SPUSA: Pason has it; Sears wants it.

Posted on February 26, 2012 by



Before the last installment of the series Inside the Socialist Central Committee, Ltd. is presented, a repeat of what occurred between installments One and Two is needed for readers to better understand the next installment. As before, we offer this addendum to lay the foundation.

This foundation’s research takes the reader within the inner workings of SPUSA. This report relies upon the actual SPUSA’s documents that the Socialist Central Committee’s series relied upon. This time, however, actual numbers from the SPUSA documents will be cited so the reader can verify the facts. This fact based report will explain the demise of SPUSA, and those documents are used to identify a pattern of fraudulent behavior exhibited by Steve Sears.

Steve Sears’ War.

Steve Sears has waged a war of disparagement against the Socialist Central Committee, Ltd. ever since its incorporation. This disparagement also extended to one of the Committee’s founding partners, Timothy C. Platt, MSM. Sears’ personal assault on Platt’s character actually began before the Committee was incorporated. Platt was commissioned to develop a website for the Indiana Socialist Fellowship, which was a continuation of the old Socialist Party of America, and through which SPUSA and DSA would hold dual business meetings and plan local activism with local independent socialists.

The disparagement directed by Sears tends to be twofold. First, he tries to convince people that the Socialist Central Committee is some sort of capitalist scam; yet he never seems to offer definitive proof. He simply suggests that the Committee is a scam because it is incorporated as a nonprofit organization, and as such, that it must engage in fund-raising activities. Yet, he and Pat Noble fail to explain how SPUSA is not a capitalist scam since it too engages in fund-raising activities as a nonprofit organization.

The second way Sears directs his disparagement is by suggesting Platt is some sort of criminal element. But, under Sears’ definition, Martin Luther King, Jr. would also be a criminal element too. And, numerous Occupy Wall Street protesters are criminal elements because, like Platt and MLK, the OWS protestors risked jail time over surrendering their rights and human dignity to an oppressive social system.

Each new generation of protesters discover that their willingness to endure the justice system for the cause will naturally result in unforeseen circumstance in later years. On the one hand, Sears condemns Platt, suggesting he is not a socialist because Platt has not been directly involved in the current Occupy Wall Street movement (despite photos showing Platt at the Indy Rally). On the other hand, Sears also condemns Platt because, like some of the current protestors, Platt faced legal issues thirteen years ago, which was the culmination of civil rights abuse challenges stemming back fifteen to twenty years ago. Where was Sears when Platt was the young Activist?

Sears, therefore, simultaneously condemns Platt for not incurring personal risk for the sake of the cause and for enduring personal risks associated with challenging an unjust legal system for the sake of the cause. Rather than relying upon Sears’ inconsistent interpretations, the readers are encouraged to conduct their own research of SPUSA’s published internal documents to verify the reliability of facts.

This report will rely solely upon SPUSA published internal documents. Sears perceives the rise of the Socialist Central Committee as a direct threat against SPUSA; and Sears has engaged in his personal war of disparagement against the Committee and its spokesman because Sears senses that the Committee’s rise may prevent him from obtaining the position he covets so much – National Secretary of SPUSA.

But, what kind of NatSec would Steve Sears be? The kind of NatSec that would quietly expel the David McReynolds of the party. Steve Sears has been involved as part of the party leadership that has overseen the demise of SPUSA. The Socialist Central Committee poses no threat against SPUSA. The Socialist Party – USA is threatened by financial collapse due to the mismanagement by its leaders like Greg Pason & Steve Sears. As the Socialist Central Committee slowly grows the American Socialist Party from the ashes of the Socialist Party of America, the Socialist Party – USA will collapse due to its own failed internal struggles.


SPUSA: Victim of incompetent leadership.

Three years before the Socialist Central Committee was ever incorporated, Steve Sears was participating in SPUSA’s destruction. Steve Sears was there in Philadelphia on the National Committee in 2006. It was a Saturday (Groundhog Day). SPUSA’s NatCom moved the party on a course of self-destruction; and they have been repeating themselves each year ever since.

