LAB election irregularities

10.  Mike Greehan replies to John Allen




The email message below from Greehan to Allen makes some wild accusations and distortions.  We comment on a few of the more outrageous statements using red text.

Note: The domain names in the email addresses below have been altered to protect against email spammers
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From MFGreehan_AT_aol.com

Date Tue, 15 Apr 2003 010112 EDT

Subject Re LAB Board election

To: jsallen_AT_bikexprt.com,
phyllis5377_AT_cs.com,
chris.kegel_AT_wheelandsprocket.net,
bikin-fred_AT_macconnect.com,
jo_AT_tstc.org,
brenda.pulley_AT_alcan.com,
martha_AT_americabikes.org,
bikebarbara_AT_juno.com,
dltakemotoweerts_AT_ucdavis.edu,
twotired_AT_hotmail.com,
rich_killingsworth_AT_yahoo.com,
PAbyCycle_AT_aol.com

cc: elissa_AT_bikeleague.org

X-Mailer 7.0 for Windows sub 10638

Dear John,

Your email to the Board makes a lot of inaccurate statements, bordering on the paranoid.  In addition, I find it surprising that someone who tried the conspiracy in Massachussetts would dare to claim a conspiracy among the people who oppose him/you.

Translation: anyone who opposes the faction that has taken the BikeLeague from the members must be part of a counter-revolutionary conspiracy.  Anything that varies from the party line is, by definition, not THE TRUTH.

A Board supporting its own recommended candidates is not "unfair." It's a responsibility of a Board that believes in those candidates.  I see such election materials coming from companies, for-profit and non-profit, quite often.  There is no rule preventing this, nor is it unfair.  There are, however, rules -- laws, -- preventing people from making knowingly false statements about other people, such as stating the members of the Board broke the rules.

Reformers have not complained about board members campaigning so long as they do it fairly, without taking unfair advantage of their access to member records and so long as they do not change the rules during balloting to favor their candidates.

You failed to mention that the candidate running against the Board's candidate in Region 4 was given the list of League members much earlier in the process than the Board's candidate.

Actually both of the petition candidates (in Regions 1 and 4) were given a printed roster so they could contact members to get the 50 signatures required to get on the ballot.  The board-nominated candidates did not have to get signatures.  The issue here is this printed list is much less useful for a mass-mailing, especially mailing in a hurry to counter a sneak attack.  This is one reason the Terman Letter was unethical.

The League staff hasn't tampered with any ballots, and any insinuation that they have is silly.  The ballots sit unopened at the League office, and on any day, any member can see this.  Or the member can call the League office to verify this.  The current Board has been in favor of a "neutral" vote counter.  I think that it has been Bill Hoffman in recent years.  I don't think that anyone really considers Bill to be "neutral," but we have trusted him, nonetheless.  So the non-trusting, semi-accusatory statements about the League staff peeking into ballots is off base and insulting to them.

We have not specifically said that the staff tampered with the ballots because we have no proof of this.  However, considering the lax ballot handling procedures and the extreme partisanship of the Board president, we feel that tampering is very possible.  The refusal of the League to allow our representatives to observe the count or to inspect ballots gives us even more reason for suspicion.

The first class mail ballots for the members is too expensive.  The League simply can't afford $10,000 or $15,000 or more for an election in which a very small percentage of the membership votes.  This is the only practical way we have of doing the elections.  The fact that the ballots are in the League's magazine is probably an advantage to a candidate running against the Board's candidate.  I think that most League members presume that the Board's candidate is a good one, so they don't bother to vote.  The proof is the recent election in which Joe Stafford won by one vote.  I think Joe told me that the vote was 19-18 (with Bill Hoffman certifying the vote?)

We learned that Kegel paid over $2000 to send the "Terman Letter".  This letter, including the instruction "You do not need to know your member number in order to vote." is the most offensive of the many unethical actions of seven board members.  These seven caused the problem.  They should have paid for the solution -- a new and clean election.  Their refusal is what keeps the problem festering.

The five remaining members of the "Terman Seven" that are still on the board should resign for the good of the League.  They have disgraced themselves and damaged the reputation of the BikeLeague.

Your comment about the League membership number is inaccurate.  If a member send in his/her name on the ballot, the membership number can be investigated.  I may be wrong on this, but I think that the idea for this came from the "opposition" (as you call them) side in an election a few years ago.  In any case, the point was to encourage member voting.  If a member can't find his/her number, it can be looked-up at the League office.  Nobody who's not a member will be allowed to vote, and nobody will be allowed to vote on multiple ballots.  So there are "no grounds for speculation" on this matter, and I, for one, would appreciate it if people would stop fanning the flames of improper speculation.

Only a very naive person would believe this claim.  It would be very easy for a partisan member of a local cycling club to submit several ballots in the names of people he knows that are unlikely to vote.  All it takes is knowing names and addresses of people who are traveling, sick or apathetic.  The instruction "You do not need to know your member number in order to vote." is an invitation to vote fraud.  The refusal to allow us to inspect and challenge ballots gives us good reason to think that Greehan and the rest of his gang of seven have something to hide.

If you really care about the League, John, I encourage you and your friends to stop making incorrect statements and charges against the Board.  It's just silly.  This Board has gone out of its way to be fair.  In an earlier election, when the rules stated that Fred Meredith's petition effort missed the deadline (while he ran against the Board's candidate), the Board voted to follow the spirit of the rule, rather than the letter of the rule.  As a result, we have a dedicated Board member in Fred, who is now working just fine with the Board.  Fred was welcomed just as any other elected or selected Board member will be.

If you really care about the League, Mike, then resign from the Board and give LAB back to the members.  The bit about Fred Meredith is irrelevant.  That was another election in another year.  Also, Fred was not involved in this unethical election activity.

Prior to that, if my memory is correct, the Board voted to have the final At-Large Director position be member-elected, swinging the balance away from Board-selected candidates.  So any insinuation that the Board is acting in a way to assure that the Board, itself, keeps control over member-elected seats is inaccurate and misleading.

John, I encourage you to tone down the rhetoric, as it is destructive.  Nobody has acted in bad faith.  The board members are supporting their candidates.  The League staff are working neutrally.  Please don't fan the flames in order to get your way, by claiming falsely that people are being unfair -- because that type of behavior is, in itself, unfair.

These last two paragraphs are more self-serving excuses.  The faction wishes that reformers would just go away and allow them to control the League for their own purposes.

Best regards,

Mike Greehan
League Board Member




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