On Monday, September 9, A-News Reports (http://anr.apartmentj.com/) published an article alleging misconduct by one former member and two sitting members of the Executive Board (EB) of the Secular Party of America. The described wrongdoing involved tampering with voting results for a policy proposal to amend the Party charter, such that the Party name would be changed from the National Atheist Party to the Secular Party of America. By late afternoon on Monday, September 9, two of the implicated EB members, Bernard “Flash” Kellish and James Klawon, had tendered their resignations, which were officially accepted by the EB at 9 pm EST the same evening. The third EB member that had been implicated, Sheila Blackadder, resigned her role on the EB shortly following the vote in July.
Effective immediately, Deputy VPs Tracey Melody and Victor Henzi have been promoted to Acting VPs to assume the positions vacated by Kellish and Klawon.
The EB is shocked and saddened by this lapse in ethics by these long-standing members, and unanimously supports their departure. There is no room in the Party for behavior that betrays our charter, core values, and basic integrity. We are committed to working with leadership and membership at all levels to improve communication and transparency so that such malfeasance cannot occur in the future, and to implement safeguards and standards to eliminate such behavior.
Many members have asked whether the name change from the National Atheist Party to the Secular Party of America is truly official in light of this new information. The EB is discussing this topic in earnest, as we wish to balance the need for all voices to be heard with the reality of having already legalized and advertised the change. More information will be forthcoming in the very near future.
While we lament that this has understandably compromised public trust in the Party, and in its EB in particular, we remain steadfastly committed to the mission and constituents of the Secular Party of America, and we are confident that together with our members, we will move past this incident to build a vibrant, strong, and viable political party.
If you have additional questions or would like more information, please let us know by using the Contact Us link on our web site at http://secularamerica.org/contact.