Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Open Letter to WAC II

Joe Waldron weighs in--again.
From:    Joe Waldron [jwaldron@halcyon.com]
Sent:    Monday, February 14, 2011 1:31 PM
Subject:    WAC Open Letter II

An open letter to WAC members, Part II

(I started putting this e-mail list together in 1994, when I first started lobbying for the Washington Arms Collectors, Washington State Rifle & Pistol Association and other gun groups.  This is NOT a membership list of any organization.  It is a private list put together by me.  GOAL Post is available to anyone with an interest in keeping up to speed on Washington gun politics.  I realize many of the individuals on this e-mail list are NOT WAC members, but I have no way of knowing who is and who isn’t.  If you are not a WAC member, just ignore it.)

First, my thanks to those of you who responded to my first e-mail.  No response was necessary, but the overwhelming favorable e-mails and telephone calls I received affirmed my original
decision to publish such a letter.

Friday, 11 February was a red "letter" day for me.  The February issue of the WAC Gun-News arrived in my snail mail box, and my e-mail box received a missive from WAC Director and candidate for reelection Jim Williams.  This comes on the heels of the anonymous hit piece flyer distributed at the last WAC gun show in Puyallup.

Mr Williams devotes the first paragraph of his e-mail to me.  He notes, correctly, that I appointed him to fill a WAC board vacancy several years ago when I was WAC president.  He expresses
disappointment that I have not endorsed him for reelection.

I, too, am disappointed.  Disappointed by Mr Williams' actions and those of some other board members.   When I first appointed him to the board, and during my tenure as President, Mr Williams was a very productive board member.  Since my departure from Washington, through reading of the minutes of the monthly WAC board meetings, it has been my clear impression that his contributions to the WAC have been mainly negative.  He is one of the leaders of what I believe to be an out-of-control board element.  I mentioned in my previous Open Letter than the WAC board has undergone several "intramural cat fights" on the board.  This one is by far the most bitter I have experienced. 

I notice in Mr Williams' e-mail, that the "To" list reads "Jim Williams\(Mt Rainier)\."  I may be wrong, but that would appear to be his Friends of NRA list.  I wonder what the NRA would think of a former NRA employee using a list developed for NRA purposes for private use?  Or by his apparently distributing what I believe to be libelous material from what is supposed to be a "FoNRA table?"  (I have been told the NRA is not amused by this behavior.)

As for the "anonymous" flyer, the author of this screed is either incredibly ignorant of the truth, or thinks you are equally ignorant and gullible.  (Anonymous flyers are -- or were -- a no-no in WAC elections.  If it was displayed on his table, one can only assume Mr Williams takes responsibility for it.  A formal complaint was lodged with the WAC board over the contents of this flyer.  At the WAC board meeting on 8 February, the board took no action on the complaint.  When Secretary Mathews made a motion to ban such anonymous flyers -- again -- it was rejected on a 6-0 vote.)

Back to the flyer: First, there is no such thing as the "Second Amendment Foundation Political Action Corporation."

There is no such thing as a "political action CORPORATION" of any kind. 

It's a political action COMMITTEE (PAC).  And the SAF is NOT A PAC.  By law, it cannot be a PAC.  Nor does it have an associated PAC.  SAF is organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  SAF is a leader in EDUCATION about the gun rights issue.  It is also a leader in protecting our Second Amendment Rights through LEGAL ACTION (i.e. lawsuits).  SAF was the first and original filer (with the Illinois State Rifle Association) of the case of McDonald v City of Chicago, which was the case that the Supreme Court used to affirm the Second Amendment rights of EVERY CITIZEN IN THE U.S.   SAF currently has nearly 20 lawsuits running in various jurisdictions across the U.S. (to include the suit against the Seattle gun ban) to extend and expand the rights affirmed under McDonald.

As for Mr Williams alleged concern that SAF will have "significant power and influence" in the operation and direction of the Washington Arms Collectors..."  Hello!  Where was Mr Williams when THREE SAF employees were on the WAC board a few years ago?  Did they try to take over our club?  NO!  Mr Workman (a SAF employee) and Mr Gottlieb (SAF founder), IF he is elected, would constitute 2/9 of the WAC board.  Hardly enough to control WAC.