Attending this meeting with Steve Sears was Matthew Andrews, Jason Becker, Raul Cano, Susan Dorazio, Matt Erard, Emma Gonzalez, Mal Herbert, Alice Kelsey, Doris Lake, Sam Mesick, Andrea Pason, Greg Pason, Shaun Richman, Kristy Treacy and Dwight Welch. There were also observers at the Philadelphia meeting too. These observers included – Jeff Brindle, Diane Brand, Peter Diamondstone, John Murphy, Michael Treacy and Trevor Pason.

Treasury balance was $92,986.35. It was reported that Membership in 2005 was 1584; but, now in 2006 the membership had fallen to 1294. Membership between 2005 and 2006 fell by 290 members.

A few months later, Jim Schaefer will report on April 25, 2006 that the National Office (Greg Pason) was asking for another $7000 from the treasury. This was in addition to the nearly $10,000 in loans and grants that Steve Sears and the rest of NatCom approved during this February meeting.

By February 10, 2007, the SPUSA management, Steve Sears & Greg Pason included, had managed to alienate another 290 members. The membership-in-good-standing tally dropped from 1294 to 1004. Membership went down 580 members between the 2005 and 2007 meetings.


The Sears Treachery.

It was at the February 10, 2007 meeting when NatCom discussed the role that NatCom member Steve Sears, and his accomplice – Michael Marino, played in a plot to “create another Socialist Party of America.” (Again – part of SPUSA’s published minutes.) SPUSA meeting minutes state Sears & Marino accessed party records to obtain membership contact information, which they used to send out a series of emails encouraging members to join Sears’ new party. This sounds eerily similar to Steve Sears’ latest plot – Administering a facebook group under the name of the Socialist Party – USA; then using the forum to criticize SPUSA.

When members like David McReynolds think back about Steve Sears past violations towards the party he was elected to care for, they will naturally begin to question Sears’ current motives, which is partly why Sears is quick to expel them. Sears does not want his new crop of gullible members to know about his fraudulent past.

This situation also explains why Sears focuses on Platt and Atlee Yarrow – Sears needs to disparage others in order to keep attention turned away from his own past and present misdeeds. Sears learnt in 2006-2007 just how difficult it is to develop a new organization. This is when Sears decided to stay focused on “winning” Pason’s position instead of developing a rival organization. But for Platt, Platt has always been clear that he is not SPUSA; instead, he is growing the American Socialist Party from the ashes of the old SPA; something Sears failed at doing five years ago.

On February 10, 2007: NatCom “considers the efforts of Steve Sears & Michael Marino to organize an alternative political party using the “Socialist Party” identity resources and membership lists while remaining officers of the SPUSA to be grounds for suspension or expulsion.” (Feb. 2007 Meeting Minutes). So, now we know why membership has been in decline. Steve Sears was using his position in SPUSA to access private documents, which he used to undermine SPUSA. That is treachery at a level far exceeding anything Sears has accused Platt & Atlee Yarrow from ever doing.

In 2007, the party’s budget expected $20,000 to come from dues. And, the party expected to withdraw another $10,000 out of their trust account. Greg Pason’s salary was set at $25,800.00 + expenses (or approx. $30,000). At the same time that Pat Noble & Steve Sears calls the Socialist Central Committee a scam, they deny that all of SPUSA’s membership dues goes into Pason’s pocket. But again, these numbers come direct from published SPUSA  documents. As always, the readers are encouraged to do a little research. Check SPUSA’s public records, and confirm these facts.


The Yarrow Affair.

At this same time when Sears was looking at expulsion, Pason reported on March 1, 2007 that the Florida party was operating without enough interested members to fill the State Slate. The only officer was Atlee Yarrow, who had been elected by the members at the State’s last convention. As a result of this lack of participation in Florida, NatSec had to temporarily suspend the state charter until such time that Florida could reorganize itself.

So, here is the situation then in 2007: Steve Sears was facing removal from his position as the NatCom member from Wisconsin. Atlee Yarrow lost his elected position in the Florida party because the charter had to be revoked due to an inadequate slate. NatCom assigned Marc Luzetti as the national organizer in charge of re-organizing the Florida party. And, under the disguise of a seasoned “organizer,” Steve Sears moved to Florida to take advantage of “opportunities” that hee saw in the chaos of Florida losing its charter. But, it should be noted: When Steve Sears realized he had lost his opportunity to move up the ranks through Florida, Sears moved to Baltimore where that failing organization also had open positions.


