The Citizens 9/11 Commission Campaign team (9-11cc) vs. Mike Gravel
1. Mike Gravel started taking unannounced and unapproved withdrawals from the 9-11cc bank account weeks before this current dispute surfaced. In fact, it was precisely when the rest of the board discovered and questioned these unauthorized withdrawals that Gravel withdrew from the team – he stopped attending our regular meetings, and refused to negotiate with us.
2. While Gravel tries to take most of the credit for the funds that were raised, it is a fact that our donor funds came from supporters of the 9/11 truth movement, and not from any people that Gravel knew prior to working with our movement, or from anyone that he independently brought to us from outside the 9/11 truth movement.
3. Although the rest of the 9-11cc team erred by not insisting on two signatories on our bank checking account, it is a fact that Gravel opportunistically took advantage of that mistake last December when he removed most of the funds from the organization’s bank account, established in the organization's name and with the organization's EIN tax ID #.
4. Except for Gravel, the rest of the 9-11cc board and the general manager strongly and repeatedly opposed Gravel’s unilateral removing our donor funds for his personal project.
5. Other than Gravel, the rest of the 9-11cc team (with some minor personal variations) did not hold 2012 as the optimum goal for raising the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to mount a successful ballot initiative campaign. Those experienced with ballot initiatives generally agree that it takes a minimum of two years of preparation to mount a successful state initiative. Thus 9-11cc was, in a very real sense, “set up to fail” by Gravel’s unrealistic goals and brief timeline.
6. When an effort was made to freeze our bank account until a mutually acceptable agreement could be reached, Mike Gravel apparently advised our accountant to quit, and the next day, Dec. 20, 2011, withdrew another $25,000 in donated funds. Some days later, after our inquiry, Gravel informed us officially that he had resigned from our Board.
7. Gravel admitted early on that a motivating interest for him in our 9/11 cause was that it could help him promote his National Initiative for Democracy effort. In October of 2011 when we weren’t able to meet his personally set timeline goal for getting on the MA ballot during the 2012 election cycle, and after we all chose to not join him in his personal project, (and knowing that he had our funds effectively under his control), our movement’s usefulness to him seemed to end. His cooperation with most of the 9/11 activists he had worked closely with for many months on the 9-11cc project abruptly ended shortly thereafter.
8. As the end of the 2011 tax year approached, we discovered that Gravel had unilaterally, in October, suspended the long planned establishing of our 501c-4 status we needed so that we could transfer our remaining CA Recipient Committee funds. Other possibilities were discussed as to where our money could be temporarily “parked”. Mike proposed his own nonprofit organization, under his sole control. When it was suggested that a more neutral place to “park” our funds would be with A & E, Mike became outraged and insisted the money be put into his organization. Later he changed the concept that we were temporarily “parking” the funds with him to the notion that, upon his unilateral decision, the funds would be permanently "donated" to his organization, ignoring the fact that he knew we were by then completing, before year’s end, the establishing of our 501c-4 organization, and setting up a credit union account specifically to receive the transferred funds.
9. When our largest donor was told about what Gravel had done with our funds, he wrote Gravel “I feel robbed”. Both he and our second biggest donor, along with other donors, said that they donated their money only for the stated purpose – the mission – of 9-11cc, i.e., the sponsoring of state ballot initiatives for a 9/11 investigation.
10. Despite repeated requests, Gravel has refused to date to engage in any standard accepted methods, such as mediation, to resolve this current dispute.