The fake "Financial Crisis" created by USCF Treasurer Tom Dorsch

It has repeatedly been said in Internet postings by Tom Dorsch and his allies that the USCF is in a financial crisis. More than that, as I make telephone calls around this great nation of ours to the crusty curmudgeons who happen to hold the voting power of the USCF by the balls, I repeatedly hear them say that, according to our USCF treasurer, Tom Dorsch, the USCF is about to go belly up.

The USCF has a full time accountant. As a candidate, I have just yesterday received 24 pages of financial reports from the USCF, showing the full financial figures as of April 30, 1999. These reports are complete and detailed. I wish that these reports were distributed to the voting members, so that the voters could see what the true situation at the USCF is. Unfortunately, the rule is that the candidates get these reports, but the voting members do not.

However, I can say in summary that the claim by Tom Dorsch that the USCF is in a state of financial disarray is simply a lie. He tells these lies to get elected. The voting members should ask him to provide the same 24 pages of reports, so that they can judge for themselves.

Mike Cavallo is a very highly qualified person who is doing an excellent job of dealing with a difficult situation created by Tom Dorsch. By the way, the USCF made a profit of $63,000 for the month of April, 1999, as opposed to a loss of $66,000 for the month of April, 1998.

I must apologize for a previous error I made. It has been pointed out to me by several persons that the USCF did not have a profit of $20,000 in fiscal 1998 but rather a loss of $20,000. I regret the error.

As to claim that the USCF is in a crisis, this depends on what you mean by "crisis". To most people, this implies that the USCF is in danger of going bankrupt or out of business sometime within the next few months. On the chess discussion groups, people are asking whether they should renew their memberships for one year, in view of the reports that the USCF is going out of business. One heading posted by a member says "The USCF is bankrupt".

Tom Dorsch is clearly the person responsible for leading chess players to believe that the USCF may be closing down some time within the next few months. Dorsch should be held accountable for this. I have never heard another case where the treasurer of an organization circulated rumors of possible financial failure of an organization which in fact is financially healthy. Usually, a treasurer will claim that things are fine when they are not.

It also needs to be pointed out that much of the "losses" by the USCF are merely bookkeeping entries, such as how much the USCF pays itself for rent (since the USCF owns the building) and how much the USCF sets aside as a reserve for the life members (most of whom became life members by paying a total of either $60 or $100 back in the 1960s).

The latest letter by Tom Dorsch, which unfortunately he has not posted on the newsgroups but which can be seen at , consists of a direct attack on the USCF Executive Director, Mike Cavallo. Over all, the USCF has been profitable since Cavallo has been Executive Director.

During most of the first year of 1996-1997 that Don Schultz was president and Tom Dorsch was treasurer, George Filippone was "Acting Executive Director". Tom Dorsch voted to buy out Filippone and to pay him a lot of money to leave, even though Filippone had only been in office for a few months since August, 1996. (Perhaps we should file a members derivative suit against Dorsch to get back the money he paid to Filippone). Everybody now agrees that Filippone was incompetent. According to Dorsch, the USCF lost a half-million dollars during the few months Filippone served as Acting Executive Director.

When Cavallo came in during the middle of the 1997 fiscal year, he made back some of the money which Filippone had lost. In the half year that Cavallo was here in Fiscal 1997, the USCF made $137,000. Counting the fiscal 1998 loss of $20,000, for Cavallo's first 1.5 years on the job, the USCF is plus $117,000. This is despite large expenses for the payouts for Filippone (all of which were charged to Cavallo's period) and Lawrence (almost half of which were charged to Cavallo's period), not to mention paying for 8 years of neglected infrastructure and obsolete inventory from 1991-95.

The figures for May are not in yet, but it appears that the Month of May was profitable. Even assuming there is a loss for the 1999 fiscal year, seems likely that overall the USCF will have made a profit for the 2 1/2 years that Cavallo has been Executive Director, in spite of the tremendous expenses of upgrading the telephone and computer systems and paying off the $235,000 Informant debt left over from the War in Bosnia.

However, even if that is wrong and there is a loss, that still does not equal a "financial crisis". Tom Dorsch also suggests that the USCF spend a lot of money, including by hiring a webmaster. This is another stupid idea. The average 10th grader in high school now has his or her own web site. Every day, I get e-mail from little girls in the sixth grade and under asking me for advice in setting up their web sites, because I have a popular web site. (I have to be extremely careful in responding to these letters, needless to say.) Tom Dorsch does not have a web site and obviously knows nothing about it, but he wants the USCF to hire a web master (at great expense obviously) while cutting costs by firing the Executive Director, Mike Cavallo (read Dorsch's campaign letter). Actually, web technology is so widespread that I feel that every member of the USCF office staff, with the possible exception of the janitor, should be given a five minute course in how to maintain a web site. This would save the $37,000 per year the USCF is now paying an outside company to maintain its web site at .

Sam Sloan

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