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"SGA president considers legal move against accusations made in tabloid"
Sara Diamond & Jan Crawford
The Crimson White
February 1, 1985

SGA president Ray Pate said Thursday he is considering taking legal action against the editor of the election tabloid, The Bama Messenger.

Pate said everything printed in the tabloid was “ridiculous and taken out of context.”

“My dad said, ‘You ought to sue,’” he said. “I am strongly considering taking legal action.”

THE PURPOSE of the tabloid was to educate the University community about the Machine, Wanda Wade, editor of the tabloid, said Thursday.

The Machine is a campus political organization made of select fraternities and sororities.

Pate said Wade was personally attacking him and his administration instead of the Machine.

“The reason why I used Ray as an example was the fact that he’s the first Machine-endorsed president to come out and that he is Machine-endorsed,” Wade said.

PATE said Wade’s accusations about the student emergency loan program, bills introduced in the first 35 days of his administration, reserved basketball seating and Machine reforms were written with malicious intent.

“I’ve received one student loan in my four years here,” Pate said. “John Bolus received one from Tom Campbell. Alan Franco took out a loan. Every SGA president before me has signed loans.”

“They were never attacked,” he said.

Pate said when Students for Well Government said it was launching an investigation into the loan program he opened the files. “Nobody has come up for investigations. All they want is headlines and accusations.

“THEY are trying to create perceptions that something is corrupt,” he added. “But no investigation. They just keep running their mouths.”

Wade said she didn’t care how many past SGA presidents had signed loans because those facts were never publicized.

“If I had known John Bolus gave himself a loan, I’d have put that in here,” she said. “But I did know Ray Pate did because there was a big write-up in The Crimson White.

“There was no malicious intent. I wanted to show students that this sort of thing is going on.,” she said. “In the Code of Laws it says that you’re not supposed to do it. Whether they’re null and void or not, that’s what we’re supposed to go by.”

WADE said in The Bama Messenger that “35 days after Ray Pate took office the Machine-controlled senate introduced three bills, that, according to The Crimson White editorial would ‘strangle what little representation the independents of this campus have.’”

Pate said Wade failed to mention he does not have the power to introduce bills in the senate and that he “had the bills canned.”

“That’s another example of taking things out of context,” he added.

“Nowhere in the article did I say that Ray anchored those bills or that he supported those bills,” Wade said. “But I simply said that his Machine senate, under his Machine administration, introduced those bills.”

IN THE article, Wade said, “Pate took it upon himself to relinquish reserve seating at basketball games.”

Pate said Wade’s “insinuation” about reserved seating was “the most incorrect statement I’ve heard this year.”

“She didn’t discuss my personal meeting with Coach (Ray) Perkins in my office,” he said. “They (the athletic department) thought students not buying reserved tickets was student input. They don’t mention that in the story.”

Wade said in her article, “Ray Pate kept one campaign promise he made to use in 1984. He told us he would tune up the Machine. He has. The Machine is stronger than ever.”

“I DON’T know where she got that about the Machine tune-up,” Pate said. “Several independents are chairpersons in my administration. A lot worked with Bolus, Keith Scott and Glenn Cantley and are upset.”

Pate said he “openly said he would make the Machine more open” and endorse candidates for office. “I said I would attend Machine meetings. For the first time an independent was endorsed over a Greek.”

The Machine endorsed John Merrill for SGA vice president over Sigma Nu Ted Locke, he said.

Wade said she would stand behind everything she wrote in the tabloid and meant no harm to Pate.

“WE WEREN’T out to get anybody; we weren’t out to destroy anybody’s character or anything like that,” she said. “We simply wanted to educate the community.”

Pate said he was almost positive the tabloid was financed by Joe Barganier’s presidential campaign because Wade was an executive assistant to Barganier when he was Residence Hall Association president.

“It’s a campaign of desperation,” Pate said. “Joe wouldn’t confirm or deny it. I personally confronted him and told him this campaign of desperation and negativity reflects on him as an individual.”

Barganier said he found out about the tabloid last Thursday. He said because he was aware of the tabloid did not mean he was responsible for it.

“WANDA approached me and told me she was going to put out something similar to The Alabama Chronicle, which was published during John Bolus’ campaign,” Barganier said. “That’s all I knew about it.”

“Barganier said the funds came from the students, not his own campaign.

Barganier said he did not deny his part in the tabloid to Pate because “I don’t tell him anything anymore.”

“RAY LIKES to twist things. He will stick you in the back with a knife and smile at you,” he said. “He can use anything against you, and if you deny it, he’ll say you’re lying.”

Wade said the tabloid was financed by contributions from students for “a just SGA.”