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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Which Way ADDA Pt.3 Debbaudt Defeats McGrath's "Special Membership Meeting"

Thanks to ADDA President Marc Debbaudt, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorneys will get the opportunity to decide for themselves whether to sever ties with AFSCME - the pro-Prop 47 big labor group that thus far succeeded only in taking over $1M in "union dues" from DDAs, while delivering nothing in return, or become independent and lower the cost of being an authorized "bargaining unit."

Debbaudt succeeded in blocking a sneaky move by ADDA Executive Vice President Jeff McGrath that would have denied the rank and file a vote. On November 18, 2014, McGrath responded to pressure from the Dragnet to lay his cards on the table and state unequivocally whether he supported giving DDAs a vote on the future of the ADDA - one that remains hog-tied in an unholy alliance and allegiance to AFSCME, or one where the ADDA would be independent. In his response, McGrath stated that he wanted "a special membership meeting to be held on December 15th to allow all members of the union to make this decision." (See Which Way ADDA Pt 2 and scroll down to the 6:00am Update.)

Well that sounds fair enough, doesn't it? "A special membership meeting" where "all members of the union" get to decide? What could possibly be wrong with that? That's a rhetorical question, because there is a great deal wrong with a "special membership meeting."

If DDAs need any better example of why they need to vote to terminate AFSCME's right to take $365,000 a year in "union dues," it is the bald-faced lie that was fed to them by McGrath - an unashamed AFSCME supporter. The "special membership meeting" that McGrath attempted to orchestrate would have meant that a simple majority vote by 45 DDAs would have decided the issue. Under "union rules" McGrath only needed to have 23 DDAs to vote in favor of remaining hog-tied to AFSCME, and 850 DDAs would be "spoken for." McGrath apparently believed that he could round up enough votes to carry the day and deliver DDAs irrevocably into the hands of AFSCME.

McGrath's AFSCME "special membership meeting" was, apparently, within union rules allowing for such meetings to empower less than 5% of the membership to make irrevocable decisions for the majority. Thanks to efforts from Debbaudt, there will be no "special membership meeting," instead, much to the chagrin of McGrath and AFSCME, all members will be mailed ballots and will get to vote on whether to terminate AFSCME.

There many reasons why DDAs need to end their servitude to AFSCME. ADDA President Marc Debbaudt has listed many of them here, but surely the most compelling reason must be to put an end to kind of backroom underhand shenanigans like McGrath's "special membership meetings."

DDAs currently have no say in what their $365,000 in annual "union dues" is used for. AFSCME recently used DDA's dues to support Prop 47, a voter initiative that will result in responsibility for prosecuting 40,000 cases a year being taken away from the District Attorney's Office, and given to City Attorneys to prosecute as misdemeanors instead of felonies. It remains to be seen how that will impact the staffing requirements of the DA's Office, but by any rational analysis, it would appear that the need for felony prosecutors has been significantly diminished.

AFSCME also falsely used the ADDA's "Business Representative" to mislead law enforcement members into believing that DDAs supported an attack on PPOA, the Professional Peace Officers Association - another backroom underhand shenanigan that was perpetrated without the knowledge of DDAs.

AFSCME has a filthy reputation amongst law enforcement groups, one so unsavory that it prompted Alan Barcelona, President of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association, not only to point out the number of AFSCME executives who have been convicted of corruption, but to pose the question, "why would anyone in law enforcement want to be represented by those kind of people?"

AFSCME, by its own actions over Prop 47, its abuse of DDA's relationship with PPOA, and McGrath's underhanded attempt to preempt and deny a full members vote, has proven that AFSCME is not a fit body to represent DDAs in any capacity. It is time to end the relationship and to allow Debbaudt not only to lead DDAs independently, but also to lower the annual dues currently exacted from DDAs, something he has committed to do.

On December 15, 2014, ADDA dues paying members will receive ballots allowing them to vote on which way ADDA: stay with AFSCME and continue to hand over $365,000 a year with zero results and even less accountability, or terminate AFSCME and end the dark clouds of the Ipsen-Seligman era, the shady McGrath attempt to end-run democracy, and finally get real representation and some value for money.

