LET'S HAVE A CLEAN ELECTION!
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
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.
||Let's have a CLEAN election!
||7/30/01 1:02:22 AM Pacific Daylight Time
||firstname.lastname@example.org ('Tim Redman-USCF President'),
email@example.com ('George De Feis -CEO')
||firstname.lastname@example.org ('Barbara Vandemark'),
email@example.com ('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
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
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.
But certainly, I AM NOW, I HAVE BEEN FOR DECADES AND I SHALL ALWAYS
CONTINUE TO BE; a USCF MEMBER.
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
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
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
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 excerpts
from key email exchanged on this matter:
To: Donald Schultz ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; BFORTADO@unf.edu ; Bob Smith ;
email@example.com ; Harvey Lerman ; Peter Dyson ; firstname.lastname@example.org ;
email@example.com ; MojoEnt95@aol.com ; Pballi@aol.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ;
Cc: Daren Dillinger ; email@example.com ; Bduscf@aol.com ; Arnold
Denker ; Harold Dondis ; Bruce Draney ; William Goichberg ; JerryHanken@aol.com
; Joe Ippolito ; Carol Jarecki ; Rachel Lieberman ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; Tim
Redman ; email@example.com ; Yasser Seirawan ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2001 7:33 PM
From: Pistola@worldnet.att.net (Doris Barry)
Subject: Re: Florida USCF
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
Date: 7/26/2001 10:07:04 AM Pacific Daylight Time
From: Pistola@worldnet.att.net (Doris Barry)
To: email@example.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
Date: 7/26/2001 10:51:20 AM Pacific Daylight Time
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
C'est la vie!
Subj: Re: PS on Florida
USCF Election Question
Date: 7/25/2001 7:05:10 PM Pacific Daylight Time
To: Chessdon, Pistola@worldnet.att.net
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
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.