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A few of you have consistently stated how you believe the leadership is composed of people of the highest principles, who have sacrificed so much for their love of AILA, and that regardless of whatever errors in judgment they may have made, those decisions were all “honest mistakes” and so these people should all be held blameless.
Put aside those high school crushes and look – really LOOK – at what they have done.
• They are into their third successive year of questionable elections with dubious legitimacy. In 2012 they violated the bylaws with Padilla’s nomination, and then retroactively changed the rules. Last year they banned me from the MC during my campaign on a pretext. And this year, this year they:
1. Refused to allow VoteNet to be used for the proposed bylaw amendments
2. Didn’t issue the election protocols until weeks into the election
3. Refused to comment on the proposed bylaws in public, and instead resorted to a closed door executive session of the impotent BOG
4. Refused to issue a proper proxy which would allow procedural votes
5. Appointed Stump – a far from neutral party – as the “official” proxy holder
6. Disparaged all of the proposed bylaw amendments, often through the improper use of list serves and other chapter resources
7. Hired a professional parliamentarian for the annual meeting so as to ensure they can pass a motion to table the proposed amendments.
8. Knew years in advance of changes to the governing not for profit laws in DC and New York, but refused to act until they were caught with their pants down
9. Refused to answer any of the queries posed by one of the only two members with bylaw amendments to (hopefully) be voted upon, because they know that every time they do they are caught in a lie.
• They refuse to publish the 2013 Federal tax return (Form 990) until after the annual conference, even though the audited financial statements were finished weeks ago.
• They have already started the ball rolling on incorporating in another jurisdiction (Delaware is often mentioned) so as to be able to avoid the transparency requirements of current governing laws.
• They have already started the ball rolling on completely rewriting the bylaws so as to ensure their power remains undiminished.
The idea that the members of the Executive Committee are persons acting altruistically is laughable beyond the pale. After three solid years of members pleading for transparency, one would think that just for once Stump, Holman, Stock, et al would take the high road and do the right thing, and do it without a struggle.
Would letting VoteNet be used for the bylaw amendment voting really have been against the best interests of AILA? No. But it would have turned a page.
Would disseminating information to the general membership really have been against the best interests of AILA? No, but it would dilute their power, as knowledge is power.
Would going on record to conduct – FOR ONCE – a fair election, allowing all members to have a vote that counted, really be against the best interests of AILA? No, but they don’t want that, and they never have.
Would publishing the tax return now, so that we can see how our money is spent, especially as regards compensation, overseas junkets, and legal fees, and discuss it at the annual meeting – the only time it can be discussed as a group -- really be against the best interests of AILA? No, but then they might have to face some unpleasant facts.
So I don’t hold that these are good people, acting in a manner they feel is best for the organization. They are acting in a manner which they feel is good for the status quo, “because that’s the way it’s always been done”.
They have holed up in their safe room once again, where they are all regaling each other with their double secret handshakes, and laughing at what fools we are for the umpteenth time.