The Daily Iowan

Apologies, investigation follow UISG presidential candidate’s tweet

Envision Iowa filed an election code violation on Wednesday after several social media accounts call out party leader and UISG presidential hopeful Kyle Apple for a past Facebook and Twitter post.

Members+of+the+Envision+Iowa+party+Lucee+Laursen+and+Ryan+McDaniel+speak+in+an+interview+with+The+Daily+Iowan+in+Adler+Journalism+Building+on+March+21.++%28Lily+Smith%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Members of the Envision Iowa party Lucee Laursen and Ryan McDaniel speak in an interview with The Daily Iowan in Adler Journalism Building on March 21.  (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Members of the Envision Iowa party Lucee Laursen and Ryan McDaniel speak in an interview with The Daily Iowan in Adler Journalism Building on March 21. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Members of the Envision Iowa party Lucee Laursen and Ryan McDaniel speak in an interview with The Daily Iowan in Adler Journalism Building on March 21. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Sarah Watson, [email protected]

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University of Iowa Student Government presidential hopeful Kyle Apple came under scrutiny from Twitter and Facebook users after two of Apple’s past posts surfaced Wednesday. In response, Apple issued an apology, and his party, Envision Iowa, filed an election code violation complaint.

Apple announced his candidacy Sunday night, running under the party Envision Iowa along with running-mate Lucee Laursen and 21 senators.

[Editor’s note: Laursen is a columnist for the DI]

At 10:22 a.m. on Wednesday, Andie Dutton tweeted a reply to Apple’s Sunday Twitter announcement for UISG candidacy with a screenshot of a 2015 tweet from Apple that criticized a movement to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, calling the replacement an “irrelevant woman.”

Dutton is the website designer for SURGE, another party running for candidacy.

Dutton wrote along the 2015 tweet screenshot, “Is this a statement you still stand by about Harriet Tubman?”

“This is something I’m taking full responsibility for, the campaign is not associating with these comments, this is something I’m taking personal responsibility for,” Apple said in an interview with The Daily Iowan Thursday.

Apple said the posts would not stop him from continuing to run for student body president.

Others have followed suit and criticized Apple along with others on Envision Iowa’s ticket, but Dutton’s post has the oldest timestamp of non-deleted posts criticizing Apple. Her name is listed at the bottom of the UI Surge Party website as the web designer.

Laursen said in a campaign interview with the DI that their party, Envision Iowa, submitted an election code violation complaint in response to the postings. She did not expressly identify Dutton or the UI Surge Party.

“Our election code violation was filed against a few different accounts,” Laursen clarified in an email to the DI. “It is currently being investigated to find out if there was a party affiliation with any of the evidence we have.”

Apple declined to comment on the violation submission.

UISG election code, prohibits, “Verbal or physical harassment or intimidation of other ticket candidates or adherents.”

It is unclear whether the posts by Dutton are considered to be a violation of election code, because although Dutton is part of the campaign, she is not on the party’s ticket.

Apple apologized for the past posts on Facebook that has since been deleted from his account. A screenshot of his post has been circling Facebook and Twitter.

Apple also said his party will also be holding a public forum for students to ask questions about what happened. A time and place for the forum is yet to be determined.

Once the posts emerged, the Envision Iowa Twitter account initially blocked Dutton and Iowa Action, a social activist group that also tweeted about the 2015 post. Apple also privatized his Twitter account after the posts emerged.

“[Envision Iowa social media] blocked them right away, just kind of ‘why are they tweeting at us,’ but I followed up with [the senatorial candidate in charge of social media] and they are unblocked now,” Laursen said.

In an interview with the DI, Apple reiterated his statement.

“Even though these comments were made years ago there are consequences from my actions, but I would like to encourage people to look beyond that because if you look at the dates on those posts while obviously they were in bad taste, completely inappropriate, out of line, and I regret making them and I apologize for any inconvenience or for any hurt feelings those words caused – the most recent one was over three years ago,” Apple said.

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