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Old 05-04-2010, 10:44 AM   #309
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When there is a perceived wrong some people walk away, some people fight it and sometimes the only way to get the accused wrongdoer to change is to sue them. All these outcomes are unfortunate and in a more perfect world none would occur. "Quitting" is just as reasonable an approach as fighting and suing.

I wrote some time ago the lawsuit would probably be settled because almost all of them are. That doesn't mean a lawsuit isn't a reasonable approach to resolve some disputes. People get tired of the litigation process and want out. Those nasty old lawyers have run out of room in their garages for another Porsche convertible with all the money they've made so they encourage settlements. Judges encourage settlements too because if every case went to trial, there'd be a 100 year backlog on the docket.

Hampstead's post about culture raises some important points. I'll be interested to see how it all winds out. After the lawsuit ends, I wonder if the WBCCI will be very different culturally even if the financial mess is solved. If it is not very different, I suspect it will still decline because of cultural issues. I think the financial mess is only part of the reason, and possibly a small part, for the long, long decline in membership.

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Old 05-04-2010, 11:30 AM   #310
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"Quitting" is just as reasonable an approach as fighting and suing. Gene
Sure, but once you do, don't keep trying to harass the people that remain
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:20 PM   #311
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By the time someone files for divorce, the "culture" of marriage has already changed. The WBCCI has the marital equivalent of "irreconciliable differences." The real dispute here--as far as I can tell--is a custody battle... ownership over the Byam legacy, the red numbers and blue berets, the trappings and history.

I appreciate your perspective as an attorney, Gene. Maybe the D&O carrier or some other stakeholder will force the International to sit down and discuss settlement... but I don't see any mutually satisfactory compromise. There is no "joint custody" for running an organization. You have a majority bloc of votes on the board... or you don't. Whatever side has majority control will use it to 1) resist change; 2) impose change. Whatever side is out of power will 1) leave; 2) actively resist in an effort to retake power.

The only solution is my mind is to remove almost all authority from the International and push it down to the units. Eliminate all board perqs. Cut International staff to a skeleton crew. Let units keep most of the dues. As long as power is centralized at the International level, the infighting will never cease. Let folks sort things out at the unit level. If one group wants a Lawrence Welk unit and another group wants an Eddie Vedder unit... so be it.

So, does anyone care enough about the WBCCI to have all of the power and privilege of the International... and give it to the units?
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:51 PM   #312
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I also think fair application of club rules and open and just handling of grievances and elections are major issues. Once leadership suspends rules and writes others in to support their personal venue the offices have been compromised and new leaders should have custody of that trust, imo. I am sure there are many of the general membership that would be good custodians. There must be representation of all. Communication has failed. Surveys have failed. Committees have failed. Election attempts have failed. To call deviations "infractions" is extremely generous terminology. Rights have been violated. Boundaries have been crossed. Issues are not simply limited to generational or cultural issues, they have beome matters of illegal activity and immoral practices and deceit.
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:31 PM   #313
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In lurking on this site for some time, I am reminded once again that it's a good thing the good old days of settling our disputes with swords and clubs are behind us.

Good wishes to all beings in these troubled times.
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:33 PM   #314
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There's no doubt there are many issues worthy of reform and Carol has pointed out many. Cultural issues are not so easily resolved via litigation. Even if the court appointed a receiver or a court master to run the nonprofit temporarily, the receiver or master would most likely be involved in specific narrow questions only. I'm not saying that a court would go that far, but only that it is difficult to get into issues like sandals and slacks, prayers and Lawrence Welk through litigation.

There has to be an overall strategy for reform and litigation is one of several tactics available. Litigation may solve some issues, but not all of them.

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Old 05-04-2010, 01:41 PM   #315
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Even if the court appointed a receiver or a court master to run the nonprofit temporarily, the receiver or master would most likely be involved in specific narrow questions only. Gene
Gene, you are now confusing people, we have no intention of requesting a receiver or court appointed anything.

Until you see the complaint hold your horses please.
This is not the intent of the litigation.