&tc.


21 comments:

Marc Debbaudt said...

We had our first ever membership meeting in October and offered free dinner. 6 members showed up. The idea of having a membership meeting on this crucial issue was a farce. Denying our 400 voting members a mail-in ballot on the concept of getting them all to show up at a meeting was little more than denying the majority a vote. This was obvious to all involved. Also, what is easier to contrive? Getting the few necessary people to show up who you know support your position, or awaiting to see how 400 secret ballots tally up. One is easier than the other to stack. Finally, after reading the writing on the wall, counting the Board votes, revealing the ugly and anti-democratic process of just the Board determining the fate of the members, and perhaps other political pressures, AFSCME acknowledged the propriety of a member election on remaining affiliated or withdrawing, and all of the efforts to deny the members that right have collpased. I have to thank LA Dragnet for their part in communicating the importance of giving the members the vote on this crucial topic. So we WILL be having a vote and ballots will be mailed out on 12/16, the day after the 12/15 Board meeting.

Marc Debbaudt

Anonymous said...

Pity you don't spend as much time working for the county as you do working for management as a union buster on the county dime, but don't worry, notes are being kept. As usual this blog is nothing but a bunch of lies. The fact is that many DDAs are too busy with their own lives (not blogging in their underpants) to attend lawfully constituted union meetings, and recognizing this, a proposal was made for a special members meeting so that it would not be necessary for a costly mail in ballot. That's all. No hidden agendas, no back room deals, just the union looking after its brothers and sisters. It makes me sick to read this crap written by an ungrateful hater who cannot be bothered to get involved in ADDA union business, but that's OK because heroes like Steve Ipsen and Hyatt Seligman gave their best to fight for the Union that you people now trash. You benefit from their sacrifices and whine bitch and moan about paying dues? You are not fit to lick the soles of their boots. Suck it up, we won, get over it.

Anonymous said...

I'm in favor of the ADDA being independent from big labor groups like AFSCME. I resent that for the past 3 years DDAs have had a big chunk of their pay taken by AFSCME to pay off the legal fees incurred by Ipsen and Seligman. That debt is long paid off, but how come there's no talk of a reduction in dues? In fact I understand that AFSCME will raise dues to $100 a month as soon as this affiliation deal is done, and there is nothing, not a GD thing that DDAs will be able to do to prevent that. Any cost of living adjustments will be eaten up in increased union dues. Get rid of AFSCME, get rid of McGrath, Naiman and Craig. Get rid of excessive union dues. Vote to disaffiliate.

Anonymous said...

Berger makes a good point about the negative impact Prop 47 will make on the DA's Office. There will be 40,000 less felonies every year, and a large number of those will go to City Attorneys. So where's the need to have 1,000 DDAs? I'm not saying anyone will be laid off, yet, but there will be no need for new hiring at the DA's office. And Grade I & IIs can look forward to longer misdemeanor assignments, and a bunch of Grade IIIs are probably headed back to misdemeanor land too. This is the mess that AFSCME helped to cause by supporting Prop 47. In 2016 there will be a voter initiative to overturn Prop 47, you can guess which side AFSCME will take on that. Disaffiliate before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

As I see it, there is no down side to disaffiliation. If DDAs vote to terminate AFSCME, and after a year find that being independent is worse than being affiliated, AFSCME will gladly have the ADDA back. It's not just the money, $365k is a drop in the bucket for AFSCME, it's the prestige and bragging rights that AFSCME gets from representing DDAs - that's what got AFSCME into hot water with PPOA when AFSCME tried to misrepresent DDAs support for AFSCME as a good partner for law enforcement groups. Dumping AFSCME is probably the most sensible choice DDAs can make. If DDAs do not vote to disaffiliate, then they are stuck with AFSCME forever, there's no way out. Vote to disaffiliate as soon as you get your ballot.

Anonymous said...

