April 20, 2006
The Million Veteran March (MVM) supported Operation Firing for Effect (OFE) from mid-December, 2005 until 26th March 2006.
Due to reasons below, MVM no longer supports OFE.
26 March 2006. The Veterans March was 30 days out (25th April 2006) and information concerning updated donation (non-profit status disclosure) and some type of timeline for the event was not forthcoming to MVM by OFE. As you will read on OFE PR letter #2, OFE was in the process of renting 4,000 chairs at the total cost of $1.00 per chair with the estimated cost of $4,000. This is just the chairs! Numerous other operating expenses were in the works as you will read on the last prepared expense sheet dated 14 February, 2006 and posted on the MVM’s website without updates. This expense sheet projects $15,200 required to cover basic operational expenses. The last updated donation list was dated 27Feb06 with only 51 donations received at an estimated donation intake of $2,350. Without updated information concerning the latest status on donations and without a timeline of events for the 25th and 26th, MVM decided to no longer support OFE.
1 April 2006. Instead of a simple note that MVM is no longer supporting OFE, OFE releases a press release which avoids mentioning why MVM no longer wished to support OFE and decides to complicate matters by informing fellow veterans that the reason was because of a “disgruntled individual”. The press release failed to state the real reason which was listed on the MVM’s website which indicated information was not being forthcoming to MVM and in-turn gave the appearance of an apparent organizational shortcoming and financial accountability practice of OFE.
MVM was assisting OFE as a coordinator for The Veterans March and should have been informed as to why updated information (donation status/timeline of events) could not be released to MVM for the purpose of everyone to view on The Veterans March website.
MVM answer every phone call and email up until 26 March 2006.
MVM did not want to be associated with any of the organizational shortcomings and financial accountability practices of OFE until an accountability of their donations and a timeline of events were provided to MVM.
MVM was promised updated information on numerous occasions but never received the information from OFE. MVM was again promised the updated information the Sunday night (26Mar06) that MVM brought the website offline while awaiting necessary updates. And again, this information was only partially sent to MVM and was not all inclusive. At this point, it was apparent that a problem (Organizational/Financial practice) existed and with only 30 days remaining, MVM did not want to be a part of it.
MVM did express in an email that the website would immediately be put back online as soon as MVM received promised updates.
That should have been a simple solution but OFE never provided the requested updates to MVM.
Since the MVM website came offline at approximately 10:30 P.M. on 26th of March, 2006, one would think that MVM would have received the updated information the very first thing that coming morning by OFE or at least an explanation as to why the information could not be provided to MVM.
MVM did not receive the information (updated donation list/some type of timeline for the event) that morning or at all.
As far as information on the MVM website, if anyone wanted anything particular from the MVM website, all they needed to do was ask by sending an email to the MVM website. No one did.
Please note that the MVM stated it no longer wished to participate in OFE and never implied on the MVM website or by email that it did not believe in the current Veterans March that is underway.
Since MVM no longer supported OFE as of 26 March, 2006, MVM was not entertaining phone calls concerning OFE and only accepted emails.
15 April, 2006. OFE releases a letter to its supporters which threatens fellow veterans with litigations. This same letter blames the internet “Rumor Mill” as to the reason why OFE’s has a shortcoming in financial matters. OFE states they cannot raise enough funds and that’s why they had to reduce production. This 15 April, 2006 letter also notes that it’s current donations are at $8,090. As you read above, the last released donation status was $2,350.
