01 August 2005

More News From the ACLU of Eastern Missouri

If you read my post of 30 July, you will know there has been some in fighting among the ACLU of Eastern Missouri. Well, there was an election last night. In a stunning upset, the incumbent Adam Zaretsky was defeated by challenger Ray Hartmann. The vote was 119-32 garnering Hartmann nearly 4 times as many more supporters than Zaretsky. Why is this news to us? Because the state chapter has been plagued with resignations in recent days. Resignations which have yet to be explained. Those members who have resigned, are being quiet indicating a non-disclosure agreement. And this challenge to Zaretsky is unprecedented. Zaretsky was only elected as chapter board President last year. It has been an understood tradition, that once a President is elected to a one year term, he runs un-opposed for the next two terms. And as such guaranteeing a 3 year term.
The Hartmann challenge has surfaced allegations of racial bias and friction among the senior board members. The alleged friction and racial bias is being played down by the rhetoric out of the new board president. Here is the article from my alerts:
ACLU chapter elects Hartmann president By Joel Currier Of the Post-Dispatch 07/31/2005
Former newspaper publisher Ray Hartmann ousted incumbent Adam Zaretsky on Sunday as board president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri. The chapter's top official, Brenda Jones, says it may be the first contested presidential race in the group's 85-year history. Hartmann won the election 119-32 at Washington University's law school. Nearly four times as many voters chose Hartmann as president in hopes he can unify the organization, troubled by internal strife that some suspect may have led to the unexplained resignations of its legal director and two volunteers. "We have a lot of work to do in fighting for civil liberties," Hartmann, 53, told ACLU members after winning the election. "Let's pull together." Hartmann was nominated for the post in June, about a month before the group's legal director, Denise Lieberman, resigned for reasons that have not been disclosed. Two volunteers also resigned in recent weeks: Katherine Goldwasser, who sits on the group's legal steering committee that decides the group's cases; and Marilyn Teitelbaum, a lawyer who has volunteered as one of the group's general counsels for more than a decade. Hartmann, who in 1977 founded the free St. Louis weekly newspaper, The Riverfront Times, says his media experience will lift the group's public profile at a time when American civil liberties are being threatened. He said the ACLU needed to become far more aggressive in defending the Bill of Rights. Zaretsky, 38, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said he was not surprised by the outcome of the election because the "stalwarts" - his supporters who traditionally attend ACLU meetings - failed to turn out for the election. Sunday's election was unusual because the organization has had a long-standing practice of ensuring three-year presidential terms by not challenging first-term incumbents in the subsequent two elections. Zaretsky, who will continue to serve as a board member, said the ACLU needed to heal and get back to defending civil liberties instead of wasting time with "internal politicking." Several supporters for both candidates gave two-minute speeches inside Washington University's Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom before the votes were counted. Hartmann's supporters criticized the organization for its poor communication with the chapter's members. Zaretsky's backers said Hartmann lacked enough experience and organizational knowledge to lead the board. Jones, the executive director, said she did not vote in the election and was glad that it was finished. She said she was "not disappointed" by the outcome and expressed confidence in Hartmann's ability to unify the ACLU chapter. Jones said she wasn't interested in discussing claims that Hartmann had run for the position to punish Zaretsky's decision to hire her as the group's first black executive director. Hartmann says his decision to run has nothing to do with Jones or race. "I don't think the organization is really disunified or in disarray," Jones said. "I'm going to focus on setting up a way of communicating with members on a more regular basis, looking at programs, making sure they're strong and they're safe and make sure the board members are situated and doing the best possible job they can." This report comes at the courtesy of STLtoday.com.
Sugar coating followed by smoke and mirrors. Typical tactics of the left. Let's see how long the chapter stays together. And a special thanks to our Special Friends Indepundit, Mudville Gazette, and Outside The Beltway. Blogger's 1st Amendment Pledge If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.


Blogger Yo N.T. said...

Hrm. The ACLU of Eastern Missouri seems fine.

4/01/2008 12:04:00 AM  

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