There is only ONE Oklahoma

Friday, September 29, 2006

Ramblings during a BYE week

So the Sooners have a bye week which makes for a freed up Saturday for my normal fall routine. But here are a few random thoughts this week.

* note to T.O: While your accident was very unfortunate and probably even scary, do you think it might be time to get a new 'Publicist'?

* It doesn't matter who your are playing, but the Auburn 3rd quarter was some fine ball control football. I don't think I have ever seen a team keep the ball away from the other team for a whole quarter.

* What is up with the STL Cardinals? Melt down of the century?

* Notre Dame is a good football team, but lacks consistancy.

* Va Tech is a consistant football team, but lacks 'star power'.

* College football polls should not be allowed until the 6th week of the season (see above two lines)

* The Chase system in Nascar is still much more enjoying to watch than the old system.

* Delima note: Last Nascar season, there was a small, mostly unoticed change in the schedule that moved the fall Dega race back one week. Which now falls on the same weekend as the 'Red River Shootout'. This well be the first year since '98 that I will miss the OU/Tex game. (That CTS race at Dega better be a good one!!)

* While I love the idea that gas prices have dropped considerably, the price of Diesel has had little change. Not a pleasant thought when pulling a 36' fifth wheel 1000 or so miles to Dega next week.

* How does that coach for team 'Bye' keep his job? I don't think I have ever seen him win a game!!!

* I'll 'fall fertilize' the lawn this Saturday. Thats a scary thought as I have little knowledge of what I am doing. If the lawn turns brown this winter, I plead the fifth and blame 'Scotts weed and feed'!!!

* At lastly, Saturday Night, the camp grounds at Fall Dega is probably the best atmousphere in Nascar, second to none. College Football on the dish, Deep in the heart of SEC country where they truly understand the greatness of the game. and oh yeah, the next day is a pretty fun Nascar race as well!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Just stick your head in the sand, part IV

There have been a few 'comments' from previous blogs and I have received a few emails from the "pod people" concerning just how much money the Sadler Foundation actually raises and specifically at a recent 'Barn Party' event. Which frankly, got me thinking after the other fundraising events and what could be perceived to be a strong attempt at deception, I did a little digging.

But first, let me say that I am not doubting one bit, not one iota, that the money the Sadler Foundation raised is not used for the good of "LOCAL EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND OTHER CHARITIES" as they officially and legally claim.

I am not claiming any type of fraud or mis-use of said money either. (That can be saved for another time, if applicable) However, there does seem to be a problem with 'public claims and PR statements' of just how much money is raised and how much money is actually claimed on legal documents. And yes, this includes the now infamous, 'FIRE-SHIRT' auction and the rants that followed.

So lets take a short look at the 'Barn Party', according the 'Jayski' the Barn Party raised '$30,000'. (and I remember when 'fan appreciation days' was a free event to the Sadler fans. I guess times have changed)

Sadler Fan Club Party Raises $30,000: Elliott, Hermie and the Sadler family hosted 1,000 Sadler fans at the Sadler Barn on Thursday evening prior to the race at Richmond International Raceway. Elliott and Hermie were joined by special guests Blake Shelton and Dale Jarrett. The agenda for the evening included bologna burgers, autographs, photo opportunities, viewing of Elliott's famous hunting dogs and a concert by country music artist Blake Shelton. The Sadler Fan Club Barn Party raised over $30,000 for the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation.(Sadler PR)(9-9-2006)

Doing some quick math and a bit of speculation (the amount of time alloted for 'vip autographs), that comes up to around 200 'VIP' patrons ($50 a ticket) and 800 non 'VIP' tickets. Now on the surface this sounds like a great event for the Foundation and everyone involved. But was the $30K figure really the amount of money that the Foundation will be given the opportunity to spend as they see fit? Or is it just another 'Sadler/Griffin' ruse? The answer to that question, is something that only time, a public accountant in South Hill, Va, and Bell Sadler (treasurer of the foundation) will tell. But rest assured, people are 'watching.'

Now lets flashback a couple of years to the 'Race for Hope'. A wonderful time had by all participants in which the Sadler 'PR Machine' claimed to raise
$86,400. As seen by the 'FORD RACING QUOTES' from Fordracing.com.

"Elliott Sadler announced this week his Race for Hope charity event raised a total of $86,400. The proceeds from the May event will go to the Autism Society of America and the Victory Junction Gang Camp."

Now with the greatness of the internet (thanks Al Gore) and watch dog groups like www.guidestar.org, one can actually see what Foundations and other charity groups actually claim on their previous years 'Form 990' Federal Income Tax Forms as required by any "
501(c)(3)" charity group.

