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30 Days on the National Atheist Party Board

Little did I know when I posted on Sunday about the Secular Party of America, formerly the National Atheist Party, that information would come to light today fairly conclusively demonstrating voter fraud in the initiative to change the organization’s name. Lee Moore has all the details on his blog. Flash Kellish, VP of PR/Marketing for the party, has confirmed the fraud in comments on Facebook earlier today.

Kim Rippere, president of Secular Woman, was briefly on the party’s board. She tweeted about her experience earlier today, and I offered her a chance to tell her story in a better medium. Below is what she shared with me. Aspects of this also highlight the ad hoc and uncontrolled nature of actions by the party’s board.

One Woman’s Lived Experience of the National Atheist Party

I found the atheist community in December of 2011.  I had been a life-long atheist; it has just never been important, nor had I had a desire to find other atheists.  Like many I found organized atheism via the internet, blogs, and Facebook.

Quickly I was swept into the National Atheist Party.  The people, camaraderie, and passion for making a difference were exhilarating.

Bridget Gaudette and I became friends. She was a Deputy to VP Jacob Kramer and sat on the board on and off.  I volunteered to be a leader in the Georgia chapter: growing the chapter, finding good people, developing a newsletter, doing some email advocacy, and writing articles for NAP and on my own blog for GA-NAP.  Very involved and very excited.

The following is true and accurate based on my best memory and understanding.  I have asked others that were part of my inner circle at the time to help corroborate and fill details as they remember them.  Additionally, I have relied on now-unpublished blog posts from my personal website.

The Election

Elections were taking place in March of 2012, and no one seemed to be putting themself up for VP of Administration.  So, with Bridget’s encouragement, I decided to run for this position.  Soon after my announcement, Susi Bocks also announced that she would be running to retain this seat.

The election was harrowing.  People were against me for reasons that my team and I couldn’t understand.  I thought the point of an election was to have choices.  When I campaigned, I was told that I did it wrong, that pointing out things that could be done better was problematic, that my resume was false.  At one point, I provided a reference to the President that he called to verify that I was who I said I was with the experience I said I had!  I laughed, because what else could I do?

Susi, the incumbent and my opposition, took an immediate and aggressive dislike to me from the beginning of the election.  It might have also been the case prior to the election, but it wasn’t obvious to me.

During the election, I offered a matching donation.  The donations were made, and I committed to the Board to fulfilling my obligation on X day.  Then there was talk about some additional publicity for the fund-raising campaign in a few days.  Wanting to be able to continue to talk about the matching donation during that publicity, I didn’t provide the funds on X day and didn’t contact the board regarding this delay in payment. The publicity was delayed and then never happened. Ultimately, I ended up making the payment around the election, perhaps just after.

One of the interesting aspects of the election was that the Board was responsible for running the election.  They were also all running for election!  Apparently, they failed to see any conflict of interest.  I know that Susi was allowed to have input and/or vote on issues that directly impacted her contested seat.

The end result of this election was a landslide victory for me by 15%.

Immediately Post-Election

There was a board meeting the day that or day after the election results were final.  There was lots of behind-the-scenes hullabaloo about whether or not I would be allowed to attend.  Ultimately, I was allowed into the boardroom (Facebook group) and to attend the meeting.

What I really remember was my first hours being part of the board room.  Flash Kellish was livid and could not be reasoned with regarding the matching donation and how I provided the funds late and after I promised.  I don’t mean to say that he had a few questions, but that he berated and grilled me for hours about a donation that was given a few days late.   At some point (either early on in the boardroom or before the election), I asked if my providing the matching donations when I did impacted the campaign in anyway.  The answer was no.  Kellish’s main beef seemed to be a projection, that I never intended to do the fund matching unless I was elected.  He had no reason to think this, other than perhaps his own paranoia and/or hatred of me.

Flash’s boardroom posting about me officially being elected: “Fuck.”

Transition – The Next 30 Days

Early on the board voted to give Susi Bocks a newly created voting position.  She would function as the President’s assistant.  The rest of the board obviously wanted to keep her around.  Who was I to argue?  And no one cared what I thought anyway.

The turnover plan was that I would not vote, make any decisions, or have any say in anything during the 30-day turnover period.  This wasn’t in the charter.  It was simply something that Susi thought was needed and Troy agreed to.  The turnover could easily have been done in a week with Susi staying available (or not) as needed to answer questions. As it was she was insistent that I not vote, that she continue to vote her mind, mostly not the way I would have voted.

Much of the information and documents I received were useless to me and were things I decided to throw away after reviewing.  They didn’t match my organization style or my priorities for the position.  Starting from scratch made more sense.

