Campaigning letter to UMCA members

Details: The Managing Director of the UMCA, the only paid employee of the UMCA, was the mastermind behind an endorsement letter, called the “Lee Mitchell letter.” This letter was sent to many voting members of the UMCA, recommending that members vote for six particular candidates. Five of these six candidates were serving in the UMCA government at the time of the mailing—most of them appointed—in addition to one other candidate for the 6th slot. This UMCA Managing Director recruited Lee Mitchell, a sitting Board member at the time, and helped him craft this endorsement letter.

Since Mitchell is a highly recognized and respected member, the intention was that this letter would motivate voters to select the six candidates endorsed in this letter. Lee Mitchell did not mail out this letter. Instead, the UMCA’s Managing Director arranged for this letter to be mailed by a former Board member, who is currently working for the Race Across AMerica. It is believed that the UMCA main office provided this person with the most current data bank of UMCA members in the form of “electronic mailing labels” in order to simplify and expedite the mailing process. This area is still under investigation because this person claims to have received a hard copy from the UMCA, thus generated his own list and labels. Regardless, this list was provided well in advance of the election, something not afforded to any of the other candidates. None of the losing candidates had access to this up-to-date date mailing list in advance of the election or the electronic mailing labels. These labels were used exclusively for the benefit of the winning six candidates.

Click on pictures to enlarge the letter:

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Update on 1/16/08:


Regarding your original testimony of the endorsement letter, you asked that I not share it with anyone publicly. I have abided by your wishes for as long as I could. Now, some UMCA members are urging me to show the evidence of the truth behind "your" letter. I know you will be upset and probably even mad at me, but I can no longer protect you. The UMCA members who seek the truth have to come before our friendship. Sorry, but I am posting this entire e-mail on the blog and everything else I have. This is really about the UMCA's screwed up system and the paying member's voices in this non-profit government are mostly being sealed off by a few people on high horses. It's all wrong and you do know that.



From: Leebikevan@aol.comDate: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 21:14:31 -0400Subject: The good, the bad, the ugly, you pickTo:;;;;;;;;;;;; paul@sparrow-hawk.orgCC:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Seems to be the time.

I met John Hughes on a PAC Tour in 1988. We were slingshotting like the dickens down some nice hill in Arizona, I think. Have crewed for him on two very hot 508s and two very very hard RAAMs. He has been my friend for a long time.

Early this spring, before the full list of candidates was published, not knowing the full slate, I was asked by John to endorse six of them for election to the UMCA Board of Directors, I either knew those six directly or had heard of them and read their bios. Seemed good to me. I had previously nominated Bill Palmer and Mavis Irwin, both superbly capable of doing a good job on the Board.

The endorsement letter was originally written by Jeff Stephens. It passed back and forth between us until it had the language I liked.
It was commercially mailed by Jeff.
I helped pay for it.
I was not forced to sign it.
I did sign it and therefore am responsible for it.

I repeat, I did not know of the full slate of candidates. Some of those I have known, worked with and for and respected for many years. If I had known, probably/maybe I would have written otherwise. Or not written at all. It is done.
So---that's the bad and the ugly, at least so far.

The good::::: of the 18 candidates only five I have not personally met, not crewed for, not crewed with, not helped.

Ken, met you on the 1200k brevet in BC in 2005.
Pat, enjoyed to the utmost crewing with you for Gerry Tatrai in 1992 and 1993 ! Let's go again???
Nick, if I am ever in Texas, I'll stop by.
Bob, thanks for the help with the dead RV on Cat's RAAM in 2005.
Seana, helped you a bit for the LA Grand Tour, just wish I had been with you OR Muffy during your exciting and epic races !!! Wish the men had such a great rivalry, you betcha.
Chris, glad you were able to finish RAAM 2005 with my neck brace.
Mavis, wish I could crew for you on this coming 508, but am committed to the PAC RATS.
Chris, I saw you jump up on the stage at rider intros in San Francisco when all the other riders had walked up the side stairs. Great start and finish to RAAM!
Lou, thanks for our recent conversations--felt like hell for your effort when I saw you at Wolf Creek Pass this year. Tears are hard to measure. Nobody can ever take away your effort and dedication.
Russ;, thanks for crewing for Becky's RAAM. Think I worked you pretty hard !!
Guus--you have always been a great person at RAAM. A pleasure to see you every year.
Hugh, crewed for you on a couple of hard 508s and a really hard RAAM. Won't forget.
Bill, I expect to see you on some riparian reconstruction project in the near future.

Paul, Joe, Jerry, Doug, Merry--keep up the good work for all of us, we need all the help we can get for our singular addiction to ultra-cycling.

My very heartfelt apologies to all those I have offended this spring. My apologies to those I offend today.
Try my shoes on, they won't fit you either.

Take care, Lee

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