Saturday, March 23, 2013


Because the mid-March ABC mailing that contains the Board of Directors ballot and questionnaires was delayed, I’ve taken the list of nominees from the ABC website and copied it below. The Board election is especially important this year because of two controversial issues that will be decided by the current BOD and implemented, or not, by future directors – issues we’ve discussed to death on Facebook and the Boxer email lists in the last few months. If you feel strongly about these issues one way or the other, you need to read the BOD questionnaire that was filled out by each nominee.  (If you’re an ABC member, log in to the ABC website, click on “INFORMATION,” then on “SECRETARY REPORT” and finally on “March 2013.” If you’re a member club member, write to me at, and I’ll send you a copy of the questionnaires.)

The first issue is one that – if approved by the BOD – would mean that ABC members could no longer nominate judges for the ABC Specialty, Futurity or Regional. The ABC President has proposed an ABC Judges Selection Committee (JSC) comprised of the five unelected zone directors, who would accept suggestions, NOT nominations, from ABC members and winnow those suggestions, no matter how many, down to three (3) names.  If as an ABC member you don’t want to be completely disenfranchised by this proposal, you need to vote for the Board candidates who pledge to protect your rights and privileges. And then hold them to their pledge.

The 12 people listed below have been nominated to fill four (4) open positions. After reading the Board questionnaires on the ABC website, I conducted my own little informal survey: Two (2) of the nominees specifically stated that they were opposed to a judges selection committee that takes rights away from the membership; only one (1) nominee said she was in favor of it. A number of the other candidates said they believed, as one candidate put it, “No significant policy decisions affecting the Members should be made without first consulting them if at all possible.” IMO, that’s just a gentler way of saying no to this very unpopular proposal.  Again, before you put an “X” in the box next to a candidate’s name, read his/her Board questionnaire and see where s/he stands on this issue.
Stephanie Abraham                Thomas Latta 
Steve Anderson                      Betty Mentzer-Cope
Mary Frances Burleson          Jeff Phillips
Ann Gilbert                              Virginia (Ginny) Shames
Marilyn Grayson                     Korinne Vanderpool
Jeannie Hoffman                    Judy Voran
The second issue is one we’ve been batting back and forth since 1998 – moving the ABC to the center of the country so that our National specialty show is accessible to western ABC members and exhibitors, too, not just those who live east of the Mississippi. On this one, I’m sure I don’t have to remind anyone who tried to fly a dog to the 2012 ABC in Kentucky that in the last few years, new airline regulations and policies have made it practically impossible and prohibitively expensive to fly dogs, especially boxers (a “snub-nosed” breed), anywhere. Knowing that, what the officers and BOD are in effect saying to the western half of the nation at this point is, “Frankly my dears, we don’t give a damn!”

Entitling this blog “THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF THE YEAR” really isn't hyperbole. There really is a big split between the ABC leaders who believe in transparency and are responsive to the general membership and those who support secrecy and think they know better than the majority of the membership how the ABC should be run. These new Board members will determine whether the ABC becomes a more, or less, democratic organization; and whether the elected leadership listens to the membership or not. Read those questionnaires!