This was an incredibly stressful, sickening, and disheartening time that I only stuck out because of Bridget, my NAP friends, and my hopes for a secular political party. Was I perfect during this period or the next 24 days?  No, I was not.  I called Troy and screamed and cried, and I most likely did some yelling at the board meetings.  I was treated with disdain and wasn’t always pleasant about it.

During this time, it became known that the Latin wording used on the logo/emblem was incorrect.  We got correct wording, and per the charter, the path to fixing this was clear; membership vote. Per the charter, a 90% vote was required to change both the wording and the logo/emblem.  My strong stance based on my own reading and an attorney friend’s reading was that a membership vote was required.  I read this to the board during a meeting (this is verbatim): “Failure to complete an accurate due diligence process by the founders equates, somehow, with the Executive Board creating secret Presidential powers that do not exist in the Charter and which override power specifically given to membership to save face for the President and his cronies.”  Instead of calling a vote, Troy Boyle, a law student, decided to make the change by fiat and post a small note in the NAP discussion group.

My Time on the Board – The Next 24 Days

During this period, I was allowed to vote.  Susi’s voting rights were also rescinded and her position became one of an administrative assistant.  Troy acknowledged that her position had been created solely to keep a replaced person on the board.

I did my best to do the work I had campaigned on.  My memory of this time was that it was primarily spent on restructuring the board, developing an election committee, and the idea that platform planks were voted on at least three times per year.

We set out to restructure the board due to differing/changing interests, skills, and needs. I provided a proposal and had gathered support from a few before the meeting.  It didn’t fly.  Troy decided to put together a different restructure.  We waited and waited.  Finally, with pushing, he produced something that was, stunningly, exactly what I had proposed.  This passed.  We set about working on the restructure, announcements, etc.  It became evident that some board members had voted in this restructure without understanding the basics of what it meant.

One of the promises I had run on during my election was creating an election committee so that the board wasn’t responsible for running elections.  They never understood why this was important or grasped the idea of conflict of interest, even with Troy’s law school background.  Even though this was a proposal I ran on, I was not allowed to move forward with this idea.  I was handed an inordinate number of ridiculous obstacles.  The most recent board, elected earlier this year, has decided to proceed with an election committee.

My position as VP of Administration was responsible for both the platform and elections.  Just prior to my election, the board had decided to have platform plank votes at least three times per year.  To me, this seemed like an endless cycle that the organization could never get ahead of.  It was building a nonfunctional organization, not being politically active.  Parties typically allow changes to their platform once during an election cycle.  NAP had no ability to deal with its current platform, but they were opening themselves up to adding an unlimited number of planks three times a year!  I attempted to get this position revised.  My attempt was denied.

Just before I was removed, Brandon Smith left the board.  In my estimation, it was because other board members completely and consistently ignored him, talked over him, and demeaned him.

There is more, more, more, but they are smaller details and almost 18 months in the past.  Suffice it to say that everywhere I turned and everything I attempted, I hit a wall.

Last Day

Based on this article, you might get the impression that Flash or Troy were my main problems. Not at all.  By far, the biggest problem was Jacob Kramer.  The problem here was that the entire organization was run by Jacob.  He was in control of everything and therefore the organization was held hostage by him.

For weeks I explained that I was simply trying to do my job and that Jacob wouldn’t allow me to.  What I thought was patently obvious took Troy weeks to see and understand.  This dependence on Jacob was debilitating to the organization.

On May 8, 2012, Troy contacted me and said he would be calling for a no confidence vote for Jacob.  The next morning I was removed from the boardroom and all NAP access was removed. I received the following message from Troy:

Kim – by unanimous vote of the Executive Board, you are hereby dismissed from the EB and the NAP for failure to adapt, obstructionism, and marked and repeated belligerence. I wish you the best of luck in your other endeavors.

Despite already being able to vote on other motions, I was not included in this process.  Had I been, the vote would certainly not have been unanimous. Of course, after today, I have to wonder whether a vote was even held and who was allowed to vote.  As with other actions board members wanted to and did take, there was no mechanism in the charter allowing any such vote.

I do not look fondly back on my time with the National Atheist Party.  I wish my initial encounter with the atheist community was more positive.  This did help me find my place with the atheist movement though; founding Secular Woman.  May Secular Woman have integrity, staying power, growth, and influence that will help change the world for atheists, atheist women, and social justice.

Comments

  1. Al Dente says

    Speaking as an experienced bureaucrat, after reading Kim’s statement I believe the NAP/SPA has already set itself up to fail. The executive board fails to follow its own bylaws, decisions are made arbitrarily, and vindictiveness goes unchecked. I can’t support the SPA until it gets its act together.

