Democrat Republican Libertarian Green Party
United States Senator 57.8% Ted Cruz 39.6% Paul Sandler 1.8% John Myers 0.8% David Collins United States
november 7, 2012
texas a&m since 1893
● first paper free – additional copies $1 ● © 2012 student media
*Numbers reflect results at time of press. Electoral votes from Florida were not counted.
Representative, District 17
81.2% Bill Flores 18.8% Ben Easton Railroad Commissioner (Unexpired Term) 75.4% Barry
Jaime O. Perez
7.7% Josh Wendel Justice Supreme Court, Place 2 80% Don Willett Roberto
Justice Supreme Court, Place 4 76.4% John Devine 15.8% Tom Oxford 7.8%
Justice Supreme Court, Place 6 55.3% Nathan Hecht 40.6% Michele Petty 2.8% Mark Ash 1.2% Jim Chisholm Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals 56.9% Sharon Keller 40.1% Keith Hampton Robby Smith 3.0% Lance Stott The Battalion Judge, Court mericans elected another Obama of Criminal administration Tuesday. The Appeals, president claimed both the Place 7 popular vote and the Electoral College.
Compiled by Jessica Smarr, Sarah Gibson, Tanner Garza, David Cohen — THE BATTALION
Obama wins electoral vote, Romney concedes
21.2% Mark W. Bennett
State Board of Education, District 8 71.6%
28.4% Dexter Smith
State Senate, District 5 Charles
78.5% Schwertner 21.5% Jeffrey Fox State Senate, District 12 56.9% Kyle Kacal 43.1% Robert Stern
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At time of print, Obama had 303 of the 538 electoral votes to Romney’s 206. Electoral votes from Florida were not yet allocated. Obama’s success in winning battleground states led to his electoral lead.
He won Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado and Nevada, seven of the nine battlegrounds. The Romney-Ryan campaign and their supporters poured nearly $1 billion into these states with dueling television commercials. Romney failed to win Massachusetts where he served as governor from 2003 to 2007. Of the battleground states, Romney won North Carolina. Justin Carpenter, senior political science major and program director for Aggie Democrats, said he watched results come in to the local precinct office. “I and another girl were involved with the Judy
State decisions ◗ Voters a continent apart made history Tuesday on two divisive social issues, with Maine becoming the ﬁrst state to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote and Washington state becoming the ﬁrst to legalize recreational use of marijuana. ◗ Colorado voters also voted to legalize marijuana.
See Election on page 4
Stack shifts begin, inspire camaraderie
Democrats maintain control of Senate
Luz Moreno-Lozano The Battalion More than a century ago, a few Aggies gathered barn wood and garbage to burn what would become Aggie Bonfire. Though no longer a school-sanctioned tradition, hundreds of students continue to join every year in the camaraderie and construction of the offcampus student bonfire. After 12 students were killed in the bonfire collapse in 1999, the University refused to recognize the tradition and students were forced to take it off campus.
