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Clean sweep for anti-incumbents in ANA election
July 25, 2007

It was a clean sweep for the anti-incumbent slate in a tension-filled election campaign to select the 2007-2009 American Numismatic Association board of governors.

The results were announced July 25.

Voted into office were seven newcomers led by veteran hobby publisher Clifford Mishler, with 4,609 votes; followed by Chester L. Krause, 4,518 votes; Edward C. Rochette, 3,541 votes; Joseph E. Boling, 3,442 votes; Radford Stearns, 3,073 votes; Walter Ostromecki 2,882 votes, and Wendell Wolka, 2,850.

Even before the results were released, it was known that Barry Stuppler would be president and Patti Jagger Finner would be vice president. The two ran unopposed after the anti-incumbent faction failed to field candidates.

That left the battle to be fought over the seven governor's chairs.

"I am overwhelmed by the knowledge and experience of the numismatists on the new ANA board of governors," said president-elect Barry S. Stuppler. "And with three of the new governors being members of the ANA Numismatic Hall of Fame on my board, I feel like the quarterback of an all-star team. The next two years are going to be very exciting for the ANA."

"The people who took the time to vote have prevailed," said Patti Jagger Finner, vice president-elect. "Out of 32,000 members, apparently the true supporters of the ANA voted."

Finner wonders if the incoming members of this board know what level of commitment of time and money that it takes to serve on this board and be effective.

"You really have to love the hobby to serve the ANA, especially in the light of the last two years," she said.

What is the priority of the new board members?

"A complete audit of the last five years," said Mishler. "Well, you know, there simply has been a lot of controversy or whatever, a lot of questioning of the way money has been spent, comparisons to previous administrations and all that kind of good stuff. It is time to clear the air from a financial standpoint."

Chet Krause echoed the call.

Outgoing president William H. Horton Jr. said, "I think the process worked well. Whoever the newcomers are on the board, I wish them all the best. Now they will see what it is like to sit on the board. It is not as easy as you think it is. The election is over. I understand all the campaign stuff, but now you have to sit down and dig in and do what is overall best for the hobby and the association."

The election sweep pushed out incumbent governors Don Kagin, Alan Herbert and Remy Bourne.

The incumbent board in the prior two years did a number of things to rile the membership. The first was a fight with Mishler and Krause over the naming rights to the ANA museum. It was only after an old press release was discovered that backed up the Mishler-Krause claims that the board backed down and granted their wish that the museum be named after Edward C. Rochette.

Another high profile issue that galvanized opposition was the expulsion from the board of Gov. Walter Ostromecki in October 2005, just weeks after his swearing in. Lack of a full explanation for the action at the time helped to fuel a sense that the board was somehow not following the wishes of the ANA membership, which had so recently put Ostromecki into the office.

The most recent brouhaha was proposed bylaws revisions. The anti-incumbent faction suspected that any revisions would be used to disenfranchise the membership even before there were any specific proposals put forward.

The current board promised publications of the bylaws proposal so the membership could review it, but this sparked yet another controversy.

Hand-inserting the bylaws proposal in the same envelope as the election ballot delayed the mailing of many of them until the middle of June. This unexpected delay simply fueled suspicions of the anti-incumbents, who daily traded e-mails about who had or had not received an electoral ballot.

To these specific issues was the general sense that the ANA was spending beyond its means and the executive director was paid too much.

Membership had until July 19 to mark the ballot and return it to BiggsKofford, the Colorado Springs, Colo., auditing firm, handling the election. The president and executive director were to be informed of the results July 24 and a public announcement followed July 25.

Perhaps the membership was not as indignant over bylaws changes as at first expected by the anti-incumbent group. More than 10 percent of the membership expressed its view on the bylaws by mailing the form back to ANA headquarters, said Cipoletti.

Of the 3,456 responses, 62 percent backed the new bylaws, or 2,124 yeses.

Those opposed were 25 percent of the respondents, or 876.

Partial agreement or partial disagreement, depending on how you look at it, was registered by 13 percent of the respondents, or 456.

Cipoletti said 33 forms were marked in contradictory fashion or were blank. He also said these forms would be available for the press to view at the ANA convention in Milwaukee.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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