Dulles NOW activists were disappointed when NOW Democrats assigned Kim Gandy to succeed Patricia Ireland as NOW president last July and maintained Karen Johnson in the national leadership. We had called for the resignation of these two vice-presidents in 1998 because of the reprehensible role they played in the Clinton impeachment saga and the disregard they displayed for the NOW's Statement of Purpose.
In addition, we remembered how Gandy collaborated in re-writing NOW's by-laws while vice-president, introducing despotic and antidemocratic electoral changes which benefited her professionally (therefore financially) and personally, including her latest promotion. In charge of membership, she has not hesitated to peddle grossly distorted information about membership size, revenues and programs, willfully misleading the public and NOW members, and continues to do so.
Responsible for local chapters, she has allowed her staff to conduct relentless in-house administrative harassment to suppress constitutional rights of political expression and other freedoms of speech additionally guaranteed by organizational rules. As a representative of a stated non-partisan group she has studiously remained silent and nearly invisible during major women-related national scandals affecting Democrats but has used the authority of her post to enthusiastically participate in cabals Democrats organized against Republicans.
We had hoped that the lessons of Ireland's destructive years in office would have been learned and that new and more honest leaders would have been allowed to emerge to restore the organization to its original mission. To that effect, we opted to remain out of the internal fray that preceded the succession in order to give those who control NOW the opportunity to do the right thing. We had also decided we would end our rebellion, should better heads prevail, so that the new leadership could prove itself fairly.
In view of the above, Dulles NOW activists thus concluded that they could not support the result of elections they know are a farce and an insult to the membership. In response, the Dulles NOW Executive Committee has unanimously voted to:
- remain the dissident branch of NOW
- maintain the 1998 call we made for the resignation of Gandy and Johnson
- call for the reinstatement of the 1987 by-laws to return to NOW members the democratic tools Gandy and her group shamelessly confiscated.
- call for new and free national NOW elections