  2. A Hermit says

    Sounds like they are not quite ready fro prime time.

    Too bad, I was looking forward to news about NAP or SPA…it all sounds so restful…

  3. Judy Saint says

    NAP got my early attention, too. I was inquiring at the time about helping set up California’s contingent, or other top level positions that were amazingly open. However, many things didn’t seem quite right about NAP. I wrote some emails, asked some questions, and walked away. Well, at least people are trying things, I guess that’s the positive side. We can’t expect everyone with an idea to know how to do things well.

  4. says

    Wow. Kim was a great person, an opinionated person, but also a person who turned in ZERO of the deliverables assigned to her. When you don’t do your job, you get fired. Funny that she decides, at this late date, to post-mortem her firing. If she had done anything her job required, she’d still have it today.

  5. says

    Troy, can you tell me what parts of the SPA charter allowed you to change the motto and remove an elected board member? And can you tell me when those came into existence?

  6. Cat Hunter says

    The wording was wrong on the emblem which means it needed to be corrected not ‘changed’. The rule is speaking about changing the emblem or saying to something new, not repairing it so it means what was originally intended.

    When discussing her election Kim implied the EB fraudulently stacked the deck in favor of Susi Bocks…..but then admits she won in a ‘landslide’. Knowing Susi as I do, I can attest she is generally well liked and appreciated and there’s no way the voting was stacked in her favor if she lost by 15%. It was a fair election from the EB’s side.

    All this aside, as someone new to the party at the time, Kim gave the impression of being loud, pushy, whiny and hard to deal with- and this is from the outside looking in.

    I have butted heads with a couple people myself over my time in the party so I’m not coming from the ‘rah rah everything’s always perfect’ cheer leading aspect but overall it’s been a good experience and disagreements and personality conflicts are to be expected in a political party imo since most people who care about politics are passionate and determined since you have to believe you’re path is the right one- or why are you fighting for it?

  7. says

    Cat, can you point me to the section of the charter that allows elected board members to be removed on the basis of someone else on the board not wanting to work with them? The part that says a correction is not a change?

  8. doubtthat says

    Whoa, whoa, Stephanie, don’t you realize that their actions were ok’d by a law student? With days and days of legal training, I find it hard to believe that an error could have been made.

  9. says

    troyboyle #7:

    Wow. Kim was a great person, an opinionated person, but also a person who turned in ZERO of the deliverables assigned to her. When you don’t do your job, you get fired. Funny that she decides, at this late date, to post-mortem her firing. If she had done anything her job required, she’d still have it today.

    Cat Hunter #9:

    The wording was wrong on the emblem which means it needed to be corrected not ‘changed’. The rule is speaking about changing the emblem or saying to something new, not repairing it so it means what was originally intended.

    When discussing her election Kim implied the EB fraudulently stacked the deck in favor of Susi Bocks…..but then admits she won in a ‘landslide’. Knowing Susi as I do, I can attest she is generally well liked and appreciated and there’s no way the voting was stacked in her favor if she lost by 15%. It was a fair election from the EB’s side.

    All this aside, as someone new to the party at the time, Kim gave the impression of being loud, pushy, whiny and hard to deal with- and this is from the outside looking in.

    I have butted heads with a couple people myself over my time in the party so I’m not coming from the ‘rah rah everything’s always perfect’ cheer leading aspect but overall it’s been a good experience and disagreements and personality conflicts are to be expected in a political party imo since most people who care about politics are passionate and determined since you have to believe you’re path is the right one- or why are you fighting for it?

    Wow, y’all sure are experienced with the politics of gaining and retaining power. It didn’t take you very long to come in with both the Die Hard Big Party Figure and the Independent Observer who conveniently plays long-winded, condescending gotcha games that conveniently serve to whitewash away the bad shit.

  10. besomyka says

    @9 Well, Stephanie asked where in the charter it allowed the change. A relevant response should include references and quotes from the charter, not reasons for which you think the charter didn’t apply.

    When you answer a question like Stephanie’s with excuses for why the charter doesn’t apply, then it looks like you’re rationalizing a violation of the charter. I mean, you could be right an that it was allowed the way you did it, but your answer doesn’t go thre and is unconvincing.

  11. Graham Shevlin says

    The wording was wrong on the emblem which means it needed to be corrected not ‘changed’. The rule is speaking about changing the emblem or saying to something new, not repairing it so it means what was originally intended.

