Comment: AILA Election Latest - Our comment in the 6/1/12 issue of Immigration Daily examined the apparently unprecedented situation where a candidate nominated to the position of Secretary withdrew himself from consideration by AILA members in the upcoming AILA 2012 election (which also set up a bylaws amendment for vote in Nashville). We have received a communication on the matter from Mr. DeMoss, the candidate who withdrew, which we reproduce in its entirety below.
Dear Editor: I read with interest the Editors' Comment in the Friday, June 1, issue of ILW.com's Immigration Daily. For the record, and in point of fact, Jeff Joseph's decision to run by petition for AILA Secretary was not "the cause" of my withdrawal as the nominated candidate. I withdrew solely because of personal and professional reasons not related to Jeff. After my withdrawal, it is my understanding that the Nominating Committee requested candidates who already submitted their names for consideration to re-submit for the position left open by my withdrawal. As such, I believe the Nominating Committee reviewed Jeff, Annaluisa, and any other prospective nominees, in accordance with the governing AILA Bylaw, and after full, fair and equal review placed Annaluisa's name in nomination for the position, as she is the best candidate to serve in the position on the AILA Executive Committee.
I know both candidates and I strongly believe that Annaluisa brings precisely the type of leadership and experience that AILA needs at this time - a thorough understanding of leading large organizations along with a strong familiarity with AILA's issues and challenges.
Thank you in advance for your kind assistance in promptly publishing this clarification and correction.
Robert L. ("Rusty") DeMoss II
Our earlier conclusion that it was Mr. Joseph's decision to run by petition for Secretary that caused Mr. DeMoss to withdraw was based on, and only on, the strict sequence of events, which was as follows (in the interest of brevity and readability we use the term "NC" for AILA's nominating committee):
NC nominates slate including Mr. DeMoss as Secretary and Mr. Joseph and Ms. Padilla as Directors
Mr. Joseph withdraws himself from consideration as Director and decides to run by petition for Secretary, NC nominates revised slate for Directors
Mr. DeMoss withdraws himself from consideration as Secretary
NC nominates a further revised slate with Ms. Padilla as Secretary, and another revised slate for Directors
Since Mr. DeMoss now states that his decision not to run was not caused by Mr. Joseph's decision to run, our conclusion stands corrected.
It is apparent, however, that the nomination process is under un-precedented stress, not merely because of the novel situation of withdrawal by a nominee for Secretary, and the by-law amendment that awaits voting on, but also because roughly half the candidates elected to Secretary in the last decade ran by petition, i.e. were not nominated. If a procedure where the bar invests such a large quantity of time of its leaders fails almost half the time, perhaps the procedure can be improved. We suspect that such improvements will be proposed, and new ideas will likely be tried. AILA members who will be in Nashville next week may want to mark their calendars for 5:30pm on Thursday, June 14, 2012 for the membership meeting in the Washington Room. AILA members who will not be there, but would like to register their voices at least for those issues already scheduled for a vote, can find the voting instructions page here.
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