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New 33 Year History?

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Old 03-04-2005, 02:18 AM
  #1  
Hossfly
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Default New 33 Year History?

So you think the AMA DVD is the biggest joke AMA has pulled on you? Not really. IMO, about the biggest joke on the AMA membership is the entire program of the magazine Model Aviation.

What brings this about? I have always saved magazines. While in Buffalo Gv. IL for many years, I accumulated a bunch. FM, MAN, Scale RC , MB, MA, RCM, and a number of foreign mags along with many Air Classics, Air Progress, WarBirds, and several others of the times. Then a bad Spring thaw and many flooded basements -- one being mine -- I lost many magazines. Then in 1982 I lost more when most of my personal stuff was moved into storage for some 3 years. In '85 I returned to the Republic and lost some more. In 2001 I moved into current quarters and disposed of more. Now I'm finally getting into unpacking some remaining boxes in the barn, and I found a number of old mags that I thought were long gone. Some of the RCM stuff, in their battles against AMA, bears note for background to you that have been in this organization for a short time of 20 years or less.

I only had a few RCMs remaining and they are now all gone except 2. The November 1972 RCM had 9 columns in the late Don Dewy's editorial reference the AMA and their publication choices. It is very interesting, well displaying that AMA internal politics and personal care-taking is nothing new. In a very short overview, AMA was hoping to have 45,000 members in the coming year. AMA made a deal with Potomac Aviation publications (American Aircraft Modeler) to host the AMA's 8 pages of AMA News each month for some $160,000.00 per year. As Dewy termed it, AAM's publisher Ed Sweeney was a "friend of the family", actually a friend of J. Worth.

NOW HEAR THIS: AMA chose that route and had to levy a 50% dues increase that next year to support the AAM deal. Prior to that selection both RCM and MAN had offered AMA -- Pres. Johnny Clemens / Executive Director John Worth -- that EACH WOULD HOST THE AMA NEWS SECTION FREE OF CHARGE. At that time AMA with some 40,000+ members would be represented in both RCM -- 75,000 circulation and Model Airplane News with 80,000 circulation. AMA turned it down.
Of note is that back then MAN was an ALL-DISCIPLINE magazine.

Oh, BTW, this issue of RCM had both the AMA's '72 Glenview NATs and the 1972 Soaring NATs, all bringing attention of AMA activities to those outside the choir.

Now I also found an old RCM, June 1975. Here the flack was about AMA starting up its own publication. Here Dewey applied another 8 columns -- small print -- to that application. Again, there were a number of economic areas discussed by Dewey along with 3 other prominent RC Leaders of the day. Again AMA ignored everything other than the wants of the few.

You can see that sorting old magazines is very time consuming for me. I find them most delightful to review through.

In 1979 through 1981 and into 1982, I sat on that council and fought against mandatory magazine subscriptions. Unfortunately at my first EC meeting, I learned that the EC was then simply a rubber stamp for the ED. There was a new AMA President then, the late Earl Witt. Earl really wanted to do a good job, and worked hard. He made some changes that someone else always received credit for. Earl laid the groundwork for getting AMA out of the DC red-light district. We had no computers back then and times were, shall I say "Battle Stations, This is no drill." [X(] Yet, the mandatory magazine continued. Of course it was destined to become so profitable that member dues would be almost nothing! Ha!
The ED fought long, hard and rather successfully to maintain his dictatorship.

In the last 20 years the politics have not really changed, just as life in general, they are more technologically advanced. There is little change other than the size of the bureaucracy, along with the resulting clamps on the freedoms we once enjoyed at our club level. Like our so-called 'free country', Big Brother can pretty well run over the majority of the stable working classes, and the AMA hierarchy will go on its merry way, making rules and ignoring the membership. I am wondering where AMA's overall decrease in membership while increasing spending will finally meet face to face.