    I actually laughed when I read this paragraph. That is the most blatant collection of bullshit and pseudo-legal twaddle that I have read all year.
    Please can you write a similar paragraph about how black is really white. I need some more entertainment before I go to bed.

  12. Jacob Kramer says

    Kim’s removal was simple, though ugly. She obstructed, screamed cursed and bullied in meetings, flat-out refused multiple times to carry out the will of the majority board vote if she disliked a decision, and worked behind the scenes to have me voted out of the Board. That’s it; Kim behaved atrociously and refused to do her job- so she was voted out. There was no impropriety or violation of the charter in her removal.

    Her vile blathering afterward was ironic on many levels. Kim believes I was the one orchestrating everything and arranging her removal. She immediately screamed about the underhanded way she was removed, while SHE was lobbying Troy to have me removed in the same way that she was: a special session meeting of all other board members to vote on a proposed removal of the another Board Member.

    Kim asked Troy TWICE to do the EXACT SAME thing to me. The other ironic twist is that Troy and others were supportive of her removal even as she lobbied in the dark. Troy proposed she be removed twice in the few weeks before, and I (the one she was trying to oust at the exact same time) voted that down- arguing that she should have a bit more time to settle in and maybe become less confrontational or so to obtain more than one or two examples of obstruction justifying her removal. In fact, Troy said the very fact that I refused twice to vote her out and give her more time while she conspired and lied to have me removed behind everyone’s back was a primary factor in why he felt she was the one who needed to be removed.

    And I had no part in conspiring for her sudden expulsion, besides my vote of “Aye” to remove her the third and final time Troy proposed it. But, of course, someone has to be a villain in her fantasy. And it is me because I was the only one on the board to stand up to her, always in a “kill em with kindness” way that absolutely drove her nuts. The other guys just remained silent and let me take the wrath. Even if they would vote on a motion that was against her wishes, It was all my fault because I would be the one to make the motion. I would talk with the other members after and wonder why she only yelled at me when they cast the exact same vote that she didn’t like the same as me. I was always the one that spoke up to explain why the vote didn’t go her way or why we preferred different solutions. And, I suppose to her, she chose to believe that this meant I was controlling the three other adults serving on the board. I was annoyed and disgusted at Kim for yelling, screaming, and cursing at me for a vote not going her way, and I was almost as annoyed and disgusted with Troy, Flash, and James for not speaking up to argue their point of view or the reasons for their votes so that they could soak up some of the abuse.

    Now the internal circumstances of how the communications and final decision for her removal were carried out were completely unpalatable to me and the most unpleasant experience I have ever had in the NAP, BUT there was no misconduct or illegality in the vote for her removal or the vote’s execution. The way it occurred was actually more manipulative and hurtful to me than it should have been for Kim, who WAS attempting her own little conspiracy to lobby me out of the Executive Board.

    Troy, Flash, and Jim discussed her calls to have me removed. Obviously, they decided not to and instead that she should be ejected. I can understand why they would have to meet without me to discuss her request to have me removed. But, when it came to a final decision as to whether Kim should be ejected, I should have been pulled in and aware of all the facts and a part of the deliberation. I wasn’t, and Troy, Flash and James determined the final decision to have her removed from the Board behind my back. The next morning at 7:30 am on a weekday, Troy sprung the formal motion for Kim’s removal on me along with the fact that that she had been sneaking behind the Board’s back to motivate him to remove me twice, and they’d met in private without me the night before to discuss her request. I was pissed off. I felt manipulated and lied to. I hated being rushed to make that decision. But with the facts, and the already compiled clear cases of obstruction we had documented to justify that decision, I voted “Aye” to remove her from the Executive Board on that – the third motion in about two and a half weeks by Troy Boyle to have her removed.

    When someone is removed from an administrative position in the Party the difficulty and danger of petty retaliation is a threat. We have to strip access, changes passwords, and strip administration rights to dozens upon dozens of accounts, groups, and pages. It is a unique and tedious challenge in a almost completely digital workspace relying on social networking and Web2.0 tools. The Party had been burned before. And in removing Kim, some troll who bought Kim’s tales of martyrdom did hijack the discussion page that is open to general membership and started summarily deleting people from the group and spreading disinformation without seeking to find out what had happened.

    What’s so devastating about this incident of voter fraud is that James and Flash are completely devoted to the party and generally great friends. But they DID do something in complete violation of the letter and the spirit of our charter.

    This drama is ACTUALLY real and not the result of some jerk’s ego or being pissy about being fired from a volunteer position. It’s a betrayal of long-time colleagues who had earned our trust- and greatly deserved it until just recently.