@12:51pm. I don't know where you are getting your information from, but the dues increase is no secret, it was specifically agreed to by the Board. Frankly, $100 a month is a bargain considering that most of AFSCME's members are blue collar workers who pay a much higher proposed their salaries in dues. If custodians ean minimum wage and can afford $50 a month in dues, the very minimum DDAs can afford is much closer to $200 a month, but It was agreed to peg the dues at $100 for the next couple of years. You should be glad that the Board was able to keep the dues down, instead of complaining. Fortunately, the vast majority of members support the AFSCME arrangement, and a willing to pay their dues without complaining about it. No to disaffiliation!

Anonymous said...

Google "AFSCME Corruption" and you'll find articles like this: http://www.letfreedomringblog.com/?p=10279
Do you really want to be associated with people like this?

Anonymous said...

Good job Marc Debbaubt! Thank you for standing up to the union thugs and letting DDAs vote to dump ASSME.

Marc Debbaudt said...

I don't know what 6:02 PM is talking about. Dues are currently 0.06 percent and I've made a commitment to propose dues reduction to the Board should the members vote to withdraw. I don't believe anyone is paying $100 in dues, and most only half that. Dues can be lowered unilaterally by the Board, but can only be raised by a vote of the members. It is, in part, because most of AFSCME's members are blue collar workers, that we need to get out from underneath AFSCME. They are not all that sympathetic to our efforts to increase DDAs salary as we generally command much more than blue collar workers. So, 6:02 PM is talking nonsense.

Marc Debbaudt

Anonymous said...

Marc, I appreciate your efforts to end the AFSCME debacle. I have two questions: 1) Why aren't the disaffiliation messages that you have sent out signed by any other Board members? And 2) Your messages state we should contact other Board Members to let them know how we feel. Why are there no email addresses for the individual Board Members?

Marc Debbaudt said...

Jeff McGrath said...

David -

One would think that you would have the decency to contact an individual who you were going to accuse of being "sneaky" "shady" "underhanded" and apparently a liar. Instead you choose to take the spoon fed misinformation given directly to you by Marc and print it as if it were all true. If you knew what the truth actually was (or if you had any sense of fairness) you would not let yourself get used in such a manner. So since you did not contact me in advance for a comment, here is a response to your "report" and some of the comments raised below it.

The information you list above is incorrect. But that doesn't surprise me since it is obvious that it came directly from Marc who has a very difficult time understanding what is actually in our agreements, contracts and bylaws. The agreement with AFSCME provided that a disaffiliation election could occur if either the full board or a membership meeting passed such a resolution. I suggested a membership meeting as a way to get additional involvement from our membership on this important issue. I suggested it exactly for the reasons I wrote here. It is important to note that a membership meeting would not, and could not, prevent the board from passing a disaffiliation resolution on its own. The agreement says that a disaffiliation election will be held if either the board or a special membership meeting approves a withdrawal resolution. So even a vote by a special membership meeting to not pass a disaffiliation resolution could not prevent the board from passing one. Anyone who wants to see for themselves can e-mail me and I will provide you with a copy of the affiliation agreement, including the side letter agreement with the withdrawal language. Additionally, I want to encourage all DDA's who have questions on this issue to come to the 12/15 board meeting and see and hear for themselves what the issues are and to get their questions answered.

Personal attacks, name calling, attempts to marginalize and ridiculing rhetoric are all hallmarks for how Marc conducts the business of the ADDA if you have a difference of opinion with him. Even though I may disagree with Marc about the affiliation issue, I still have a fiduciary responsibility to the union and its members. I want to make sure that any potential disaffiliation is conducted properly so that there will not be grounds for a post election legal challenge. Every time I have pointed out potential issues where there could be legal problems I have been attacked. That is the same thing that happened to another DDA who attempted to get the ADDA to follow its own rules and Marc's and that boards dismissive attitude did not work out so well for the union.

