Main
Date: 15 Feb 2009 08:57:49
From: samsloan
Subject: Sam Sloan's Candidates Statement for USCF Election
Sam Sloan is a Candidate for the USCF Executive Board

I am a candidate for the USCF Executive Board. People ask me why I
keep running. This is a legitimate question and I have a good answer.
There are basically two parts to the answer.

1. The USCF has been spiraling downward. Almost every year is worse
than the previous year. The current year is the worst ever in the
history of the USCF. It will again lose six figures this year, as it
did last year. The very existence of this organization is threatened.
I have been a member since 1956 and I would like to be able to stay a
member longer.

I have promised that, if elected (and assuming that three other board
members agree with me) I will cut expenses to the bone, getting rid of
sacred cows, chopping heads if necessary. I will absolutely not allow
the USCF to lose money, and I mean it. The USCF has revenues of $3.2
million per year. That is a lot of money. Much of it is wasted.
Expenses can easily be cut with no loss of services to the members.

2. I have big plans for the expansion of the USCF. Chess is becoming
more popular around the world and we need to exploit this. I envision
an organization with a million members. This is not pie-in the sky. I
believe that it can be done and I have specific plans on how to do it.
The current board, instead, is moving towards downsizing the
organization, with such measures as stopping the publication of Chess
Life as a print magazine. The have already stopped the sale of life
memberships.

Regarding my plans to have a million members, which some might dismiss
as ridiculous, consider the following:

Myspace, primarily a kids website, has 110 million members.

Grand Theft Auto, a kids video game (which teaches the kids how to
steal a car) has sold 70 million units. Most stores are selling it
for $39.99.

The Girl Scouts of America has 2.7 million members.

Little League Baseball has 2.3 million players.

Compared to these numbers, the USCF Membership totals are pathetic.
The reason is we make no effort to bring in new members. We have
30,000 scholastic members. We did not recruit them. They came to us. I
do not know how they found us, but they did. Yet, the current board
wants to cut the only benefit that these kids receive, which is Chess
Life for Kids magazine.

During my one year on the board, I repeatedly advanced my ideas on how
to promote chess and bring in new members. All of my ideas were
rejected without giving any reason. Here are some of my ideas:

1. Internationalizing the Rating System which could be done at
insignificant additional cost and bring many foreign players into our
system, giving them incentive to join the USCF.

2. Making videos especially of scholastic events and broadcasting them
on youtube. Our website content provider, independently of me, and
without even knowing of my proposal, offered to make these videos at
no additional cost. Her idea and my idea were rejected. I cannot
imagine what the reason was, other than the fact that it was not their
idea and therefore they rejected it.

3. Selling blocks of USCF memberships to school systems. Our current
president actually claimed that I had "stolen" this idea, every time I
brought it up. I plead guilty. I stole the idea. Woe is me. The
question is not who had the idea, but who is doing it. There is no
indication that the USCF is doing it. Indeed, it does not seem that
the USCF under the current board is doing anything at all, except
spending their time fighting each other.

Someone asked a board member yesterday regarding the six-figure losses
again so far this year the following questions:

What has USCF done about this? Has it reduced payroll? No, I don't
believe it has. In fact, an employee was just added. Has it decided to
do anything else to generate new revenue streams? No, I don't believe
it has. Has it cut expenses elsewhere? I haven't heard of any.

The current year is the worst ever. The current plans (although they
deny it) are to stop the publication of Chess Life as a paper print
magazine. Already, the magazine is no longer being sent to regular
members after they renew. The board has advised the Life Members that
they may have to pay a subscription fee to receive the magazine after
2010. Also, Life Memberships are no longer being sold.

Regular members who joined or renewed after September 24, 2008 may be
wondering why they have not received Chess Life magazine in the mail.
The shocking answer is the current board voted unanimously to stop
sending Chess Life in the mail to regular members and to stop sending
Chess Life for Kids in the mail to regular scholastic members. They
have also notified the Life Members that they provide no guarantee
that they will receive a paper Chess Life after 2010.