Thirteen years later, in the wake of a conference transition and renewal of old rivalries, student bonfire continues its purpose of unity and camaraderie among those who participate. “I first started bonfire when I lived in the dorms on campus,” said Dan Jatem, senior industrial engineering major. “As the season went on I had a lot of fun, created strong bonds with my crew and continue to enjoy it.” The bonfire stack is traditionally topped with a burnt-orange, “t.u. See Stack on page 2
Democrats secured a majority in the Senate on Tuesday, snatching Republican-held seats in Massachusetts and Indiana and turning back fierce, expensive challenges in Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin and Connecticut to maintain the control they’ve held since 2007. With a third of the Senate up for election, Republicans were undone by candidate stumbles. GOP hopefuls in Missouri and Indiana uttered clumsy statements about rape and abortion that severely damaged their chances and the party’s hopes of taking over. The losses of Senate seats in
Massachusetts and Indiana, combined with independent Angus King’s victory in the Republican-held Maine seat, put the GOP too far down in their already uphill climb. Democrats held open seats in Virginia, Wisconsin and New Mexico, and were leading in North Dakota shortly after midnight. The only pickup for the Republicans was Nebraska, where Deb Fischer denied former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey’s bid to return to the Capitol. Democrats, once on the wrong side of the political math with 23 See Senate on page 3
11/7/12 1:24 AM
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Stack Continued from page 1
frat house,” and set on fire the night before the A&M-UT Thanksgiving football game to symbolize the Aggies’ “burning desire to beat the hell outta t.u.” Even though the Longhorns are no longer on the A&M football schedule, Eric Menn, senior redpot — a bonfire leadership position — and agricultural leadership and development major, said bonfire almost remains the same. “Students can expect to see the same stack, the same fire and the same experience out at bonfire this year and the years to come,” Menn said. “With the exception of a possible change in the color scheme on top, the experience and the spirit of this tradition are constant and things that all Aggies can count on.” From its humble beginnings as a trash pile in 1907, bonfire has evolved into a five-tier, wedding cake design. The top, or fifth tier, stands at 32 feet high — the same height since the beginning of student bonfire in 2003. Apart from the desire to beat the University of Texas, Menn said camaraderie is at the heart of student bonfire, no matter who plays in the following football game. “The essence of [bonfire] is not about football or who the Aggies are playing on Thanksgiving,” Menn said. “Student bonfire Inc. is very excited about the move to the SEC and has embraced it from the get-go. We have never viewed it as a negative for us. Bonfire is about the Aggie community, building Aggies and bringing them together by working toward a common goal. It is about a common, burning desire for the love of Texas A&M.” Building bonfire is a process. In October, students began cut and spent Sunday mornings gathering trees to build the bonfire on a donated plot of land. With bonfire nearing its burn date, students begin to assemble the structure. The first full-crew stack shift begins Wednesday, with the centerpole foundation already set. “During stack we actually construct the bonfire stack against the centerpole,” Jatem said. “We’ll start with six-hour shifts then as the date gets closer the upper leadership will decide on the push schedule.” After months of work the project becomes a physical and emotional investment. Students who participate in cut most likely participate in stack, said Dion McInnis, member of the bonfire board of
Courtesy of Dion McInnis
Senior redpot Eric Menn climbs into the swings Tuesday evening at the student bonfire stack site. directors. “Stack is the assembly of all the work over the season,” McInnis said. “Cut is important because you can’t stack without logs, and stack is important because a pile of logs doesn’t look good. [Stack is] when everybody comes together and works together.” Over the past two years, burn night has been delayed due to drought condi-
tions. Nothing has been determined yet, but McInnis said burn should come at the scheduled time this year. Bonfire is set to burn Nov. 23 after the sun sets. Former A&M head football coach Jackie Sherrill has been announced as the burn night speaker. “We are looking forward to Jackie Sherrill,” McLnnis said. “Coach Sherrill alone will be able to turn up the heat.”
