by Daren Dillinger

Editor's note:  Daren Dillinger, a USCF Elector for Florida elected in 2000 by the federation
members in that state, has since moved to California and as a result did not receive his ballot for the 2001 Executive Board election.  Dillinger continues to write a chess column for the Florida Times-Union newspaper, and the Florida Chess Association has supported his continuation as an Elector representing that state.

Dillinger recently contacted USCF Secretary Doris Barry to request a replacement ballot.  This should have been routinely sent to him in accord with past practice, as each ballot must be mailed in a numbered outer envelope so there is no possibility of voting twice if the original ballot appears.  Instead, Doris argued against his right to a new ballot, causing a delay in sending one at a time when the deadline for its return was less than two weeks away.  She also suggested that Florida remove Dillinger as a voter.  

The USCF Secretary is responsible for conducting the Executive Board election, and past holders of this office have been scrupulously impartial.  This incident, and previous ones involving nominating petitions and the ballot mailing date announcement, represent the first time any USCF Secretary has appeared to run an election in a partisan manner.  

Doris Barry also sent a political mailing to electors at about the time the ballots went out, which made the incredible claim that US ChessLive costs USCF nothing.  This despite the fact that even USCF President Tim Redman, a strong supporter of Games Parlor, has publicly estimated the annual cost to be $100,000.    

Subj: Let's have a CLEAN election!
Date: 7/30/01 1:02:22 AM Pacific Daylight Time
From: DDillinger
To: redman@utdallas.edu ('Tim Redman-USCF President'), execdir@uschess.org ('George De Feis -CEO')
CC: execassist@uschess.org ('Barbara Vandemark'), pistola@worldnet.att.net ('Doris Barry')

Greetings George De Feis and Tim Redman,

    I am but a student of Chess and its history... and an appreciative fan of all those who have worked to provide me this outlet.  Chess has served me well.

    You perhaps have not been aware that the USCF Executive Board secretary,  Doris Barry, has been using her USCF position  making several phone calls to some, and Emails to all members of the Florida Chess Assn. Board of Directors, lobbying them as to who they can replace me with.  Does she do this to others?  Or am I getting special attention?

    In her lobbying, she outright mentioned names of her recommendations, as to who to put in, when my position becomes vacant... She had been telling them that she has the power to rule me ineligible, and will do so (despite me being certified April of this year), if certain issues are not resolved to her satisfaction.

    In her position, even to lobby truthfully, as she suggests others; would be wrong; in my humble opinion.  In her lobbying she made no mention that I said I had sent in USCF dues last year, Nor, telling anyone I had sent in for a year  extension EARLY, on July 21st by certificate of mailing.  In her lobbying efforts to have me replaced, she acted like I was "unwilling" to be a USCF member.   I sent in a one year extension, early... even though the official USCF site reflected my  membership was still current.  She knew all of this before starting her phone calls and emails to Florida officials.

   Naturally, she made no mention to me on the phone; that this was a remaining issue. . . certainly, if I would have had a hint, I could have easily renewed  over the phone with my VISA  card.

    Even if Ms. Barry WERE CORRECT in all of her facts, I feel that exercising this vested political interest in her election position; is unethical.  As a key USCF official involved in the election/ballot process, she should try to be neutral.  In fact, in an attached Email below, Ms. Barry says that this is a "political" issue about my eligibility.  The politics as to who we vote for, should NOT be a factor here.

    Last year, with the knowledge of my state's officials, I moved out of Florida.  I offered to serve out my term as a voting delegate, or until they replaced me, at F.C.A.'s  discretion.  I was officially certified by USCF as a voting delegate in April of this year.

   When I phoned Ms. Barry (732-936-0260) at her New Jersey address, ( 30 Manor Drive, Red Bank, NJ  07701 ) to ask her why I had not got my ballot yet...   I THOUGHT any issues she mentioned had been resolved to her satisfaction.  She gave me no hint, that she was being silent on issues. That she was only acting like they were all resolved -- So as to use a one-sided barrage of phone calls and Email to lobby against me to the Florida Board.

   I chose not to argue with her about my  USCF address change AND renewal of my membership sent in LAST  YEAR.   Again I say; I sent in an EARLY extension July 21st. this year. 


   Everyone else [The Chess Journalist of America, Florida Chess Assn. & other business contacts] processed my change of address correctly, last year.

    Why would I make USCF the ONLY exception to not notify, or maintain my membership? . . . Especially this year.

    I have been currently involved in chess as I write my Chess column that continues to appear in the Florida  Times-Union newspaper, and of course I am currently a judge in several categories, for the ongoing CJA awards.

   It would have been nice if Ms. Barry had been concerned with resolution of this membership issue, rather than to make it a pretext of her unethical behavior to tarnish my name to a wide Emailing list.

    There are several issues that should be important to us all!

    1.)    Ms. Barry claims that there are over 30 certified delegates, who have lapsed USCF membership.  Did she send those ballots out?   Is she trashing some ballots that come in, making ex-post de-facto rulings, that some are ineligible ? . . .as she tried with me? 

    QUITE CLEARLY, our By-Laws do not even require USCF membership, after being certified.  See Section 8.  It would seem reasonable that we may require continued USCF membership in the future, but certainly now we do not.