The magazine is costing you almost as much as your insurance, yet that is never mentioned by AMA, in fact just the opposite. The magazine could very well do as it was originally purported to be intended and that is to be an income producer and profit center. I fully predict that no such changes will be forthcoming unless YOU members turn to page 149 of your March 2005 MA and initiate action to make changes. Four more changes at EC level could well make a difference. What are you waiting for? If you don't, then the joke will continue to be on YOU.[>:]

edit: Here vice hear. Must be getting old!
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Old 03-04-2005, 06:35 AM
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Default RE: New 33 Year History?

One heck of an interesting piece. It seems like the AMA has been involved with the good ole boys attitude for quite some time. Sounds a lot like what has happened at the IMAA also.

One thing I have noticed about R/C. Some people take this as more of a lifestyle than a hobby. I never really understood why people seem to crave power. I was VP of our club for a short period of time, and witnessed a hostile take over of the club by the Land owner/ club member because he was losing his grip or what you might say was behind the seens control over how the club was run.

Everyone in the club knew including myself that he really ran the club reguardless of what he said. The board nor the elected officials really had any say about anything, we really were a puppet government. In a very lose sence of the word.
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Old 03-04-2005, 11:06 AM
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Default RE: New 33 Year History?

I will, as Horrace has proposed, call for each of you to look at your representatives to the EC and consider if they are, in fact, representative of you, or should be replaced. I will go a step further. Find out who they really are and what they have really done for you, and for modeling.

Last year, early on, I called for support of Dave Mathewson. Many of you had never heard of him, nor did you know where he stood on the issues. There are some people (not all), currently on the EC, that will be running this year that rise to the level of Dave Mathewson. Would you want to turn them out of office from lack of knowledge?

Conversely, if you do not believe the actions represent you, or your desires, do you want to see them return to office? Do your homework, and make an informed decision.

At the same time, I wonder at some of Horrace’s points. While the magazines he sighted have long and storied histories, and have served the modeling community well, their circulations have not kept pace with the growth of the AMA. They have stagnated, or decreased, while the size of the AMA has more than tripled. If the implication was that not publishing MA was some sort of litmus test, IMHO, the correct decision was made. Actually, I do not believe it is a litmus test, and fail to see the connection.

The assertion that MA costs almost as much as insurance is relative, I suppose. In terms of dollars and the value of a dollar that may be a fair statement. In terms of percentage, the facts show that MA runs to less than half of the cost of insurance for a member. The numbers are all in the financial statement.

Recently, I have made the assertion that MA must be published to satisfy the requirements of the IRS. Horrace has taken exception to that information, which was partially supplied by Doug Holland, the current EVP of the AMA. When pressed, as recently as Jan 30, 2005, Horrace stated, in part: “JR, you're one or maybe two up on me. About all I've found is that there have been significant changes in the reg itself since I last researched it some time ago. I will for now take your word for whatever it says wherever it says.” http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...8&postcount=37 . I still maintain the position that there is, under the current circumstances, no alternative to publishing MA, and still satisfy the IRS.
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Old 03-04-2005, 12:20 PM
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Default RE: New 33 Year History?

l looked at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1023.pdf which is "Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code" and I can't find anyplace that says you need to have a physically printed magazine or newsletter.

Of course I have no idea what I am doing or talking about, but I HAVE been involved in many bureaucracies that "do what they do today cause they did it that way yesterday"...so I think it is worth looking at the actual requirements
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Old 03-04-2005, 12:37 PM
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J_R
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Default RE: New 33 Year History?

Hi Matt

All I can say is "keep looking". You will find several documents that relate to 501 (c) 3 corporations. There are, essentially, tests, although that is not the correct name for them, that are applied in the determination of the IRS designation. Not all of the tests must be passed. Another is an accredited museum (the AMA's museum is not accredited), another holding on campus classes, neither of which does the AMA currently meet. There are several other tests. Publishing a magazine is but one of the tests.

I spent quite a bit of time on the IRS site some time back. I was trying to determine if an online version of MA would suffice. It will not. This was confirmed by Doug Holland in January at the AMA Convention. The AMA's status as a 501 (c) 3 is secure, but barely, in his opinion.