    The Official reason Kim was voted out unanimously by all four other Executive Board members were the three documented cases of her explicitly stated refusal to carry out the will of the Executive Board’s majority vote, as well as her attitude and conduct during meetings and other communications.

    The Unofficial reason, (though it could have been an official one too) She was demanding that I be removed and communicating to Troy that she could not work with me. Well that leads to a required decision by the rest of the Board that one of us had to go. And it turns out she didn’t like what the other board member’s decisions were on that very much, and because Troy had fooled,her into thinking he was sympathetic to her, she received a rude awakening.

    Kim is doing what little she can to capitalize upon it, her outsize ego latching on to this fantasy in hopes of some relevance.

    I could touch on some of the other lies, distortions, and mewlings above, but those are in the wheelhouse of other people. I don’t understand the nonsense about voting or not being able to vote. The date at which newly elected Board Members would begin their term was set long before the election and meant to allow some transition time. When someone loses an election- they finish out their term before the winner takes over. It even has a name: Lame Duck. Sure Kim wanted to immediately come in and take over instead of letting Susi close out her two or three weeks. She wanted to jump right in on the Board Meetings instead of letting Susi and the rest of the Board wrap up any final business for the transition. It was awkward, but we said sure. Once Tammy Duckworth won my Congressional District race, I somehow doubt she trailed behind Joe Walsh sitting in on ally his closed House Committee meetings the very next day. It just felt a bit rude and pushy. She didn’t care that we had set a long transition date that was a clear line, Kim thought – This is what I want, so do what I say and kick her out now.

    Susi Bocks has done more for this organization than anyone since it began in March 2011. She is the unsung hero of the NAP. Kim was a cancerous lesion that needed to excised.

  13. says

    So, Jacob, you seem to be confirming that several times Troy called “meetings” that were not legal by the NAP charter, trying to get rid of an elected official. Is this correct?

  14. Jacob Kramer says

    Member’s can hold meetings whenever they want. What are you on about? Legal? According to what law is a meeting agreed upon by people “not legal”? According to what bylaw in the charter, is a meeting not at the weekly scheduled time “not legal”? I’d advise you not to stretch so hard, or you’ll hurt yourself.

    As we are a digitally headquartered organization with members and the Board spread across the nation. Board votes were performed synchronously and asynchronously – ALWAYS.

    “Let’s review this sentence again to clear up any confusion: “Now the internal circumstances of how the communications and final decision for her removal were carried out were completely unpalatable to me and the most unpleasant experience I have ever had in the NAP, BUT there was no misconduct or illegality in the vote for her removal or the vote’s execution.”

    Now when I say there was NO misconduct or illegality in the vote or it’s execution – I mean in regards to the Charter – and more meaningfully according to the Procedures and Bylaws we determine for ourselves in the Board Room. We had adapted a version of RRO at the time with adapted measures for asynchronous voting, timelines for open “floor discussion” of a proposal versus a formal vote, and for which level of funding requests required formal Board approval.

    The reason I felt dirty and and disgusted by the events as they played out was that Kim’s deceit was going on behind my back even as I argued for her that she deserved more time and consideration to either adapt or further justify her removal through her actions. I felt disgusted that Troy had played a manipulative, deceitful game by leading Kim to think he was sympathetic to what she wanted. I am sure that only fueled her anger and antipathy that she had a right to yell and curse me out during meetings- after all “Troy agrees with me!” she could reasonably think. In hindsight, Troy probably did what he had to – if she had known she was on the verge of being removed- I can’t even imagine the damage she would have tried to cause. But, did I like it at the time, NO. Do I like it now, NO. The most important thing to me is to be genuine and forthright in all my actions. The manipulative gamesmanship of Kim and of Troy in response to Kim’s actions were the type of behavior I abhor in politics.

    I felt wrong because the discussion they had turned into deliberation to justify a formal motion for Kim’s removal. I should have been a part of the deliberation – or a full discussion should have been scheduled again. Instead the motion was made without me being able to collectively hash it out with other Board Members. I had a mass of new information about Kim’s schemes that I had to absorb and then vote in minutes – after I had JUST arrived to work. And I felt dirty that they had actually had to seriously discuss my removal from the Board – though as Kim requested it, I understand why they had to do it in my absence.

    Finally, the whole execution of it was atrocious. The removal of Kim’s administrative “keys” and access and the announcement happened, so quickly – We had the vote, and then Troy announced it before we had even drafted an extensive formal statement enumerating the reasons. It should have been handled much better! (NOTE: when I say “so quickly” I’m referring to events occurring after the vote. Kim’s possible removal from the Board due to her conduct had been a potential outcome for at least two weeks prior.)

