Sierra Club Yearly Election Results

with SUSPS analysis

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April, 2005


SIERRA CLUB 2005 ELECTION RESULTS FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS





Elected to the board are: 



* Joni Bosh                   89,549

* Jennifer Ferenstein         87,151

* Jim Dougherty               86,377

* Jim Catlin                  82,459

* Barbara Frank               68,878



Runners-up:

 

Chuck McGrady                 58,900

Jim Dodson                    22,212

Robert van de Hoek            16,775

Christine Garcia              15,398

Alan Kuper                    12,594

Jim McDonald                  11,257

Gregory Bungo                 10,541

Jim Bensman                    9,053

Richard Fiddler                6,633

Tony Ruckel                    5,491





write in                       1,170





Ballot Questions:



Population Immigration Policy             

Yes                            18,998

* No                          102,455





Bylaw Change-end provision for write in candidates       

* Yes                          92,289

No                             26,936





Bylaw Change-one year membership for candidates

* Yes                         115,392

No                              5,272





Election Summary:



Total returns by Internet      31,164

Total returns by mail          93,173

Total returns                 124,337





Invalid ballots returned        2,029

Total valid ballots returned  122,308





Total ballots mailed          807,375

Percent returned               15.20%





Marvin Baker,

Chief Inspector of Election,

For the Inspectors




 
 

April, 2004


SIERRA CLUB 2004 ELECTION RESULTS FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS



Elected to the board are: 

    * Lisa Renstrom       141,407

    * Jan O'Connell       132,262

    * Nick Aumen          123,622

    * Sanjay Ranchod      123,332

    * David Karpf         110,756



Runners-up:

    Michael Dorsey         42,401

    Ed Dobson              35,825

    Chad Hanson            29,104

    Robert Roy van de Hoek 15,700 **

    Phillip Berry          15,492 ##

    David Pimentel         14,527 **

    Dick Lamm              13,090 **

    Kim McCoy               9,765 **

    Karyn Strickler         8,333

    Frank Morris            8,247 **

    Morris Dees             7,554 ##

    Barbara Herz            7,525 ##



** SUSPS-endorsed candidates

## Fake candidates, whose ballot statements were used to

   oppose SUSPS and other petition candidates

	

Totals do not add to 100% because there were:

       331 write-ins

    14,257 unexercised votes

     4,550 multiple marks [on invalid ballots because

           more than 5 votes cast]



Total returns by Internet: 45,559

Total returns by mail: 126,016

Total returns by fax: 41

Total returns: 171,616

Total mailed:  757,058

Percent returned: 22.67%



Above data from the official Sierra Club

2004 election results page.



Also see the 2004 ballot to read President's
letter and fake candidate statements.

SUSPS analysis of results

The 2004 election for the Sierra Club Board of Directors was characterized by an unprecedented attack on the democracy and fairness principles upon which the Club was founded. The reason: Over the past three years, grassroots supported candidates have won five of the 15-member Board seats and are now poised to win a majority. To preserve their power, 'old guard' establishment directors pulled out all the stops with an unprecedented campaign of disinformation, fear mongering and hostility.

This year, for the first time, the Board allowed fake candidates (Phillip Berry, Morris Dees and Barbara Herz), to appear on the ballot - people who asked members not to vote for themselves and who used their ballot statements to attack other candidates. Also, for the first time, the election materials included a notice from the Board President with false claims about a 'take over' by outside organizations. More examples of unfair electioneering include publishing one-sided articles in Club newsletters, use of Club email lists for mass distribution of pre-election hit pieces, directors and Club employees using confidential information to pressure well known endorsers to revoke endorsements given to candidates, and hiring a high-priced national law firm to threaten the assets of two retired university professors rather than letting their request for an injunction against unfair election practices be decided by a judge on its merits.

Directly, or through innuendo, the fake candidates and Sierra Club President Fahn claimed that certain candidates and certain independent directors represented outside, right wing, anti-immigration, anti-immigrant, vegetarian, and extremist animal rights' organizations that are attempting a 'hostile take over' of the old guard's Sierra Club.

Judge James L. Warren (grandson of Chief Justice Earl Warren) found a "likelihood of success" that club members will prove that Sierra Club President Larry Fahn, fellow old guard board members, and Sierra Club Chief Executive Officer Carl Pope violated Sierra Club Standing Rules and laws of California by depriving Dick Lamm, Frank Morris, David Pimentel and other petition candidates of "equal time" in this election! Post-election challenge of election results by club members likely.

As stated by Judge Warren:

"I do believe that there is probably going to be a pretty good chance of success on the merits with respect to the claim that the Sierra Club has not properly given equal time to all of the candidates... I think that it's very possible on a likelihood of success that plaintiffs will demonstrate that those [the Mayhue article and the urgent election notice] violate various sections of the Corporations Code and of the Sierra Club standing rules."

SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, HONORABLE JAMES L. WARREN, JUDGE, DEPARTMENT NO. 301, April 14, 2004. REPORTER'S TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS - Case No. 429277 - CLUB MEMBERS FOR AN HONEST ELECTION vs. SIERRA CLUB.


