Stark Reality

THE MINNESOTA CIVIL Liberties Union went ahead with its annual meeting and board election November 15, ignoring a request from the American Civil Liberties Union that it postpone further elections until it revises its procedures. At Saturday's meeting, founder Matt Stark explained his reasoning in going forward: The critical resolution passed October 24 by the MCLU's parent organization is not the one the ACLU intended to pass, he claimed. Stark passed out a copy of the resolution, with handwritten changes. As passed by the ACLU's executive committee, the resolution states "that a membership election be held to fill the six seats created in March, 1996, and those seats currently up for election upon 30 days notice to the MCLU membership." Stark's revised version changes six seats to four, and deletes the phrase "currently up for election."


According to board members who attended Saturday's meeting, Stark repeatedly voiced contempt for the ACLU's executive committee, describing it as the "most slovenly functioning organization I've seen in a long time." The MCLU has requested that the ACLU provide tapes of the October 24th meeting, which, Stark told members, would validate his claim. Also at Saturday's meeting, MCLU President Jules Beck also announced the formation of a bylaw committee to study the ACLU recommendations in preparation for a special election next April. Whether that will satisfy the ACLU's executive committee remains to be seen. It meets again November 22, and the latest MCLU actions are certain to be an agenda item.

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