If elected, I will do everything in my power to reverse these
decisions. I am committed to restoring to regular members the right to
receive a paper Chess Life magazine, to scholastic members the right
to receive a paper Chess Life for Kids magazine, and to Life Members
the right to receive Chess Life magazine for the rest of their lives.
We should also start selling Life Memberships again.

My one year on the board, which was 2006-2007, was the only year in
recent memory where the USCF did not lose six figures, but instead
reported a surplus and an increase in membership. I am not taking
credit for this profit (which was minimal but nevertheless a profit)
but my riding herd on the office, even threatening them that their
heads would roll if they did not produce a profit, probably encouraged
them to report a (fake) surplus.

When I was one the board for one year, I discovered many, many
questionable payments, some under the table. If the USCF would stop
giving money away, that would certainly help. I can tell you that if I
am elected and three other board members agree with me, staff will be
cut and certain people will no longer be on the payroll.

There are now seven lawsuit pending involving the USCF. In spite of
wide spread discussion of the issue, most USCF members seem unaware
that Susan Polgar has filed a $25 million dollar lawsuit against the
USCF in Federal court in Lubbock Texas. Her lawsuit contains no
specific grounds and no concrete allegations as to what she is
complaining about. Susan is also running three candidates in the
current election. It is obvious that her plan is that if her three
candidates are elected she will have control of the board and she will
be able to ask the courts on behalf of the USCF to rule in her favor.

On April 22, 2004, when Beatriz Marinello was USCF President, she
posted on the FIDE-chess Yahoo Group:

=93We need to drive away the people who has been milking the USCF for
many years.=94
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/fide-chess/message/10601

I was severely critical of Beatriz for making this statement, but when
I got on the board two years later I discovered how true this
statement was and how many people were milking the USCF.

If I am elected, this milking will STOP (but will the USCF get
mastitis?)

Sam Sloan




 
Date: 18 Feb 2009 09:48:33
From: Mr.Vidmar
Subject: Re: Sam Sloan's Candidates Statement for USCF Election
The first Chess Life statement is limited to 150 words. Do you have an
edited version??