So what did the Sadler Foundation claim for their line item earmarked for the 'Race for Hope' in 2004? The answer lies on 'page 6' line item '93b' of the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation's tax returns. The actual dollar amount claimed was "$63,778". A difference of $22,622.00, and being the Accountant that I am, THIS is an un-acceptable variable percentage and general accounting practices and would never come close to getting by an auditor. While actually claiming 73% of the gross is a nice figure, the DECEPTION is abounding. Just as the 'Shirt Auction' (self admitted of only 'up to 50% by Brett), and the DECEPTIONS that can be associated with that.

So, did the 'Barn Party', really raise $30,000 for the Foundation? Maybe...Maybe not. If you choose to stick your head in the sand, go right ahead, but I for one will continue to question these claims mainly because of the source (the Spotter/PR manager) and history.

But really, you should look for yourself, and start with Guidestar.org, register, and do some soul searching yourself. I did, and we can thank Mr. Griffin for that, as he chose to ignore a few simple questions. Now the whole Sadler Family (both Elliott and Hermie are listed as president and vice-president and Bell as the treasurer) are implicated because of Brett's failures.

Is the Sadler Foundation a worthy organization? Probably so. But with a PR spoke person who is willing to deceive and dupe the public (much less the Sadler faithful) in order to make the organization and his driver 'look good' at all costs, a huge mistake is being made in terms of accountabilty

The saga continues

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It's in the Game?

So my neighbor calls me over the other day knowing that I am a Nascar fan and says, 'you gotta see this cool game I just got'. After a while watching this game and reading the coverof the game, I had some questions about the 'features' that EA Sport was claiming.

From EA's website, here are a few of their 'features'.

Key Features for Xbox® and Playstation®2

  • Drive with Confidence - Build up the all-new Momentum Meter by surviving the most dangerous situations in NASCAR racing to improve handling and increase speed.
  • Improved Car Handling - Adjust your car to handle exactly how you want with a user-friendly sliding scale for complete control behind the wheel.
  • All-New Driver Ratings - Compete against a wide range of drivers with specific attributes—from inexperienced rookies to talented veterans. Your experience on the track is different every time.
  • Double Your Winnings - Put it all on the line by wagering cash against real-world drivers. Use winnings for significant upgrades or scramble to climb out of a hole when losing big.
  • Absolute Adrenaline - Experience 190-mph intensity like never before with all-new speed effects that fully deliver the exhilarating action of NASCAR.
  • Qualify For a New Ride - Take on a new 1-on-1 time trial racing experience with driver Kenny Wallace to earn special contracts in the Fight to the Top mode.

On the surface those appear to be nice features, but looking at the 'cover driver', there are a few features that are missing.

* Where is the Mic key so I can whine to my Crew Chief about the handling of the car or to suggest chassis changes, only to come back out on the track and say 'it was better the way we started out the race'.

* Where is the frenzy of the 'fight to earn the Lucky Dog', while being deep in the field a lap down?

* Or the, 'Feel the intensity' as you battle for 20th place on the points standings?

* Where is the 'keep looking at a your watch' as you attend autograph sessions, because you would rather be at a Strip Joint then seeing your fans in 2 and 3X Tshirts!

* While EA was close about the 'double your earnings', they did miss out of the 'raise money by holding Auctions and Fan Days' and parley that into another fun filled weekend in Las Vegas!

* Sign long term contracts with your owner, only to break them in mid seasons. All the while conspiring with the media in order to cover up your real intentions.

* Drive lap after lap, only to tell your Crew Chief that a 'two tire' stop is the only way to pass cars ahead of you.

* Talk to the media about 'how well the car was that last 50 laps' of a 500 lap race and how the car as a 'top 10 car' then, even though you finished a lap down and in 27th.

* Spend months of 'planning' and learning the art of Stage Diving only to risk your career by slipping and falling face first off the stage.

* Set up My-Space accounts, and watch your 'Hoochie Mama friends' grow, although the catch is you have to monitor this account daily in order to keep it 'Family oriented'. Only later to have to set up other 'alias accounts' to protect your image!

* Hang out in a drunken stuper at Lake Norman during non race weekends.

While EA Sports tried, in order for this game to actually fit it's cover driver, it needs a little more work in the 'realism' department! ;)

back to a few more 'serious' stuff in a couple of days.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

After Further Review, It still smells like a Duck

So late Monday afternoon the Pac 10 Conference, officially released their statment and even an Apology to the University of Oklahoma. For a few hours I was delighted to see that the Pac 10 was at the very least, willing to admit to such gross errors of officiating on what they called "a game altering play". But then other 'reports' and interviews began to surface which are very disburbing.

