Upua assembly 4feb2009 :: 1:55:31 to 2:03:00
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1:55:31 to 2:03:00( Edit History Discussion )
Title: Michael Pipe

Michael Pipe's confirmation as Deputy Commissioner for Election Publicity in the 2009 UPUA elections.

1:55:32 to 1:56:58( Edit History Discussion )

Valarie Russell: Moving on to Deputy Commissioner for Election Publicity, Mr. Micheal Pipe.

Michael Pipe: Thanks very much.  Not many of you probably have seen my face, so I do plan on using the majority of my five minutes to tell you a little bit about who I am.  My name is Micheal Pipe and I'm a political science major.  I first came to Penn State in the fall of 2004 and barely survived East Halls.  My first foray into student government came during sophomore year.  I served as an executive vice president for South Halls Residence Association—our meetings were sparsely attended, and that inhibited us from getting anything concrete done.  I think that student government, largely, is the last thing on students' minds.  My junior year was spent largely out of Innovation Park, working on my political talk show called "Present Tense."  I asked many of my guests who came on the show and involved on the show who were involved in government, "how do we counter-act the apathy on campus?"

No answer seemed to satisfy me—this lead me to write, direct, and produce a mockumentary about the state of affairs of UPUA.  (Some of the stars are in the room right now, actually.)  My goal is to give students a different look at student government in a creative way.  I enlisted the help of six actors who made up different parts of the campaign team.  The final product, however, was not consumed en masse by the campus, but we had a good time doing it.

1:56:58 to 1:58:12( Edit History Discussion )

Michael Pipe: After my junior year, I made the decision to drive out to Las Vegas, Nevada, to intern for a relatively unknown politician with a funny name.  After my summer internship ended I was offered a job by the campaign and jumped at the opportunity.  I spent a total of fifteen months working on the best–organized presidential campaign in American history.  I worked in eight different states for the campaign and organized alongside hundreds of fellow staffers and volunteers.  For three weeks in March 2008 I actually had the privilege of working here on-campus for the campaign.  The amazing students I've worked alongside of, and faculty, we registered thousands of new voters, and I'm positive that every one of you was asked "are you registered to vote?"  (I'm pretty sure, we try to do our best.)  I heard that many of the people that we brought into the process say that they felt empowered and in-turn what they did was they used their skills about what they learned about organizing to empower other students and other State College residents.  Some of them even took the opportunity to take off from fall 2008, the semester, to work on various campaigns.  As for me, I actually ended up working in the state up north, Michigan, for the general election.  On that bright night in November millions of peoples' dreams did come true.

1:58:12 to 1:59:01( Edit History Discussion )

Michael Pipe: I got involved in Barack Obama's campaign because I was tired of hearing the refrain "young people don't care about politics, young people won't vote."  During my time in South Halls, I saw issues not being resolved because we didn't have enough people in a room.  When I worked on the UPUA mockumentary I witnessed student turnouts that were horrible for elections.  With these experiences in mind, I never expected to find myself working on a campaign for a bunch of 20–somethings working together to make history.  That experience of traveling around the country, working here at Penn State, taught me that there is so much hope for students in this country and here for our University.  We can get, and I will help to get, tens of thousands of students to come out and vote for UPUA, and I'm going to help recruit hundreds of students to get out and help get out the vote for UPUA.  Thanks, and if you have any questions I hope to answer them.

1:59:01 to 2:00:06( Edit History Discussion )

Valarie Russell: Questions?  Rep. Colleen Smith?

Colleen Smith: Hi.  Do you have any specific plans or ideas on how to get students with specific ideas involved in the battle?

Micheal Pipe: What was your last name?  Smith?  Sure, three things: we need to get students interested in feeling like they have a voice in the process, so what I'd like to do is recruit students to basically do student ones–on–ones's, and what this would basically would we would sit down with students, tomorrow, and start asking them "what are the issues that you want to see your student government talk about?"  I think this is going to help us generate a lot of buzz on campus and begin momentum.  I think that one of the problems of past elections is that the first time student would actually start thinking about voting was on election day, so you would have no momentum, so we can create that momentum early–on, get students engaged, I think that we will have a great chance of getting a good turn–out.  That's #1, sitting down with students and talking with them.

