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Concerned Activists for Reform and Ethics

"I think it is important that MCRGO members are informed about how we are being treated."
- David K. Felbeck, President of MCRGO - October 24, 2003

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President / Chairman Shantz cancels Open Members meeting scheduled for 1/24 on January 21, 2004.

Member comments are included at the end of this document.

Hyperlinks have been included for your quick reference.

Dear MCRGO member,

MCRGO turned the corner in 2003. After experiencing a financial loss in 2002, we rebuilt our organization with a focus on saving our finances, winning in court and in the Capitol, retaining professional staff and improving member service. We accomplished all of the above in less than six months. Unfortunately, MCRGO like so many other organizations includes a handful of individuals bent on pursuing their own personal agendas, never mind what is best for gun rights. For nearly two years now this Board has attempted to work around the outrageous accusations, misleading statements and of greatest concern the interference with our legislative agenda. We've done so hoping that these same individuals would either settle in and work with the rest of us, or burn out and move on to some other lucky organization.

Regrettably, that has not happened. In fact, the attempts to publicly undermine MCRGO, Directors, staff and our underlying mission have intensified, while these same people attempt to carve out their own personal organizations, using the resources MCRGO has painstakingly put together. I was under the naive presumption that we are all focused on gun rights. The reality is that some are more interested in tearing at some person or policy, or advancing their own status and authority, than they are about the mission or organization. Never did I imagine the incredibly destructive lengths to which they would go, never mind the harm to MCRGO and therefore our cause. It has become clear this Board has waited too long to react. It is now obvious that the members so focused on advancing their personal issues have just used our focus on gun rights against us. It is time to say, Enough! and, with the blessing of the Operations Committee, legal counsel and staff, we now are.

I regret to inform you that last week we were sent a violent and threatening e-mail targeting MCRGO and our meeting scheduled for this Saturday, January 24th. Two of MCRGO's Directors were specifically targeted. Given the serious nature of this outrageous threat and the potential negative impact on our organization, I've reprinted it for your review:


----- Original Message-----
From: James Vass
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 11:56 PM
To: MCGO@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [MCGO] Ohio getting CCW

Umm, Please mark Ohio stuff "OT". *Off-Topic* or "Ohio-Topic"

This really doesn't pertain to MCGO people that don't live in/work in the border counties. It's amusing to read, but not germane to the subject of the Michigan Concealed Gun Owners (MCGO).

Thank you very little.

BTW, _________ can go to hell. I'll beat the crap outta you at the MCRGO meeting on the 24th. See you there! Punk! I got my brass-knuckles and fight-strap "on" for the union goons!

But you __ doesn't scare me one Iota. In fact, I think we are on the same side! :^)

I think we are going to be beating up 'union goons' that day. Not each other. We'll see. Your brother in "arm's". ;^)

(And I'm not going to be intimidated by Buckler's and Alderton's Goon Squads. I'm 250-260 lbs, and I learned how to punch "through" necks. Basically, your "target" is about 6 inches behind where you hit (Adam's Apple). With a good hit, you basically kill them by breaking their neck.)

"All's well that end's well! And iffin' we need to "toss" a few 'union goon's body parts" out along the median of I-75 while sippin' a brew going north, I just 'shared' too much of my future plans!"

My "hatchet" is officially buried with __. (BTW, I don't control MCGO or CARE4. I'm a member just like you. I have no "pull" on either lists. I never wrote either moderator. The moderator can let you back on as far as I'm concerned. I didn't have anything to do with you being banned for this or that list.)

Maybe the moderator had a concern about the "moron" comment. Whatever. The heat of the "battle" in a flame war, I have no problems with that. No harm, no foul.

Happy New Years to All!

James


During this same period, James Vass and Rod Collins planned the recruitment of Lansing's Capitol Press Corp. to cover the targeted meeting. A portion of that thread follows:


----- Original Message-----
From: James Vass
Sent: 1/8/2004 11:15:01 PM Eastern Standard Time,
To: MCGO@yahoogroups.com

Does anyone know if "[reporter's name]" is formerly known as "[her maiden name]" of the AP? This is the contact that Ross had that was sympathetic to MCRGO.

