What the Hell, Mike Gravel? Former Senator Leaves 9/11 Group, Takes Donations With Him.


Brian Romanoff   Nor Cal Truth   Feb 21, 2012

This may be news to many of you. It’s not pretty. It may upset you and let you down.

Former Senator Mike Gravel (who read the ‘Pentagon Papers’ leaks into the public record) had been actively involved in the 9/11 truth & justice movement for the last year.

That is over now.

Mike Gravel has taken money donated to the 9/11 Citizens Commission (9/11CC) and re-distributed those funds elsewhere without permission from the 9/11CC board or donors.

The organization he redistributed the donations to is an organization he founded and chairs – and it has nothing to do with 9/11.

The timeline of discussions can be found and read in whole starting with:

1. On Dec. 26th, the 9/11CC board wrote a letter to its endorsers, advisors and major donors.  That letter was abbreviated and sent out to all donors on Jan 21st.

2. Mike Gravel wrote a response to the 9/11CC board on February 3rd 

The above details are discussed further below.

(1):

On January 21st, the 9/11CC board sent an email out to all donors to the organization. That email was posted to a related thread at TruthAction within a week, and after being posted on a FaceBook page. Among many details in the letter from the board, the following is highlighted here:

….. we have a responsibility to relate to you some very serious and unfortunate news: There has come a parting of the ways of Senator Mike Gravel from the rest of the 9-11cc team. Briefly, the pivotal event of that parting came to our attention in mid-December when we found that our bank account, under the sole control of Mike Gravel, was being tapped for large, unauthorized expenditures paid to promote an unrelated campaign of Mike’s – his National Initiative for Democracy (NI4D). When this disturbing item was put on our Campaign Team’s agenda for the next team meeting, Mike Gravel, for the first time, declined to participate, and instead sent a long letter in which he expressed his intention to dissolve the legal entity that our 9-11cc organization had established to enable us to collect funds. Mike Gravel further informed us of his plan to transfer the 9-11cc’s funds to his own, unrelated NI4D campaign. Both of Mike’s proposals were rejected by all other members of the board. Although as a Board we had been in discussion for several months about refinements to our path going forward, these radical, unilateral decisions by Mike Gravel came as a complete shock to us. Shortly thereafter, our treasurer, George Ripley, made an unsuccessful attempt to have our accountant freeze our bank account to prevent further unauthorized and unaccounted-for expenditures. As our Board prepared to meet two nights later to consider our response (a meeting Mike Gravel again chose not to attend), we found that $25,000 more had been withdrawn that same day from our bank account, leaving only about a $6,000 balance (now ~$1000).

We tried in vain up to and throughout the Christmas holidays to use reason and peer pressure to get Mike Gravel back into productive communication with the rest of the Board, and to persuade him to return the donated funds to the Citizen’s Commission Campaign….

The 9/11CC Board obviously made a mistake by allowing the money to be in the sole control of Mike Gravel. That mistake does not excuse Mike Gravel’s actions.

(2):

Two weeks later on February 3rd Mike Gravel responded to the 9/11CC board email. Gravel’s response was posted to the Truth Action forum again. The important points from Gravel’s response are covered below:

In May 2011, Ken Jenkins and George Ripley were pushing me into a leadership role within the 911 movement that I was reluctant to take on…

…The forms creating the California Recipient Committee called the “Citizens 911 Commission” were filed on May 13, 2011 and received by the Secretary of State on May 16th. My name as the “sole principal” is the only name associated with the entity in California. I secured an EIN number from the IRS on that basis and opened an account at Wells Fargo. No other names or persons are legally associated with this California entity or its bank account. As the authorized signer who opened the account at Wells Fargo, I made provisions with the bank for Jenkins, Belitsos and Ripley to access the account only to view its activity in real-time…

As a California Recipient Committee, we had no operable bylaws and none were required to be filed by the state. I subsequently drafted Articles and Bylaws in anticipation of creating an IRS C4 corporation, which was the planned next step in our logical growth, going from a working group of volunteers into a legal corporate entity.

