Director Foster Replies
Thank you for writing me. I received similar notes (including a link to a website from several members) and have read through it.
First of all, I want to say that whoever is putting all this effort into an anonymous website with allegations against MCRGO could be much better employed putting that effort into working to help build the organization up instead of tear it down. As a volunteer, I have limited time to devote to MCRGO, and there is simply endless work to do. Answering individual emails about allegations from anonymous sources could be a significant drain on my time, and I don't know that it will help MCRGO. But as you are a member, I want to answer your email. I also hope that it will inspire you to stay active yourself, as we need all the help we can get.
Regarding the website link:
To the best of my knowledge, the allegations concerning me are incorrect. I am a past President of MCRGO, and as such was selected both for the EC and later as a replacement director based on my past performance and demonstrated commitment to the organization, not any perceived loyalty to David or Chuck. My loyalty is to MCRGO and our mission, and I intend to serve with the same level of integrity that I always have in the past.
While some of the actual facts (as opposed to surmisals and inferences) listed in the piece seem to be true, they are presented in such a way as to weave a picture of corruption and impropriety, which I do not believe to be true.
First of all, the conduct of the election committee (EC) has been extensively discussed and documented. Gary Skimin, the chair, submitted his report to the Board, and it was accepted. I feel completely confident that we did everything as above-board and by-the-book as possible, and do not intend to address EC issues further.
Terry Alderton qualified as a candidate and was elected by the general membership. His position on the Board is completely proper and should not be questioned. It also seems to me only natural that his union would wish to congratulate him, since he is active with them.
In discussing the replacement director for SE Michigan, some directors expressed concerns similar to some of those in the linked website. We explored them extensively during the discussion about the replacement director. Although the replacement director is "appointed", the appointment is by vote of the Board of Directors. So we held discussions both between ourselves offline and by email, and also on a very long conference call. We voted, and Doug Buckler won election to the Board by a substantial margin.
Chuck has explained his consulting relationship with the MRCC and his rationale for representing them to my satisfaction. Remember that we are a non-partisan organization and as such must reach out to all gun owners and to sympathetic members of both political parties. Recruiting union members into MCRGO has been a part of that strategy. This particular Union is supposedly quite conservative as unions go. As far as I can see, Chuck's relationship with both organizations has helped us and should continue to help us in the future.
I know there are public news stories about the union, and yes, some of them do make me uncomfortable. But I don't have any personal knowledge about how much of that is "just politics", what the stories behind them are, etc. But the bottom line for MCRGO is that those are issues with some of the members of their union, not with us. As long as it stays that way, we'll be fine. And I think you can count on your Board of Directors to watch closely to ensure that it does stay that way.
I have spoken with Doug and expect to be working with him closely since we are both directors for SE Michigan. In the absence of any evidence of actual wrongdoing, I do not plan to "do anything" at this time, other than to continue to try to work for the growth and improvement of MCRGO.
(People known to me as MCRGO activists did not receive the following portion of the reply):
Now that I have taken the time to reply to your note, let me ask you a couple of questions as an individual member:
We need more members and more money in order to continue to be viable as an organization. You can help by recruiting members yourself, as well as by working to publicize MCRGO and our views on gun issues to gun clubs, local politicians, newspapers, etc. What have you personally done to be active in your area? Can we count on you to work with your chapter? If you don't have an active chapter chair, how about volunteering yourself? We need the help of every concerned member to build MCRGO, and to maintain and grow our political influence and ability to support education and litigation activities.
There are a lot of people out there who seem to specialize in making a lot of noise, but when you clear away the smoke they don't actually ever *do* anything to help MCRGO. I'm not saying you are one of these, but the best way to influence the activities of an organization is by being active from the inside. Please follow through and help us.
Thank you for your membership, your concern, and your activism.
Now you all know what I think at this time. Sorry if you think this means I have my "head buried in the sand". I do not agree.