Mon, Jul. 8th, 2013, 03:04 pm
Ed Kramer And Dragon*Con... Together No More
For those who've been wondering when, or if, Dragon*Con
would ever separate itself from its controversial co-founder, Ed Kramer
... done and done
Now Kramer can go to, bluntly, whatever merciful oblivion may have him, and the rest of us can get on with the damn con.This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1630188.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.
Mon, Jul. 8th, 2013 07:38 pm (UTC)
Good for them. Maybe I can finally get there sometime now, and feel better about doing so.
Mon, Jul. 8th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
For those of us who are out of date in the who's who of fandom, can someone please explain what the big deal is? I'm extra curious because the type of language Tom has for Kramer is usually reserved for right wing talking heads and other human monsters.
Mon, Jul. 8th, 2013 08:17 pm (UTC)
Kramer's an accused child molester who has been delaying his trial for more than ten years...likely due in no small part to how much money his shares of the D*C parent corporation, of which he owned 34%, have been generating.
Mon, Jul. 8th, 2013 08:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks. And I thought DucKon had problems with egos and personality conflicts. At least none of them are accused criminals. What's Kramer's plan, to delay the trial for so long that everyone forgets what happened?
Mon, Jul. 8th, 2013 11:47 pm (UTC)
It has worked for ten years. Why change a working model?
I'm all for innocent until proven guilty. But I don't believe that assumption of innocence is as strong for people who deliberately avoid going to court by needing a tank of air for this and a mental truss for that. His doing everything under the sun to stave off his trial makes him appear guilty as a cat in the goldfish bowl. And while not enough to justify what happened to him (the police and inmates beat the shit out of him), I'd say the suspicion -- amplified by his avoidance tactics -- are enough to ban him from places where many "targets of opportunity" can be found. Like conventions...
Tue, Jul. 9th, 2013 03:49 am (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree but there's also something that many people dread, being falsely accused and assumed guilty by stereotype. Being accused of a crime like child molestation you're guilty even if proven innocent. Remember, in a court you're not found innocent, just that the prosecution hasn't proven beyond a reasonable doubt of your guilt. So you could actually be innocent or the prosecution did a bad job. How many parents would take the chance? How many conventions would ban him just on that same suspicion supported by paranoid parents?
I don't know Kramer but as a single, overweight, geek, liberal, Atheist male approaching 40 I know that if some neighborhood kid accused me of abusing him/her 90+% of the people in my neighborhood would instantly believe it and nothing could convince them otherwise because I would fit their mental image of a molester. Even if the kid admitted it was someone else and only blamed me because I was a convenient target, I would still likely be run out of the neighborhood. In any case my life would be ruined because of the arrest record. And if you are innocent of a crime, that means you could be accused of it at any time. That's a thought that terrifies me.
It's part of a larger problem of police assuming guilt based on stereotypes. I assume you heard about how minorities have been profiled in NYC to the point where arrests of African-Americans have exceeded their population. Employers still think that arrest = guilty and with the job market being so tight even a wrongful arrest could keep you from getting a job. Even LeVar Burton said he has a series of steps he takes when the police pull him over to avoid trouble, things Caucasians don't have to do.
So for me the question is would he have to be in jail when the trail happens? If so then I can't blame him for wanting to stay out of it. Otherwise I'd want to get it over with and prove my innocence. It seems like the best way to avoid being accused of something isn't just to not do it but to avoid any situation where people could think you're doing something wrong. That's not part of a healthy society.
Thu, Jul. 11th, 2013 03:13 pm (UTC)
sffilk: One small correction
He's no longer atheist, he's calling himself an Orthodox Jew now.
Thu, Jul. 11th, 2013 05:08 pm (UTC)
alverant: Re: One small correction
IIRC he converted so he could use parts of the Jewish religion to delay the trail more.
Also I was talking about myself, not him. There are a lot of stereotypes out there and most of them are inaccurate.