If you chose, call Doug. He does not answer e-mail well, but, does answer his phone. Like virtually every member of the EC, he is available to the membership. On the other hand, if you wait for him to call you, it will be futile.
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Old 03-04-2005, 03:13 PM
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Default RE: New 33 Year History?

ORIGINAL: J_R

Hi Matt

All I can say is "keep looking". You will find several documents that relate to 501 (c) 3 corporations. There are, essentially, tests, although that is not the correct name for them, that are applied in the determination of the IRS designation.
Hi J_R,

What documents are they?


Matt
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Old 03-04-2005, 03:15 PM
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J_R
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Default RE: New 33 Year History?

It was months ago. I found them by searching on the IRS site for: 501 (c) 3 . I didnt save the links.
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Old 03-04-2005, 03:51 PM
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Default RE: New 33 Year History?

OK I will look some more J_R, but as you know it is very hard (meaning impossible) to prove a negative....I will never be able to_prove_there is not a reference/requirement somewhere for a printed magazine/newsletter.
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Old 03-04-2005, 03:52 PM
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Default RE: New 33 Year History?

matt,

Do a google search for IRC 501(c)3 magazine.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/eotopice88.pdf

This is dated 1988 so I don't know if it still applies but it is the best descriptoin I could find.

Jay
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Old 03-04-2005, 04:09 PM
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Default RE: New 33 Year History?

Matt

I just spent the better part of an hour on the IRS site. I found document #557, which was where I got the basic information from which I launched my previous search. I spent the better part of 4 days the last time, reading doc after doc. Many lead nowhere. Others will give you a lead. I also noted that 557 has been updated and revised (12/04) since I was last on the IRS site, although most of the info seems, to me, to be the same.

If you case the leads, you will eventually find what you are looking for. It is very frustrating, and I am not going to do it again any time soon. I am sure that is why Horrace got frustrated in January. Unless you are an expert in taxes, it's difficult to find one item, much less to understand everything to do with a 501 (c) 3. I am no expert.

Even after I did find it, I did not feel secure in that what I had found was correct until the expert confirmed it. I can not imagine what the AMA would do with an amatuer like you or I in the CFO postion. Thanks goodness for Doug Holland, it would cost a ton of money to duplicate his knowledge if the AMA had to pay for it.
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Old 03-04-2005, 04:10 PM
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Default RE: New 33 Year History?

Hi Jay,

Thanks for the link, I will look it over. Appreciate the effort, as I think this is a very important item.
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Old 03-04-2005, 04:16 PM
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Default RE: New 33 Year History?

Jbot

The IRS code, relative to 501 (c) 3's has been updated.
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Old 03-04-2005, 05:16 PM
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Default RE: New 33 Year History?

Point is. Isn't it time to take a long hard look at this mag, call a spade a spade. If it can't carry its own weight and at least break even its time to put it to sleep. As far as I'm concerned they can keep the thing its not worth the postage.-Mike
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Old 03-04-2005, 05:52 PM
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Default RE: New 33 Year History?

Hi Mike,

That is one reason this discussion of the IRS regulations is very important.

Anyway, any time "dropping the magazine" is brought up for discussion, a certain counter arguement (one of many) is quickly brought up......namely that in order for the AMA to maintain it's IRS status as a charitable organization, we would need a newsletter (in the magazine's place) to be PHYSICALLY MAILED to every member. This newsletter is then cast to be as expensive as the magazine...."so why not keep the magazine"....not a bad arguement, IF the "physically mailed newsletter" requirement is real.

Just my crazy thoughts, but when many of these IRS regulations were written, there was no internet (at least as we know it today), so I have searched for this exact IRS regulation, in order to determine for myself whether the regulation is so clear that is forbids the use of an electronic version of a newsletter. In this age of tree hugging I cannot imagine that such a regulation exists, prohibiting an electronic newsletter....and I have yet to find it.