The replay official is now claiming that even with all the cameras working the game that one half of the country was watching, Riese saw only a single frame of video and the angle was "bad". This is a direct contradiction of the Pac 10 commisioner's apology to Oklahoma where he says,

"Further, the instant replay official is limited to the views of any play which is made available and must make a timely decision, although on the kickoff play ample views were available"

Houston, we have a problem. But wait, There is still more to this story.

The official on the field said that "After review, there is conclusive video evidence that the ball was touched by a receiving team player, which makes the ball live."

A 'video review' is not a review of a snapshot in time. One frame, by definition, is inconclusive at the very least. This is big time College Football, not Pop Warner. One only has to look at the home team of the game in question and their largest booster (Nike) to understand this.

Also there has been the 'time constrant' excuse thrown out there as well for replay review. That simply is not true according to the Pac 10's replay FAQ:

Q. Is there a time limit on how long a play can be reviewed?
A. No.

Now the replay official, is willing to talk about his stress level, high blood pressure, and even a 'death threat', in order to gain some sort of sympathy, and I understand why he would feel this way after such a gross error. However, Unlike the 18 and 19 year old player who just minutes after games will field question after question in order to explain his actions and even MISTAKES on the playing field. This replay official will now hide behind the vail of secrecy and will not talk about specifics on the call, but will pass the buck and say, "My supervisor knows what happened up there and that's all that matters."

Lets not publicly speak out of convenience here, and your commisioner does not agree with you. The travasty here is not a missed call by the officals on the field. They are human and errors will be made. The travesty now seems to be that people who were ultimately repsonsible for the REPLAY SYSTEM to work properly, failed miserably.

What is the point of having replay in the first place then?

The outcome of the fiasco can NEVER be changed, but the more people speak about this publicly, the more it smells. I am not falling for the 'gunman behing the picket fence" theory just yet, but it is terrible that such a cloud hangs over the outcome of this haunt BOTH Universities, and more importantly the players who gave every effort they possibly could in order to achieve their goal. It is just too bad that the officials responsible to insure the fairist contest didn't feel the same way.

This isn’t about the game played in Orergon last Saturday and laying BLAME on one individual specifically. This isn’t about the 2006 season. This isn’t even about OU. This is about the credibility of College Football and its falling reputation. This isn't the WWE. I can handle losing a game against the any team, but does the sport we love have to suffer in the process?! Duck fans, this is your loss too, Pac 10 fans, this is your loss too, College Football fans, this is your loss too!

The more information that comes out each day about this, the more it smells.

Addendum (5:18 09/19/06)

This is from the WEBSITE that supplies both the Pac 10 and the Big 12 their 'replay equipment'.

"Also, we set up a recording device so they can later review the reviewers (watch the clips they watched so they can see how the monitors came to their decision)"

If I am this replay official, and what he has said is true. Then I would be demanding that these tapes be made public or at the very least, reviewed by BOTH universities and let them make public statements.

and that way there is no doubt or it truly was 'clitch', and no need for this guys

Monday, September 18, 2006


I have reserved waiting to post concerning my thoughts on the OU/Oregon fiasco until the Pac 10 "officially" responds to their replay decisions, which they have said they will do sometime on Tuesday. Before passing any judgement, I feel they have a right to tell their side of the story first.

more to come on this subject.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Just stick your head in the sand part III

I have come under a bit of fire by some of the POD PEOPLE and one aspect of blogs like these should be made very clear. I, in no way think that giving to Charities or donating money to charities is a bad thing. There are thousands of great charities out there, and I would include the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation as one of them. However, I will question the motives of people who have a history of deception when it comes to raising money under the ruse of 'charity' and using that ruse in order to make their public persona 'look good.' As this story developed and continues to develope today, I have seen many problems that the "Southern Gentleman's" Manager and the way he feels that he can simply ignore legitimate and legal questions that are directed to him. After all, it is his job, if he doesn't want the resposibility of it, he should stay on the spotter's stand.

The reason why this has been divided into multiple parts is because of the amount of information (all over a $820 auction) that fact alone speaks volumes.

From what we have seen in part one and part two of this rant, we have indeed seen that because of the way this auction was handled from the very beginning, there were 'issues'. Even though Brett would not admit it, the problems stand out from each 'official' response.

Numerous emails I have received, let me know that I was not the only one asking questions about the auction to first the SFCWebmaster, then the Sean (yes, I understand that is one in the same), and lastly to Brett. To date, not one person got a response to any of the questions asked, only vague spin. To compound this spin, we had to deal with the 'multiple' personality of "Sean", just what is he? I send an Email to him, and he says I should send it to the Webmaster, I send it to the Webmaster, yet Sean responds. WE know Sean is the "Goatfish", but is he also the Webmaster? He sure seems to have that moniker today.

