[CQ-Contest] Dick Norton N6AA elected ARRL SW Div. director after challenger disqualified

Jim Reisert AD1C jjreisert at alum.mit.edu
Fri Sep 14 17:56:09 EDT 2007

The ARRL Letter
Vol. 26, No. 37
September 14, 2007


Carl Gardenias, WU6D, the challenger seeking the position of ARRL
Southwestern Division Director, was declared disqualified Thursday by
the ARRL Ethics and Elections Committee. Gardenias was running against
incumbent Richard "Dick" Norton, N6AA. Due to the disqualification, the
Committee has declared Norton re-elected. 

According to ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, writing on behalf of the
Committee, an e-mail signed by "Cathy K6VC, Newsletter editor" was sent
on behalf of Orange Section Manager Carl Gardenias to ARRL Orange
Section newsletter editors and Web masters, among others, on September 1
regarding the Southwestern Division election for Director and Vice
Director. The e-mail encouraged "ARRL Full members to vote and vote
wisely" in the upcoming election. Recipients were also asked to
encourage clubs to "post to their websites and into their newsletter
information regarding each candidate," and went on to list information,
including e-mail addresses and campaign Web sites, for the two Director
candidates and four candidates for Vice Director. Cathy Gardenias, K6VC,
is Assistant Section Manager for the ARRL Orange Section and the wife of
Carl Gardenias. 

The information given in Cathy Gardenias' e-mail was incorrect, in that
the e-mail address for Norton was wrong. The e-mail also stated that
Norton and Vice Director candidate Marty Woll, N6VI, did not have
campaign Web sites, when in fact they did. 

Cathy Gardenias' e-mail went on to say that "Since all candidates are
listed with e-mails and websites if they have one, there is no show of
favoritism or bias. Please vote. Approved by the ARRL k1zz." 

The ARRL Ethics and Elections Committee received a complaint regarding
the misinformation and concluded that the email violated the standard of
"truthful and not misleading" that applies to candidates' mailings. It
instructed Sumner to notify Carl Gardenias that "a correction must be
circulated to everyone who received the incorrect information, i.e.
everyone on the above distribution list and anyone else to whom it may
have been sent." Carl Gardenias was also told that should he "become
aware of any postings of the original, uncorrected item, you should
immediately endeavor to have them corrected or removed." 

Specific language for the correction was supplied by the committee. It
was to list correct e-mail addresses for each candidate, including
Norton, and to supply the Web site addresses for Norton and Woll that
had been missing from the original message. It was to further state,
"Finally, the item was NOT approved by the ARRL or K1ZZ, as incorrectly
stated," and that "The Orange Section regrets the errors and apologizes
to those affected." 

Carl Gardenias acknowledged receipt of Sumner's September 5 e-mail. On
September 7, having seen no evidence of compliance with the Committee's
directive, Sumner sent him another e-mail, asking for a copy of the
correction that Gardenias was supposed to have sent out. Gardenias
replied via e-mail, "OK on Monday we are at the convention," meaning the
ARRL Southwestern Division Convention. Since that response, Gardenias
has not communicated with Sumner, "nor has any evidence of your
compliance with the committee's orders been received," according to an
e-mail Sumner sent Gardenias September 13. 

In that e-mail, Sumner reminded Gardenias that he was previously advised
that "candidates' statements 'must be truthful and not misleading, which
matters will be conclusively determined by the Election Committee.' The
standard of truth applies to all mailings by a candidate. The email that
was sent on your behalf on September 1 violated this standard, as
documented in my September 5 message. You failed to follow the
instructions of the Ethics and Elections Committee to make a timely
correction, although you had ample opportunity to do so." 

Sumner advised Gardenias that he has "been disqualified as a candidate
for the office of Director of the Southwestern Division. Your name will
not appear on the ballot." Since Dick Norton is the only eligible
candidate, Sumner said, the Committee has declared him re-elected. 

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list