Initially, our intent was to file an initiative in California. I visited and worked with the attorneys at the State’s Legislative Council in Sacramento, drafting my concept into a legally acceptable initiative proposal. However, it became obvious that a California initiative campaign was out of the question at this time; it would take several million dollars to qualify an initiative for the ballot and more to wage a viable enactment campaign.

Since we planned no political activity in California and were limited in accepting foreign contributions, it was understood by all those involved (Jenkins, Freeland and Ripley) that we would dissolve the Recipient Committee before the end of the year or face extensive and expensive reporting requirements that were irrelevant to our national and global activity. In the event of dissolution, California law is very clear; whatever monies are in the Committee’s bank account must be donated to a government recognized charity or returned to the donors on a pro rata basis….

A pro rata return to donors would have been expensive accounting-wise and of de minim{i}s  impact to all but one donor. I chose to donate all the funds in the account to the Democracy Foundation, a 501 c 3 charity recognized under federal law. The Democracy Foundation, which I founded and chaired, is the educational sponsor of the National Citizens Initiative, an initiative that when enacted into law will empower citizens to make laws in every government jurisdiction. The process to enact the National Citizens Initiative can be undertaking in any country where citizens are allowed to vote. Obviously, if we able to enact the National Citizens Initiative, it would provide an excellent opportunity to enact a federal law creating a new Citizens 911 Commission with federal powers far superior to anything we would expect to secure with a state initiative.

…All told we raised around $85,000 in 2011; and more than half has been spent on travel and overhead…

Mike Gravel simply chose to redistribute the funds to an organization he founded and chairs without permission from the donors.

Maybe Gravel thought people were donating to him and not to the organization of an idea for a citizens 9/11 investigation? That would have been the wrong assumption: Gravel was given donations by 9/11 activists, plain and simple.

The irony of giving stolen money to a “Democracy Foundation” that the thief founded and chairs is not lost here. Is this Gravel’s idea Citizen Power?

Gravel states further that the process of redistribution to donors would have been “expensive accounting-wise” and “de minimis,” or too insignificant to be worthy of concern “to all but one donor.”

Is Mike Gravel trying to downplay the impact of his actions by stating only one person will be greatly affected? Hogwash!

Before publishing this letter, I contacted a 9/11CC board member to see if I could learn more. A message came back with the following information:

The biggest donor put in nearly $48K. The next biggest donor was $10K. Next was $2.5K. There were several more donors at $1K and up. There were some others at $500 and up. I do not consider any of those amounts “small”.

The economy is in the pits and more than a quarter of the US is out of work. 9/11 activists are up against enough walls without Mike Gravel thinking it’s too insignificant to be worthy of concern that he redistributed their donations, without consent.

Even that discussion becomes a distraction for the sad fact that Mike Gravel could have chosen a much more graceful and respectful way to distance himself from something he was “reluctant to take on” as he says, if that was ever really the case: During personal interactions he always seemed not so reluctant about the 9/11CC.

More to the point and simply put: Mike Gravel is a thief and a liar.

The 9/11CC board confronted Mike Gravel only after noticing that money had been withdrawn in November without permission. After asking Gravel about the missing money, did he take another $25,000 without permission in December and cease contact with the 9/11CC board.

Mike Gravel has not returned the money to the 9/11 CC board or its donors.

I hate to say it, but the one thing that comes to mind is an old Steve Miller song.

Mike Gravel should return the money, plain and simple.

