Candidate Statements on the Foundation Proposal
The Foundation proposal presented to the AOG Board of Directors has generated
considerable discussion and appears to be a major decision to be made by the Board after
the six directors to be selected in the upcoming election are seated. This is not the only major
decision facing the new Board, but it is an important issue. With information spread over
forums on two web sites, posting of candidate responses to a questionnaire on a third, Board
minutes, and notes from Board meetings it hard to decide just how the candidates view the
proposal and concept so some compilation of the scattered information was needed.
Pat Tuffey and I were asked to make an analysis of the positions expressed by the 18 (now
17) candidates for AOG Director; we figured it was just a quicky table. That turns out to have
been a bad call as it was not as simple as it sounded. Pat has provided the following
summary as he views it and I have attempted to expand on his tabular summary to include
any other information I could find.
Candidate’s Positions re: a Fundraising Foundation
For or Against BOD or Quorum or
Proposal Foundation Majority
Banks Against AOG BOD Quorum
Dotson Against AOG BOD Quorum
VanWagenen Against AOG BOD Quorum
Sanchez Against AOG BOD Quorum
Brown ? ? ?
Bullard ? ? ?
Christy Against AOG BOD Quorum
Edmonds ? ? ?
Estes Against AOG BOD ?
Gregory Against ? ?
Kelley ? ? ?
Ott ? ? ?
Reynolds ? ? ?
Rosenow ? ? ?
Schmuck ? ? ?
Stealey ? ? ?
Wheeler Against AOG BOD Quorum
The following 3, hypothetical questions address the Proposal for an AOG Fundraising
Foundation dated 21 Oct 06:
A.) The proposal of the Foundation Subcommittee of the Campaign Steering Committee, as
briefed to the Board on 21 October, is available on the AOG web site as the Subcommittee’s
written report, Do you agree with the proposal, as written?
B.) Who should have the independent authority to manage and commit unrestricted AOG
financial assets - AOG BOD or Foundation Trustees?
C.) If the new BOD presents the 21 Oct 06 proposal for a Foundation to the members for a
vote, should passage of such a vote require a simple majority of those voting or would it have
to be a vote with a quorum of at least 25 percent of the membership?
In examining the posts, on UT or ZN, of the candidates, one can reasonably infer answers to
the above questions. Those answers are synopsized in the table below. It is left up to each
voter to determine the value of this table answers.
NB: The majority have question marks because they either don’t have enough information,
are considering other alternatives or think it is premature to comment without seeing what is
finally presented to the new BOD.
First, the disclaimers. Most of those who frequent the USAFAToday forums will recognize my
name and the fact that I am an active participant in the ARC. I have done my best to keep
this relationship out of any analysis but my personal feelings on the subject of membership
ratification may show through. This should not insert a major skew factor as it is in line with
the current board's position and affects only the process of establishing the Foundation, not
the concept itself. I try and present such material factors as I could find, so judge for yourself.
Second, the sources. All 17 candidates submitted answers to a list 12 questions circulated by
the AOG. The majority commented on the Foundation issues as a part of the open 12th
question. Their answers are available at the AOG web site. In some cases, answers to other
questions on the questionnaire provided some guidance. Their answers may found at:
http://www.usafa.org/about/Governance/Elections_index.aspx. A disappointingly small subset
of the candidates have also participated in open forum discussions on either the
USAFAToday or ZoomieNation forums. These comments are readily available. I have
attended every board meeting since the Spring of 2005; minutes of these meetings and notes
of the discussions there contribute to the information about the two sitting board members
who are running. Some additional input derives from personal conversations and emails
exchanged with about 1/3 of the candidates.
No candidate expressed any reservations about the need for a revamped fund raising
structure. Some have made no public comments on the issue, pro or con.
In alphabetic order, here are my observations.
Mike Banks: Open to but not insistent upon a separate Foundation. Demands complete
AOG control of any structure for fund raising. Highly critical of the process used to develop
the proposal and failure to keep the members up to date on the justification for this proposal
and the method of selecting a format. Favors a quorum vote regardless of bylaw or statutory
Alex Brown: No specific questionnaire responses or posts to allow evaluation.
Rodney Bullard: Forum posts indicate an early insistence on putting any Foundation
decision to a membership vote. No expressed opinion on the structure.
Mike Christy: No specific mention of the Foundation in his questionnaire replies but he does
stress membership referral for major issues. His forum posts position him as opposing the
Foundation as proposed in unequivocal terms although he does not get overly specific as to
why. His posts, comments at board meetings, and limited conversations reveal an open mind
on the topic and a willingness to reconsider his position. Supports a quorum vote on the
proposal in any form.
Steve Dotson: His questionnaire responses do not directly address the Foundation issue,
but he more than makes up for that in the forums. Opposes the Foundation as proposed and
provides lengthy analysis of why in his well thought out posts. They are perhaps the best
primer on the issues involved. Strongly opposed to the apparent method used to develop the
proposal. I've known Steve a long time and he is willing to listen to suggestions - but have
your arguments ready. Like many of us he is open to persuasion, but he is right until proven
wrong. Reading all he has posted will take a while. Supports a quorum vote for approval.
Bob Edmonds: His questionnaire indicates a lack of adequate information on the
Foundation process to express an opinion – but he does specifically single out the control of
funds as a central issue to him.
Jereme Estes: A single posting on ZoomieNews indicates strong support for AOG Board
control of funds but is non-committal about the format.
Fred Gregory: Questionnaire answers are pretty clear. Any Foundation- type structure to be
under the existing AOG board and a part of the existing AOG. He appears to feel that such
an organizational change can be made under the existing bylaws without a member vote
which goes against the grain of most opinions. You can tell he's been exposed to politicians
too long – someone needs to send him a primer on short, declaratory sentences <g>.
Jay Kelley: No specific questionnaire responses or posts to allow evaluation.
Mike Ott: No specific questionnaire responses or posts. His only pertinent comment reads as
though he expects the Board to exercise hands-on control of fund raising.
Chris Reynolds: Non-committal response to the questionnaire. No other posts found.
Pat Rosenow: While he expresses no specific opinion on the current Foundation proposal,
his remarks on the questionnaire indicate a desire to revisit the entire process of defining a
Development capacity within the AOG. He states that major changes will “in all probablity
require a bylaw change” - pinning a judge down is almost as hard as pinning a politician down
James Sanchez: Opposes the current Foundation proposal. Indicates a desire for AOG
board control of the resulting changes. Favors a quorum vote and possible bylaw changes to
effect the change.
Frank Schmuck: No specific questionnaire responses or posts to allow evaluation.
Bill Stealey: No specific questionnaire responses or posts to allow evaluation.
George Van Wagenen: Avoided the issue on the questionnaire as “OBE”, but his forum
posts are pretty clear. Opposes the current Foundation proposal, wants a more open and
forthcoming discussion as a revised proposal is developed. Firmly supports a quorum vote.
Jim Wheeler: Opposes the current Foundation proposal. firmly supports a quorum vote on
the major changes likely to be required to implement any structural change in support of
dedicated fund raising efforts.
If we missed information on some candidates, please add to this in your response. We claim
no special insight – these comments represent our best effort and our opinions of what we
Will Honea, '64
Pat Tuffey, '64