Beginning in January of 2006, MVM began receiving numerous emails and phone calls from individuals stating that their names are not on the donation list and from individuals requesting MVM to send them more info on the timing of OFE events, so they can plan their travel and lodging accordingly i.e. On the 25th from 0800 – 1300 be at the West Lawn of the Capitol and on the 26th our Committee/Others will speak to our elected representatives in the Cannon building, RM #1 at 11:00 – 1300. This only needed to be an approximate schedule with a statement included – Subject to change. This would have helped many individuals plan i.e. time to find ride to airport/bus station, pick a departing flight/bus, tell driver when to drop-off/pick-up etc…
MVM and OFE had previously agreed to keep everyone abreast of the status of all donations received for OFE on the MVM website, weekly, if not, bi-weekly. The timeline of events had not been provided and now with 30 days away from the event, this info still was not available for the MVM website or for MVM to respond back to individuals who wanted to know. And, being part of the team and a coordinator but not receiving the required information and not having an explanation as to why this information cannot be provided to MVM, this pretty much tells MVM that MVM advise or feedback is not worthy for consideration. Maybe if OFE gave MVM an explanation as to why there is a delay or why a particular info could not be received, MVM could have helped fixed the situation or make a recommendation. But by OFE promising to provide the required information on numerous occasions and then not delivering the information and then only giving MVM bits and pieces of the information and with no excuses as to why the continue failure to provide the information – That’s when MVM determined that MVM is no longer a welcomed part of the team and MVM no longer wished to be associated with any of the organizational shortcomings and financial accountability practices of OFE. Basically, MVM was in an ethical dilemma and decided to no longer support OFE.
MVM did not state that it wanted nothing to do with the march. What MVM stated is that it no longer wishes to be associated with OFE’s organizational or financial practices. MVM felt that OFE did not have a handle on its organizational/financial practices. If it did, it was a secret to MVM.
What many may have perceive was a “personal problem of MVM and OFE working together” was nothing more than MVM following common ethical, organizational and financial practices and not letting OFE lack of information determine an incorrect course of action for MVM. It was frustrating working as a team with OFE and not receiving proper information.
Just because MVM is not associated with the organizational/financial practices of OFE, does not mean that MVM is discouraging anyone in any way from attending OFE’s rally.
Since November 2005, MVM (James T. North) has solely owned, originated and personally maintained The Veterans March 2006 website:
http://www.millionvetmarch2006.com or www.vetmarch2006.com
Stand_By_To_Stand_By@MillionVetMarch2006.com or VetMarch2006@VetMarch2006.com.
MVM is the sole owner of this website and has completely funded the website with his personal income.
In December 2005, Gene Simes, Coordinator and Chairman of “Operation Firing for Effect” agreed that The Veterans March 2006 could help him with the planning and coordination of “Operation Firing for Effect”.
Note that shortly after MVM decided to not support OFE, MVM’s VetMarch2006 website was copied in its entirety by OFE (without MVM’s approval and a disregard to follow the law in regards to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) onto a new website server and gave it the URL named of www.vetmarch2006.net. The only difference between the original MVM VetMarch 2006 website’s URL name is the “.NET” vs. “.COM” at the end of the internet URL address. In addition, the new website’s email address matches MVM The Veterans’ March 2006 address of Veterans@VetMarch2006.com with the only difference being that OFE used “.NET” vs. “.COM”. Some things could not be copied onto the new website because MFV chose to bring the personally owned website off-line while awaiting updates that MVM believe people have a right to know up front and ongoing. At the time these updates had been received, the intention was to immediately bring the website back online, for all to view. This was a joint effort between two separate efforts (MVM and OFE) and MVM, being affiliated with the Veterans March 2006, no longer wish to be associated with OFE.
By OFE making a new website and email address instead of taking a few minutes to provide the necessary updates for the MVM website and with only three weeks left before the start of the event, it only appears to have completely confused many individuals concerning the upcoming event.
One would think “Why not provide Jim North and everyone else with an updated donation list and some type of schedule of activities for the 25th and 26th? This was something that numerous people wanted to know about and be kept abreast on.” People were clueless about what will transpire on the 25th and 26th and questioned if their donations were received and are being utilized in good faith.
James T. North
http://www.millionvetmarch2006.com or http://www.vetmarch2006.com
Stand_By_T0_Stand_By@millionvetmarch2006.com or VetMarch2006@vetmarch2006.com