In part II, I showed my very lengthy "information request" email sent directly to the person(s) who I was told to divert these questions to in the first place, and in accordance with Federal Statue section 6104(e) of the Internal Revenue Code, and the Federal Trade Commissions guidelines, something I had a legal right to do. Within just a few short hours, I receive this response. (Note, I did "*" out some personal information even though that is pretty much public knowledge to many as well)

From: Brett Griffin
To: ***********@yahoo.com
Cc: Sean Watts ; t*****@sadlerbrosoil.com
Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2006 1:07 PM


Can you please provide me with your phone number so we can chat about your concerns with the online auction?


Brett Griffin
Elliott Sadler Enterprises, Inc.
**** ***** ***** ****
******, ** *****

O: (704) 48*-****
F: (704) 48*-****

Now Brett 'wants to chat'? That chance has long gone either by a public post on the SFC Board, or via EZmail, or even direct email. Section 6104(e) does not refer to any need for a phone call, in fact it specifies that when such requests are made, that the information requested should be made in writting.

A day later I see another email from Brett:


I had hoped you would respond to my Email. First and foremost you should know that Elliott's foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various charities. In addition, this particular auction will yield at least 50% of the sale to the foundation. The total amount will be determined based upon several other variables. You should also know that I contribute to the foundation every year. I would like to speak with you regarding your Emails and posts when you have a chance. Please provide your contact information.

Thank you,

Brett Griffin

Before I get to my response to this email, lets break down the "Brett Spin'.

**"First and foremost you should know that Elliott's foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various charities."

Wasn't this the whole purpose of the information email, to actually understand some specifics and not some broad statement?

**"This particular auction will yield at least 50% of the sale to the foundation."

So now we are 'up' to 'at least 50%' from a 'portion', that’s progress in the making. But shouldn't the question be asked? Just what was the reason for the Sadler Fan Club, and Driver's Choice Motorsports Marketing felt the need to make a profit of $410 off this auction? According to the Better Business Bureau, they measure the effectiveness of a third party solicitor/fundraiser (in this case, Driver's Choice Motosports Marketing Group) as that the TOTAL FUND RAISING expenses, should not be over 35% of the TOTAL RELATED CONTRIBUTION. Brett's 'up to 50%' comment according the BBB fails as an 'effective and honest' 3rd party fundraiser.

**"The total amount will be determined based upon several other variables."

WHAT VARIABLES????? The FACT that the action was for $820? The FACT that SEAN 'hand delivered' the shirt to the winner personally at a distance less than a 20 mile round trip? (.35 cents a mile, you do the math)
$820 auction price
-$410 of the 'up to 50%'
- $7.80 (.39 cents a mile times 20 miles for the 'delivery fee')
-24.60 (eBay auction fee at 3%)
= $377.60
JUST WHAT OTHER VARIABLES? Again Brett, we are talking chump change here and the Transaction from the buyer and seller had taken place over a month prior.

**"You should also know that I contribute to the foundation every year."

While that is nice Brett, that is a non-issue and had you simply answered the questions asked by me, you would have known that this fact would or would not have been disclosed. Frankly, this is just a simpleton's attempt to deflect the issue at hand. Lastly Brett, would you have blindly donated any amount of money to a charity without first asking questions first?

Remember previous emails directly from Brett concerning other questions about the Foundation? And his answer of "We are in the process of forming a web site for the foundation."

THIS is the FOUNDATION'S web site in it's same form (under construction) and has not changed since at least before March when I started this type of searching. As you can see the 'links' are dead or at the very least pointing back to SFC. Just another example of the empty 'Brett' promises, and something that convinced me to search more deeply into the "Southern Gentleman's" dealings.

Now for my last response to Brett's spin and deflection emails less than 24 hours after his last:


At this point a casual conversation is neither necessary nor warranted. There have been ample opportunities to respond to questions via the Forum or the Forum Email and unfortunately that time has come and gone. Nothing asked in the formal request should require clarification or speculation and accordance with State and Federal Statutes, response should also be in writing.

Your response is pending

It doesn't get much more clearer than that, and for some 'marketing major', I'm thinking the University of South Carolina is not proud of their graduate at this point.

Brett's final response, and his ignorance of the situation is amazing. He really thinks that we as 'fans' should just stick our collective heads in the sand and believe what ever he or Elliott says, no matter how stupid it sounds.

Thank you for the timely response and we hope you are interested in future auctions relating to Elliott Sadler items. We have a fan club event planned in May and those proceeds will also benefit his foundation. Have a good week and maybe in the future your questions will be directed to the proper person(s) sooner in your process of questions. The message board was not intended for such questions and that's where you ran into problems.