Just for the record, when I was a WAC director and later president, I was also on the board of the Washington State Rifle & Pistol Association and the Wildlife Committee of Washington/Kenmore Ranges.  I am currently on the board of the CCRKBA and the Florida Sports Shooting Association.  No takeovers there, either.   Nor any conflict of interest, just as there was none when Mr Williams was both an NRA employee and a WAC director.

The relationship between WAC and GOAL, an independent state-registered political action committee, is one that goes back about two decades.  I believe the case can be made that if it weren't for GOAL's political activity, both in Olympia and in the election process in Washington, there MIGHT NOT BE A WAC.  Recall the big red and white "No on 5197" buttons that several hundred gun owners wore at the "gun show loophole" hearing in Olympia four years ago?  They came from GOAL, as did the alert bulletin that drew so many of the attendees.

Yes, WAC allows GOAL to collect $2 from everyone who purchases a ticket to enter the show.  This funds GOAL's political activities, activities that DIRECTLY BENEFIT WAC, among ALL
of Washington's gun owners.  Interesting, this funding all comes from non-members, not WAC members.  WAC doesn't pay a penny in direct political activity.  I would also note that in my 18 sessions as a gun lobbyist in Olympia, I have never seen ANY other gun show promoter testify on gun bills in Olympia (with the exception of the Pacific Northwest Shooting Park Association, a tiny group located on the Olympic peninsula).

It never ceases to amaze me how many gun owners, even WAC board members, show so little interest in the very legislative process that protects -- or threatens -- our very existence.  Rather than look at GOAL as a strong ally and partner, Mr Williams and friends appear to want to disassociate themselves -- and WAC -- from GOAL.  Four of the five GOAL trustees are either current or former WAC elected officials.  The fifth is a former elected official of the WSR&PA.  In most places that would be considered a great example of cooperation and commitment.

I could go on and on.  But I recognize readers reach a saturation point.  Like the attacks on Mr Bull, much of which is a matter of opinion only, while ignoring the myriad by-law and election rule violations committed by these out-of-control (again, in my opinion) board members.   It would be interesting, too, to learn who leaked the contents of Mr Bull's campaign ad -- in VIOLATION of WAC election rules -- that allowed Mr Williams to write his "rebuttal insert" ad. 

A common smear tactic used in political campaigns is to accuse your opponent of doing exactly the kind of things you are doing, such as violating by-laws and/or club rules.  The sole purpose of this kind of behavior is to distract and sow confusion among the electorate.  Ditto the poorly-advised recall effort against President Bull -- right in the middle of the annual WAC election cycle.  TO WHAT PURPOSE?
As I recall it, Mr Williams supported the hiring as a paid WAC employee one of his old cronies.   And it was the behavior of five WAC board members in dumping WAC life member Dan Frank
in an anonymous vote that got themselves and WAC subjected to a lawsuit.  We have yet to see the final bill on that one.

A century and a half ago, Abraham Lincoln observed, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, or all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."  "Anonymous" flyers like these are intended to fool all WAC members until after the WAC election cycle.  There's an old saying, "character is doing the right thing even when no one is looking."  These board members need to understand WE ARE LOOKING.  and we don't like what we see.  Character, like honor, seems to be sadly lacking by certain individuals.

The behavior of some of these board members reminds me of the Pelosi Congress, who ignored the will of the people.  They forgot who "brung'em to the dance."  And like the Pelosi Congress, the WAC electorate can send them packing as well.

Again, I believe the following individuals represent the best interests of WAC and the WAC membership and I urge you to vote for them in this election:
President: Lee Bull
Board members:
Bill Burris
Alan Gottlieb
Kirby Wilbur
Dave Workman
Rick Verzal


Anonymous said...

Thanks Drang, and also thanks for spreading the word over on APN.


D.W. Drang said...

Glad to be of service. I don't do so well in public debates, but I do what I can.