Candidates engaged in copy-cat fight

Did you notice some similarities in the campaign posters last week? There was an uncanny likeness between the Schulz Executive’s campaign posters for the executive slate, and Tom Keefer’s posters for independent student councillor on the CSU.
Both sides accuse the other of ripping off their postering ideas. Current CSU vp-communications Tom Keefer even hinted earlier that the Schulz Executives might have a spy in his offices. “I was upset and angry, I think it was a real cheap shot,” said Keefer.
“There’s no benefit for us to copy Tom. We’re not the old CSU, there’s no way we would come out purposely and copy the old CSU,” said former CSU presidential candidate Chris Schulz.
The situation began three weeks ago at the opening of the campaign period, with two baby-blue, horizontal letter-size posters saying in big font “Vote Schulz” and “Vote Keefer”. The two posters were so similar that many confused the two candidates as running together. The Schulz party’s posters read “Schulz Executives” in a black column down the left side. Keefer’s black column had a
200-word introduction of himself and what he’ll do as councillor, closing with the statement, “Not to mention the fact that unlike the people who stole my poster idea, I will continue to bring a good sense of humour and irony to the CSU!”
“At first we were a little bit surprised, on the second occasion it seemed like something Tom was doing to get to us. Everyone’s reaction on the executives was just shock,” said Schulz.
The second instance happened two weekends ago, in the final days leading up to the CSU elections. Both candidates put out 11″ x 17″ vertical posters with a circular photo in the upper left. Both postering formats listed the candidates’ qualifying experiences for their positions. But whereas the Schulz Executives’ posters were predominantly varying shades of blue, Keefer’s was black, white and gray.
Also the round photo in Schulz posters was of the Schulz Executive slate.
Keefer’s round photos were collages of himself with Lenin, or a shot of his run-in with police last year, and even a photo of the out-going Editor of the Link standing next to Lenin. The photo of the Link’s editor was taken by The Gazette a few months ago.
Both candidates say their posters went up on Friday, April 20th, but only Schulz’s posters were noticeably around the campus by that date.
“Chris Schulz was trying to co-opt the left-wing, likeable persona of myself. He was hoping to ride to victory on a left-wing agenda,” explained Keefer.
Keefer justified his use of the image of the Editor of The Link saying that having been printed, it was in the public domain, and shot back asking why does The Link keep using images from the CSU’s agenda. He said when he approached Schulz about the similarities between their posters, “he had vigorously denied everything and seemed rather guilty.”
“That was Tom’s goal, to confuse the electorate, and it worked,” said Schulz.
Although neither candidate said that poster similarities seriously altered their campaign results, they did admit that they did affect it. Schulz said he found the similarities extremely destructive in his personal interactions with voters.
“People went up to me asking ‘Why are you running with Tom?’… eventually people figured it out [the] different campaigns, or didn’t care.”
Keefer said he had overwhelming positive comments on his posters, but said that perhaps those that voted against him were confused by the posters.
Schulz lost his campaign by almost 300 votes with 577 votes. Keefer won his campaign for Independent Student Representative on CSU council 16-11.
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