As for our membership meeting in October, has anyone wondered why there was never any information put out as to what was to be discussed at that meeting? Why no agenda for the meeting was ever sent out? The night before the membership meeting, the ADDA board met. At that meeting we were informed by AFSCME that they had received an e-mail from Marc informing them that the October Board and Membership meetings were going to be their only opportunity to address the Board and the membership about the proposed disaffiliation. A copy of the e-mails were handed out by AFSCME. The restrictions attempted to be imposed by that e-mail had not been approved by the board and in fact, as to the opportunity to address the board, in contravention to a board resolution passed in July. Could Marc just not have known about the board resolution? Doubtful since he was the author and proponent of that resolution. Why was this letter sent to AFSCME without discussion and approval by either the full board or the executive committee? I will leave it to your readers to arrive at their own conclusion, I am just providing you with just the facts. Anyone who wants to see for them self can e-mail me and I will provide you with a copy of the e-mails and the passed resolutions.

Jeff McGrath said...


As to the issue of the paying off the loan from ASCME, used to pay legal costs associated with the Burke and other law suits, it will not be paid off until sometime next year. If we disaffiliate the remaining balance becomes fully due and will have to be paid immediately. Depending on if and when when the break actually occurs we would owe them somewhere between $35,000 to $45,000.

I was not on the board when the Burke lawsuit began and was being litigated but my understanding from talking with the individuals who were, Marc played a very influential role in making sure that the lawsuit proceeded. The loan from AFSCME was partially used to pay for the Burke case attorney fees judgment. Because Burkes attorney had filed an attachment lien with the county, we were no longer receiving our members' dues from the county, it was all going to Burkes attorney. As I stated in my e-mail to the members the other day, I voted with Marc to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is a good thing that others on the board approved the loan because I now firmly believe that a Chapter 11 filing would have resulted in the collapse of the ADDA.

As to the publishing of my personal e-mail address on this blog, it was done without my consent or authorization. I have set up a dedicated e-mail address for contact by members that should have been used. I attempted to contact David through the DA Command Post to have him remove my personal e-mail address and replace it with my dedicated members contact address but I have been unable to reach him. Additionally, I believe that the ADDA is in the process of setting up e-mail accounts for all board members using the @la-adda.com address. Those e-mail addresses should be up and running shortly.

Until then please contact me via my dedicated members contact address mcgrath.adda@att.net

In the future if you intend to publish derogatory comments about me, my motives or my integrity have the decency to contact me. I just may be able to provide you with information that could change how your story appears.

Marc Debbaudt said...

One
Amazing! Jeff's comments reveal the skewed way he reasons and justifies himself. Allow me to demonstrate.

First, please know, that the ultimate bottom line is that I am but one vote on the Board. I was only one vote when I was not President and I am only one vote now as President. The Board majority decides the outcomes of all decisions. I was, as Jeff notes, over and over again, on the losing side of the big decisions. But nevertheless, though being on the losing side, everything bad that the prior Boards made happen was somehow my fault. Is this a rational argument?

I was ok with declaring bankruptcy and not borrowing money from AFSCME. A few months of dues would have paid the loan off. The prior President for some reason borrowed significantly more, nearly twice the amount that was owed to Burke's attorneys. Bankruptcy controls the resolution of debt and the lien that Jeff talks about would be lifted. We actually had a bankruptcy attorney talk to the Board about it. It would not have been the demise of the ADDA.

I felt that bankruptcy was better than joining AFSCME. I felt that then. I remain steadfast in that belief now. The Board voted over my objection to become indentured to AFSCME. They chose to trade one form of bankruptcy for another. No one listened to me. Jeff claims he agreed with me, but now has seen the light and that he was wrong to agree with me about bankruptcy. With pristine hindsight he now claims that it wasn't the public image of bankruptcy that troubled him, but he now believes that bankruptcy would have been the demise of the ADDA. I disagree.

I was against affiliating with AFSCME. The Board voted to affiliate over my objection. Jeff agreed with me, but now realizes what a mistake he made. He wants to remain affiliated. He has now become AFSCME's chief apologist and spokesperson.

In other words, Jeff makes it quite clear that for the majority of the time I've been in the minority in terms of the ADDA Board's decisions. Yet, apparently, though losing all the votes, now, according to Jeff who wasn't even there, I "played a very influential role in making sure that the [Burke] lawsuit proceeded." By the way, he apparently talked to everyone but me about it. You might have noticed who you read his note that Jeff is a guy who insists on fairness. Jeff demands of this Host that the Host ask Jeff about Jeff's positions on the issues before he publishes his opinions, but Jeff didn't extend the same courtesy to Me. I think that is called hypocrisy.

