Origins of the "SLATE"
The following discussion took place recently (Feb 15 - 26, 2007) on the MEC Elections listserv. It contains some insights into politics at the MEC. This round of discussion started when Denny O'Brien passed on a message which revealed that a "slate" of candidates had been selected to prevent "uncooperative" and "unfriendly" candidates from being elected.
Editorial comments are in italics.
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Above: Denny O'Brien chaired meetings of the Elections Committee
From Denny O'Brien <removed>
....I don't know how to deal with the following
((Here's the email that we weren't meant to see. I include here the address list that Cliff sent his message to, because it is an accurate picture of the group that is trying to intervene in the election. Note: actual email addresses were removed at the request of some on this list.))
From Cliff Paulin <removed>
Thu, 15 Feb 2007
Subject: MMGG Update
To: "Terry Nieves"<address-removed>“Dave Smith” <removed>, "Callie Morrison"<removed>, "Chris Bennett"<removed>, "Jessica Clark"<removed>, "Sid Cooperrider"<removed>, "Govinda Dalton"<removedt>, "Joe Louis Wildman"<removed>, Ukiah Morrison"<removed>, "Ed Nieves"<removed>, "Dennis O'Brien"<removed>, "Steve Scalmanini"<removed>"Jenny Shakman"<removed>, "Andy" <removed>, "Bill Thornsby"<removed>, "Simka" <removed>
((The list above is apparently those who were originally invited to join the MEC Members For Good Governance (MMGG), with Cliff Paulin as the spokesperson. Cliff is also one of the leaders of GULP, the Greater Ukiah Localization Committee.
It's interesting to see Joe Louis Wildman on the list of these good governors. He's the mastermind of the slate that recently took over the COOP. Others deserve comment. More later.))
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((Editorial comment -- I sound like a lawyer here, but I really wanted Cliff, who is a lawyer, to admit that the MMGG started as a clandestine group, not above board and transparent and inclusive the way we, The Elections Committee, were told to do our work. I admit it. I felt angry and betrayed by this background bargaining,
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From Gabrielle Welford (member of the Election Committee):
Clifford Paulin wrote:
At our meeting there were no oaths of secrecy administered. However as private citizens it is our prerogative to meet with those we choose. Therefore the meeting was not open to the general public.
I wish you and all the candidates the best in the campaign and I assure you that I will support whom ever is elected to the MEC BOD. My sole intention in this activity is to make the MEC the strongest organization possible. There is nothing personal about this campaign for me.
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Dave Smith Jumps In
Mon, 19 Feb 2007,
I don’t know you very well, King, and have not been part of recent KMEC history... and I’m not accusing you personally of any of the above. I know there are personality conflicts that are unresolved. But if you truly care about the future of the MEC, I think it would be wise to let the election play itself out, and then play whatever positive, constructive role in the future that best suits your skills and personality.
Gabrielle Welford responds to Dave Smith
From: Gabrielle Welford <removed>
you seem to be saying that it is “divisive grilling” and being “confrontational” to ask questions. i do have more questions of my own, so i hope these will be received with an attitude more receptive of inquiry and less seemingly insistent on cooperation and smooth sailing at the cost of gaining an understanding of what is happening.
my next question has to do with what is meant by an ability to work cooperatively. i understand that it can be hard for a group to work together if there are always fights going on, but surely it pays to have the possibility of a neutral process in place through which to go deeper and find out where the disagreements are rooted among these people--who are supposedly working together for peace and a sane environment. i have volunteered to get information on putting a grievance process in place (though steve did mention something about an existing grievance process) for this purpose. it seems to me that the fault lies not necessarily with the individuals here, who apparently are on the same side in this struggle, but with the structure we have in place for resolving differences. if we don’t have such a structure in place and people who are willing to meet with a mediator if necessary, the only option will of course be for the parties on one side of the disagreement to try and oust the parties on the other(s).
my question here is whether we are really reduced only to working with people who agree with us and who see cooperation as: “Things get done, decisions are made in a timely manner, meetings are light-hearted and last half the time they did previously. That is what cooperation is all about.”
i think that’s a wonderful goal to work towards but i don’t agree that it is “what cooperation is all about.” cooperation also involves trying to understand where a group of necessarily different people are coming from individually. when someone(s) turns out to have a different vision from the majority point of view on something, are we going to engineer their exit or figure out whether there might be something to what they’re saying --if necessary by calling in a neutral party?