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RE: Pancake Breakfasts - Boy I'm hungry

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This is the last post for me, I guess people stop seeing the point after
a while.

I have no proof of Stan doing anything illegal or unethical. I don't
think I ever said that, I just said I don't like it, and wouldn't
advocate that method of "Networking". It has the appearance of something
that could easily be abused. It's called political favoritism.

It's different. Raising money for someone to gain them influence in
society (in this case, get them into office) and doing so representing a
company, not a joe shmo American, creates a situation where the
benefiting party (the candidate) feels grateful or indebted for the
help. Without specifically cutting any deals before an election, it's is
implied or understood that someday down the road, you will be rewarded
for your efforts. The elected official has no obligation to return the
gesture, but why wouldn't he do something to give his guy an edge over
say someone who voted/supported for the other candidate. Soliciting your
employees to "voluntarily" give to the campaign fund is shady to me. If
I don't will we not a project and I will lose my job??? 

So, if I run for mayor of Santa Clara, CA... and Stan Caldwell, raises
50 grand for me to win the election... when the new police station needs
to get built, who am I going to "lean heavily toward" and tell my staff
to "strongly consider"... Those people are pressured to make Mayor
Madden happy, who is trying to help his "supporter" for his 50 grand
fundraiser It's a cycle that most likely doesn't create the best
situation for the public, whose money is being spent. Perhaps someone
with more qualifications or a better design, is passed over to make the
elected official happy.

Now, if Stan would do this on his own as Stan Caldwell, Texan, without
the backing of his firm (unless it's a not-for profit engineering firm
(ummm...), I have no problem with that.

Usually, RFP's are the ways government agencies go about selecting a
qualified design team. 

The same people bitching about Unions influencing politics are praising
stan, who is simply doing the same thing. Are engineers better than
union workers??? I don't think so. The goal is to get someone in office
who best represents your beliefs, do it as an American, not a
corporation. That's being a citizen, not an engineering marketing
man/woman.

-gerard
Santa Clara, CA 

-----Original Message-----
From: Effland, Greg [mailto:geeffland(--nospam--at)butlermfg.com] 
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2003 3:44 PM
To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
Subject: RE: Pancake Breakfasts - Boy I'm hungry

As indicated in many posts I don't think that anything has been proven
to be
illegal or immoral from Stan's actions.

A few questions for those that have jumped Stan for this supposed
action.

1) Is this (pancake breakfast) any different than introducing himself to
a
potential client?  Other than the obvious expenditure of say maybe the
small
cost of the breakfast.  Wow I had better watch out if I buy someone a
lunch??? Is McDonalds ok but AppleBees not... just where is that line
at?
What if the pancake breakfast offered frozen waffles in Stan's backyard?

2) If anyone is naive enough to think that at some level they don't
participate in such events then they had better look in a mirror...

Here are some examples of how "human interaction" can influence future
decisions:

	Example 1: Ever get work done by a friend or past acquaintance
because you knew them and thought you could trust them?  Car work,
computer
work, etc.

	Example 2: Ever go back to a good restaurant because they had
good
food or service?  Was their nice food or attitude immoral because they
were
trying to entice you back for future services or more money (tip)?  Ever
tip
a waiter/waitress because they provide good service?

	Example 3: Ever talk to someone hoping they would talk back.
Was
that enticing them to so that they would talk back to you?

	Example 4: Ever advertise some thing for sale or services
available
from your business?  Is this not a method of direct solicitation? 

	Example 5: Did you ever send an e-mail soliciting/expecting a
response?  

In my mind what Stan did do was :
	1) introduce himself to other people that at some time in the
future
may need services that Stan can provide.
	2) Give himself a chance a getting that work soley because
someone
knew he could do that work...  Ever have a stranger just walk up to you
on
the street and offer you money to provide a structural design??? doubt
it...
Why?  Because they don't know you can provide that service...

What he did NOT DO:
	1) Automatically get the next job that official has his hands in
	2) Solicit any illegal activity
	3) Offer any services that he was not qualified to perform.
	4) Did not offer any money to the individuals... At least as far
as
I know he didn't give them a breakfast and a check for $xx dollars to
insure
future work.

Wow, if introducing myself to a potential client (even if I don't know
they
could be a potential client) is immoral then I am in trouble.  I guess
the
moral people must be the ones that walk around with their head down
ignoring
everyone so they don't accidentally meet a potential client.  Are these
the
same ones that cut you off on the highway so that you won't think they
are
just being nice to solicit work?  Won't lend you a nickel at lunch time
because that could be seen as favoritism... etc..

Last but not least I would like to thank Stan for voicing his opinion
and
not regurgitating it a thousand times (don't think I have seen any reply
e-mails to this topic from him in a while).

My *personal* view,
Greg Effland, P.E.
KC MO

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