2:00:06 to 2:00:27( Edit History Discussion )

Michael Pipe: Second, for our generation YouTube is essential.  We're going to utilize YouTube.  All of the debates, all of the candidate sessions, and actually some of the interviews that we do with students one–on–one will be videotaped and put on the website.  That's a suggestion.  Then, that will also help build momentum because every so often they could go check on these videos online.

2:00:27 to 2:00:49( Edit History Discussion )

Michael Pipe: Thirdly, an idea that I had that I don't know if the [election bylaws that we've passed allow us to do so], but early voting.  I think that is something that could actually generate more votes, if we elongate the election into three days and have people vote. I think that could generate some buzz.  That's something maybe future elections would be able to [implement].

2:00:49 to 2:01:26( Edit History Discussion )

Valarie Russell: Mr. Crivello.

Ralph Crivello: One of the duties listed in the election code, bolden and intentionally new, is to advertise the candidacy. In other words the open positions.  One of the things more than voter turnout, which has been steadily increasing since you made that documentary, is the fact that we don't have a lot of contentious elections.  We need more people to actually run so that they're competitive.  What do you plan on doing to advertise that people can actually get involved by running in UPUA as opposed to just getting people out to vote?

2:01:26 to 2:02:18( Edit History Discussion )

Michael Pipe: I'm just curious, out of a show of hands, how many people had a contested election?  OK, and of course the exec board.  I think it is a problem.  First of all, advertising, allocated in the budget, put things for putting it into the Collegian, other various things to advertise for.  I think a lot of it has to done students–to–students.  I think we have go to them and talk with  them, and I'm prepared to recruit a lot of people that I've worked on the campaign with and other student organizations that are active on campus to talk with students and explain to them in a very basic way how to run.  Also, allowing myself to be somebody they can come to ask if they have questions that they haven't asked me before.

2:02:18 to 2:03:08( Edit History Discussion )

Valarie Russell: Rep. Karasik?

Andrew Karasik: During your interview in the ID committee [Internal Development Committee] you talked about how you wanted to get debates and events and coverage televised on various channels.  Could you please elaborate on that so that everyone could understand that?

Michael Pipe: Yeah, sure.  Before I actually went on the Obama campaign I was the president–elect of Penn State Network Television, which basically had a few shows.  I had a talk show, but I still have a rapport with them.  I think one of the things we could do is talk with them about actually filming these events, putting them on TV first–off (I don't know if it's channel 33 or 72), but that is available for students to watch.  Also, putting these up on the web.  The big thing with that, the concern for anybody who knows film, is editing.

More and more people on "relatively modest salaries" are being dragged into becoming higher-rate taxpayers, Budget analysis suggests.

The number of higher rate taxpayers, who pay a chunk of their income at the 40% tax level, could rise from 3.7m last year to 5m by 2014.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) made the prediction after studying changes to tax levels in the Budget.

However, lower-income families will benefit from the changes.

In the Budget, the government also decided to end age-related tax allowances for pensioners.

The IFS said that move will cause pensioners to lose 0.25% of their income in 2014.

'Millionaires pay less'

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls criticised the changes to pension allowances.

"The fact is the normal increase in the state pension just keeps up with inflation, but cuts to personal allowances in the Budget will mean 4.4 million pensioners are worse off in real terms," he said.

"It's now even clearer that this was a Budget that asked millions to pay more so millionaires could pay less."

But Chancellor George Osborne told the BBC that no pensioner would be worse off in cash terms, including the "largest increase in the state pension" next month.

"The net changes made by this government, including introducing this triple lock, mean that pensioners are better off."

The tax-free chunk of income, known as the personal allowance, is rising for the under-65s to �9,205 in April 2013.

The IFS said this would cost the Treasury an estimated �3.5bn, and would mean 675,000 fewer people would pay income tax.

From 6 April, people earning taxable incomes of up to �34,370 will pay 20% in tax and people earning between �34,371 and �150,000 are taxed at 40%.

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