Re: [MV] Some interesting correspondence from the MVPA

jim gilmore (
Tue, 26 Oct 1999 19:05:39 -0500

Dear MVPA and list members,

I read John Seidt's story of his web site link being dropped by the
(former) MVPA Webmaster with great interest. It was John's response to the
MVPA election controversy that resulted in this action. As John is not a
MVPA member I have to wonder......would his link have been dropped if he
were a member? Is the problem here that a non-member chose to criticize
the MVPA ruling body? If he were a member would his membership be
terminated? And this then brings up the question, who is next? As many
of you on the list are relatively new to the MVPA I would like to add some
"history" to John's comments that you may not be aware of.

Jerry Cleveland wrote;
>> We elected to drop The American Story, Inc. from our list of Internet
>> links because of public remarks by your associate, John Seidts.
>> Among other things, his statements included: "The MVPA has had a long
>> standing tradition of problems or 'trouble at the top,' which have left
>> it little more than an old men's marching and chowder club with a very
>> elitist method of approaching its membership,"

John Seidts statement regarding the MVPA governing body quoted
here, while harsh, does reflect the truth. There has been a "we vs them"
attitude by some past members of the MVPA board of directors. I myself,
have letters sent to me by former MVCC/MVPA president Pat Smith filled with
vicious statements and four letter words all because I once pointed out
that a full page ad in Supply Line for a 45cal pistol (a real firearm) was
in violation of the MVCC advertising code. (This code was later amended
(after my questioning of it) to allow firearm " part kits" and replica
guns) John is also correct when he says there have been problems "at
the top". It was just after the Portland, Oregon convention that MVPA
board members John Degrosa and Wayne Ross quit the board in disgust. They
then sent out to all chapters a 14 page letter outlining the events that
led up to their resignation with suggestions on improving the boards
performance and direction. Some of the problems they encountered still
prevail. It was their resignation, in fact, that allowed the current
president, Lee Holland, to be appointed to the board. Lee lost his first
election bid (as did I ) because of the Italian block voting and private

Continuing Jerry quoting John ,
and "I don't know how long you've been in the MVPA, but the old MVCC was
like this back in the
>> 1980's. It was bad news then, and is bad news today."

John was referring here to the Herrick administration. This was a
controversy so great it literally tore the MVCC apart. It pitted the MVCC
board, controlled by Mr. Herrick, against an east coast based reform group
of members know by the title Proving Ground. The club came within a hair of
becoming two separate groups and only an "agreement" between the two
factions kept the club together. The newsletters sent out by the two
groups make fascinating reading and give a historical perspective of the
trials and tribulations of the club. These make my problems with the board
pale by comparison.

Jerry Cleveland continues;
>> Additionally, even though MVPA ONLINE carried a link to The American
>> Story from 11/97 to 8/99, The American Story never reciprocated with a
>> link back to MVPA ONLINE.

It would seem that if the lack of a reciprocating link was a problem
it would have been a simple thing for the Webmaster to contact
and request it's inclusion.

Jerry Cleveland again;
>> As I am no longer associated with MVPA ONLINE, you may want to take this
>> matter up with the MVPA National Office......
>> Jerry Cleveland
>> Boulder, Colorado
>> "Member, Old Men's Marching and Chowder Club"

It is apparent by Jerry's inclusion of the Chowder Club
reference that John's comments have been taken by him on a personal level.
It seems to be a case of "we'll fix you for saying things about us".

It is a chilling precedence that surfaces here. I had the audacity
to expose election fraud and was "rejected" from running for election to
the board. John Seidts posted critical comments about the boards actions
and had his web site "rejected" from the MVPA links. A message is being
sent here and it reads "this is our club and you better not rock the boat".
Those of us on the list that have sent postings critical of the MVPA board
such as Todd Paisley, Tim Clark, Scott Watson and even you Lisa, may be next.
This then brings up the question, was this action against John Seidts
taken by Jerry Cleveland alone or by the MVPA ruling body? Is it now
policy to "reject" web site links of people who disagree with the actions
of the MVPA board?

Also, is it fair to "punish" Steve Reese, John's associate in the
business, for John exercising his right to free speech. Is it wrong to
criticize the governing body when you feel the actions of some of them will
cause harm to the group?

I have contacted MVPA board member Garrick Smith regarding this action.
Garrick was not aware that's link had been dropped or who had
done it. He plans to find out more about it and let me (and you) know as
soon as possible.

I do not advocate the forming of another club. I am a supporter of
the MVPA and continue to sign up as many new members as possible. The
problem is with certain individuals in control and the policies they
invoke and not with the membership. When John and others on this list
have criticize the MVPA, they are talking about the Board and not the
Association membership. Jerry Cleveland knows this and the rest of the
board does too.
HOWEVER.......I must say to John, join the MVPA and work for improving
what you see as problems with the leadership and policies. I would be
happy to sign you up!

Jim Gilmore MVPA # 5843

Member Ist Michigan AOD Chapter MVPA
Great Lakes Chapter MVPA
Ohio Motor Pool Chapter MVPA
Red Ball Chapter MVPA
Ontario Military Vehicle Association
Midwest Military Vehicle Assocation
2656 Wiethoff, Inkster, Mi. 48141
313-561-8826 voice 313-730-1652 fax

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