Bully" in Losing Position
Again, With So Many Spectators Watching, He Refuses to Agree to a Draw!?
By NM Leland Fuerstman
It has been brought to my attention that chess bully, Gary Newsom has again sought to undermine the felicity of the CCC by sending a private, self- aggrandizing E-mail to a number of our members? Though he shows absolutely no contrition for the dirty tricks he just used to discourage players from participating in the City Championship, he is now attempting to save face for his reprehensible actions. Contrary to his statement that he has "initiated a behind the scenes effort to resolve this matter," the fact is, as late as this past weekend, with the assistance of the arbitration skills of Tom Hales of Asheboro, a well written document was drafted which sighted equal responsibility for the contentious atmosphere which prevails in North Carolina. (Read Msg517a) But the chess "bully" would not budge from his losing position and again refused to agree!? I have long been ready to compromise; but, unfortunately, he throws a wrench in the negotiations each time with the outrageous demand that I admit guilt and apologize for things that I did not do?!
In his E-mail he states, "Until recent times I have been able to know with all confidence that the truth in these matters was well known public knowledge due to the fact that all in the chess community experienced the whole affair and therefore knew the details..." Well, that surely substantiates everything?!! What a ridiculous bunch of double talk?? Can he not be a bit more specific?
Without wasting your time revisiting each situation, "The truth in these matters" that Newsom speaks of has absolutely nothing to do with my violation of any USCF rule nor of any civil law. It has only to do with a member's desire and RIGHT to voice his opinion and criticize the stupid things that he has done, and his resentment for my having done that! The real problem is that Newsom simply can't stand criticism?! When you are "standing on the top of the hill," and hold the position of President of an Organization, you are no longer just a simple "private citizen." In fact, you relinquish the right to privacy and anonymity and assume "celebrity status!" Other citizens have the right to question your procedures and performance and freely criticize you. Remember, this is America! Any mature statesman generally lets such criticism affect them like "water off a duck's back." Unfortunately, because of his lack of sophistication and dubious level of intelligence, Newsom seems to be incapable of doing that. And, therefore, unable to control his emotions, he gets angry and loses focus of the real mission?
Over the past few years, as Editor of the CCC Website, I have authored a number of informative Messages which addressed the goings on of the NCCA and the QCCA. In each of those messages, both direct and rhetorical questions were asked. Any person who was mentioned always had the opportunity to address those questions with his own "unexpurgated response." The fact is, never did any single one of them respond to any of my messages?! Probably because what I reported was accurate, and they had no legitimate answer with which to respond... Instead of answering the questions, they proceeded to personally bash me for asking them and undermine my efforts?
On Thursday, August 8, I received a "threatening" E-mail signed by Gary Newsom entitled "Cease and Desist" which included various "demands." The letter was intentionally, disrespectfully addressed to "Mr." Fuerstman? (Not, NM Fuerstman; a USCF National Title which I earned in 1984, and, a title which Newsom will most certainly never achieve in his lifetime...) Though it seems suspiciously similar to other unfriendly letters that I have received in the past, Newsom claims that he "consulted the internet" in order to compose his letter?!? (Yeah, sorta like the "virtual meeting" he once reported...)
Among other things, he "demands a retraction" for a statement which I made alluding to a "rumor" that "while President of the NCCA, he wrote unauthorized checks?" This seems to be a very sensitive issue with Newsom. He actually has some curious idea that such rhetoric might give people the mistaken impression that he is not honest?! Yet, he also makes mention of the approximately $5,000 that he personally gained control of when he "privatized" the QCCA? Exactly what does he deny about that? No wonder that people are suspicious. The reality is, no publisher will ever "retract" a statement until actual proof to the contrary is shown. The only way to show that proof in this case is to allow "everyone" to observe the check books which were used during his tenure. In the absence of that, how can he possibly demand a retraction? There was not then, nor is there now any transparency in the NCCA. --- (Though the info was conveyed to me, it is generally not my style to report "rumors" unless they are in "jest." Therefore, I sincerely apologize for alluding to a rumor which questioned Gary Newsom's honesty which had apparently not been properly verified. LF)
Newsom goes on to demand that my messages be removed from the CCC message board and that retractions be made. (Of course, he believes it's perfectly admissible for him to send inflammatory E-mails to CCC members just days later?) And, that if I do not comply by his designated deadline, he would "contact my internet service provider (LOL), take organizational remedies (USCF) and civil actions."
My question is, when each of those sensitive subjects was addressed implying impropriety, why didn't he simply provide a response (then) which would have been promptly posted on the website, in order to explain his position. After all, he had every opportunity to do so. I maintain that everything which was reported (save for the rumor) was verified by my eager team of "secret reporters" and in every case, we asked questions rather than made accusations. All Newsom ever had to do was immediately respond with his own interpretation of things, which he never seemed to be able to do...
According to my legal adviser, his potential petty lawsuit would be "groundless and a waste of the court's time." However, if it is his decision to proceed, then we will be ready with a counter-suit. But, in the worst case scenario, even if I were found guilty, the remedy would be based upon monetary considerations. Exactly how much money has Newsom LOST as a result of my criticism? The answer is, absolutely none; in fact, his tournaments have continued to get larger and he has actually made more money! On the other hand, the CCC just recently lost money as a result of his personal crusade to discourage players from participating in the Charlotte City Championship?
Since we were unable to come to an agreement this past weekend to simply put all of this behind us and move on, I have been advised to file a formal complaint to the USCF Ethics Committee, which I fully intend to do. In fact, the last complaint I filed with the USCF also involved Newsom and the NCCA whereby he tried everything he could, even up to the day before the tournament, to prevent me from participating in the North Carolina Championship. However, just in the nick of time, my complaint was sustained (that means, I won) and I participated! Curiously enough, it seems as if the current NCCA President, Rudy Abate, is attempting to do the exact same thing to prevent me from participating this year? Apparently, he didn't get the memo?
Here's the deal, people. I am more than ready to be done with all of this... if someone would just put a bug in Newsom's ear and encourage him to compromise, it would rid everyone of the atmosphere of contention which has prevailed in North Carolina for too long. I say, let bygones, be bygones. Hopefully, soon, we can all move on and play chess in peace!
NM Leland Fuerstman