Time for another 'breakdown'.

**"We hope you are interested in future auctions relating to Elliott Sadler items."

Have I not said this since day one, and tried to get more information BECAUSE I may have been interested in future auctions? But Brett and his cronies have stonewalled any attempt to understand more about the Sadler foundation, and the way they choose to raise funds and just who 'profits' from them?

**"We have a fan club event planned in May and those proceeds will also benefit his foundation."

Again, no specifics, jsut what percentage of 'proceeds' are you talking aobut Brett?. There is nothing wrong with this, with one exception; this event was not advertised as a 'Foundation fund raiser'. Why bring it up as one now?

**"Have a good week and maybe in the future your questions will be directed to the proper person(s) sooner in your process of questions."

Brett!!!! If you are not the 'proper' person(s), than who is? For years you have been the PR spokesman for both Elliott and the Sadler Foundation. Heck, you have even left your same email as the 'contact' as far back as 2001 for 'Foundation events'.

**"The message board was not intended for such questions and that's where you ran into problems."

However, the 'message board' WAS intended to publicly advertise this sale. Had I only voiced these questions, on your message board, Brett, you may have had a point, but we know now that is simply not the case. The only problem is your continual deception and spin in something that just doesn't seem right.

My final response to Brett:

From your generic and vague response it appears that you are refusing to comply with a specific legal request of written information. Your nonchalant attitude in this matter and failure to comply has left little choice but to escalate this when the deadline for such requests pass, as the protocol in matters like this is very specific. It is very unfortunate that this has come to that.

Your response is still pending

What Brett doesn't seem to understand is that Federal Law is very precise in matters like this. He had 30 days to respond and in my opinion, failed to even come close to doing that.

Thus there was little choice but to take further action. Some of that 'action' I was told I might never really know just what the 'authorities' did once I filed the paperwork for the complaint, or if there were any penalties issued, and honestly that was never my intentions. (That’s the way the Attorney General works in most states) I just want the Sadler's to do things right, and not deceive.

From the BBB and this is very appropriate:

Organizations that comply with these accountability standards have provided documentation that they meet basic standards:

* In how they govern their organization,
* In the ways they spend their money,
* In the truthfulness of their representations, and
* In their willingness to disclose basic information to the public.

Ever wonder why when you go to the Sadler Fan Club website and scroll down about 3/4 of this page ?
You will see this hotlink:
"* Own a piece of Elliott's Daytona Win
Bid on Elliott's Ebay item of the week."
Click on the link and you get this
"404 Object Not Found"
Just another attempt to sweep this under the carpet.

Lastly, a few emails and comments got me thinking about that Sadler’s 'public' claims of just how much actual money they raise and how much they actually claim legally for their events. (Thanks to the '$30,000 comment from the Barn Party) Part IV will discuss 'issues' with 'charity claims', based on press releases, and Tax information. And to think, all if this skeptism over a $820 auction and STILL no answer to a few very simple questions.

To be continued...........

Stay "Classy" Buckeye fans

Just a quick note from the world of college football. What is up with tOSU fans?

I remember last year during the Red River Shootout, hearing the horror stories from the Longhorn faithful who made the trip up to Columbus earlier in the season. I even saw first hand some of the 'evidence' of their stories, such as, 'keyed' Motor-coaches, partially burnt Texas Longhorn flags, where some Buckeye fans actually climbed up on top of a motor-coach, and set fire to the Texas Alum's spirit flag.

Is there just something in the water up near the Great Lakes that makes people feel the need to destroy stuff after a sports team's win or loss?

So after 17 arrests and a reported '35 to 40' fires, a Columbus Police spokes person was quoted in saying, ""This happens on big games, so we were prepared for it". Sorry, it maybe a 'regular' thing in Columbus, but no where else. Note to tOSU fans, at the very least, act like you have "been there" before. This didn't happen in Austin any last year, or even in Norman in 2000. But the again, those two schools don't honor actions like this either.

I'm up for a good, ole-fashioned riot after a 'week two' REGULAR season win. Who's with me?!?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Just stick your head in the sand part II

So in part one of the multi part rant, we saw the 'public' defleption and even attempt to cover up legitimate questions concerning the imfamous auction. From ignored questions, to locked threads.

So there was little choice but to contact the Spin Master directly and ask the questions that needed to be asked. After just a little research of Foundations, 3rd party charity fund raising, and even Virginia State Law, the following email was sent to WEBMASTER of the Sadler Fan Club as per Brett's instructions.

