Myron Lieberman's Election Campaign Letter

George C. John has posted a web site at which contains collected mailings by the candidates for the Executive Board. Not only does this provide a great service, especially for the 85,000 non-voting members who otherwise will not get a chance to read these letters, but if George keeps this web site up after the election, we will be able to go back and look at it to see if any of the candidates fulfilled their campaign promises.

During the 1996 campaign, William Wright of Ohio provided a similar service. As web technology was still new, Mr. Wright scanned the letters on his scanner and posted them. Unfortunately, Mr. Wright took down his web site shortly after the election was over, so we cannot go back and look at it to see how many campaign promises were broken.

The new web site also contains non-candidate letters. One of the most interesting is from Myron Lieberman, which is entitled "The Future of the US Chess Federation". Myron Lieberman says things about the candidates and about the current members of the Policy Board, without identifying them by name. In part of his letter, he provides examples of things which might happen. I found this section boring at first, because I thought that these were hypothetical examples, until I found one which I know for a fact took place. Here it is, at

"Example 6 Some Board members have either ignored or refused to conform to Board resolutions on several instances. Is this an example of acting in accordance with USCF Policy as required by the "Standards of Conduct?" You would first need to determine that motions duly passed by the Policy Board constitute USCF Policy. Certainly it can affect communication and costs. One Board member's refusal to conform to a Board motion to cease public postings of personal attacks resulted in a severe split on the Board, punitive action (later rescinded), and a severe loss of mutual trust and respect among Board members that has interfered with Board dynamics ever since. Another Board member's refusal to conform to a Board motion to establish an account on the same Internet Service Provider as the rest of the Board resulted in the inability to get return receipts on e-mail to that Board member and the inability to use a private secure chat as an alternative to a conference call. Not only would the use of a chat save the cost of a conference call but it would result in an exact transcript that could be saved or printed by all involved. Don't get me wrong. I am not chastising either of the Board members involved, but I am pointing out that while they may have felt that they had good reasons, failure to conform to Board motions may actually have very significant and possibly long lasting effects on others."

I think everybody knows the identity of the board member who refusal to conform to a Board motion to cease public postings of personal attacks on other board members. I am more interested in the case of the board "member's refusal to conform to a Board motion to establish an account on the same Internet Service Provider as the rest of the Board".

The person who did this is, as everybody who has not had their head in the sand knows, Garrett Scott. The board passed a resolution last year that every board member had to establish an AOL account so that the board members could meet in an on-line AOL chat forum.

This resolution was directed at Garrett Scott, because every other member of the board already had an AOL account.

However, at the May 1-2, 1999 meeting, Garrett Scott admitted that he still does not have an AOL account and, more than that, he does not even have a working computer, although he has just received a computer which somebody has given him.

At the subsequent dinner, Scott explained that the computer he has received as a gift was an old computer which had been discarded by somebody else and which does not have Internet capability. As to why he does not go out and buy a computer, Scott explained that he has "financial priorities" such as making home improvements around the house.

(By the way, my 8-year-old son, George, found a discarded 486 computer in the trash. He brought it home and I got it to work fine. This is apparently the sort of computer Garrett Scott has.)

Because it was apparent that Garrett Scott was not going to be joining AOL any time soon, and that he was probably not even going to be obtaining a working computer any time soon, the resolution calling for all policy board members to have an AOL account was rescinded at the May 1-2, 1999 meeting.

This brings me back to the point that we should keep these old campaign letters. I remember well that when Garret Scott ran for policy board in 1997, his campaign manager, Al Losoff, portrayed Scott as a very computer savvy and knowledgeable person. Scott was running against Gary Prince, who is without doubt a computer expert. Apparently, enough of the electors bought the story about Scott being a computer expert that Scott was elected and Prince was defeated.

I really think Garrett Scott should resign. Not only does he not have the qualifications he said he had when he ran, but he comes to the meetings unprepared. For example, at the latest meeting, Scott voted in favor of the US sending a team to the World Team Championship. Then, a few minutes later, he changed his mind and called for a re-vote so that he could vote against sending a team. At a previous meeting, Scott voted in favor of giving Woody Harris a free airplane ticked to Hawaii, but a while later he changed his mind and spoke against giving the free airplane ticket. Soon thereafter, Scott got up and walked out of the meeting altogether, without saying a word of explanation to anybody.

The reason Scott changes his mind is that he does not bother to familiarize himself with the issues before the meetings, plus he does not have a computer and therefore cannot read the chess politics newsgroups or correspond with other members by e-mail so, when he comes to a meeting, after somebody speaks in favor of something, he agrees with that person, but after somebody else speaks against the same thing, he changes his mind.

Unfortunately, in 1997 nobody made a web site for his campaign letters. Because of this, nobody expect those few who may have kept and preserved those old letters, can go back and read how many campaign promises Garrett Scott has broken by doing this.

Sam Sloan

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