Somehow, according to Jeff, I lose all the big decisions, though he initially agreed with me but now changed his mind, yet all the decisions that were apparently bad and were decided by the Board I dominated. I somehow have become the center of gravity of all bad decisions made. Somehow, though I couldn't win a vote on the crucial things, I somehow persuading all those weak minded DDAs who sat on the Board to proceed with the Burke lawsuit. Does oscillating and vacillating seem to describe Jeff's arguments?

So, if I understand Jeff's argument, I am wrong about everything, even though he initially agreed with me, and even though I historically lose most every important vote; yet when any decision made by the Board turns out bad, I am behind it.

Marc Debbaudt

Marc Debbaudt said...

Two

As to whether there is any debt outstanding owed to AFSCME, it is insubstantial and not an issue whatsoever. Around $50,000.00. We have money in the bank to more than cover that and more. The Board will have no problem paying that off and it will be a cheap substitute to remaining with AFSCME and throwing $360,000.00 into AFSCME's black hole. So I don't get this point at all. Let's pay off our debts and start clean and not waste our money.

As to the email addresses, the Board discussed it at the prior Board meeting. There was a complaint that members had no way to contact their Board. The Board, all of us, agreed to publish them. I read the blog where a reader wanted that information, so I published them. It was that simple. I believed it was appropriate and authorized. Apparently there were concerns that Jeff left unexpressed at the meeting re emails that I was somehow supposed to intuit because Jeff's thinking is so transparent. As soon as Jeff went on his rant, I asked the blog Host to remove the email addresses and the Host complied.

Jeff claims everything he does arises out of his "fiduciary" obligations and to avoid post election legal challenges. Apparently, according to Jeff, I have a very difficult time understanding what is in our agreements, contracts, and bylaws, but Jeff in his irrefutable logic has no such problem. Again let's look at his skewed reasoning and directly interpret the language of the escape clause and the problems it creates if interpreted like Jeff desires.

The "escape clause" to which Jeff refers, reads that "no vote to withdraw from the affiliation shall be held unless: (a) ...the ADDA Board of Directors, or (b) a special membership meeting held pursuant to the ADDA by-laws approves a withdrawal resolution that shall be subject to membership vote to affirm or reject the withdrawal..."

First, an indisputable fact is that a vote not to approve a withdrawal resolution results in permanent merger with AFSCME without a vote by the members. Up until last week there was a fear that the Board would do just that and there would be no election. My transparent outspoken goal was to have an election by the members, not to have the Board decide. So let's see what happens with Jeff's clear thinking about his concept of holding a membership meeting and let's see how it avoids a legal challenge.

Let's say we don't get enough members to attend to form a quorum. I mean, we only had 6 attend the membership meeting in October and we offered free dinner. You only need 60 members for a quorum (15% of the approximately 400 voting members). If we don't get enough to attend, then it's all back on the Board with the real possibility that the Board could have denied you an election. Oh, gee, Jeff didn't mention that or ever declare he would vote to withdraw in order to give the members their right to decide. What is not said is sometimes more important than what is said.

Let's say we get 60 to attend without offering a free dinner, then you only need 31 to vote to remain with ASFCME. How easy is that to arrange by this masterful powerhouse of a union?

Let's just say for the sake of an absurd argument that we actually had enough members attend the meeting. Let just say that the meeting was stacked by AFSCME because it is easier to get like-minded people to attend a meeting to vote the way you want than to stack a secret mailed ballot. Let's say the members vote to permanently merge. Could the Board then trump them and say, no, we want an election of the other members who didn't show anyway? How meaningless does that make a membership meeting? And what would guarantee that the majority of the Board would not just go along and permanently merge and deny the secret ballot election? So, this method is problematical for assuring an election of the members.


Marc Debbaudt

Marc Debbaudt said...

Three

Assuming enough members attended and let's say the members voted to approve a withdrawal election. Could the Board then trump that and say, no, we overrule you and want to merge permanently? If that happened, would there be a lawsuit? Who trumps who?