The following email was sent on Tue, 21 Mar 2006:


There are always easy ways to do things, and there are hard ways. Your decision to ignore and deflect attention to questions posted and via email have left no other choice but to pursue the matter further concerning the Ebay auction of item 8770898404 and its anomalies. The questions previously asked were not abnormal questions and in fact came from a Federal Trade Commission’s report concerning their warnings of potential charity scams by third parties.

Concerning the auction itself.

Pursuant to Ebay policy with items where a portion of the proceeds will go directly to a charitable organization and pursuant to Virginia State Law, the following questions are posed.
1) Since we all now know the final selling price the item ($820) what is the exact ‘portion’ of this amount going to the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation? I site Ebay’s policy and guidelines concerning fundraising:
Guidelines for non-eBay Giving Works charity listings
Sellers may only list items for charity without eBay Giving Works if they:
· Are soliciting on behalf of recognized tax-deductible charitable organizations (for example, 501(c)(3) status or equivalent with the IRS).
· Receive advance written consent for the solicitation from the benefiting nonprofit.

To verify you received permission, you must include a scanned copy of the consent in your listing. It must appear with the nonprofit’s letterhead, signed by an officer and include the nonprofit’s tax-deductibility status as well as your name or eBay User ID, dates of event/listings, and donation amount (percentage of the final sale price).

2) Because the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation is a registered 501(c) 3 organization with a NTEE Code of T-30, what did you as the seller place as the ‘reasonable value’ of the item 8770898404 before the auction was made public?

3) “Shill bidding” is a very serious crime, especially in the Sports Memorabilia Industry and has been prosecuted by State Attorney Generals on numerous occasions. The identity of bidder ID “spotter38” has been traced and connected to the seller’s ID. This is a blatant and obvious violation of Ebay policy as well as Federal law. Are you prepared to compensate the amounts shill bided to the eventual winner of the auction? This becomes a credibility issue and buyer confidence issue and something that should not be taken lightly.

4) Virginia State Law requires that all "Charitable sales promotions" (see § 57-48. Definitions of Virginia State Code) and a “Commercial co-venturer” (in this case “Driver’s Sports Motorsports Marketing”) that contract and agreement information is to be filed and become public record to the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of the State of Virginia. Has this been completed? And what is the official IRS status of “Driver’s Sports Motorsports Marketing”? (a Sole Proprietor, Partnership, Limited Liability Company/Partnership (LLC/LLP), Corporation, Subchapter S Corporation)

Concerning the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation

It was previously asked and ignored (in spite of the remark concerning 'fan support') concerning the Mission Statement, the Foundation’s 501(c)3 status, and other serious and legal questions, the following is formally being asked to be made available.

1) A list of the Board of Directors or officials and their contact information and future scheduled meeting dates.
2) The Foundation’s Mission Statement and the specific programs the foundation has supported in the past 3 fiscal years
3) As pursuant to Federal Statue section 6104(e) of the Internal Revenue Code, please provide the most recent ‘Form 990’ including the Schedule “A” attachment along with any other supporting documentation for the past three years filed, specific disclosure of support documentation of line ‘14 of the Form 990’. This will also be asked after the filing deadline of May 15, 2006 for the 2005 taxable year, if not included in this request.
4) A copy of the Foundation’s latest annual report.
If the requested information can’t be returned electronically, a physical address of an organization/watchdog group that monitors activities such as this will be provided.
It is unfortunate that because of the actions of the powers that be this had to come to such an extreme situation. In this day an age with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which is the vehicle, state governments are holding even nonprofits to higher accounting standards. Compounding the fact that this is not the first time this foundation has benefited from Ebay Auctions over the past 3 years, it appears that you simply are wanting potential bidders/buyers of items offered by Driver’s Sports Motorsports Marketing to simply take your word and turn a blind eye to potential legal issues and implications that may arise. It is foolish to donate any amount of money or bid on a charity item without having questions directly answered in a forth coming and open manner. Not only have you failed to do this, you have opened up possible suspicion and skepticism of the motives of Driver’s Sports Motorsports Marketing as a whole.
In accordance with Federal Statue section 6104(e) of the Internal Revenue Code, and the Federal Trade Commissions guidelines, your response is pending.

Thank you for your time.

While on the surface this lengthly information request might seem un-needed, but when people use the ruse of 'a portion while go to charity' in order to profit from it, then questions like this will be asked. What is sad, is that I know that the Sadler's don't need the money, and neither does Brett, and we are only talking about a few hundred dollars. And the majority of the questions I asked, with just a little research, I already knew the answers, (for instance, electronic copies of the Foundations Federal tax forms, the Form 990 are public record) the real test was to see if Brett would answer them. Brett's direct response speaks volumes.

To be continued......