samsloan wrote:
> Sam Sloan is a Candidate for the USCF Executive Board
>
> I am a candidate for the USCF Executive Board. People ask me why I
> keep running. This is a legitimate question and I have a good answer.
> There are basically two parts to the answer.
>
> 1. The USCF has been spiraling downward. Almost every year is worse
> than the previous year. The current year is the worst ever in the
> history of the USCF. It will again lose six figures this year, as it
> did last year. The very existence of this organization is threatened.
> I have been a member since 1956 and I would like to be able to stay a
> member longer.
>
> I have promised that, if elected (and assuming that three other board
> members agree with me) I will cut expenses to the bone, getting rid of
> sacred cows, chopping heads if necessary. I will absolutely not allow
> the USCF to lose money, and I mean it. The USCF has revenues of $3.2
> million per year. That is a lot of money. Much of it is wasted.
> Expenses can easily be cut with no loss of services to the members.
>
> 2. I have big plans for the expansion of the USCF. Chess is becoming
> more popular around the world and we need to exploit this. I envision
> an organization with a million members. This is not pie-in the sky. I
> believe that it can be done and I have specific plans on how to do it.
> The current board, instead, is moving towards downsizing the
> organization, with such measures as stopping the publication of Chess
> Life as a print magazine. The have already stopped the sale of life
> memberships.
>
> Regarding my plans to have a million members, which some might dismiss
> as ridiculous, consider the following:
>
> Myspace, primarily a kids website, has 110 million members.
>
> Grand Theft Auto, a kids video game (which teaches the kids how to
> steal a car) has sold 70 million units. Most stores are selling it
> for $39.99.
>
> The Girl Scouts of America has 2.7 million members.
>
> Little League Baseball has 2.3 million players.
>
> Compared to these numbers, the USCF Membership totals are pathetic.
> The reason is we make no effort to bring in new members. We have
> 30,000 scholastic members. We did not recruit them. They came to us. I
> do not know how they found us, but they did. Yet, the current board
> wants to cut the only benefit that these kids receive, which is Chess
> Life for Kids magazine.
>
> During my one year on the board, I repeatedly advanced my ideas on how
> to promote chess and bring in new members. All of my ideas were
> rejected without giving any reason. Here are some of my ideas:
>
> 1. Internationalizing the Rating System which could be done at
> insignificant additional cost and bring many foreign players into our
> system, giving them incentive to join the USCF.
>
> 2. Making videos especially of scholastic events and broadcasting them
> on youtube. Our website content provider, independently of me, and
> without even knowing of my proposal, offered to make these videos at
> no additional cost. Her idea and my idea were rejected. I cannot
> imagine what the reason was, other than the fact that it was not their
> idea and therefore they rejected it.
>
> 3. Selling blocks of USCF memberships to school systems. Our current
> president actually claimed that I had "stolen" this idea, every time I
> brought it up. I plead guilty. I stole the idea. Woe is me. The
> question is not who had the idea, but who is doing it. There is no
> indication that the USCF is doing it. Indeed, it does not seem that
> the USCF under the current board is doing anything at all, except
> spending their time fighting each other.
>
> Someone asked a board member yesterday regarding the six-figure losses
> again so far this year the following questions:
>
> What has USCF done about this? Has it reduced payroll? No, I don't
> believe it has. In fact, an employee was just added. Has it decided to
> do anything else to generate new revenue streams? No, I don't believe
> it has. Has it cut expenses elsewhere? I haven't heard of any.
>
> The current year is the worst ever. The current plans (although they
> deny it) are to stop the publication of Chess Life as a paper print
> magazine. Already, the magazine is no longer being sent to regular
> members after they renew. The board has advised the Life Members that
> they may have to pay a subscription fee to receive the magazine after
> 2010. Also, Life Memberships are no longer being sold.
>
> Regular members who joined or renewed after September 24, 2008 may be
> wondering why they have not received Chess Life magazine in the mail.
> The shocking answer is the current board voted unanimously to stop
> sending Chess Life in the mail to regular members and to stop sending
> Chess Life for Kids in the mail to regular scholastic members. They
> have also notified the Life Members that they provide no guarantee
> that they will receive a paper Chess Life after 2010.
>
> If elected, I will do everything in my power to reverse these
> decisions. I am committed to restoring to regular members the right to
> receive a paper Chess Life magazine, to scholastic members the right
> to receive a paper Chess Life for Kids magazine, and to Life Members
> the right to receive Chess Life magazine for the rest of their lives.
> We should also start selling Life Memberships again.
>
> My one year on the board, which was 2006-2007, was the only year in
> recent memory where the USCF did not lose six figures, but instead
> reported a surplus and an increase in membership. I am not taking
> credit for this profit (which was minimal but nevertheless a profit)
> but my riding herd on the office, even threatening them that their
> heads would roll if they did not produce a profit, probably encouraged
> them to report a (fake) surplus.
>
> When I was one the board for one year, I discovered many, many
> questionable payments, some under the table. If the USCF would stop
> giving money away, that would certainly help. I can tell you that if I
> am elected and three other board members agree with me, staff will be
> cut and certain people will no longer be on the payroll.
>
> There are now seven lawsuit pending involving the USCF. In spite of
> wide spread discussion of the issue, most USCF members seem unaware
> that Susan Polgar has filed a $25 million dollar lawsuit against the
> USCF in Federal court in Lubbock Texas. Her lawsuit contains no
> specific grounds and no concrete allegations as to what she is
> complaining about. Susan is also running three candidates in the
> current election. It is obvious that her plan is that if her three
> candidates are elected she will have control of the board and she will
> be able to ask the courts on behalf of the USCF to rule in her favor.
>
> On April 22, 2004, when Beatriz Marinello was USCF President, she
> posted on the FIDE-chess Yahoo Group:
>
> “We need to drive away the people who has been milking the USCF for
> many years.”
> http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/fide-chess/message/10601
>
> I was severely critical of Beatriz for making this statement, but when
> I got on the board two years later I discovered how true this
> statement was and how many people were milking the USCF.
>
> If I am elected, this milking will STOP (but will the USCF get
> mastitis?)
>
> Sam Sloan