23 Responses to What the Hell, Mike Gravel? Former Senator Leaves 9/11 Group, Takes Donations With Him.

  1. I worked with Gravel on this campaign and know first hand his sincerity and efforts he gave to the campaign that had barely any support from the 9/11 truth club.. using movement to describe efforts on the 10th anniversary is way too much of an exaggeration. Without Gravel there would be no citizens commission campaign, or the little success we had in getting a certification letter signed by the DA of MA.. but instead of 80,000 petitions to get it on the ballot.. we barely got a few hundred.. and he tried.. It was not a mistake that he had control of the funds that he raised.. since he was the reason the MA state initiative had any chance at all.. and he volunteered for two years.. and used funds from his awareness that as a donor i feel is much better off than the group complaining about funds that do more harm than good for anyone.. Here’s a letter from one of the organizers of the MA campaign, Rich Acoin: Rich Aucoin

    “The Mike Gravel/9-11cc split followed a disagreement over how to proceed organizationally after the MA initiative’s financing fell short.
    Based on my observations as a team member, it was a healthy divorce for all involved.
    Now each side can carry on without the burden of the other.
    Speaking for myself, I donated to 9-11cc primarily because a famous antiwar US senator was heavily involved in the project. So Sen Gravel’s decision to move the funds to NI4D for his next 9/11 initiative isn’t a problem for me.

    It appears to me that no serious 9/11-related fundraising will be possible in 2012 since so many truth activists are also Ron Paul supporters and we are focusing our limited resources on helping Paul’s staunchly antiwar campaign. So it is up to the non-Paul faction of the 9/11 movement to use 2012 as a planning year, to put a program in place for us all to hit the ground running by spring 2013.

    Whoever has the best plan of action will receive my enthusiastic support.

    Peace,”

    Rich Aucoin

    Co-director & chairman, Massachusetts Committee for a Citizens 9/11 Investigation Commission

    • Brian says:

      Jonathan,

      I met Gravel before he went to MA to promote the campaign *(I’m quite sure at least). I live in the SF Bay Area, where early discussions of this attempt were held.

      There were many reasons why the 9/11CC did not have the support of everyone in the community. Reasons raised by Erik Larson aka Loose Nuke were valid concerns. Other people had distrust of Mike Gravel.

      If there had been more support all I see is Mike would have stolen more money.

      You defend Gravel’s “sincerity” yet Mike himself says that during this whole attempt it was not really something he wanted to do.

      Gravel won double time. His initiative gained more exposure (I had never heard of it!) and he stole some 9/11 donations to boot.

      I am not too impressed with your friends judgement.

      Thanks for the concern and sharing of thoughts though.

      *late edit

      • Haberiniz says:

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        • flybynews says:

          Yes, I could see why there would be ‘many reasons why the 9-11CC did not have the support of everyone in the community’
          but based on the Gravel proposal and the MA state initiative, which was registered by the DA for placing such a question on the 2012 election ballot as a referendum question for a citizen’s 9-11 commission, it was the best plan for raising not only awareness but a direction for direct democracy to give authority for a fair 9-11 investigation. Even now, architects and engineers could focus on such a direction rather than banging one’s head in lobbying a corrupt Congress. It’s a good idea, but needs unity and leadership to succeed.. So far, the successes have been limited, and such an attack on Gravel is part of the reason why..

  2. Gravel was a wonderful opportunity for the truth movement.. instead it has become more judgmental and less effective.. watch my interview with him and George Ripley.. and let me know what he said that appears so insincere..

    http://gctv.org/videos/flyby-news-presents-senator-mike-gravel

    • Brian says:

      Jon,

      It’s not that he doesn’t look sincere. I met him a couple of times too during all of this.

      The problem is that he wrote in his letter that this was never something he wanted to do.
      So he is a liar for either looking like he wanted to during those times and not speaking up about his doubts, or by saying he didn’t want to only after stealing the money.

      I am glad people were using their judgement, and still are. If more people had donated to the 9/11CC than more people would recently have been robbed by Gravel.

