ACLU Take Over South Carolina Branch

Its a first for the organization, and some fear it will damage their already scarred reputation in South Carolina. The question that lingers over their heads….were they singled out because of their criticism of the national organization?

“I believe this will truly be harmful to the A.C.L.U. and how it is perceived in the state by both our friends and our enemies,” Mr. Caesar said.

The South Carolina affiliate has been troubled for the last decade, struggling financially, unable to find and retain an executive director, and overseen by a fractious board. Its last executive director embezzled from it. It has relied heavily on financial support from the national organization and has had little to show for its efforts until recently.

Those problems are not unique to the South Carolina affiliate, however, and Mr. Caesar and others contended that it was singled out for its criticism of the national organization. Its representative on the national board, David F. Kennison, had tangled with Anthony D. Romero, the national organization’s executive director, and the South Carolina affiliate was the only A.C.L.U. affiliate to sign onto a Web site, created in September 2006, that criticized the national group’s leadership.

After the South Carolina affiliate signed onto the site, the national office sought an agreement to place it under voluntary national supervision. The A.C.L.U. later moved to put the affiliate under receivership.

I will assume that the website they signed onto was Save the ACLU. What does this website criticize the ACLU for? Stiffling free speech, and the destruction of the ACLU from within via hypocrisy. They want to save the organization from itself.

Here is a list of their complaints.

1. Failure to disclose and comply with a legal decree; 2.Secret approvals of agreements limiting speech and association in order to obtain funding; 3. Silencing dissent on the ACLU board; 4. Silencing and spying on the ACLU Staff.

More details are at the website.

If this is the website the South Carolina branch signed onto, then it wouldn’t be surprising that this is an attempt to silence the state branch of its criticism. After all, I wouldn’t put it past the hypocritical organization known for silencing the speech of its own board members when they disagree.

Crossposted at Stop the ACLU

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