 
Date: 18 Feb 2009 04:55:13
From: Rob
Subject: Re: Sam Sloan's Candidates Statement for USCF Election
On Feb 15, 10:57=A0am, samsloan <samhsl...@gmail.com > wrote:
> Sam Sloan is a Candidate for the USCF Executive Board
>
> I am a candidate for the USCF Executive Board. People ask me why I
> keep running. This is a legitimate question and I have a good answer.
> There are basically two parts to the answer.
>
> 1. The USCF has been spiraling downward. Almost every year is worse
> than the previous year. The current year is the worst ever in the
> history of the USCF. It will again lose six figures this year, as it
> did last year. The very existence of this organization is threatened.
> I have been a member since 1956 and I would like to be able to stay a
> member longer.

Lawsuits have been a major expenditure and cause of many USCF losses.
To what extent does your lawsuits bear in this?



> I have promised that, if elected (and assuming that three other board
> members agree with me) I will cut expenses to the bone, getting rid of
> sacred cows, chopping heads if necessary. I will absolutely not allow
> the USCF to lose money, and I mean it. The USCF has revenues of $3.2
> million per year. That is a lot of money. Much of it is wasted.
> Expenses can easily be cut with no loss of services to the members.


WHo will you cut? What will you cut?If you cut a mans cow in
Crossville, he may kill you.



> 2. I have big plans for the expansion of the USCF. Chess is becoming
> more popular around the world and we need to exploit this. I envision
> an organization with a million members. This is not pie-in the sky. I
> believe that it can be done and I have specific plans on how to do it.
> The current board, instead, is moving towards downsizing the
> organization, with such measures as stopping the publication of Chess
> Life as a print magazine. The have already stopped the sale of life
> memberships.


Why is this a bad financial move?


> Regarding my plans to have a million members, which some might dismiss
> as ridiculous, consider the following:
>
> Myspace, primarily a kids website, has 110 million members.

It's free to join.

> Grand Theft Auto, a kids video game (which teaches the kids how to
> steal a car) has sold 70 million units. Most stores =A0are selling it
> for $39.99.

Its a fun video game.. but I agree it has terrible values.

> The Girl Scouts of America has 2.7 million members.

Not a game, but a social outlet.

> Little League Baseball has 2.3 million players.


It is a fun outside game and it also has in place means to do
background checks on coaches,ect.

> Compared to these numbers, the USCF Membership totals are pathetic.
> The reason is we make no effort to bring in new members. We have
> 30,000 scholastic members. We did not recruit them. They came to us. I
> do not know how they found us, but they did. Yet, the current board
> wants to cut the only benefit that these kids receive, which is Chess
> Life for Kids magazine.


If the only "benefit they get is the magazine, why not just become a
comic book publisher and forget chess. Not a very well developed idea

> During my one year on the board, I repeatedly advanced my ideas on how
> to promote chess and bring in new members. All of my ideas were
> rejected without giving any reason. Here are some of my ideas:


It isn't required to explain. But since you have taken it upon
yourself to personally attack almost everyone on the board, I am not
shocked at all that nothing you proposed ever got initiated.

> 1. Internationalizing the Rating System which could be done at
> insignificant additional cost and bring many foreign players into our
> system, giving them incentive to join the USCF.

Why not just outsource?

> 2. Making videos especially of scholastic events and broadcasting them
> on youtube. Our website content provider, independently of me, and
> without even knowing of my proposal, offered to make these videos at
> no additional cost. Her idea and my idea were rejected. I cannot
> imagine what the reason was, other than the fact that it was not their
> idea and therefore they rejected it.

Not a bad idea. I had it arranged to have a live uplink to the NBC
system at the 2005 SUpernationals, for free. No one acted upon it
though. The local NBC affiliate was going to do it all for free, even
putting in closed circuit TV so that certain matches could be watched
live in the conference rooms.

