Just when you thought the American Numismatic Association has no more feet to shoot off, they pull something new.
I just got off the phone with Cliff Mishler, one of the candidates for board of governors. He received a formal complaint from the ANA regarding his possible violation of the bylaws for putting campaign materials in his personally produced and personally financed and mailed newsletter to volunteers for the World?s Fair of Money in August and for using the convention table at shows to campaign. He is the convention chairman.
This is something I wrote about in the June 26 issue. His situation was paired with that of Barry Stuppler in a Page 4 story. Stuppler sent out a campaign mailing in an envelope marked ?ANA Election Material.? Some alleged that this too was a violation of the bylaws.
Article VI Elections ? Ethics. Section 4. No advertisement relating to an ANA election (or any envelope or wrapper therefor) shall include any name, abbreviation, device or address that will in any manner indicate or imply ANA?s endorsement of, or opposition to, any candidate.?
Mishler has 12 days from the receipt of his formal complaint letter to respond. Letters also went out to Barry Stuppler and to Chet Krause.
At this point, the issue isn?t so much whether Mishler, Stuppler or Krause transgressed the bylaws. Perhaps they have. Perhaps they haven?t. It will be decided by an impartial third party who is a lawyer. But the letter also cites possible penalties that include expulsion. It is the board that would have to act to make this happen. Will the ANA expel its incoming president, or two prominent board candidates who look likely to win after running on a reform platform?
I hope not, but I cannot help but shake my head. The question becomes: will the well be so poisoned at ANA that anything associated with the organization is stunted or killed forever?
It never ceases to amaze me that an organization that lives on the good will and generosity of its members will do so many things to ensure that at least some of the ANA members hate it so much that no gifts will ever be made by them.
How does the ANA hope to raise $40 million for museums on two coasts and to upgrade the Colorado Springs facility?
Yes, they have a professional fund-raising firm. OK. Then what? Who will be approached? Members? Many already are hopping mad. They will say drop dead, go away or go somewhere in the nether world that is very warm
Grants? What nonhobby giver is going to give ANA grants of any size when all the would-be donor has to do is Google the organization and discover the lawsuits it has been involved in and the shoddy treatment of previous big donors? Even the recent complaint by Dwight Manley, which is totally unrelated to the political contest, could have consequences with people he doesn?t even know and will never meet.
Do you think Mr. Manley will ever again make a big donation to the ANA? He may not. His name is currently on the library because of his past giving and his story will long be told.
You cannot run an organization by giving the shaft to its potential donors. You cannot run an organization in a perpetual state of chaos. Excuses and explanations can always be made for one thing or another and they have been offered. When impartial third parties judge the totality of the organization?s record these past two years, I don?t see how they can conclude anything but that something is amiss. That is what the current election is about.
Most ballots will have already been marked and sent in by the time any ANA members see this column. My intention is not to influence the election. It is to influence the future board. Be magnanimous. Don?t perpetuate hard feelings. Apologize even when apologies aren?t warranted. Break this cycle. Start a new page.