Monday, September 04, 2006

“Just stick your head in the sand”

A few weeks ago, I wrote a rant concerning the inconsistent off-track antics of the ‘Southern Gentleman’, Elliott Sadler. This has sparked much debate and even ‘hate mail’ my way, so maybe it is time to set the record straight. There was a common theme with the negative comments and hate mail, and that was one of ‘who are you to judge’. That answer is simple, I am one to judge because I live in a country that allows me to do so. More importantly, as I have seen the inconstant nature of the way the ‘Southern Gentleman’ has handled his off-track persona for 8+ years now. That is something that not one of the email flamers can say, in fact one such flamer’s comments from Austin only validates my feeling. She commented that I must have ‘been some sort of insider’, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. For those who knew me over the past 8 years would know that I was just a fan of Sadler, I didn’t think he was ‘soooo cute’, and could have cared less about the plethora of ‘drool photos’ that would spring up on the fan club site on an almost daily basis. Simply put, I was a fan of the on-track Sadler, nothing more, nothing less.

But after a few years, one can begin to see through the facade of the “Southern Gentleman’s” motive and just how he considers a ‘fan’, a fan as long as he/she is a paying customer. I first noticed this with the very late change of 'Sadler fan day' even after phone calls were made in order for fans who live far away could make travel arrangements, this was simply a lack of consideration. I have been told that I have ‘an axe to grind’, when actually I am simply exposing the truth. You may choose to bury your head in the sand, (I did it for quite some time), but I refuse to do it any longer. I wish the ‘Southern Gentleman’ all the best on the track, but the buck has to stop somewhere. More impotantly, this is not a commentary of Sadler Fans, but naiveness should no longer be an excuse.

That being said, lets begin with a newer Sadler fan from Austin and her comments concerning the ‘auction’, and what I should do or have done about it.
She wrote:

“The last time I checked, a Business Manager is an individual who manages business so the driver doesn’t have to. If you have a beef with his Manager about a flaky shirt auction – take it up with the manager, and if you have proof of an illegal act – notify the proper authorities who can resolve such an issue. The general public is not the proper authority (unless you have an alternate agenda)!”

No agenda here, other than telling the truth, something that the Southern Gentleman and his handlers have issues with. Susan recommended that I:

1) Take up ‘my beef’ with his manager. CHECK
2) ‘Notify’ the proper authorities CHECK

Like any shaky deal, yes Susan, the general public does need to know what goes on behind close doors in Emporia, its called accountability and checks and balances. This multi part rant will tell a side of the story and just why it was questioned in the first place, and the responses from Sadler’s handlers.

Mistake number 1:
Ebay item is publicly advertised on both the SFC forum and SFC website. While that is not a major problem, the problem is the person who first posted this on the SFC Forum. The new webmaster/moderator used his own “personal” ID without notifying his true identity. “NCSW1” raised many eyebrows to begin with, as the general public had no clue who he was at the time. His responses to these questions from posters.

Registered User
Posts: 8
(2/23/06 10:35 pm)
New Post Re: Ebay item from Daytona yes, some of it is going to charity. This is our first one so we have not figured out everything yet. I am hopefully going to get word tomm on the actual % that is going and whatnot and will update it as soon as I can.

Registered User
Posts: 9
(2/24/06 8:49 am)
New Post Re: Ebay item from Daytona Yes, this is my regular account on the message boards. I am helping with the website and other things and I am also doing the ebay item. A portion of the amount will go to Elliott's Charity

Note the obligatory ‘a portion will go to Elliott’s charity’ and ‘we have not figured everything out yet’. More importantly, this whole mess could have been squelched had Sean simply followed through with his claim of “get word tomm on the actual % that is going and whatnot”. But as we will see, that will never happen.

My direct response to Sean’s posts after repeated questions of the actual percentages going to the Foundation had been ignored.

(3/16/06 9:30 am)
“The reason why I asked these questions is that because of where I live and have been living since Aug, “charity fraud” is a sore subject. The original question was asked by others, and the Webmaster responded vaguely with “yes, some of it is going to charity” and “hopefully going to get word tomorrow on the actual % that is going and what not and will update it as soon as I can.”. That word appears to have never been conveyed.

Considering this is not the first time there has been problems with Sadler items being auctioned on Ebay by official representatives/employees of Elliott, and that this particular item did not follow numerous Ebay guidelines (charitable donations, shill bidding), fuels some of the skepticism I maybe having and know more about just wsince there are plans for more of these items that I might be interested in, I would like tohere more “charitable donation” goes, and what programs that Foundation sponsors. Those are basic questions someone might be asked when the ruse of charity is given.