Sears tries to reinvent Sears.

By the October 21, 2007 meeting, Steve Sears was working hard to re-endure himself to NatCom. Steve Sears insisted, per the constitution, that working out Greg Pason’s salary was the first order of business.

During the March 1 & 2, 2008 meeting, NatCom confirmed that Pason was paid $25, 257.22; and membership contributions were $20,927. Most importantly, however, with Sears now back in good graces on NatCom, the supposed treasury loans, which were originally approved by Sears, were mysteriously reclassified one year later as a $17,500 reserve contribution.


Fall-out of the swindle.

The 2008 budget anticipated $25,000 in dues payments from 1009 members; so Greg Pason’s salary was set at $25,000. But now, the bilking of the treasury has become addictive. Removing money from the trust was now being routinely classified as a regular source of revenue. The 2008 budget called for $10,000 in reserve support.

By January 25, 2009, NatCom was reporting that the party membership was now down to 1000. By increasing membership dues to average $27.50, they anticipated that they could extract $27,500 from the members. They then increased Greg Pason’s salary to $28,000. And, they garnished the treasury another $11,436 as treasury support.

During the June 13 & 14, 2009 meeting, the treasurer reported the party now had approximately $30,000 less than it did at that same time the previous year.

Feeling desperate to replenish their trust losses, NatCom voted unanimously to squander the balance of the trust on a ForEx scheme – buying into Euros equity accounts. Obviously they did not know what they were doing; because, they had a legal fiduciary obligation to the organization that they represented to cautiously invest organizational funds in protected investment options, something with a guaranteed return on the investment. But, as we have pointed out so often in the past, these perpetual leaders lack organizational management skills.

Ironically, at the same meeting when NatSec decided to gamble the trust on a risky “capitalist” investment scheme, they passed a resolution recognizing the worse “ economic crisis of a scale not seen in nearly seventy years.” (Reminder: This is from the 2009 NatCom minutes.)


New Troubles.

At the January 23 & 24, 2010 NatCom meeting, the budget anticipated $27,500 in dues; so Greg Pason’s salary was set at $27,000 + expenses. It was during the months leading up to this meeting that Greg Pason discovered the existence of the Indiana Socialist Fellowship. The ISP never used computers during its forty years of existence. The ISP authorized the development of a website, which was how Pason discovered the blended socialist organization that involved SPUSA, DSA and independent socialists. Pason manipulated the telling of the facts to coax NatCom into issuing a resolution that compelled Indiana’s SPUSA members to sever their four decade long association with Indiana’s DSA.

Then, at the January 15, 2011 NatCom meeting, the dues anticipated again was $27,500; so Pason’s salary was again set at $27,000 + expenses. And, the treasurer reported the trust was down approximately $25,000 from two years earlier.

At the Fall 2011 convention, NatCom expressed its concerns over the party’s financial viability by the 2013 convention. And, Steve Sears was securely elected to NatCom again. With dues revenue being projected over what was in the budget, Steve Sears and the newly elected NatCom approved “overtime” for Greg Pason.

Since when does a salaried employee receive overtime? Again, people with no organizational management skills are making decisions that contributes further to the demise of SPUSA.

And, as a final note: After Sears was reelected to NatCom, Pason discovered Sears’ involvement in developing the facebook group Socialist Party USA: America’s voice for democratic socialism. Here Sears incorporates Platt’s ASP marketing verbage with SPUSA. And, Sears elicits the aid of Pat Noble to spread rumors that Platt pretends to be SPUSA when in fact those associations have always been made by Sears, not Platt.

With Sears’ current unlawful use of the SPUSA name on facebook to grow a group separate from SPUSA, and his past practices of using organizational resources to undermine the growth of SPUSA, Sears was forced to resign from SPUSA or potentially face criminal prosecution. And, as in the past, Sears slanders Platt by suggesting Platt’s lawful activities are somehow unlawful. This disparagement is clearly an attempt to distract Sears’ facebook group’s attention away Sears’ actual legal infractions.

Posted in: Editorial