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Office of the Election Supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters

              April 13, 1999




Barbara Harvey, Esq.

645 Griswold, Suite 1800

Detroit, MI   48226


Re:              SR-11-EOH


Dear Ms. Harvey: 


I have reviewed your April 9, 1999 letter, filed as a pre-election protest on behalf of Doug Mims, contending that a notice of election identifying Mike McGowan as a candidate in the Southern Region Rerun Election should be corrected by “immediate dissemination of a corrected Notice of Election for posting in all workplaces, with a directive to local unions to remove and destroy the erroneous notice and replace it with the corrected one.”  For the following reasons, the protest is DENIED. 


I.               Facts


On April 5, 1999, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (“IBT”), at the direction of the Election Officer, sent a two-part TITAN message to local unions and other IBT subordinate entities in the Southern Region.  One part of this message was headed “Notice of Rerun Election,” which announced the office that is the subject of the Southern Region Rerun Election, the date of the Election (June 10, 1999), the location of the ballot count, the cutoff date for voter eligibility, and the procedure for obtaining a ballot.  The other part of the TITAN message was captioned “Notice of Nominations and Procedure for Supplemental Nominations for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Southern Region Rerun Election” (the “Supplemental Nomination Notice”).  This notice advised the Southern Region membership that Southern Region delegates to the 1996 IBT International nominating convention would have an opportunity to nominate additional candidates for the Southern Region Rerun Election.  The Supplemental Nomination Notice stated that on April 9, 1999 the nomination ballots would be mailed to the delegates eligible to vote.  On April 6, 1999, the IBT informed the Election Office that it was sending word-processed copies of these two notices to Southern Region subordinate entities by overnight delivery.  Southern Region local unions were directed to post both notices at union halls and at worksites. 


Barbara Harvey, Esq.

April 13, 1999

Page 1


These notices were sent pursuant to a Southern Region Rerun Plan approved on April 5, 1999, by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  The text of the notices had been drafted in anticipation of the Court’s approval of a plan.  The Government, the IBT, and the three former candidates for Southern Region Vice-President in the 1996 International officer rerun election all received notice of the proposed plan.  One part of the proposed plan – which the Court approved – required former candidates who intended to participate in the Southern Region Rerun to inform the Election Office of that intent by April 5, 1999. 

The Supplemental Nomination Notice contains the following text: 


The following candidates previously nominated for Southern Region Vice-President have submitted declarations to the Election Officer of their intent to participate as candidates and, therefore, are candidates in the Southern Region Rerun Election.


Southern Region Vice President

Aaron Belk

Mike McGowan

Doug Mims


As of April 5, 1999, Aaron Belk and Doug Mims had informed the Election Office of their intent to participate in the Southern Region Rerun Election.  The Election Office had not received a declaration of intent, or other communication, from Mike McGowan.  The Supplemental Nomination Notice therefore erroneously identified Mr. McGowan as a candidate.


On April 6, 1999, representatives of Doug Mims provided the Election Office with two letters reflecting Mr. McGowan’s intent to withdraw as a candidate for Southern Region Vice-President._  In one document, a letter from Mr. McGowan to “Teamsters in the Southern Region,” Mr. McGowan expresses support for Mr. Mims’ candidacy in the Southern Region Rerun Election.  Counsel to the Election Officer spoke to Mr. McGowan by telephone on April 7, 1999 and confirmed the authenticity of the letters.


On Friday, April 9, 1999, a Supplemental Nomination ballot package was mailed to each of the Southern Region delegates eligible to nominate candidates for this regional rerun election.  The ballot packages contain a revised Supplemental Nomination Notice that correctly identifies Aaron Belk and Doug Mims as two former candidates who have submitted declarations of intent to participate in the Southern Region Rerun Election. 


Barbara Harvey, Esq.

April 13, 1999

Page 1


Under the Southern Region Rerun Plan, supplemental nomination ballots will be counted on April 23, 1999.  The roster of candidates should be finalized as of Monday, April 26, 1999, which the Southern Region Rerun Plan sets as the deadline for any newly-nominated candidates to accept nomination and for any candidate to withdraw from the contest.  The Election Officer intends to distribute, on or about April 27, 1999, a final list of the eligible candidates competing in this Southern Region Rerun Election and to direct the removal of the Supplemental Nomination Notice from all bulletin boards at that time.  The Southern Region Rerun Plan calls for ballots to be mailed to members on May 7, 1999. 


II.               Analysis and Conclusion


The protester’s main objection appears to be that, with Mr. McGowan having endorsed Mr. Mims, some members may be confused by the listing of Mr. McGowan as a candidate.  The protester’s concern is that no correction will be disseminated before the members receive their actual ballot.  While the Election Officer did list Mr. McGowan on the Supplemental Nomination Notice in error, this matter, which only affects the supplemental nomination process, does not warrant a special remedy. 


First, the listing appears in the Supplemental Nomination Notice, not in the Notice of Election.  There is nothing wrong with the Notice of Election, and there is no need for any correction to that document as the protester requests.  Taken at face value, the Supplemental Nomination Notice correctly identifies individuals who were candidates for Southern Region Vice-President.  The purpose of the Supplemental Nomination Notice is to identify candidates already nominated so that the voting delegates will know who is already competing.  The Supplemental Nomination Notice is posted in the local unions so that members will know generally that a nomination process is going on and can take the opportunity to make their views on nominations known to their delegates.  It is not, and does not purport to state, the final list of the candidates competing in the Southern Region Rerun. 


Second, the Election Officer will issue directions to remove the Supplemental Nomination Notice, and to post a list of nominated candidates, once the Supplemental Nominations are done.  Thus, there will be ample time before the ballots are mailed for all Southern Region members to become familiar with the candidate roster.  The provisional listing of Mr. McGowan in the Supplemental Nomination Notice – at a time when any of the listed candidates may later withdraw and new candidates may be nominated – is not a material error. 


Finally, Mr. McGowan himself appears to have already acted to tell the IBT membership of his intention not to run, and to support Mr. Mims, by circulating a signed letter throughout the Southern Region.  It is the candidates themselves that bear the responsibility for conveying their political message to the voters, and they appear to be doing that here.  Plainly, campaign literature can make clear to the members who the candidates are, and who is running.  The normal course of campaigning will make clear who the candidates are in this race. 


Barbara Harvey, Esq.

April 13, 1999

Page 1


Any interested party not satisfied with this determination may request a hearing before the Election Appeals Master within one (1) day of receipt of this letter.  The parties are reminded that, absent extraordinary circumstances, no party may rely upon evidence that was not presented to the Office of the Election Officer in any such appeal.  Requests for a hearing shall be made in writing and shall be served on:


Kenneth Conboy, Esq.

Latham & Watkins

885 Third Avenue, Suite 1000

New York, NY 10022

Fax (212) 751-4864


Copies of the request for hearing must be served on the parties listed above as well as upon the Election Officer, 444 N. Capitol Street NW, Suite 445, Washington, D.C. 20001, facsimile (202) 624-3525.  A copy of the protest must accompany the request for a hearing.








Michael G. Cherkasky

Election Officer

cc:              Doug Mims

Paul Alan Levy, Esq.

Patrick. J. Szymanski, Esq.

Kenneth Conboy, Esq.



Mr. Mims and Mr. McGowan had both run on the Leedham Slate in the 1996 IBT International officer rerun election.