    The scheming and plotting behind the scenes, hypocrisy of Kim, failure to include me on the final deliberation concerning her removal, In my opinion the whole episode was tactless, lacking finesse and sensitivity, but there were strong legitimate reasons to justify the vote as it occurred, and there was no violation of the Charter or our internal rules.

    Flash, Troy, and James conversing about the Party or Board Matters is no more “illegal” than Kim repeatedly calling Troy to push form my removal. However, the fact that their conversation served as the penultimate action leading to the formal vote was disrespectful to me who should have been allowed to have my say and hear all their arguments.

  15. says

    No stretch. By not legal, I mean a meeting that Kim was not advised of, as the charter says all board members must be, with no agenda provided to everyone 24 hours in advance. Did you not know the SPA can’t hide meetings from board members?

  16. Jacob Kramer says

    So them talking together about board business was illegal by the standard you apply? So, Kim speaking to Troy about board business was also “not legal” by your definition?!

    I don’t think what Kim did out of weekly meetings and out of the EB Group was a violation of the Charter or internal Board bylaws and procedures, nor do I think what Troy, Flash and James did discussing Kim’s desire and what to do about it was illegal- I just think all of it was shady and tactless.

    I’m sorry, but you have a misunderstanding of the Charter and it’s by-laws. And on the matter of Agenda – that was based on an internal expectation of performance by the Secretary and input by board members to add to the agenda in a timely manner to create a reasonable deadline for people to be prepared for the weekly.

    The very fact that votes could occur throughout the week asynchronously defies that wholesale. The Board consists of volunteers who meet by video or conference call once a week – Decisions and votes had to be made almost daily. From day one a lot of votes, discussion and decisions were done asynchronously by necessity. The internal procedure at the time, was for the secretary or person responsible for the weekly agenda to record all asynchronous votes which occurred throughout the week then read them as a part their Meeting presentation, and we would sign off on them along with prior week’s minutes. And I can assure you, Kim’s removal the vote concerning it, and signing off on that week’s votes and minutes absolutely were on the agenda and did occur at the following weekly, EB meeting.

    The key word is ‘quorum’, that is all that is required to take a formal vote that can motivate executive action. By that rule – the discussion they had the night before would have been empowered to vote her out. As it happened that following morning, there was no collective deliberation, but there was a formal motion proposed by Troy to remove Kim from the Executive Board with a Quorum of four executive members, at the least, voting unanimously. I can’t quite remember if Mason Eaton was acting Secretary at the time, so it may have been five.

    What upset me was that there was deliberation on the matter the previous evening- though we had had it before as well in weeks past, and I should have been a part of it. I was in a position to deliberate on the matter and consider the arguments, while Kim had defined her vote and position to remove me. She had made up her mind. I had not.

    I would have handled it completely differently, and that way mayhave been better and less controversial – or it might not. But it doesn’t matter now, it happened the way it did, and Troy announced it before a lot of the ridiculousness that occurred after could be prepared for.

    Relevant Charter Language
    Article VII
    2. The Executive Board has the power to revise, by quorum of the Executive Board “Article IX: Bylaws” of the Charter of the Secular Party of America. A quorum is defined as a majority of the existing Executive Board members to reach a consensus.

    Article VIII
    3. Any member, staff, officer, or advisor who is found not upholding the Secular Humanist mandate, the established code of conduct (see Appendix), or the laws upholding society with the highest regard will be evaluated and, depending on the severity, be subject to disciplinary actions consisting of but not limited to: verbal warnings, removal from the group, removal from the Party, and/or possible legal action.

    Article IX
    E) Removing Officers
    1. The Secular Party of America’s Executive Board officers may be removed from office for just cause. Just cause is considered, but not limited to, excessive absence from meetings, misappropriation of funds, and violation of the code of conduct. All board actions are accomplished by majority vote, in session, by quorum. Failure to abide by an action approved by the board, by any member, shall be deemed to be insubordination punishable by censure, suspension, or dismissal of the member.

  17. says

    Jacob, I know you think you’re helping. You’re not. With every comment you make, you keep telling me that things were done on an ad hoc basis instead of by the means set up in the charter even now.

    Can you even tell me when the sections of the charter you quote were even put in place?

  18. Cat Hunter says

    @14, well considering Stephanie was asking someone else questions and I was merely rendering my own opinion of it all, I don’t see your point. I didn’t ‘question dodge’. She wasn’t talking to me. If I was responding legally, I’d have cited all sorts of bylaws or whatever I needed, but like Kim in her entire rant (that didn’t have one single cited rule even while she was whinging on about the ‘obvious’ violations) I didn’t realize that my opinion wouldn’t be treated the same as hers. Stephanie didn’t ask Kim even once to prove that her grievances were against the Charter and neither did you.

