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LET’S ACT! candidate posts about selling drugs, alcohol on Facebook

Jaimeson Cortez, a LET’S ACT! candidate for general representative, hosted a Facebook page for an event where members of the slate posted that drugs and alcohol would be sold. (Bailey Greene/Daily Bruin)

By Jillian Frankel and Katie Shepherd

April 28, 2015 9:49 p.m.

A Facebook event page and multiple posts appear to show that LET’S ACT! members sold alcohol and drugs for profit this year, though slate members say the funds did not support campaign efforts.

On a publicly viewable event page called “A Nineties New Year in LA [‘92 +],” active members of the undergraduate student government slate posted about selling “jungle juice,” “shots” and “blunts,” and another UCLA student posted about selling “edibles” at a party hosted by Jaimeson Cortez, Morris Sarafian, Clinton O’Grady and Bria Stuart on Jan. 8.

Sarafian and Cortez are running with LET’S ACT! for Undergraduate Students Association Council president and general representative, respectively. Leaked documents surfaced Monday, the first day of voting, alleging that slate members illegally used student fees and profits from selling drugs and alcohol to finance past campaigns. LET’S ACT! members denied the allegations about illicit fundraising but confirmed the validity of some of the documents, saying that others were altered.

Kristine de los Santos, campaign manager of LET’S ACT!, said organizations whose members are part of the slate often throw parties to fundraise for student group events and initiatives, but that those funds do not contribute to campaign finances.

Cortez posted multiple times about the sale of “blunts” for $20 on the event’s public Facebook page. However, he said members of LET’S ACT!, including himself, never sold alcohol or marijuana at a slate-sponsored party to raise campaign funds.

He said the ’90s-themed party was a private party intended for his friends, not a slate-sponsored event or a fundraiser. He added the party favors were sold to recoup the money spent on throwing the party.

Cortez said the party expanded beyond his intentions, and he didn’t expect as many people to attend. More than 1,000 people were invited to the Facebook event.

University police spokeswoman Nancy Greenstein said in a statement this morning that UCPD is not actively investigating the information in the leaked documents, but may launch an investigation in the future.

“We’re aware of (the leaked documents), and if people feel at risk or if they’re concerned, they can come to us,” she said.

Although slate members said the party was not related to LET’S ACT!, several active members of the coalition posted references to the slate on the Facebook event page.

Clinton O’Grady, a member of the slate, said in one post, “Had fun tonight? Expect more … coming soon. Never forget to Act on your thirst.”

The event description asked attendees to “come celebrate the coalition-building, solidarity, and (most importantly) hard work that so many folks put in throughout 2014 to enact lasting change.” It ended with the slogan “Love Always!,” which was used throughout the documents leaked Monday.

Negeen Sadeghi-Movahed, current USAC transfer student representative and a member of LET’S ACT!, said she did not attend the event, though she was invited on the event page, and that she does not know where the funds went.

Sadeghi-Movahed denied a connection between the event and the slate.

“You can’t connect the two,” Sadeghi-Movahed said.

Bruins United members are not planning to do anything in response to the leaked documents, though they find the information in the files concerning, said slate campaign manager Zoe Sheppard, a fourth-year international development studies student.

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