 
 

April, 2003

SUSPS candidates Doug LaFollette and Paul Watson elected to Board of Directors




SIERRA CLUB 2003 ELECTION RESULTS FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS



Elected to the board are: 



    * Robbie Cox          28,814 

    * Bernie Zaleha       28,192 

    * Doug LaFollette     27,283 ** 

    * Paul Watson         25,683 **

    * Lisa Force          24,349 



Runners up: 



      Lisa Renstrom       24,057 

      Adam Werbach        22,477 

      Don Young           19,257 

      Gordon LaBedz       19,063 

      Michelle Perrault   18,619 

      Emma McCauley       18,022 

      Betsy Gaines        16,420 

      Nancy Rauch         15,928 

      Dick Schneider      14,545 **

      Patrick Murphy      12,420 

      Connie Hanson       10,155 



** SUSPS-endorsed candidates

	  

ELECTION SUMMARY

      Total returns by Internet = 14,280 

      Total returns by mail = 54,194 

      Total returns = 68,474 



      Total mailed = 786,178 

      Percent returned = 8.71% 	




 
 

April, 2002

SUSPS candidate Ben Zuckerman elected to Board of Directors


SIERRA CLUB 2002 ELECTION RESULTS FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  

  Board of Directors

  

  *       Elected to the Board

  

  *       Ben Zuckerman           36,383 **

  *       Jim Catlin              33,788

  *       Larry Fahn              32,135

  *       Chuck McGrady           30,532

  *       Marcia Hanscom          30,141

  

          Lois Snedden            28,639

          Charlie Ogle            28,504

          Bernie Zaleha           27,103

          Nancy Rauch             25,199

          Rene Voss               24,204

          James Mays              20,706

          Brian Brademeyer        15,692

          Patrick Murphy          12,798

  

  ** SUSPS-endorsed candidate



  ELECTION SUMMARY

          Total Returns by Internet       11,778  15.95%

          Total Returns by Mail           62,064  84.05%

                                               

          Total Returns                   73,842

  Total Ballots Mailed                   776,586

  Percent Returned                          9.51%

  

  Marvin Baker,

  Chief Inspector of Election, for the Inspectors


 
 

April, 2001

SUSPS population-sprawl ballot question


Board of Directors



*    Elected To Board



*    Nick Aumen                    43,714

*    Ed Dobson                     38,799

*    Jan O'Connell                 38,048

*    Jennifer Ferenstein           37,858

*    Dave Wells                    31,483

     Chuck McGrady                 28,948

     Marcia Hanscom                27,650

     Joan Willey                   27,049

     Richard Fiddler               22,294



	 

	 

Ballot Question One:  

Urban Sprawl/Population Policy



         Yes        28,853

      *  No         33,968





Ballot Question Two:  

Public Land Grazing Policy



         Yes        20,570

      *  No         41,559



   

Election Summary:



Total Ballots Mailed                  683,007

Valid Returns for Directors            66,847

Invalids Returns for Directors            621

Percent Total Returns                     9.8%



Voting By Mail                         58,418

Voting By Internet                      9,050

Total                                  67,468



Marvin Baker,

Chief Inspector of Election, for the Inspectors


SUSPS Analysis of Results - SUSPS 2001 population-sprawl ballot question

Only 9.8% of the Club's 683,000 members voted in this important election. Over 90% of the members did not express an opinion in this election.
 
The final vote of the annual membership election on April 25, 2001 was 33,958 (54%) against and 28,853 (46%) for the population-sprawl ballot question.
 
Translated into percent of total membership, 5% voted against the population-sprawl ballot question and 4.2% voted for it. Thus, less than one percent of the membership (0.8%) made the difference on this important issue.
 
Recalling that Sierra Club members are more concerned about the environment than the typical American, this is the great tragedy of American environmentalism - most people simply don't care.
 
It should also be noted that the Club forced alteration of the ballot question as submitted by petitioners. See more information on the Club's specific actions. Also see our democracy section for questionable actions of the Sierra Club Board in other elections.


 
 

April, 2000


SIERRA CLUB 2000 ELECTION RESULTS FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS



Board of Directors



* Denotes Winner



*    Robbie Cox          39,867

*    Phil Berry          35,738

*    Michael Dorsey      32,404

*    Lisa Renstrom       26,565

*    Chad Hanson         24,849



     Ed Dobson           23,988

     Joan Willey         20,830

     Susan Patton        19,768

     Rhea Jezer          19,056

     Nancy Rauch         18,635

     Alan Kuper          18,416

     Roy Hengerson       14,512

     Chris Bedford       10,588



Election Summary:



    Total Ballots Mailed     646,395

    Total Valid Returns       65,320

    Percent Total Returns     10.11%



Voting by mail            59,283

Voting by Internet         6,037

 Total                    65,320



Marvin Baker,

Chief Inspector of Election, for the Inspectors


 
 

April, 1999

Board attempts to stifle democracy


SIERRA CLUB 1999 ELECTION RESULTS 

FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND BALLOT QUESTIONS



Ballot Question One:  