    @13: I read the article and had some actual comments on it. You can call me the “Die Hard Big Party Figure” (you couldn’t possibly be calling my short paragraph long winded)

    As far as my OPINION on the changing of the wording without a vote- that’s exactly what it was. An opinion- and one, I might add, that a lot of people in the organization obviously shared since no one screamed ‘violation’ when it occurred (at least I don’t remember any scandals or screaming at the time- do you?)

    All of you can feel free to pick on the respondents all you like but until you’re giving the same treatment to the originator of the whine fest and her ‘long winded’ complaint form, it doesn’t hold a lot of water for me.

  19. Cat Hunter says

    Somehow (I’m betting it’s due to absolutely no sleep in the past 36 hours) I dropped a thought or deleted part of it. I’m going to finish it here:

    @13: I read the article and had some actual comments on it. You can call me the “Die Hard Big Party Figure” (you couldn’t possibly be calling my short paragraph long winded) all you want but I didn’t see you doing anything more than picking on people who bothered to actually have something to say. Obviously you have nothing valid to add the the discussion since insults and smoke-screens (the names are clearly meant to relegate anything Troy or I have to say to the garbage bin) seem to be the only things you bother with.

  20. Jacob Kramer says

    I’m sorry, but I have been present and engaged from the founding of this organization. THough I hold no official position now, I have held an official position in the NAP longer than any member, and that INCLUDES Troy Boyle. As such, I assisted in the drafting, specifying, and executing of all of the Charter and internal Board Room procedures and By-Laws. I know the standard by which we conducted meetings and formal votes.

    As such, I have to take my word over a stranger with no knowledge, affiliation, or history with the party besides an accusations made by someone who was unanimously ejected for misconduct and obstruction. I find your source problematic. Feel free to confirm any detail I have stated with all other principals involved.

    It’s simple; that morning a Quorum of the Executive Board voted in the EB Room on a formal motion by Troy Boyle to expel Kim RIppere from the Executive Board of the NAP. The vote was asynchronous, but done in roughly 3 to 4 minutes with a unanimous vote.

    Relevant Charter Language

    Article VII
    2. The Executive Board has the power to revise, by quorum of the Executive Board “Article IX: Bylaws” of the Charter of the Secular Party of America. A quorum is defined as a majority of the existing Executive Board members to reach a consensus.

    Article VIII
    3. Any member, staff, officer, or advisor who is found not upholding the Secular Humanist mandate, the established code of conduct (see Appendix), or the laws upholding society with the highest regard will be evaluated and, depending on the severity, be subject to disciplinary actions consisting of but not limited to: verbal warnings, removal from the group, removal from the Party, and/or possible legal action.

    Article IX
    E) Removing Officers
    1. The Secular Party of America’s Executive Board officers may be removed from office for just cause. Just cause is considered, but not limited to, excessive absence from meetings, misappropriation of funds, and violation of the code of conduct. All board actions are accomplished by majority vote, in session, by quorum. Failure to abide by an action approved by the board, by any member, shall be deemed to be insubordination punishable by censure, suspension, or dismissal of the member.

  21. Kevin Schelley says

    Meh, Regarless of who is in the wrong here this makes me glad I’ve had nothing to do with the NAP/SPA.

  22. says

    For someone who demanded a “cease and desist of anything Kim Rippere” in conjunction with the NAP, having us remove all postings, pictures, everything wiped clean… you sure have a lot to say now. Why the change the heart? My guess would be you just can’t help insinuating yourself into the conversation for recognition.

    Since you’ve seen fit to now drag my name through the mud, let me just set a few things straight….

    Yes, the board created a new position because they did want to keep me. “Who was I to argue?” There’s your first lie. YOU! And did you argue. Troy got more than one earful how you would quit if I was not removed when your position became effective (at least, that is what he told me after I came back on board after you were removed from the position), and yes, according to our charter which stated your position didn’t OFFICIALLY begin until 1 month after the elections. It was in the charter. You didn’t like the fact that you couldn’t just come right in and commandeer my post, your own post above indicates what I’m saying.

    The reason I insisted this was because it was A) most definitely in the charter and B) it was my job to continue in that capacity, vote and make decisions for 30 before turning over the reins. It was agreed that you could come on board to see how we operated as a board, get trained, learn how to do the tasks that I was responsible for and come up with your own game plan as to how things would function AFTER I left the position.

