Tue 8th September 2009, 2:25am
Now that I have been "moderated" on the Foundation-l mailing list, thanks to the thread begun there about this very subject, it's taking them 60+ hours to contemplate whether or not to include for public consumption posts such as these:
Thomas Dalton states:
Kohs: "That's curious, considering they had 'outgrown' space in January 2009, such
that they needed to shuttle Ruth and Frank Stanton's money over to Wikia's
accounts receivable to expand their footprint."
That is an accusation of illicit dealings for personal gain. It
doesn't matter than you didn't explicitly accuse them, no reasonable
person could interpret that sentence (in the context of your previous
comments) as anything else.
Yes, I should hope that any "reasonable person" should be able to recognize a wired deal when presented with the factual parameters of one.
Any self-respecting and professional non-profit board of trustees should have nullified even the inclusion in a competitive set of bidders any privately-held company co-founded by a sitting board member. In the case of "Stanton dollars to Wikia, Inc.", it seems that the WMF Board was not notified of what Executive Director Sue Gardner had made as an executive decision. I maintained, and continue to maintain, that this was a poor decision that yielded minor situational benefits for a couple of code developers, at the cost of major reputational harms inflicted by the image of an Executive Director awarding a contract to the company launched by the Chairman Emeritus of the board of trustees responsible for her hire.
You say "illicit", which is defined as "unlawful" in most dictionaries. I never made that claim. I contend that the transaction was stupid, thoughtless, ill-conceived, unprofessional, and unethical -- but I'm not informed enough legally to say whether or not the transaction was "illicit". I'll remind you, many well-placed Wikimedia volunteers and holders of key community positions perceived this Stanton-to-Wikia transaction as ill-advised. Single me out, if that makes you feel better.
You may wish to review what constitutes a "competitive bidding process". Was it "competitive" when the WMF received numerous bids for rental space, but only offered to one bidder -- the one with favorable financial implications for a sitting board member -- the opportunity to reduce their proposed cost of rental?
It's strange, none of the list moderators has told me that this is impermissible speech, yet none of them has published it, either. That's a crafty mechanism of censorship, nonetheless, wouldn't you say?