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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 27, 2000)
Monday, March 27,2000 dailyneb.com
Vol 99, Issue 126
‘American Beauty’ and its cast reign
supreme and carry home Oscar.
A&E, PAGE 10
A UNL professor and one of his for
mer students talk about Peace Corps
experiences. NEWS, PAGE 7
inside the .
DN series to look closer at ASUN election
“Men willingly believe what they
“Every character has an arc.”
—Christopher Moltisanti, “The
Hype always beats the real thing.
And news never lasts. Even in politics.
In the preceding months, there
have been enough stories for any Daily
Nebraskan reader to have noticed
there was an ASUN student election in
our midst. There were candidates and
issues, winners and losers. Money
spent and time lost.
More than 80 percent turn blind
eyes and deaf ears to this phenome
non. Or, if not to that extreme, to an
extent that forces them not to vote on
But the political bug, even at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, nes
tles itself firmly into the minds of a
few students on campus, namely the
candidates and their closest support
ers. Who these people are, and what
motivates them, has captured the
attention of the Daily Nebraskan.
To say this weeklong series is a
behind-the-scenes look wouldn’t be
entirely accurate, because the two
campaigns that we followed,
Empower and Impact, along with their
respective presidential candidates,
Heath Mello and John Conley, were
entirely open to all of our questions,
along with the questions of any sup
So this series, which followed the
parties from late January all the way
through the final run-off elections,
will try to be an awakening of sorts.
The 2000 elections hold a particu
lar fascination because neither of the
featured parties won the presidential
election. It was won by a third party, a
party consisting of student govern
ment outsiders by the name of A
Team, which joined the race late and
picked up steam in its final weeks.
In Mello’s campaign,
his experience hurt
By Lindsay Young
Gosh, I hope I’m not a politician.
The last thing I want to do in this cam
vaign is shake hands and kiss babies.
Because people have that stereotype...
... Oh, oh yeah. Oh, oh yeah. Oh I
know. I know it because people at times,
I really think, because people think I’m
cheesy at times, just because of what I
Whether they think that’s cheesy or
nice, maybe because it’s not hard-core,
or I’m not a asshole or something like
that, that I’m cheesy. But yeah, I know, I
knew that beforehand though, I honest
ly, though I knew before, before I ever
ran that we, I, would be looked at as a
He faced it the entire race. Heath
Mello, presidential candidate for the
establishment party. He’s not establish
ment, he said. He has new ideas.
Different ideas. Ideas that will change
the face of ASUN.
He wanted to get rid of the Student
Impact Team and create a Freshman
Council. He wanted to start an annual
universitywide festival to build com
munity. He wanted to use the Web to
improve advising and book buyback.
He wanted to open communication
between AS UN and the student body.
But the image of his party,
Empower, was stained. It was nothing
Mello or his running mates, Cecily
Rometo and Mike Butterfield, did It% „
who they are. And it’s a label. Labels are
hard to strip.
“I’m worried abouUhatFm going
to be stereotyped as a stereotypical can
didate for this position,” Mello said at
the start of his campaign.
“Because everyone I’m running
against is not greek and not been
involved with ASUN a whole lot. I
think really that’s my weakness.”
The party had the structure of every
other party in past elections. Three
executive candidates - one being
female - and a slate of senatorial and
advisory board candidates.
And the party had an action name:
Empower, similar to names like
Commit, Vision and Focus in the past.
Two of the three executive candi
dates were greek.
Those characteristics are all many
Please see MELLO on 8
HEATH MB10, presidential candidate for the Empower party, had a hard time
trying to overcome the label of being a stereotypical ASUN candidate. Mello
thought differently, but In the end, voters refused to overtook the party’s image.
Conley’s deliberate style marks campaign
. 11 M1 —n . I
\ Josh Wolfe/DN
JOHN CSNLEY, Impact party presidential candidate, makes final campaigning attempts by
handing cot flyers to students an March 1,thednyof the election. Conley was prompted by
frtondi and tnpportsn to ran for ASUN.
: V *
By Samuel McKewon
He is, in the slightest way,
a bit stoic in everything he
does. The cadence of his
words, his handwriting, the
way he walks - John Conley’s
metronome marches to a
more deliberate tick than
He has short-cropped hair,
and he often covers it with a
green, paint-splattered hat.
For recreation, he likes hiking,
camping, the rugged out
doors. And he has what seems
like an endless supply of those
shirts with those small plaid
patterns on them.
The everyman - this is
John Conley. A throwback, so
to speak. He embodies it well,
believing staunchly in the idea
of self-determination. That
you make your own way, and
once you’ve made it, you
invite others. But you do it in
measured steps, without loose
You do it because you
started working at 13, laying
carpet in Gothenburg, and you
haven’t stopped since. More
importantly, you do it because
you’ve been through enough
to know it isn’t worth going
through it again because of
So it is no surprise that
Conley never hatched a plan
to run forASUN president last
fall. That isn’t to say he didn’t
think he was capable - Conley
has a quiet confidence about
him. But he launched no per
sonal campaign, tested no
waters, sought out no poten
tial running mates.
Conley did not choose to
be the Impact party presiden
tial candidate. He was chosen
Please see CONLEY on 9
■ The state’s high court
said he was at fault when
he was shot by an officer.
By Michelle Starr
The Nebraska Supreme Court
ruled Friday that Scott Baldwin, for
mer Comhusker running back, was
responsible for his injuries caused
dining a confrontation with Omaha
Police in 1992.
Baldwin was shot by police dur
ing an altercation when they were try
ing to apprehend him. Baldwin was
paralyzed from the chest down, and
the bullet is still lodged in his spine.
He sued the City of Omaha,
which employs police officers, for $1
million for his injuries.
The high court confirmed a dis
trict court ruling that said because
Baldwin, who was diagnosed with
manic depression, after a January
1992 incident, was not taking his
medication, he was found primarily at
According to court documents,
Baldwin was planning to return to
football in 1993, but he said the med
ication, lithium carbonate, interfered
with his workouts. He said it caused
dry mouth, dizziness, nausea and
cramping in his arms and legs.
Baldwin was prescribed the med
ication after he was found innocent by
reason ofinsanity in the Jan. 18,1992,
beating of Gina Simanek in Lincoln.
Baldwin, who was naked at the
time, attacked Simanek, who was
walking her dog. Baldwin did not
Omaha City Attorney Thomas
Mumgaard said Baldwin knew he
should have been taking his medica
tion, and he knew he could be subject
to psychotic episodes if he didn’t take
“We’re obviously pleased there
was no liability imposed,” Mumgaard
said. “As unfortunate as it is, there
was no justification for Baldwin’s
“The court said the officers had
no choice but to shoot him.”
Baldwin’s attorney, E. Terry
Sibbemsen, was not available for
A call came in at 11:22 p.m. on
Sept 5,1992, that there was a distur
bance at Stage II Lounge in Omaha
and that a mentally ill person was
Officers Peggy Lynn
Truckenbrod and Anna Doyle, who
both had been instructed how to han
dle mentally ill people, responded to
They were also informed about
the assault in Lincoln and that it had
taken three officers to subdue
According to documents, one of
the provisions in Omaha Police
Department policy authorizes offi
Please see BALDWIN on 6
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