> 3. Selling blocks of USCF memberships to school systems. Our current
> president actually claimed that I had "stolen" this idea, every time I
> brought it up. I plead guilty. I stole the idea. Woe is me. The
> question is not who had the idea, but who is doing it. There is no
> indication that the USCF is doing it. Indeed, it does not seem that
> the USCF under the current board is doing anything at all, except
> spending their time fighting each other.


School systems do not have the funds to do this.

> Someone asked a board member yesterday regarding the six-figure losses
> again so far this year the following questions:
>
> What has USCF done about this? Has it reduced payroll? No, I don't
> believe it has. In fact, an employee was just added. Has it decided to
> do anything else to generate new revenue streams? No, I don't believe
> it has. Has it cut expenses elsewhere? I haven't heard of any.


If they didn't have lawsuits all over the place,maybe things would be
different?

> The current year is the worst ever. The current plans (although they
> deny it) are to stop the publication of Chess Life as a paper print
> magazine. Already, the magazine is no longer being sent to regular
> members after they renew. The board has advised the Life Members that
> they may have to pay a subscription fee to receive the magazine after
> 2010. Also, Life Memberships are no longer being sold.


Again... why is this a bad move?

> Regular members who joined or renewed after September 24, 2008 may be
> wondering why they have not received Chess Life magazine in the mail.
> The shocking answer is the current board voted unanimously to stop
> sending Chess Life in the mail to regular members and to stop sending
> Chess Life for Kids in the mail to regular scholastic members. They
> have also notified the Life Members that they provide no guarantee
> that they will receive a paper Chess Life after 2010.

Thrid time you have said this. WHy dont you offer to print the
magazine and sell the paper version?

> If elected, I will do everything in my power to reverse these
> decisions. I am committed to restoring to regular members the right to
> receive a paper Chess Life magazine, to scholastic members the right
> to receive a paper Chess Life for Kids magazine, and to Life Members
> the right to receive Chess Life magazine for the rest of their lives.
> We should also start selling Life Memberships again.


If elected you will have no power so nothing you propose will ever get
enacted.
It would be a wasted vote,IMO. However, I doubt that the USCF will
ever improve without a major influx of cash and a totally revamped
marketing plan. They cannot continue to use a 19th century model in
the 21st century.

> My one year on the board, which was 2006-2007, was the only year in
> recent memory where the USCF did not lose six figures, but instead
> reported a surplus and an increase in membership. I am not taking
> credit for this profit (which was minimal but nevertheless a profit)
> but my riding herd on the office, even threatening them that their
> heads would roll if they did not produce a profit, probably encouraged
> them to report a (fake) surplus.

Not accurate. It didn't happen.

> When I was one the board for one year, I discovered many, many
> questionable payments, some under the table. If the USCF would stop
> giving money away, that would certainly help. I can tell you that if I
> am elected and three other board members agree with me, staff will be
> cut and certain people will no longer be on the payroll.


I think the payroll of 98 percent of the staff is questionable. SO
what?

> There are now seven lawsuit pending involving the USCF. In spite of
> wide spread discussion of the issue, most USCF members seem unaware
> that Susan Polgar has filed a $25 million dollar lawsuit against the
> USCF in Federal court in Lubbock Texas. Her lawsuit contains no
> specific grounds and no concrete allegations as to what she is
> complaining about. Susan is also running three candidates in the
> current election. It is obvious that her plan is that if her three
> candidates are elected she will have control of the board and she will
> be able to ask the courts on behalf of the USCF to rule in her favor.


WOuld you have done any less? I think not.

> On April 22, 2004, when Beatriz Marinello was USCF President, she
> posted on the FIDE-chess Yahoo Group:
>
> =93We need to drive away the people who has been milking the USCF for
> many years.=94http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/fide-chess/message/1060=
1
>
> I was severely critical of Beatriz for making this statement, but when
> I got on the board two years later I discovered how true this
> statement was and how many people were milking the USCF.
>
> If I am elected, this milking will STOP (but will the USCF get
> mastitis?)
>
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =
=A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 Sam=
Sloan

ANd yet you still are a member? Or has your membership lapsed?