Revision to Bylaw 4.4  Dues



Yes            44,309           

No              7,258           



Ballot Question Two:  

Revision to Bylaw 11.2 Qualifying Initiatives



Yes            18,258            

No             33,258            





Board of Directors



*    Denotes Winner





*    Anne Ehrlich            21,643

*    Charlie Ogle            19,686

*    Rene Voss               18,446

*    Larry Fahn              17,692

*    Kim Mowrey              17,435



     Nick Aumen              17,153

     Susan Schock            15,744

     Alan Kuper              15,687

     Scott Elkins            15,215

     Don Morris              15,044

     Lois Snedden            14,295

     Robert Wilder           14,145

     Paul Watson             13,701

     Julie Beezley           13,606

     Nancy Rauch             12,107

     Jan O'Oconnell          12,104

     David Orr               11,760





Election Summary:



     Total Ballots Mailed:   595,307

     Total Valid Returns      57,340

     Total Invalid Returns        15

	 

     Percent Valid Returns      9.63%



     Percent Total Returns      9.63%





Marvin Baker,

Chief Inspector of Election, for the Inspectors


SUSPS Analysis of Results - 1999 Democracy ballot question

Sierra Club members rejected the Board of Directors' efforts to severely restrict membership referendums for setting Club policy. By almost two to one, members opposed the bylaw change, which would have required a two-thirds vote to pass.

"This is a great victory. It keeps democracy alive in the Sierra Club," said Dick Schneider, a member of the Bay Chapter's Executive Committee and of SUSPS. Schneider, along with environmental luminaries David Brower and Martin Litton, signed the ballot argument against the bylaw change.

The controversy began in when the 1996 Board of Directors changed the Club's population policy to remove mention of immigration. In response, grassroots activists petitioned and placed on the 1998 Sierra Club ballot a referendum that called for reduced immigration and reduced fertility in order to stem population growth in the U.S.

The 1998 referendum lost, but its proponents attributed the defeat to an unfair structuring of the ballot that required members to choose between policy A and policy B, rather than vote yes or no on the referendum. In an attempt to avoid another vote on the controversial issue, the Board tried to change the bylaws to increase by 250% the number of signatures required to place a measure on the ballot. In voting over the last two months, Club members rejected the Board's proposal by a vote of two to one - 33,000 to 18,000.

This vote preserves grassroots democracy and makes it possible to return the Club to an environmentally responsible population policy. (Even so, voter turnout in this election at 9.6% was the lowest in Club history, with the exception of one invalid election).

In 1968, the Board made a similar attempt to raise the signature requirement to 3% of the votes cast instead of the current proposal's 5%. That change was overwhelmingly rejected by the membership. "It didn't make sense then and it doesn't make sense now," said Schneider. "There have been only five votes of the membership on policy issues in the last thirty years. The answer to controversies in the environmental movement is open debate and fair elections, not a reduction in democracy."

Also see our See the pro-democracy ballot argument and our democracy section for questionable actions of the Sierra Club Board in other elections.


 
 

April, 1998

SUSPS population-immigration ballot question


Date: Saturday, April 25, 1998 12:46 PM

Subject: Sierra Club Election Report





                       SIERRA CLUB

          1998 ELECTION FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

                   AND BALLOT QUESTIONS



                    FINAL VOTE SUMMARY





Ballot Question



       Ballot Question  "A"          31,134  (40%)

       Ballot Question  "B"          46,935  (60%)



Board of Directors:



    *1. David Brower                 31,778

    *2. Jennifer Ferenstein          26,339

    *3. Chuck McGrady                24,757

    *4. Michele Perrault             23,100

    *5. Veronica Eady                22,680





     6. Tony Ruckel                  22,126

     7. Ben Zuckerman                20,502

     8. Emily Miggins                20,308

     9. Susan Schock                 20,210

    10. Jeff DeBonis                 18,468

    11. Sara Patton                  15,125

    12. Phillenore Howard            14,373

    13. Debbie Heaton                12,627

    14. Jon W. Robinson              12,565

    15. Joyce Tarnow                 12,062

    16. John Mitchem                 12,014

    17. Judy Anderson                11,371

    18. Lawrence D. Rupp             11,307

    19. David Orr                    11,161

    20. Dell Erickson                11,002

    21. Ross McCluney                 9,973

    22. Richard Worthen               8,379



          Write ins                     124





*  Elected to the Board of Directors





Election Summary:



    Single Ballot Packages           433,530

    Joint Ballot Packages             65,873

    Total Packages                   499,403

 

    Total Ballots                    565,276

    Total Returns                     84,685

    Percentage Returns                   15%





Marvin Baker

Acting Chief Inspector of Election

for the Inspectors


SUSPS Analysis of Results - SUSPS 1998 population-immigration ballot question

Quite simply, the ballot question lost because the Sierra Club Board violated Club Bylaws in running an "A" versus "B" set of opposing ballot questions. See our detailed analysis. Also see our democracy section for questionable actions of the Sierra Club Board in other elections.


 

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