    2.)    Certainly we should not be having biased people like Ms.  Barry, making up rules to weed out some people. . . and not others.   The election process should be sacrosanct.  (see attached Emails, as By-lay committee members and chairman, support this obvious fact).

    3.)    I am impressed with the tellers already assigned to do  the actual counting of the ballots.  They are a good cross-section of the political spectrum.  BUT  we should now be concerned about the process before the ballots are counted.  

    I call upon the leadership of USCF to NOT discard any of the envelopes that the ballots were mailed in.  I would also want to verify that the post marks of the envelopes  and monitor closely ballots that are not mailed, but "hand delivered".  This is not just for one vested interest.  With the ill will generated by various parties, USCF should expend every effort to raise the election process above the manipulation that the Executive 'Board Secretary ( and others?)is doing.

    4.)    We cannot train people to be ethical, but perhaps we can monitor and instruct  people to specifically not do certain unethical things.

    And of course, it would be nice if you would verify that my ballot was mailed out.

    Warmest personal regards,  Daren  Dillinger
PS.  I feel that again this year, that personal hostility is reaching a new high in USCF politics.  Doing an honest critique of an opponent is one thing, but  there are way too many underhanded Emails sent.   I recently picked up my August, 1963 issue of  CHESS LIFE, and no one could say it better than Fred Cramer on page 184: "Personal hostility, intended or subconscious, obvious or cleverly disguised, must be vented on couches and not on printed pages.  Written brickbats, are still brickbats, worse they are bad business, bad morally, and very bad organizationally.  No lesson in our history is clearer."

Perhaps inspired by Cramer's words, Duncan Oxley posted an editorial on the Web site:   http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Portal/8229/elimi.html , which is titled: Eliminate the RUDE  DUDES  from USCF

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Here are excerp
ts from key email exchanged on this matter:

  To: Donald Schultz ; jonh@atlantic.net ; BFORTADO@unf.edu ; Bob Smith ; persante@email.msn.com ; Harvey Lerman ; Peter Dyson ; cuninghm@psych.ufl.edu ; adilley@gate.net ; MojoEnt95@aol.com ; Pballi@aol.com ; andrew@packet.net ; chessnut@mindspring.com

  Cc: Daren Dillinger ; mike_cavallo@juno.com ; Bduscf@aol.com ; Arnold Denker ; Harold Dondis ; Bruce Draney ; William Goichberg ; JerryHanken@aol.com ; Joe Ippolito ; Carol Jarecki ; Rachel Lieberman ; mccrary@axs2k.net ; Tim Redman ; hdsabine@juno.com ; Yasser Seirawan ; sloan@ishipress.com

  Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2001 7:33 PM
  From:    Pistola@worldnet.att.net (Doris Barry)
  Subject: Re: Florida USCF Election Question


        Dear Don,  I have seen Judy's e-mail and I am not aware that this issue is  resolved. Secondly, I think it inappropriate for you to involve a member of the office staff 
in a political matter. . . . .

Subj:    Re: Florida USCF Election Question

Date:    7/26/2001 10:07:04 AM Pacific Daylight Time

From:    Pistola@worldnet.att.net (Doris Barry)

To:    persante@msn.com (persante),


I have a question for you.  Is it appropriate for a state to be represented for almost 2 years by someone who moved to Ca. when the president of that state organization does not have a vote. Presidents of state organization are volunteers who give a great deal of time and effort? Is  appropriate for him not to have a say in determining who represents him and his state in  the national organization? I know of no other state president or organization who would permit this injustice. . .   

Subj:    Re: Florida USCF Election Question

Date:    7/26/2001 10:51:20 AM Pacific Daylight Time

From:    Chessdon

Re the previous discussions.

Its over and I won't dwell on it other than to say:

Any of you can see for yourself what the USCF bylaws say or don't say regarding membership requirements for electors by looking at the relevant sections of the bylaws which are in the 2001 Delegate Call you received as a delegate/Alternate Delegate. Look at Article V Section 8 electors on page 34, and Article, VI Section 5 on page 36. You will find no requirement for membership for electors such as Daren.

Also, Daren claims he paid his USCF dues. USCF records show he paid his dues. The claim is being made that the office updated the records prematurely . . .

Lastly, it seems strange to me that Daren was certified as an elector, sent a ballot that was unfortunately directed to the wrong address and then a second ballot was delayed for a variety of reasons starting with his living out of state, requiring authorization of a past State President and culminating in an open argument over whether Daren had paid his dues, dues that don't seem to be a requirement.

C'est la vie!

Don Schultz

Subj:    Re: PS  on Florida USCF Election Question

Date:    7/25/2001 7:05:10 PM Pacific Daylight Time

From:    Chessdon

To:    Chessdon, Pistola@worldnet.att.net

Dear Doris:

First to avoid any misunderstanding the payment will be made by credit card tomorrow even though it is unnecessary and even though he is listed on the USCF records as having paid. If you say he hasn't we will address that later and pay again.

Second the co-chairs of the bylaw committee have been contacted.

Co-Chair Nolan told Winston that on checking he confirms that the USCF reports that Daren has paid.

The other co-chair Harold Winston is trying to reach you by phone to tell you that the bylaws do not require Daren to be member and you should send him his ballot, but your line is busy.

Please send him his ballot express mail because if he does not receive it in time to fill it out and return it to Framingham in time to be counted there will be a problem.


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