May 29, 2009
Dear USCF member:
The June Chess Life or TLA Bulletin contains your ballot for the 2009 Executive Board election. Even if you have not voted in past USCF elections, please consider making an exception this year, as never before has so much been at stake. The threat to the Federation is so great that leaders who have often disagreed in the past, such as Leroy Dubeck and myself, are now working together to protect our organization. I am grateful to Dr. Dubeck for his support and also welcome the endorsement of past Presidents Steve Doyle, Beatriz Marinello, and Tim Redman.
I am a candidate for re-election to the Executive Board, though due to term limits I will step down as President this August. Please see my chess resume (enclosed), and statements in Chess Life and www.checkmate.us. We are fortunate to have some excellent, experienced candidates who can be counted on to support USCF, and I recommend that you also vote for Jim Berry, Mike Atkins, and Ruth Haring (see www.checkmate.us/candidates09.htm).
Executive Board members have a fiduciary duty to support and protect the organization they were elected to lead, but a current Board member, Susan Polgar, has filed a $25 million lawsuit against USCF and others, later reduced to $10 million. If successful, this action for libel, slander and defamation would bankrupt the Federation! Even if ultimately dismissed as is likely if not settled, this and other legal issues involving Susan Polgar and her husband, Board member Paul Truong, have already cost USCF several hundred thousand dollars!
I believe that Polgar’s lawsuit is outrageous and totally without merit, filed to intimidate, to set up its withdrawal as a bargaining chip, and to confuse the public regarding charges of improper behavior by Polgar and Truong. Polgar has long insisted that the USCF investigation of misconduct by Truong be dropped and threatened a lawsuit should this not happen, and finally carried out her threat. Even if Polgar’s lawsuit had some factual basis, clearly a Board member who sues her organization for personal gain should first resign from the Board. Polgar has refused to do so, creating a glaring conflict of interest.
Polgar and Truong have done little of a positive nature as Executive Board members. They hardly even attend Board meetings, participating only by phone at Tulsa 2008 and Nashville 2008, and not at all at Saint Louis 2009. A federal judge has said of them, "It’s one of the worst ideas in the world to have spouses on the same board... Husband and wife should not be on the same board, so one of them ought to resign." For the good of USCF, I think both should resign.
Polgar’s websites, which permit little criticism of her, feature "anonymous" attacks on most of the Board and misinformation intended to make USCF look bad. For example, since February, Polgar’s blog has stated, "The USCF lost $419,968 in the first 7 months of this fiscal year," but the actual loss for this period was $45,743! Executive Board candidate Blas Lugo approvingly quotes Polgar’s deceptive "lost $419,968" in his May and June Chess Life campaign statements.
Apparently, Polgar has decided that income from bequests is not really income, so it’s OK for her to ignore bequest income and announce her own financial numbers which differ radically from the official ones. Her "lost $419,968" post fails to reveal this alteration, though in May she put up a "lost almost $500,000" post which does, but only if you click on the improper headline. Of course, she never points out that were it not for legal fees resulting from Polgar and Truong being on the Board, USCF would have a large surplus.
Truong has been charged in several credible reports with making a large number of anonymous, defamatory internet posts. He has refused to deny the charges under oath, or to ask his internet service providers to cooperate with USCF’s investigation. And Polgar and her webmaster have been charged with unlawful possession of confidential emails sent to Board member Randy Hough, many of which were from USCF’s lawyer and protected by attorney/client privilege.
For details of various legal cases involving Polgar, Truong, and USCF, see www.checkmate.us or www.uschess.org/legalupdates.
This is a crucial election, as four Board positions are open, the Board elects the President, and Polgar and Truong need only two more supporters for a majority. Imagine what that could mean: a USCF President who is engaged in a $10 million lawsuit against her own organization!
The Executive Board can settle this and other lawsuits involving Polgar and Truong on one side and USCF on the other side. Would you be concerned that a Board controlled by Polgar and allies might "negotiate" a settlement favorable for President Polgar and not favorable for USCF? I sure would! If two Polgar endorsed candidates are elected who support or tolerate the outrageous conduct of Polgar and Truong, the Federation will be in great peril.
It is in the best interest of USCF that Polgar and Truong resign from the Board and all parties to current disputes withdraw their legal actions. Polgar has declined this obvious solution and instead pushed an absurd idea: USCF admit guilt by paying her $1, she and Truong remain on the Board, legal actions involving Polgar and USCF are withdrawn, but her lawsuit against others continues. If USCF was stupid enough to agree to this "settlement," it would not save money as it would still have to defend its volunteers and Executive Director, and this defense would be hampered by the false concession. Polgar "supporters" on her websites, most of whom are anonymous, spin this as a "generous" offer to let USCF off the hook "for only $1."
Another candidate in this year’s election, Sam Sloan, has sued USCF twice in recent years. He is currently appealing the dismissal of his $20 million lawsuit against the Federation. We need Executive Board members who are committed to work for USCF, not against it!
If you have read this far, thank you for your interest in USCF, and please vote! For my analysis of each candidate, see www.checkmate.us. I hope you will vote for Bill Goichberg, Jim Berry, Mike Atkins, and Ruth Haring.
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