I believe then as I believe now, not vacillating like Jeff, that the crucial goal was to get a vote to all the members, all 400, not 31 of 400, and not 6 of the 11 Board members, and not just a few who might show at a meeting, but everyone who is entitled to vote being given the chance to vote, and to make it a secret ballot, not a contrived special meeting. I also believe, given the relative problems with the language of the clause, and given its relative ambiguity as to who trumps who, that to avoid all legal challenges meant having a secret ballot held by mail, not this nonsense.

Apparently, my way of conducting business by overcoming the obstacles to an election and McGrath's irrational and twisted logic upsets McGrath. Somehow, though McGrath himself doesn't do this, only I do it, I have made personal attacks, engaged in name calling, attempted to marginalized him, and used ridiculing rhetoric. If that means pointing out his absurdity as clearly as I can, and unfolding his skewed logic, then, ok, I admit it. I'm not here to make friends with McGrath. I ran on a platform and I'm striving to fulfill the pledge I made. My obligation is to those who voted for me, not to play nice with those who are striving to thwart my efforts to comply. So be it. I'm dismissive of Jeff. Is that my greatest fault? I embrace it. I guess I am a most terrible person.

Jeff says every time he has tried to point out potential issues where there could be legal problems he has been attacked. Perhaps it is because that's only his pretext, and that is legal issues are contrived. And his argument for a membership meeting was transparently a farce. Perhaps the truth is that his reasoning is distorted and his efforts conceal his true agenda which is to remain affiliated with AFSCME and derail the effort to withdraw. Jeez. Could it be that simple? Yes!

I'm still waiting to hear from Jeff why we should remain with AFSCME!

And I don't have a problem giving out my contact information to respond to your concerns and questions.

Marc Debbaudt
President of the ADDA
(818) 489-9603
Mdebbaudt@ca.rr.com

Anonymous said...

The response from Jeff McGrath, taken a face value, seems borderline reasonable. But if you stop and parse out what he says and does, it is clear he has no credibility. He says he wants members to be able to contact him, but insists on his email address (and those of all other board members) being deleted from this blog. He reports Berger to the DA Command Post to "try to make contact" when a simple post here, or sending a message directly using the "contact" link, would have been more effective.

No Jeff, you are full of sh*t. You claim to want transparency, but you go to the utmost lengths to do the reverse. Your actions are, perhaps, the best reason why any continuation of the AFSCME connection needs to be ended.

Your explanation of why you wanted a special members meeting does not pass the straight face test. Do you really think anyone believes you? What you were trying to do was bypass the democratic process. You failed.

Going back to your rant over having Board Members email addresses, you said that dedicated @adda.com email addresses are being set up. How long does it take to do that? As of this moment, there are no such email addresses. Clearly you do not want members to be able to contact all the board members, just you.

You have made bypassing the general membership the cornerstone of your presence on the ADDA Board. You have failed. You should do the honorable thing and resign.

nohumansinvolved said...

Two part 1

Sorry, Two was out of order cause it was too long.
Two

As to whether there is any debt outstanding owed to AFSCME, it is insubstantial and not an issue whatsoever. Around $50,000.00. We have money in the bank to more than cover that and more. The Board will have no problem paying that off and it will be a cheap substitute to remaining with AFSCME and throwing $360,000.00 into AFSCME's black hole. So I don't get this point at all. Let's pay off our debts and start clean and not waste our money.

As to the email addresses, the Board discussed it at the prior Board meeting. There was a complaint that members had no way to contact their Board. The Board, all of us, agreed to publish them. I read the blog where a reader wanted that information, so I published them. It was that simple. I believed it was appropriate and authorized. Apparently there were concerns that Jeff left unexpressed at the meeting re emails that I was somehow supposed to intuit because Jeff's thinking is so transparent. As soon as Jeff went on his rant, I asked the blog Host to remove the email addresses and the Host complied.

