Author Archives: Ken Jenkins
As you may know, the Citizens’ 9/11 Commission Campaign has gone through some significant changes in the last few months. We are back online now, and reorganizing to continue our prime mission – creating a real investigation into the events of 9/11 through state ballot initiatives.
Our major changes began late last November when Senator Mike Gravel first announced his departure from our group’s mission so as to return to his long time mission of creating a national initiative. While we wish him well with his mission, we chose not to join Mike in that effort, but rather decided to continue pursuing the state ballot goals as outlined by our revised strategic plan.
Gravel’s departure in December was not without difficulties, as you may have heard. While our primary focus is on moving forward and rebuilding on our existing foundation so as to advance our mission, we do address the ongoing dispute with Gravel in a separate post below.
As we have learned, it typically takes at least two years to mount successful state ballot initiatives. Since we only formally launched our current website less than five months before Mike’s departure, our efforts are no more than well started. The 2014 election cycle is more in line with the two-year period typical for implementing state ballot initiatives.
Our recent rushed attempt in Massachusetts to organize and raise sufficient funds for signature gathering in that state not surprisingly fell short for the 2012 election cycle, yet yielded a number of successes and established that state as a strong prospect for 2014. We are also still considering ballot initiatives in a handful of other prime initiative friendly states, including Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Maine and DC, and will be further evaluating those and other states, such as California in the coming months. California remains the best option in most ways except one, it is by far the most expensive. So it will remain an elusive dream, unless a few funding angels decide to change that.
One of the main qualifying criteria in evaluating the optimum state(s) for our purpose is the presence of enough local resident 9/11 truth activists in the state who are willing to help lead their state campaign. It will be up to you, our fellow 9/11 truth activists, to make possible a ballot initiative your own state, by contacting us so we can work together to make it happen.
Part of our new direction includes wanting to engage more effectively with the 9/11 truth movement than we did in the frantic months last summer and fall. We want to better gather advice, support, and more fully address your concerns, so that you will feel more a part of this effort. We look forward to many of you working more actively with us in our mission.
We are looking to partner with fellow 9/11 truth activists who, like us, also believe that state ballot initiatives are our best approach to our long sought after goal of a real, independent investigation into the events of 9/11. We currently need a few web savvy individuals to help us with our revised website, and to coordinate our outreach via social networks. Until then, hang in with us as we continue to rebuild our website to be more interactive and up to date.
In the mean time we are setting up a G-mail list serve to allow us to reopen lines of communication. Send email to [email protected] to sign up for that.
The success of this project depends on you, our fellow 9/11 truth activists. If you share our belief that the state ballot initiative is the best approach to a real and independent investigation, please contact us to let us know how you would like to help this effort succeed.
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.