Below are rules established as a response to the controversy created by the blatant interference by a faction of the board in the 2003 LAB board election.  These new rules are obviously designed to help the faction maintain their ill-gotten gains.

These rules are posted on the Leagues web site.

League of American Bicyclists

Policy Statement Regarding Use of League’s Membership List by Members

Approved by the Board, 11-29-04

 

  1. Any Member (or a Member’s attorney or agent) may physically inspect the League’s membership list (the “List”), at the League’s office, at any reasonable time. The concept of a “reasonable time” implies such common courtesies as advance appointments.

 

  1. The League will not provide copies of the List, nor permit the making of copies, except for proper purposes specifically approved by the Board.

 

  1. As of the date of adoption of this Policy Statement, the following purposes have been designated by the Board as “proper purposes” for Members’ use of the List:
    1. solicitation of signatures for nominating petitions, in accordance with Article III, Section 7 of the Bylaws;
    2. solicitation of votes, for or against any candidate, in an election for the Board of Directors;
    3. solicitation of signatures, or dissuading members from signing, a petition for a referendum, in accordance with Article III, Section 5B of the Bylaws;
    4. solicitation of votes for or against a referendum, in accordance with Article III, Section 5B of the Bylaws.

 

  1. Any person requesting a copy of the List (or any part thereof, such as a list of all Members in a Region), for a proper purpose, may be required to pay the cost of copying the List, and must provide a written statement:
    1. stating the purpose for which the List will be used,
    2. acknowledging that the List is not to be used for any other or improper purpose,
    3. acknowledging the receipt of, and understanding of, this Policy Statement, and
    4. agreeing to indemnify the League, the Board of Directors, individual Officers and Directors, and individual members of the Staff, from and against any claims arising from any use of the List, for any purpose and by any person, other than the purpose stated in accordance with paragraph 4(a) above.

 

  1. A Member may make use of the List, or any portion thereof, without obtaining physical access to the List (and thus avoid the indemnification described in paragraph 4(d) above), by engaging the services of the fulfillment house which is under contract with the League for the purpose of maintaining the List. The League staff will assist Members who wish to make use of the List via the fulfillment house. Each such use of the List must be approved as a “proper purpose.” The Member must bear all costs of mailing, including postage, materials, and the fulfillment house services. Further, the Member must comply with paragraphs 4(a) through 4(c) above.

 

  1. A member may also make use of the list, or any portion thereof, without obtaining physical access to the List (and thus avoid the indemnification described in paragraph 4(d) above), by requesting that the League’s staff broadcast a message via the Internet. Each such use of the List must be approved as a “proper purpose.” The Member must bear the reasonable cost of staff time in preparing and distributing the message. Further, the Member must comply with paragraphs 4(a) through 4(c) above.
The section below favors the faction.  Not only does the board (and thus the faction) get advance notice of a mailing against one of their candidates (the challenger does not have this advantage), they also get to see what is to be sent and thus have a chance to quickly respond to it.  Finally, they get to censor anything if they can make a claim of possible libelous material.  This way they can prevent challengers from pointing out that certain directors have violated their duty to members or otherwise acted unethically.

By the precedent established in 2003, election to LAB board seats has become an expensive proposition.  It is not in the members' interest for outside groups (such as America Bikes, the bicycle industry lobbying organization) to "buy" a seat on the board by financing an expensive mailing campaign.

 

  1. If the List is to be used, either directly by a Member or via arrangement with the League’s fulfillment house, to send a written communication to all or any substantial portion of the membership, whether nationally or in a region, the Member must submit, in advance, a sample or specimen of said written communication piece. All communication pieces must disclose the name(s) of the Member(s) sponsoring the mailing.

 

      The Board of Directors reserves the right to reject any communication piece that 

      contains libelous material, or that otherwise might subject the League to threat of

      legal action.




There are fairer and more reasonable ways to regulate campaigning for the board:

1. Require that any candidate who would use the mailing list, first notify all other candidates running for that same seat, giving them a reasonable time to respond.  This eliminates the "sneak attack" as used by the faction in 2003.  It also gives the challengers a more equal opportunity.  Unfortunately, this still favors those with money to spend.

2. The least expensive way to allow campaigning is for the League to establish a campaign web site, on which candidates may post their messages and their claims.  Then direct members to this site for the latest information.

3. Rather than the censorship promoted above, the League can produce a reasonable disclaimer (saying the views are those of the candidate, etc.) and then let candidates write whatever they choose.



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