She was at least fair to MCRGO in her reporting. Which is going a long way based on current newspaper/TV standards.

Check your local listings... Blond-haired women..._not _very_beautiful_... Kind of "plain" looking. "Bland" would come to mind.

Sorries to the women on this list. I needed to be descriptive without a photo. Meeting ____ would be like "kissing your sister", no real "pleasure" there!"

Capeche?


----- Original Message-----
From: rcoll4427
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 11:25 PM
To: MCGO@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [MCGO] Michigan's gun laws get `D+' from Brady Campaign

Yes, Same lady. I had talked to her many times when I was involved with a once strong Michigan gun rights group. She used to call us anytime she was doing a gun story and was very fair. I would not be surprise if she called and never got a call back.*

Rod Collins

* Note: Both of our Legislative Directors (Senator Alan Cropsey and State Reresentative Sue Tabor) were contacted and quoted by this reporter in the article referenced by Rod Collins.


---- Original Message-----
From: James Vass
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 01:31 AM
To: MCGO@yahoogroups.com
Subject: RE: [MCGO] Michigan's gun laws get `D+' from Brady Campaign

Rod [Collins],

Any chance that Mrs. [AP Reporter] would want to dish some dirt?

You don't need to get involved. But I probably could. I'm behind the scenes... and thinking beyond the 24th now.

James


----- Original Message-----
From: rcoll4427
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 10:18 AM
To: MCGO@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [MCGO] Michigan's gun laws get `D+' from Brady Campaign

Some notification has already been done. We will have to wait and see on the 24th.

Rod Collins


This threat of violence coupled with the active recruitment of reporters proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that an effort is underway to publicly embarrass and disparage MCRGO in the media. As you are aware, there are many in the press who would delight in smearing a successful gun rights group in the most negative possible way. Therefore, I am postponing this Saturday's meeting to protect our members and our hard fought reputation. In full compliance with the discretion afforded me within MCRGO's Bylaws, I have directed staff and legal counsel to prepare for a closed Executive Session within the next few weeks.


[Shantz violates MCRGO bylaws]

"Therefore, I am postponing this Saturday's meeting to protect our members and our hard fought reputation."

SECTION 3. OPERATIONS STANDING COMMITTEE (PA 162 of 1982, 450.2528)

Responsible for operations, bylaws, contracts, and other matters relating to the daily conduct of business for the organization, subject to the direction by and approval of the Board of Directors. Members of the committee shall consist of the Chairman of the Board of Directors as Chair, the First Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors as Vice Chair, one other Director from the Board, the Executive Director and one or more assigned staff member(s).

At the time of this cancellation, at least three Directors were not informed. Those Directors are: Gary Bengtson, Barbara Stockford, and Neva Li.


In hindsight, this Board has obviously waited too long to deal with these obstructionists. Our motives may have been commendable, but these individuals have just taken advantage of our optimistic tolerance. Last year they distributed inflammatory press releases, placed anonymous calls to Legislators while our bills were moving, created anonymous and misleading websites, mailed to MCRGO membership without authorization, publicly challenged staff credentials and deliberately disrupted operations. They even recruited members to volunteer to help with our annual meeting, who then quit at the last minute in hopes of harming the event. This year those efforts continue, but these individuals have also begun to sabotage gun shows, our membership and club affiliations by working to stop renewals.

Fortunately, our Bylaws contain provisions for dealing with such situations. As a result of these ongoing attacks on your organization, we have retained outside legal counsel. Law enforcement has been notified of the threat and the site that published it. I can assure you that we will deal with this situation quickly and forcefully. You expect no less and our Mission Statement must prevail. I will do my best to keep you informed as our effort to protect this influential organization unfolds.

Regards,

Dale Shantz,
President, MCRGO


Follow-up letters of disgust.

Response from Executive Director Charles Perricone



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