Jeff claims everything he does arises out of his "fiduciary" obligations and to avoid post election legal challenges. Apparently, according to Jeff, I have a very difficult time understanding what is in our agreements, contracts, and bylaws, but Jeff in his irrefutable logic has no such problem. Again let's look at his skewed reasoning and directly interpret the language of the escape clause and the problems it creates if interpreted like Jeff desires.

Marc Debbaudt

nohumansinvolved said...

Two part two

The "escape clause" to which Jeff refers, reads that "no vote to withdraw from the affiliation shall be held unless: (a) ...the ADDA Board of Directors, or (b) a special membership meeting held pursuant to the ADDA by-laws approves a withdrawal resolution that shall be subject to membership vote to affirm or reject the withdrawal..."

First, an indisputable fact is that a vote not to approve a withdrawal resolution results in permanent merger with AFSCME without a vote by the members. Up until last week there was a fear that the Board would do just that and there would be no election. My transparent outspoken goal was to have an election by the members, not to have the Board decide. So let's see what happens with Jeff's clear thinking about his concept of holding a membership meeting and let's see how it avoids a legal challenge.

Let's say we don't get enough members to attend to form a quorum. I mean, we only had 6 attend the membership meeting in October and we offered free dinner. You only need 60 members for a quorum (15% of the approximately 400 voting members). If we don't get enough to attend, then it's all back on the Board with the real possibility that the Board could have denied you an election. Oh, gee, Jeff didn't mention that or ever declare he would vote to withdraw in order to give the members their right to decide. What is not said is sometimes more important than what is said.

Let's say we get 60 to attend without offering a free dinner, then you only need 31 to vote to remain with ASFCME. How easy is that to arrange by this masterful powerhouse of a union?

Let's just say for the sake of an absurd argument that we actually had enough members attend the meeting. Let just say that the meeting was stacked by AFSCME because it is easier to get like-minded people to attend a meeting to vote the way you want than to stack a secret mailed ballot. Let's say the members vote to permanently merge. Could the Board then trump them and say, no, we want an election of the other members who didn't show anyway? How meaningless does that make a membership meeting? And what would guarantee that the majority of the Board would not just go along and permanently merge and deny the secret ballot election? So, this method is problematical for assuring an election of the members.

Assuming enough members attended and let's say the members voted to approve a withdrawal election. Could the Board then trump that and say, no, we overrule you and want to merge permanently? If that happened, would there be a lawsuit? Who trumps who?

Marc Debbaudt

Anonymous said...

I can't say I fully understand everything that is being said about remaining affiliated to AFSCME, but I do trust Marc Debbaudt. He has always been open and outspoken- maybe too outspoken looking at the length of his posts. But the bottom line is that he has been honest about the whole mess that Ipsen and Seligman got us into, and he's quite clear about how we should get out from under.

The same cannot be said about Jeff McGrath. It's not only childlike but close to bullying to try to use the DA Investigators to stop Berger from publishing the email addresses of board members. If that's how Jeff rolls, and apparently it is, then I want no part of him or anything he represents. I'm voting to disaffiliate, and if that vote passes, then I think all board members who support remaining with AFSCME should be removed from the board. Marc has already said he will resign if the ADDA remains affiliated with AFSCME, so I think the opposite should apply. The vote on AFSCME is basically a vote of confidence in the board.

Jeff McGrath said...

I do not have time to respond to all the misinformation that has been posted here but I will respond to a couple of things.

I never attempted to "use the DA investigators to stop Berger" I used the DA Command Post to get his phone number so that I could speak to him. That is how I have always attempted to contact another DDA who I need to speak to when I don't have a phone number for them.

I only sought to have my personal e-mail address removed from the list and have it replaced with a different one. There is a reason why I felt it was important.

I worked with a DDA who's life was turned upside down when his personal e-mail address was hacked [by a defendant we were prosecuting] and used to send child porn to everyone in his address book. That has made me a little bit sensitive about having my personal email address on an unsecured web page. Other DDA's may not care which is why my request only applied to my e-mail address and only sought to have it replaced with a different one.

Since I am not the one setting up the @adda e-mail addresses I can't tell you how long it will be. I believe that there may have been a server related issue and I don't know if it has been corrected yet.