Of course, the newsletter requirement is then quickly lumped in with other "tests" that could also be used to qualify the AMA as a charitable organization, kind in a "3 card monte" style. Well I only want to get this newsletter thing figured out, cause this magazine costs the membership dearly, and if we are running out of memebers and money I think the (physical) magazine has to be looked at very critically...they could publish it on the web much cheaper....just gotta find this magic IRS regulation that forbids e-publishing (!?!)

BTW I also agree with part of what Harrace says about alienating the commercial modeling press. I rarely see any mention of the AMA in these rags, other than the ads that AMA places......meanwhile where woudl this industry be without the club fields that need the AMA like I need air to breathe....something is amiss......
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Old 03-04-2005, 10:57 PM
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Default RE: New 33 Year History?


ORIGINAL: Jbolt

matt,

Do a google search for IRC 501(c)3 magazine.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/eotopice88.pdf

This is dated 1988 so I don't know if it still applies but it is the best descriptoin I could find.

Jay
At a quick glance, it appears your selection is more in tune with what happens when some 501 (c) (3) unit is basically in the publishing business.

It is already satisfied that the magazine "Model Aviation" comes under the description of an "Unrelated Business". This is NOT new. It only means that advertising profits are taxable. So what? If MA makes an annual profit of -- just say -- $200,000.00 and pays tax of $80,000, then the pocket has $120,000 in it. Is that not better than the current million $$ deficit that YOU pay for?
AMA has in its hands a potential income producer yet it ignores that and gets into the video business. AMA has no concern that there now exists a vehicle to go outside the box and pursue memberships that have no clue of the existence of AMA. History has displayed that AMA uses the magazine for ONE thing and one thing only and that is to maintain employment opportunities for selected "friends of the family."

Now here comes an admittance: For the past few months I have been busy building 5 new airplanes including a .40 trainer that I use to instruct newbies, some not yet able to buy their own. I have NOT done much research yet I HAVE IN MY POSSESSION THE ENTIRE IRC COMPLETE THROUGH ALL UPDATES OF 2004. Since I have not studied as much as I should have, any thing I say may well not be the last word, but in an overview, the original pre-1984 501 (c) (3)requirements have been totally revised by tax reform of '84 '86, and the 2001 changes which have almost completely changed the requirements for tax exempt status. The major things now seem to be race-related and the leaning to overpaid executives.

At one time I was pretty well up on taxes, especially corporate. However in '96 my life became much more simple and I have slacked off considerably. I was one of the first to use IRA moneys for real estate investments. It was difficult some years ago because IRA trustees did not understand such. Of course, now, real estate in the IRA portfolio it is a common thing.

Enough rambling, however in my not-so-humble opinion, any AMA Chief Financial Officer (EVP) that allows such potential as an income producing non-related business as Model Aviation to continue to drain the treasury rather than enrich such treasury, is far amiss reference a corporate officer's primary fiduciary duty of protecting the corporate assets. As long as the taxes are properly computed and paid, and no certain group, such as "Directors", gains immensely from moneys that would otherwise be taxable profits, the parent organization should have little fear of losing its exempt status.

Of course the in-crowd would much prefer if you were not aware of such.



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Old 03-05-2005, 02:13 PM
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Default RE: New 33 Year History?

Ok so we have to have a "newsletter" or some sort right? My question is why monthly and why glossy pages. The way I see it is cut it back as far as possible. Maybe I'm missing the whole point. If it costs as much as some are saying why not make the changes needed. Its always easier to spend money when it not yours.-Thanks,Mike
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Old 07-22-2005, 08:42 PM
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ORIGINAL: rcmiket

Ok so we have to have a "newsletter" or some sort right? My question is why monthly and why glossy pages. The way I see it is cut it back as far as possible. Maybe I'm missing the whole point. If it costs as much as some are saying why not make the changes needed. Its always easier to spend money when it not yours.-Thanks,Mike

Yes, Mike, and they have fun doing just that. Why does the AMA Staff wish to change. You pay their bills and you seldom make real changes in the TOP management. Just like the constant reelection of many government officials, the incumbents remain and have a ball.

Only those changes made at the ballot box really sends the message that the membership is ready for some redirection at the head-shed.
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