    • stevieb says:

      Rubbish…but I have little doubt that you’re getting paid to lie….like Mike Gravel…look who preceded and proceeded his Senate chair…he’s a zionist slave..and it’s so obvious it’d be funny if it wasn’t so fecking disgusting. Gravel sold out the Truth Movement; but more importantly, he sold out his nation. He’s nothing but a cling-on on the asshole of America..

  3. Gravel robbed no one.. and your take on this proves why so few get behind campaigns regarding 9/11 truth.. for if you don’t get attacked by outsiders, you will from insiders..

    He robbed no one.. Actually after the TV interview after a busy morning he spoke to an audience in Northampton http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9340C0D9CEBDB08C&feature=viewall

    We passed the hat to help cover costs. I offered Mike about $100 for his expenses but he refused the cash.. saying he has to do things correctly and that we should use those funds for our group..

    That you make such a deal at the end of the campaign with insignificant funds.. why not make a bigger deal as to why 911blogger banned me and censored my post regarding the July 4th official announcement of the beginning of the citizens 9-11 commission campaign, or the Architects and Engineers refusing to support the campaign and instead lobbying the really crooked congress for an investigation.. It disgusts me these attacks based not on twisted justice-judgement..

    • Brian says:

      Your a mess.

      You got UFO’s and Moon Landing hoaxes all over your website.

      I imagine you support CIT and perhaps are even open to listening to Judy Woods. You have drawn no lines in your research and activism.

      It seems you are the one just following things around, including Gravel.

      Gravel did steal dammit!

      Gravel had his Initiative for Democracy up the whole time the 9/11CC site was up – and guess which one got the donations?

      The reason 9/11 Blogger canceled your account is because you are a loose cannon with no research ability, I can see that from 5 minutes of looking at your site.

  4. […] appears that controlled opposition is alive and well in the so-called 9/11 truth movement. The recent attacks on Senator Mike Gravel is both harming the campaign for a citizens 9-11 investigation and […]

  5. Anonymous says:

    This behavior by Mike Gravel really doesn’t surprise me.

    The reason is that back during the 2008 Presidential campaign, I saw a video on the Internet where a young reporter was interviewing Gravel after a Democratic debate. Gravel stated that “what we really need is a One World Government”. Now the young reporter said understandably somewhat sarcastically: ” This One World Government would of course be Of the People, By the People and For the People”? Gravel then grinned and said something like “of course it would be” ….however we all know that is total BS! I think people are losing their minds.

  6. Presse Algérie…

    […]What the Hell, Mike Gravel? Former Senator Leaves 9/11 Group, Takes Donations With Him. «[…]…

  7. E. Phinney says:

    I first read of the issue about Gravel and the allegedly stolen funds within the past few minutes. I am very concerned about Gravel’s actions with the money. Up until this moment, I have unwaveringly supported Mike Gravel and The National Citizens Initiative For Democracy. I will make inquiries directly to NCID for an explanation of Gravel’s actions regarding the money. Right now, I am not sure if I support Mike Gravel. There is right. There is wrong. I am not sure yet what direction I will take until I hear from NCID or Gravel.

  8. Lon says:

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  10. flybynews says:

    So.. Gravel took $30,000 and transferred it to a nonprofit group working on a national referendum campaign, which he was working on for more than 20 years.. He took two years to support state initiatives for 9-11 truth, but no one else.. and the architects, 911blogger all did not support the campaign that needed hundreds of thousands of dollars to be successful. Gravel made the attempt and then used as a scape goat to blame.. Meanwhile the so-called citizens committee have done nothing.. and likely would have depleted those funds that Gravel had responsibility for using according to his viewpoint for honoring donations.. Those attacking Gravel only hurt state initiatives for 9-11 truth and national referendums for direct democracy.. Truthers of this sort are certainly not being effective or loyal for such a special volunteer and efforts for years for our campaign.. More on this is posted at my site under – Controlled Opposition * 9-11 Truth Attacks
    http://flybynews.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/controlled-opposition-9-11-truth-attacks/

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