I certainly would not donate the amount of money that item was auctioned for, to anyone or anything if I did not fully understand where and how much of that money is going. To not understand this fully is foolish. After seeing first hand how some have taken advantage of Hurricane Katrina victims, questioning this in the same public forum that the item was solicited in the first place is not unreasonable or out of line. Trying to understand more about the Foundation and its Trustees is more of a legal matter depending on where one lives and IRS deductions. Before I would feel comfortable bidding on any future items as I’m guessing since I’m a fan of the Sadlers I would have some interest in bidding on them, I’d like some answers to questions being posed. If everything is on the up and up, it shouldn’t be a big deal.

Had I been bidding on this item and later found out that someone directly involved with the selling of this item was also shill bidding to drive up the price, I would have major problems with it. I am sure the winner of the item feels foolish that they had been duped into winning an item that had been shill bided.”

So what do we think the “Southern Gentleman’s handler’s” answer was?

Thread locked, closed and edited
*EDIT* If you have any questions regarding the foundations, do not post them on the message board. Please contact the webmaster.

Thank you

Edited by: SFC Webmaster at: 3/17/06 3:58 pm

"POOF', like it never happened, like sweeping the dirt under the carpet.

Now if that is not an interesting way to handle things and one that would raise suspicion, I don’t know what is. The “Southern Gentleman’s” handlers want to use the forum as a vehicle to promote their auction, but when questions come up that they clearly want to avoid, now the message board is not the place to ask them. Fair enough, it is off to email the SFC Webmaster:

email by ****** to SFC webmaster (March 17th, 2006)
My questions were on the thread that was edited and that were not answered before. I really don't understand the aloofness of all of this, as the actions only seem to fuel any skeptism one might have. I was simply using the very forum that you used to promote the item, I cannot think of a more appropriate place to ask them. The questions that not only I asked but others did as well are not uncommon questions when 'donations' are being made.

The more specific questions I asked basically came directly from the Federal Trade Commission warnings concerning charity donations and I mainly did it because promises of more information were made, but as far as I could tell, not followed through.

I am not trying to be a jerk about this, but like I said, from the outside, this auction has numerous anomalies. Since you stated that there would be more of this auctions and I am interested in bidding on such items, these questions are not abnormal. Let I said, I would like to have a good conscious in knowing where and how much of my donation dollars are going to.

Feel free to answer the questions on the edited thread and if you cannot pull them up because they were edited, I can re-submit them.

Thanks for your time

Again, all that is asked here are answers to a few simple questions.

So now the PR/Spotter gets into to act as obviously Sean is overwhelmed by accountability.

Response for Brett Griffin (via SFC webmaster) march 18th

I am sending you some information:

A portion of the proceeds from all of the online auctions pertaining to Elliott's memorabilia utilized under the name DriversChoice38 will be given to the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation. If you are a supporter of Elliott and Hermie then you know what the foundation supports. We are in the process of forming a web site for the foundation. These items will be offered as very unique items and the winning bid will receive the item(s). This is the FIRST auction on ebay that any of Elliott's representatives have managed and we have not had any problems! Drivers Choice is a motorsports marketing company and will pay the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation a portion of the proceeds. Thank you for your interest.

Brett Griffin
Business Manager, Elliott Sadler Enterprises

Thank you,


Call my crazy, but Brett states this is their first auction (it maybe Brett’s first auction, but not the first time there have been issues with other auctions by Sadler PR people). He also mentions ‘DriversChoice’ and by doing that has now indirectly implicated Dale Jarrett (a partner in Driver’s Choice Motorsports Marketing Group). Then there is the “. If you are a supporter of Elliott and Hermie then you know what the foundation supports.” Statement. This just goes to show how out of touch Brett is with Sadler’s fans, as there have been people who came over from RYR and still really don’t have an earthly idea what the darn foundation does and further more, was this auction only limited to 'Sadler Fans'? Sure we get bits and pieces of info now and then pertaining to Hermie’s Daughter, but the days of helping the Faison School for Autism are long gone as well as the "Race for Hope".

And lastly, we see Brett’s first attempt to deflect and ignore the questions at hand with the claim “we have not had any problems”. Just the questions alone by multiple people addressed at him, is in indication of said problems.

Also, what is very important to note, is that the auction had ended over 2 weeks prior and the winner of the auction had already made the exchange of $820 at a private meeting with Sean at the Mooresville Cracker-barrel on March 13th. Since this transaction was completed, why would there be any problems of knowing the exact percentages of the $820 going to the Foundation? It is really not a hard question to answer, and one that ANY charitable marketing group should be expected to by asked of them.

I’ll stop here, and next week I’ll submit the direct email exchange from the “Southern Gentleman’s” Spotter/PR person and the actions that followed.

to be continued............