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Will ins be out or outs in?

What do you think of conventional wisdom? That’s a big topic, so let’s apply it only to the American Numismatic Association board of governors election. Tomorrow afternoon we will find out the results. I have my hunches about the results. I have conventional wisdom. I have a professional opinion.

But I do not have the results.

Depending on who I talk to, the results can go dramatically in either direction in favor of the anti-incumbents or in favor of the incumbents.

But I think it is important to see what conventional wisdom says.

Conventional wisdom has it that ANA members believe in orderly transitions of power. Vice presidents always succeed the outgoing president.

Insofar as this year’s election is concerned, that will hold true. Barry Stuppler, the sitting vice president, will become president. Patti Finner, a sitting governor, will ascend to the vice presidency.

Conventional wisdom tends to favor incumbents. They have survived the electoral winnowing process before and will likely survive it again. That would put Gov. Don Kagin back for another term and Gov. Alan Herbert. Both are incumbents. Both are widely known.

You can argue the other side. Don Kagin recently was exonerated by the board in a Dwight Manley complaint. While he won, the publicity can’t be counted as a plus. Alan Herbert has lost an election before. He could do it again. However, conventional wisdom says he will be back.

That makes a count of four incumbents.

For the anti-incumbents, widely known and widely liked candidates have the familiarity factor on their side. Chet Krause and Cliff Mishler come from a long tenure as founders and builders of Krause Publications, my current employer. They are both well known to the ANA electorate.

Former ANA president and executive director Ed Rochette is also widely known and widely liked.

A fourth candidate for this slate, Walter Ostromecki, is widely known and widely talked up by anti-incumbents because he has the distinction of being the first governor to be voted off the board.

There is a huge electoral element in the sentiment to correct the present board’s action to toss him off the board.

That puts the new board at a 4-4 tie. This is not exactly a sweeping victory for either side.

Conventional wisdom can argue the final board member either way. Arthur Fitts, a former governor whose wife currently is retiring from a seat, is viewed as part of the incumbent group. He might provide the fifth vote and a majority for incumbents.

Joe Boling, who is currently chief judge, might provide the fifth vote on the other side. He is widely known as a hard worker and he has done an outstanding job as chief judge. Will that be enough? It could be.

Boling on the board would be the fifth vote for the anti-incumbents.

What will happen? I still don’t know, but I have, I hope, explained conventional wisdom.

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2 Responses to Will ins be out or outs in?

  1. Scott Barman says:

    There is conventional wisdom and then there is an electorate that is not happy with the status quo. As the last general election that looked to change the status quo in congress, letters and editorials printed in Numismatic News shows a frustration with the status quo. Incumbents are seen as representing the perceived problems of the ANA.

    Having attended the ANA candidate forum in Charlotte, it was clear that the audience was for a change in the board. Many of the candidates distinguished themselves not only for their stance against the current board, but for their plans if they were elected. Most made good presentations and those whose editorials have appeared in Numismatic News have been impressive.

    Considering how well the challengers have performed, my version of conventional thinking says that the electorate wants a change. This could mean Don Kagin and Alan Hebert do not hold "safe seats" in this election and that Arthur Fitts does not represent this drive for change.

    I admit that I voted for change. I withheld my vote for president and vice president out of principle. The balance of my ballot was used to vote for those who are not on the current ANA Board of Governors. However, regardless of who gets elected, I wish them well and hope they can accomplish the best for the ANA. They will have my support.

  2. Regarding Mr. Barman’s letter, I applaud him for supporting change. And come tomorrow afternoon, I (as well as others who ran for the board on a pro-reform, anti-incumbent ticket) will see if others like Mr. Barman can truly make a difference and give the regime and their allies a good, hard, swift kick in the rear. I predict that the incumbents will be defeated due to all of the snafus and implosions going on with the current board. I could be wrong, but I could be right. All we can do at the moment is wait and see.

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