your union could have told you that was what was on the table? Well, maybe you could have just figured that out from the candidate statements. But were you really going to read all those? Why would you read them if you thought this was just another plebiscitary election, like the interim election, during which SEJ candidates (they hadn’t united themselves quite yet) unilaterally withdrew their candidacy to prevent a contested election. Sure, I guess that’s nice – no need to vote, right? But maybe it was to make sure you weren’t really aware that the forthcoming triennial election was going to be hotly contested, and that maybe you might want to spend the next few months reading up on the debate? No, of course not, why would your leadership want you uninformed!
Well, let’s move on. Surely when you went to actually vote and fill out a ballot, it should have been clear that there were two opposing sides, right? Well, all the people milling around with flyers probably tipped you off, but when you picked up a ballot, was it clear what you were voting on? One might have expected to see slate/caucus affiliations next to the names on the ballots. Wouldn’t that have made voting clearer and easier and more informative? Well, sorry, the union leadership didn’t want you to be able to tell you were voting in a contested election by looking at a ballot. Who knows why? (Maybe because they thought they would be better able to organize, as they had numerous staff members on their side, and staff members from the international, who could take paid vacation time to get you to vote for USEJ, while we didn’t. That could be the reason.)
So you already voted, and the whole campaigning process is competitive so so what if they weren’t completely forthright about the internal leadership battle in the union. What about the vote count? Surely they were honest about that? Well, not quite. You may remember a certain hastily written e-mail by Elections Chair Travis Knowles sent on April 30th under the banner of UAW Local 2865 saying the election was partially certified. Well, that isn’t true. A partial certification requires a vote (if partial certification is even legitimate). And there was not a procedurally legitimate vote. A motion was proposed, it was approved by 3 out of the 6 members present, and then 4 elections officials left the room and the ballots and drove away. Does that sound like a legitimate vote? Well, it certainly didn’t to two elections officials present, Philippe Marchand of Berkeley and Adam Hefty of Santa Cruz.
Now, that e-mail said the election was to be resolved at a joint council meeting two months down the line. That’s funny, to have the joint council elected by the election in question approve the results that confirm or deny whether the current elected officials maintain their offices. That’s not problematic at all, right? Well, it doesn’t matter because Mr. Knowles quickly changed his mind. He still insisted partial certification occurred (shouldn’t that require a majority vote of the quorum of election officials present?) and that the joint council was an appropriate body to arbitrate the election on May 2nd. Then he gave reasons for adjourning the vote count on Saturday which had to do with conditions in the voting room when challenges were initially made on Friday. While on April 30th the amount of challenges and a tense voting room were the problem, on May 2nd, conditions in the voting room were actively preventing counting from occurring. That’s a little odd, right (especially since 4 campuses were counted on Saturday, and 2 campuses were counted on the much more turbulent environment on Friday)? But who can keep the days straight anyways. Friday, Saturday, it’s all the same. Counting votes, being unable to count votes – same difference.
By May 3rd we were resuming the count, with the help of a mediator. Hooray! But wait, why? I thought the joint council was going to resolve everything. Could it have been because of mass media and membership pressure instigated by AWDU, including a call to count the votes signed by over 80 labor scholars, as well as endorsed by various state elected officers? Could it be because Adam Hefty (one of those elections committee members who actually tried to preserve the integrity of the election by staying with the ballots) proposed the idea of a mediator? Or did Mr Knowles just come to an epiphany on his own? One also might be struck by the fact that the procedures laid out for the vote counting process were pretty much identical to… the procedures being followed throughout Saturday during which 4 campuses had their ballots counted.
Ok, that’s it, there’s the story. But what’s the lesson? Well, I think the lesson is that the way our union was previously being run was not very honest. If we’re going to be led from the top down, we should at least have an accurate idea of what’s going on disseminated to us through our leadership’s public communications. But I don’t think that was happening. Hopefully, after reading this over, you don’t think it was happening either. So that’s just one part of why AWDU is trying to change how our union is run, and why we fought so hard to get into office and build a stronger, more transparent, more democratic union with you, where debate is not shunted into the shadows but had out in the open, for you all to participate in and consider. Accurate information is a necessary component of taking intelligent actions in fighting for our role in public education.
So why, in the end, did our past leadership commit all these errors, misrepresentations, fabrications, and what not? Well, that’s probably another thing they don’t really want you to be fully informed about. So let’s forget about it and build a better union together.
 “ We nearly tripled the total annual amount of childcare expenses an ASE may be reimbursed for (from $900 to $2400 a year). In addition to doubling the amount ASEs can receive each term during the academic year, we expanded this program to the summer.” (UAW 2865 e-mail November 16th)
 “Voting “YES” means securing the gains we made in the tentative agreement, including: ….Nearly tripling the child care subsidy.” (UAW 2865 e-mail November 29th, 30th)
 USEJ Campaign E-mail, April 27th 2011. “United for Social and Economic Justice candidates have won, protected and will continue to expand salary increases for academic student employees—winning an unprecedented minimum 2% annual increase for three years even amidst the current California budget crisis and mounting political attacks on public sector unions and workers.”
 USEJ commenter on the Huffington Post article, posted May 5th, 2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/USEJ/vote-counting-resumes-uc-grad-students-union_n_857600_87164096.html
 http://atyourservice.ucop.edu/employees/policies_employee_labor_relations/collective_bargaining_units/researchsupport_rx/agreement.html and http://atyourservice.ucop.edu/employees/policies_employee_labor_relations/collective_bargaining_units/technical_tx/agreement.html
 “Voting “no” means we risk losing some or all of the gains made in the tentative agreement as the state budget is re-opened to address the $25 billion deficit and legislators consider cutting the hundreds of millions of dollars they had restored to UC’s budget earlier this year.” (UAW Local 2865 e-mail sent November 30th, 2010). This e-mail contained a link to FAQs about the implications of a no-vote. I can’t see what the union administration thought these were, because, once again, the link is dead. http://www.uaw2865.org/contractratificationinformation/faq.php#novote
 As we reported Saturday morning http://awduucla.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/update-from-the-frontline/
 Though another story you might want to look at is that of President Daraka Larimore-Hall’s allegations of vote tampering. See the comment by a Berkeley physicist accurately determining with a 20 minute margin of error when the photo was taken. https://thosewhouseit.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/in-bizarre-twist-admin-caucus-accuses-awdu-of-trying-to-steal-the-election/#comments