Friday, July 18, 2008

Is the SIerra Club, Club Sierra?

Yes I know this is old news, but I do know many of the original environmental clubs are corrupted by money/power. Apparently this is humane nature, talk to anyone who lives under the thumb of a neighborhood association.
My question is, who do we trust with our public lands? I know a non profit that the environmental groups have claimed were supported by oil companies. The accused organization posted their their financial statements in print in their monthly magazine, from my brief study (all that was required) they did not have any huge donations.) Just grass route funds and support.
So my question is...Is Club Sierra indeed Club Sierra? Your thoughts are welcome, I have comment moderation on but will post you answer, question, theory, joke and just nonsense is welcome, in fact please send me nonsense! Just as soon as I see it poised in my mailbox for action it will be published.

Stop the Creeping Moral Corruption Within the Sierra Club

An open letter from Dick Lamm, Frank Morris and David Pimentel
March 12, 2004

There is a deep and spreading corruption in the Sierra Club, which must be addressed. For the club's sake, not ours. It has the potential to do the club great harm unless corrected and thereby set back the environmental movement in America just when it is most needed. The very reputation and effectiveness of the Sierra Club is at stake. Let us state our case:

I. We have just discovered there have been anonymous donations to the Sierra Club Foundation of staggering amounts of money. The IRS forms show $47,898,118.40 in anonymous donations were given to the Sierra Club Foundation in the year 2000, and $53,593,640.00 in 2001. The Board of the Sierra Club, to the intense discomfort of some of the directors, has been told to tell no one and to ask no questions. Most of the directors of the Sierra Club have no knowledge of who is giving this money or for what purposes, even though this money now represents a large part of the budget of the Sierra Club. What obligations went with these donations, what restrictions on policy, if any, what promises direct or implied are not only unknown to the membership but also unknown to the Board. The Board is approving confusing budgets which contain millions of dollars that the fiduciaries of the Club do not know the source of, nor the legitimacy of. This is an irresponsible and reckless policy, which risks the good reputation of the Sierra Club.

II. This may explain why a clique of Sierra Club leaders is trying to ruin our reputations. There may be reasons to vote against us, but instead of campaigning on the issues, the power clique who runs the Board has chosen to stain and defame our characters. They charge that we are racists, and/or backed by racists who we have never heard of and have no connection with, and reject. If that isn't enough, they then charge that we are part of a right-wing plot to take over the Sierra Club, again citing organizations and people who we have no connection with and reject. We are progressive liberals, with excellent civil-rights credentials. One of us was the Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Despite the fact that their false claims don't pass the snicker test; they repeat them over and over.

III. The clique using these McCarthy type insinuations and lies, have broken the rules of the club and the California Corporate Code to defeat us at all costs. When we filed suit to attempt to even the playing field, they filed a so called anti-SLAPP suit, which threatened to bury us with attorney's fees if we lost. The last thing this clique wants is a fair election.

IV. The rules were again broken, when the names of some our endorsers where leaked from confidential ballot statements, and phone calls made by staff of the club asking them to withdraw their endorsements. This was successful with both Tim Wirth and Stuart Udall who then withdrew their endorsements. This abuse of process didn't seem to cause a single qualm.

V. We cannot understand how people of honor and integrity could say and do some of the things that have been done in this election. One of the hottest seats in Hell is always reserved for people who defame falsely other people's characters, knowing such claims are false. It goes without saying that this was extremely painful to us, but it also made no sense to us, until we discovered that the club might well have something of Enron proportions to cover up and which they don't want to see exposed. A small group of people now control a large amount of money, without adequate controls or accounting. That is dangerous for the club and for the environmental movement.

Vote for us, or against us, but please clean up the creeping corruption of the club we all love.


At 4:12 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

You hit the nail on the head buddy. Stay the course we need more people like you. anonymous

At 4:24 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

I will not buy clothing from Patagonia, which is a company that exploits cheap labor creates beautiful adds and magazines charge fortune for their clothing so you can live the dream, and give a small portion of their profits to not-for profits who out right lie,just like politicians/Big Business...Yes the illusion is they are trying to save the planet, fighting a Cooperate Run Republic is not as satisfying as jerking government lands from recreation. Until the land is worth money what do the Corporations have to gain?
So my group the Blue Ribbon Coalition is fighting many of these groups to keep public land open to hikers, bikers and equestrians.Low hanging fruit, which they can brag about the senators can brag about and our land, our narrow trail through a remote wilderness is shut down, even fire roads are shut down, so fires are more difficult to fight. Odd the turn of events but people are people.
Ansel Adams one of the original members of the Sierra Club made a lot of money from his government funded Mural Project. It seems Mr Adams shot many of the same scenes and chose the best for his archive and the others for the Mural Project. He later marketed the same photos but a bit better, on the taxpayers dime.I like most of his work the red filters make the clouds white the sky dark, he was a darkroom master and was an idealist, like most members of the group, until you get to the top. Then is when the money corrupts everything.

At 6:58 AM , Blogger Zen Wizard said...

I only got half way; this looks like something I would have to print out and read the rest.

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." Baron Acton.

I would say this applies equally to large sums of money--because money can buy power.

Sierra Club I would suspect along with Greenpeace. By "suspect," I mean, I would question whether the motive of the people on top is truly still environmental protection or personal power, influence, and inflated salary.

I have made my thoughts on PeTA clear on my blog--which I know isn't environmentalist per se but is flushed with cash and celebrity endorsements.

One good litmus test of a charity IMHO is to call them and volunteer YOUR TIME. If they pressure you into not giving YOUR TIME, but instead GIVING YOUR MONEY, that would tend to raise red flags.

At 11:52 AM , Blogger josh williams said...

zen: I like the volunteer test.

At 12:31 PM , Blogger Zen Wizard said...

I guarantee you if you call some charities--not all, but a substantial amount--and say, "I would like to volunteer my time," they will say something along the lines of, "Well, we have adequate volunteers right now, but we are accepting $50 and $100 donations."

I feel I can say this because I spent a long time in law enforcement fundraising.

Not that we didn't do some great stuff--for instance, a death benefit for fallen cops, attorneys in some cases for Internal Affairs investigations, etc.

But if you would have called us with the "time" thing I forget the script but we would have seque'ed into money $$$$$$.

At 12:46 PM , Blogger josh williams said...

I know a guy who worked on a call line for a couple of years. He said it was a complete scam, he would call, they even had people that would pick up donations give reciepts they would have an official looking badge but not one cent went to a good cause unless you consider hedonism in the 70's a good cause...hmmm Call center?


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