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Letters of the Week: Jun 4 - Jun 8

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  1. Lori J. Barrett's Avatar
    As we're both my parents. Birth in the United States means no need to "immigrate". Seattle, Washington is my Birthplace. Date: 01/20/1957. I am a Citizen of the U.S.A. (United States of America).
  2. Kenneth Rinzler's Avatar
    I just posted this on the MC

    I finally found AILA's 2008 tax return (Form 990). What a surprise, it's not on Guidestar. But you can see it here:

    If you look at Schedule L (Transactions with Interested Persons) on page 28, and Schedule O on pages 33-36, you will see that the insider loans were NOT approved by any AILA board or committee and that there was NO written agreement. Clearly that appears to conflict with Susan Quarles' explanation at the beginning of this string, reprinted here:

    "The Founder's Loan program came about because of a shortfall between the property/renovation costs and the limits on the bond financing based on the appraisal of the building. The shortfall was approximately $600,000. The member loan idea was discussed extensively with the Board. It was vetted and approved by the DC Revenue Bond program and their independent legal counsel, our mortgage provider Riggs Bank and their legal counsel, and AILA's own legal counsel at Arent Fox. The bank stipulated that the program had to be structured as unsecured promissory notes for their loans. The Founders could have no claim on the building or any AILA asset and no principal could be repaid for 10 years (or sooner only if the mortgage was paid off early). Further, to comply with securities law, AILA was restricted in the number of people it could approach to solicit these loans under its Regulation D filing. ExCom therefore approached several past presidents and other prominent members likely to have the capacity to make a $50,000 loan. Some agreed to make the loan and some did not.

    At the time, AILA offered the Founders an annual interest rate of 8%. The prime rate in November 1999 was 8.5%. The Founders agreed to accept the below-market rate because they wanted to help AILA and believed in what we were doing. When the initial solicitation didn't immediately garner the total that AILA needed, three of the Founders came back and said they would be willing to make loans of $100k instead of $50k because they felt strongly about the project and trusted AILA would be able to repay the money at the end of the 10-year period. In addition, to help address the shortfall, Jeanne Butterfield asked the ExCom if she could make a $50k loan with the same terms as the other Founders because she too felt a tremendous commitment to AILA. Jeanne's request was considered and approved. (For those concerned about the question of conflict of interest, it should be noted that Board members and staff are not barred from transactions such as this one under New York Law, under which AILA is incorporated, so long as that transaction is disclosed and considered by the non-involved Board members.)"

    So either there were all these people "vetting" the insider loans yet no AILA board or committee approved it and there were no written loan agreements, or this was yet another case of AILA filing inaccurate tax returns? I can't wait to see the explanation on this one.

  3. Lory Diana Rosenberg's Avatar
    Dear Editor:
    As a three-term, former elected Director on AILA's Board of Governors, having served on the AILA Nominating Committee, I am quite familiar with the by-laws, the role played by the nominating committee under those bylaws, and the annual AILA elections. In the interest of accuracy and fair play, I am compelled to correct numerous misleading statements made by Mr. Rusty DeMoss concerning the AILA nomination process and elections, which you published on June 4, 2012.

    Mr. DeMoss took advantage of a legitimate opportunity to clarify or correct the reasons for his withdrawal from nomination for the contested position of AILA Secretary, and used it as a platform to offer a partisan and uninformed justification of the AILA nominations process and the candidate selected by the AILA Nominating Committee after his withdrawal. That is regrettable, because in doing so, Mr. DeMoss glossed over the superior qualifications of the petition candidate, Jeff Joseph, who is an award winning, published litigator, dedicated pro bono counsel, and 100% full-time, AILA immigration lawyer and business owner, with over a decade of solid AILA contributions at the national level as a trainer, mentor, lecturer, Chapter Chair, Board Member, liaison, and regional and annual conference chair, whose expertise and talent as an AILA leader, as well as his "strong familiarity with AILA's issues and challenges" has been endorsed by over 230 AILA leaders.

    First, I question Mr. DeMoss's purported "understanding" of the AILA Nominating Committee's activities that took place before or after he withdrew as a candidate. The Nominating Committee's activities are confidential and it's activities and procedures are not published other than as stated in the AILA bylaws. Mr. DeMoss should have no basis for his "understanding" of what the Nominating Committee did after his withdrawal, and has no reason to know whether the Nominating Committee "requested candidates who already submitted their names for consideration to re-submit for the position." Second, I challenge the suggestion in Mr. DeMoss's statement that he is privy, not only to the procedure followed by the Nominating Committee in this instance, but to which, if any, candidates "the Nominating Committee reviewed" after his withdrawal.

    Put bluntly, how does Mr. DeMoss know that the Nominating Committee considered Jeff Joseph, inasmuch Jeff already had declared he was running by petition? And, without that information, which I doubt he has, how does Mr. DeMoss know that the Nominating Committee's decision was made after "full, fair, and equal review" of all interested candidates? It is plain that Mr. DeMoss can have no such knowledge or information and is relying only on unsupported assumptions. His partisan comments warrant every reader of ILW who is a member of AILA to consider carefully Mr. DeMoss's claim that the Nominating Committee's choice is the "best candidate" in light of the Queen's response in Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 2, that "the lady doth protest too much methinks."
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