11/7/12 12:46 AM
page 3 monday 11.7.2012
Continued from page 1
seats at risk compared with only 10 for the GOP, suddenly looked like they could increase their numbers. They entered the night with a 53-47 edge, including two independents who caucus with them. After midnight, Democrats controlled 52 seats to the GOP’s 44 with three races still outstanding and one newly elected independent, Angus King of Maine, saying he hasn’t decided which party he will align with. In charge again, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Republicans brought defeat on themselves with their preoccupation with denying President Barack Obama a second term. “Things like this are what happens when your No. 1 goal is to defeat the president and not work to get legislation passed,” Reid said. “The strategy of obstruction, gridlock and delay was soundly rejected by the American people. Now they are looking to us for solutions,” he said in a
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out Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who had stunned the political world in January 2010 when he won the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s seat. The strong Democratic tilt in the state and President Barack Obama’s easy win over former Gov. Mitt Romney helped the consumer advocate in her bid. The Massachusetts race was one of the most expensive in the country, $68 million, even though both candidates agreed to bar outside spending. In Missouri, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill was considered the most vulnerable incumbent, but Republican Rep. Todd Akin severely damaged his candidacy in August when he said women’s bodies have ways of avoiding pregnancy in instances of “legitimate rape.” GOP leaders, including Romney, called on him to abandon the race. Akin stayed in. The results ensure plenty of new faces in the Senate, many
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separate statement. The results were a bitter loss for the GOP and are certain to prompt questions about the promise and peril of the tea party movement that just two years ago delivered a takeover of the House to the GOP. In 2010, three tea party Senate candidates in Nevada, Delaware and Colorado cost Republicans seats they were favored to win. On Tuesday, a tea party-backed candidate in Indiana denied the GOP a seat that the party had been favored to win, while Fischer and tea party-backed Ted Cruz of Texas prevailed in their races. Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly edged out tea partybacked Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock in a race rocked by the Republican candidate’s awkward remark that pregnancy resulting from rape is “something God intended.” In Massachusetts, Democrat Elizabeth Warren knocked
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of them familiar from the House. Republican Rep. Jeff Flake won in Arizona and will join Democratic Reps. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico. In Wisconsin, Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin defeated former four-term Gov. Tommy Thompson and will be the first openly gay senator. In Maine, independent Angus King prevailed over Republican Charlie Summers and Democrat Cynthia Dill in the race to replace Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe, who blamed partisan gridlock in Washington for her unexpected decision to retire after 18 years in the Senate. In Texas, Republican Cruz won the seat held by retiring GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Cruz will become the third Hispanic in the Senate, joining Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla.
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*Numbers reflect results at time of press. Electoral votes from Florida were not counted. Evan Andrews — THE BATTALION
Election Continued from page 1
LeUnes for Texas House District 14 campaign running against John Raney,” Carpenter said. “I was texting results back to Judy from the precinct office. Then we had a watch party at Wolfie’s [sports bar] to watch the national results come in.” As far as students are concerned, Carpenter said he thinks Obama’s policies are good overall. “His policies are giving more student aid and promote making a stronger work force,” Carpenter said. “We have made a lot of progress in the last four years. Now this will guarantee the progress isn’t going backwards.” Carpenter said he feels like Obama’s reform of the student loan system was a very important policy that he put through that doesn’t really get a lot of attention. The economy was rated the top issue by about 60 percent of voters surveyed as they left their polling places. But more said former President George W. Bush bore responsibility for current circumstances than Obama did after nearly four years in office. Unemployment stood at 7.9 percent on election day, higher than when Obama took office. Other than the battlegrounds, big states were virtually ignored in the final months of the campaign. Romney wrote off New York, Illinois and California, while Obama made no attempt to carry Texas, much of the South or the Rocky Mountain region other than Colorado. In a campaign that traversed contested Republican primaries last winter and spring, a pair of political conventions this summer and three presidential debates, Obama, Romney, Vice
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President Joe Biden and U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan spoke at hundreds of rallies, were serenaded by Bruce Springstein and Meat Loaf and washed down hamburgers, pizza, barbecue and burrito bowls. Obama was elected the first black president in 2008, and four years later, Romney became the first Mormon to appear on a general election ballot. Yet one man’s race and the other’s religion were never major factors in this year’s campaign for the White House, a race dominated from the outset by the economy. Carpenters said he thinks another Obama administration will give Aggie Democrats energy for the next four years. Andrew Bobo, second year master of public service and administration student at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, said he is not surprised by the outcome. “I followed [the election results] on CNN,” Bobo said. “It looked like the precincts reporting later were more heavily Democratic. It is disappointing,; you wish you could hang out and wait, but I think it was the right time to call it.” In the wake of Superstorm Sandy and the allowance of late voting in New York and New Jersey, Bobo said he does not think that accounting for later votes would have made a difference in the outcomes. In regards to four more years of Obama-led policy initiatives, Bobo said he thinks a lot of the policies were back-loaded and he doesn’t foresee much change apart from legislation that has already passed. “A lot of the provisions of Obamacare won’t take effect until his second term. And the fiscal cliff won’t be resolved by then,” Bobo said. “We are basically at the same place we were when we started. I expect more of the same.” Contributions from The Associated Press
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