    Yes, I remember where you filed all the information I sent to you, a file labeled with a derogatory slant, something to the effect that what I sent was BS. And I’m the juvenile one.

    “Much of the information and documents I received were useless to me and were things I decided to throw away after reviewing.” Of course because you never had any intention of fitting in, all you did was create drama, attested to by sooooo many people!

    “Susi’s voting rights were also rescinded and her position became one of an administrative assistant.” At your demand is the only reason the position was downgraded. Yes, “Troy acknowledged that her position had been created solely to keep a replaced person on the board.” because he was setting you up for your termination. He played you. And I might add that I was extremely pissed off that he did it that way. He thought I could then just step back into the VP of Administration position and I wouldn’t because of the way you, Bridgette and Lee were handled. I told the EB at the time that I would never take that position again because Troy ruined that for me by firing you in the fashion that he did. You can ask all the rest of the EB as to this.

    “It might have also been the case prior to the election, but it wasn’t obvious to me.” You don’t remember this comment in the PR page about you BEFORE THE ELECTION?

    Susi Bocks i do hope that if kim wins she will be a pleasure to work with and not at all what we have seen her to be in the past. and if she isn’t, when those that have supported her, publicly or privately, get to work with her – i hope they realize what a mistake it was. it’s just a shame that the NAP will suffer for it if she turns out to be as uncooperative, abrasive and not doing the work as she has been. wouldn’t you agree?
    12 hours ago ·

    Kim Rippere I’m in this group . . .
    12 hours ago ·

    Lee Moore I know, I added you because you volunteered to aid this project.
    12 hours ago ·

    Lee Moore but I am guessing that wasnt directed at me
    12 hours ago · · 1

    Susi Bocks sorry, they say honesty is the best policy, no matter how hard it is to hear. i believe that someone posted that somewhere. i think it was lana. if you would like me to delete this comment, i will. i’m sure that it wasn’t good to hear my opinion, but it is how i feel considering what i’ve observed since you’ve come on board prior to you deciding to run for my position.
    11 hours ago ·

    This above was a conversation in the PR page of the NAP, as I recall I received a PM shortly thereafter congratulating me on my honesty.

    It’s never been a secret that I don’t like you very much and that will probably not change, but I have never been dishonest with you in my dealings and you’ve heard it straight from my mouth. I don’t play behind people’s backs like you have. When you started with the NAP I was more than willing to help you with whatever position you wanted but it became clear from early on, it’s Kim’s way or no way. Not to mention, even with structure and tasks in place, you never wanted to do things the way we had set up. I understand independence, but to bust someone over even the simplest way of doing things from people who are trying to help guide you? Give me a break, you are a very challenging person to deal with. Not to mention that if something didn’t suit you, you’d always go above their heads rather than solve the problem. Smile in their faces and then stab them in the back, that was your usual mode. It was not pleasant and everyone in leadership experienced this except the ones you had snowed. But even those have come out recently to say “She’s impossible to work with.” This was not told directly to me, but through others.

    Again, I really don’t understand why you felt the need to bring public what you so desperately wanted to be shut down after you were fired. But I will not allow you to portray the events in an incorrect fashion and insinuate that the only reason you were fired was because of everyone else. You are as much to blame for your demise as the under-handed way that Troy went about disposing of you.

    In the future, I would appreciate you leave my name out of things too, as I really don’t ever want to be associated with you… in any fashion. I had my fill.

    One other question, when will you update that ridiculously outdated, not even close to representing what you look like now picture you have on your website, twitter and wherever else you promote yourself. Got Honesty? Not much, apparently.

  23. Jacob Kramer says

    Well, actually, there is one thing I would amend in Susi’s comments. Lee Moore was let go for reasons having nothing at all to do with Kim Rippere, or her drama.

    He had been on the chopping block for weeks in hopes he would deliver the content he filmed for the NAP at Rock Beyond Belief. We finally gave up on that being delivered, and Troy just decided to remove him at the same. Lee certainly merited dismissal from his position, but tieing him to the deceit and antipathy that Kim generated and that was the mark of the process of her dismissal is not at all true or fair.

    But, Susi is probably more referring to the suddenness of the axe falling as well as the fact that removing him along with Kim gave the impression they were actively colluding together or something. To my knowledge that is not the case. Lee doesn’t deserve to be associated with Kim Rippere or her actions.

  24. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    So basically, what y’alls are saying is: “It was our little private thingie and big mean Kim came and crashed our party and tried to make it more than just us sitting in the corner talking about how smart we are!”

    Fantastic. Really makes people want to work with you. Really, it does.

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