The IBT isn't going to run to Rio with the cash.

even though they can't manage money, they are honest, just feckless

(look that one up boys & girls, the IBT had to.)
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:09 PM   #316
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I know what the issues are. What I would like to know is what is being sought by the plaintiffs?
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:29 PM   #317
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I'm not going to post that at this time, for a variety of reasons in a public forum.
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:22 PM   #318
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even though they can't manage money, they are honest, just feckless
(look that one up boys & girls, the IBT had to.)
Many have asked what was the bases of the complaint in the grievances currently under consideration. One is appears to be centered on the use of the word "Feckless" as a description of the IBT. After researching the word they filed a grievance. Since the grievences are top secret we don't know whether they considered that word flattering or unflattering.

For those of you not next to a dictionary that means useless, incompetent, hopeless, spineless, feeble, weak, ineffective, or worthless.
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:23 PM   #319
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Bob, perhaps I have confused you, but neither of us know about others' state of mind. I was musing about the myriad possibilities and did not say what your intentions are because I don't know them. The post was about what a court can and cannot accomplish and some of the avenues open to a court. Be thankful I didn't mention the role of the state attorneys general in nonprofit litigation.

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Old 05-04-2010, 05:54 PM   #320
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Since the grievences are top secret we don't know whether they considered that word flattering or unflattering.

IMO Leo can sing like a canary, he's not a member.

The one thing they did to Leo by expulsion is unleash a pit-bull.

Oh Howie, unflattering, but then again that was only Leo's opinion,
as you know the IBT doesn't allow opinions.

I'll take odds that Leo is reinstated in the lawsuit due to the gross violations of the IBT ignoring their own bylaws. Also when witness can testifiy that Collier said at the Fla State rally " if he (Leo) wins his appeal we have a new grievance waiting to file" how do spell conspiracy?

Here it is

First: That two or more persons, in some way or manner, came to a mutual understanding to try to accomplish a common and unlawful plan;
Second: That the person willfully became a member of such conspiracy;
Third: That one of the conspirators during the existence of the conspiracy knowingly committed at least one of the methods (or 'overt acts') described; and
Fourth: That such 'overt act' was knowingly committed at or about the time alleged in an effort to carry out or accomplish some object of the conspiracy.
An 'overt act' is any transaction or event, even one which may be entirely innocent when considered alone, but which is knowingly committed by a conspirator in an effort to accomplish some object of the conspiracy.



The discovery phase of the lawsuit will be very telling.


There's plenty of parking for Airstreams in Court's parking lot, even a motorhome.


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Old 05-05-2010, 08:15 AM   #321
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The intent of the litigation may have little to do with the results in the end.

If the IBT is honest--as Bob admits--I suspect they are also as sincere. I imagine they believe they are right with same conviction as Carol believes they are wrong.

So all of these attempts to change the International leadership have "failed." Why? Is it because they are feckless? That seems a bit harsh to me. I imagine the leadership is mostly guilty of being on the wrong side of history. They are old and apparently are in their ways. The very things they want to preserve about the WBCCI--the 1967 ethos--are the same things others want to change.

I'm not sure the WBCCI will survive with either group in power, not in the long run. All of the improvements Carol seeks, her entire conceptualization as new leadership as "good custodians" is still a fundamentally "top down" approach.

In my experience, the Airstream community is eclectic, free thinking and often head strong. It is not--I think--a group of shrinking violets. This is one of the reasons I think the traditional, hierarchical model is suboptimal on matter how enlightened the leadership might be. I'm pretty sure litigation is a hammer; I just don't the think WBCCI's problems are a nail.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:51 AM   #322
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So all of these attempts to change the International leadership have "failed." Why? Is it because they are feckless? That seems a bit harsh to me. I imagine the leadership is mostly guilty of being on the wrong side of history. They are old and apparently are in their ways. The very things they want to preserve about the WBCCI--the 1967 ethos--are the same things others want to change.
I agree with this, completely. The leadership is, agewise and/or in mindset, the WWII generation, IMHO. Those stuck fast in the 50's (which did have really great music) should begin to step aside and let some of the younger folks begin to lead this organization into the 21st century.

Message to the current WBCCI leadership: It's okay to do this, you guys---to let go. Some will accuse you of running and caving---ignore them---most will applaud your willingness and ability to allow the legacy of this organization to go on in a form that has changed to adapt to the times we live in---and the people who live in them.

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