Thu, Jul. 11th, 2013 06:21 pm (UTC)
sffilk: Re: One small correction
Oh, then I misunderstood your post as to that. My apologies.
Thu, Jul. 11th, 2013 06:35 pm (UTC)
alverant: Re: One small correction
Think nothing of it. I drifted from his actions to my own concerns. It seems like these days "nice" = "suspicious".
Mon, Jul. 8th, 2013 10:33 pm (UTC)
Mon, Jul. 8th, 2013 11:40 pm (UTC)
though Kramer did have one positive effect -- he taught us all that the way to get away with a crime was to simple be "too sick to go to court."
Tue, Jul. 9th, 2013 05:43 am (UTC)
The amount of money involved was probably some years income from Dragoncon. So his name is off the convention, but chances are they're still paying him.
(Edited to remove some weasel words.)Edited at 2013-07-09 05:48 am (UTC)
Tue, Jul. 9th, 2013 05:55 am (UTC)
Not so much. In a "cash out" merger, the minority shareholder who is cashed out either accepts the merger and gets paid immediately or dissents and then disputes the amount of the cash out. Either way, the defunct company pays the money into the court or to the minority shareholder. That money is gone.
If the surviving company has credit, they could certainly borrow to make the payment but either way they money is gone.
Tue, Jul. 9th, 2013 06:02 am (UTC)
So paying Kramer, say, five years of his Dragoncon revenue to cash him out is different from keeping on the board for another five years, how? That's a lot of money to pay to get him to go away. And it's more than enough for him to keep on dragging out his case in court.
All of this falls if the money is substantially less than I am guessing. But, really, why would Kramer cash out for less?
Tue, Jul. 9th, 2013 07:13 pm (UTC)
That's correct, sort of.
In a cash out merger, the minority shareholder is paid based on his or her ownership portion of the company.
It's not something the minority shareholder can stop, at least under Georgia law. However, Kramer *is* removed - it's a done deal, he is out, has no more shareholder rights or connections to the surviving company.
But, yes, Kramer got a lump sum. Obviously not as big a lump as he wished.
This fact seems to be lost or has been suppressed by a great many people. It seems that emotionally people are much happier that he's gone even if he got a lump sum. They feel that they can now attend the convention with their moral conscience equipment giving them the big thumbs up.
Tue, Jul. 9th, 2013 07:49 pm (UTC)
How would people feel if it was explained that DragonCon was going to pay Kramer $75,000 a year for ten years to go away? Because that seems to be what has been done. The offers File 770 reported
reported from 2004, 2006, and 2008 were $500,000; if the current buyout is comparable it is probably $750,000, if not a full million.
It astonishes me that no judge has yet held Kramer in contempt and ordered a medical exam by independent physicians.
It seems to me that, if it is permitted in law, the honest thing for the other board members to hire detectives to make the case against Kramer, get him sent up, if possible, and then petition to have him sell at an unfavorable rate, since the revenues are supporting him in criminal activities and his ownership of DC is itself connected with his criminal activities. I'm not sure if that is exactly how this could be done, but something like it, I think, is possible.
Tue, Jul. 9th, 2013 03:44 pm (UTC)
And the Atlanta journal-constitution article seemed to indicate he might dissent due to it not being a large enough payment - as he has since ?2002?
Tue, Jul. 9th, 2013 07:42 pm (UTC)
He has; see
Thu, Jul. 11th, 2013 03:11 pm (UTC)
sffilk: Just to let you know,
the new corporation is not showing up yet on the corporate status website from the Georgia Secretary of State. I know this because it's how I have to file my business registration each year (Southern Fried Filk - the state no longer sends out the paper notices). I do not know how long it takes for a new business entity to show up, but when it does, I'll let people know. I had been under the impression that it should be relatively quickly, unless we're dealing with "the department of obfuscatory verbiage, intellectual stagnation, the mutilation of efficiency and the circumnavigation of work." ("Anthem to Bureaucracy," Dr. Jane)