Saturday, June 5, 2010

USCF Election: Vote we must if vote we can

By this time most members should have received ballots for the USCF special election, wrapped around the June Chess Life. The election is to choose two Board members to fil out the remaining year of ousted EB members Susan Polgar and Paul Truong. Three people are running. Two of them are worth voting for.

Mike Nietman is a long-time organizer from Wisconsin. I don't know him well, but those who do speak highly of him. He is best know as a scholastic person, which is not a plus in my book, but not disqualifying either. He impressed me last year in Indianapolis by trying to wrest control of the U.S. Open from the iron grip of the USCF office and return it to the local organizers where it belongs. Recommended.

Gary Walters is a successful attorney, a strong and active postal player, and a fairly active OTB player (Class A) when his schedule permits. He has an excellent chess blog, which to his credit has only rarely mentioned the campaign. During the Polgar upleasantness, his comments on the USCF Forums were unusual in displaying both understanding of the issues and common sense. Recommended.

The Other Candidate -- whose name I won't mention, but it rhymes with "groan" -- has run for the Board at every opportunity for the last two or three decades. Before OMOV -- when the voters actually knew who and what he was -- he generally had trouble breaking into two figures. (And I have a nasty suspicion that most of those were because the USCF refused to count votes for Donald and Mickey.) But every nut has a hard kernel, and in 2006, an off-year election when few were paying attention and three other candidates split the sane-people vote, he earned a one-year term. He accomplished a lot in a year -- drove away sponsors, provoked lawsuits, and made the USCF a source of innocent merriment to the world. A few of his supporters who are again allowed to hold pointed objects have written that he'd tell us what's happening in the USCF. No doubt he would. Whether it actually happened or not. When pigs fly.

Please vote. Every ballot not cast increases the chance that Other Candidate and his cadre of crackpots might slip through. That would be Very Bad for the USCF.


brennanprice said...

I independently arrived at the same conclusion and mailed my ballot for Mike and Gary on Saturday.

As to the assertion that folks saying what's going on in the SCF is a Good Thing, most similar organizations have learned that public airing of inside baseball is to be avoided. I give thanks each day that I work for one sch organization, and I can't for the life of me understand why the SCF doesn't work that way.

brennanprice said...

SCF = USCF. Sorry, but my U key is sticking.

Lynn Green said...

I got the impression that Groan was a nutcase from his own candidate statement.