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Mon, Feb 20, 2012

ANN FAQ: ANN's Legal Fund

Be A Part of ANN's Fight To Keep Telling It Like It Is...

Aero-Update 01.09.12: Hi Folks... We've held up on this for the last several weeks due to some legal confusion, but we're sorry to say that the Cirrus war against our Constitutionally-protected responsibility to tell the truth about the ills this industry faces, continues on... especially when those stories are about Cirrus. We'll have a LOT more to say about this shortly... including an interesting documentary project that not only tells you what went wrong... but shows Cirrus and its ilk caught in fib after fib, time after time... in glorious living color. The sad fact about this story is that there is actually MUCH more to tell and that the real reason for the problems we face is that Cirrus seems deathly afraid that we're going to keep telling it.

And we will.

Their attacks are still escalating...  even though replacement CEO Dale Klapmeier tried to separate himself from what happened under Brent Wouters. An acquaintance of the Klapmeier's (both Alan and Dale) that attempted to intervene in the matter tells us that Dale will continue the Cirrus attacks (which he all but repudiated to one of our lawyers last fall), because of what we've written and is plainly incensed at our reports and therefore intends to victimize us further. Further; Cirrus counsel got downright unpleasant with our lawyers several weeks ago when we wrote about the problem previously, and indicated that they would employ increasingly aggressive tactics including the escalation of costly and time-consuming legal machinations as a direct result of their disapproval of our protected First Amendment actions, rights, and responsibilities. Time after time, they keep telling us to shut up and threatening dire results if we continue to speak out... the latest being a so-called "offer" to settle the matter that pays us practically nothing (a few pennies on the dollar), and yet still lets them steal (IMO) our airplane (in which we have a multi-hundred thousand dollar investment) and requires yours truly to not only shut up but to agree to a TWO MILLION DOLLAR penalty if we speak out further!

Folks, I don't look good in a muzzle. These are the facts-in-brief: Unhappy with our coverage, Cirrus told us to shut up or face aggressive punishment. They have violated agreements the company made with ANN (under the stewardship of then-CEO Alan Klapmeier) in which they owe us hundreds of thousands of dollars, with the apparent intent to bleed us dry and attempt to strangle us into submission. They admitted they made this deal for which they owe us so much (we have video and audio). They admitted they broke the deal (we have video and audio). They admitted they were wrong (we have witnesses). They admitted they broke other deals (we have video and audio)... and still, they think they can use the legal system to employ costly legal machinations to silence us.

THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN... and we'll have much more to say about this shortly.   

Original Copy: Over the last two years, ANN has been fighting an amazing battle with a GA manufacturer that appears to have been dealing with its customers, suppliers, stock-holders and associates in a less than savory manner. It (like all such skirmishes) started simply enough...

ANN got complaints about Cirrus Aircraft actions and tactics, ANN investigated and ANN found much to worry about... and when ANN published the results of our observations and research, we were ridiculed and dismissed -- and then attacked, aggressively and viciously, by Cirrus Aircraft's Brent Wouters and others doing his bidding.

The mission of ANN is to report and disseminate truthful stories and content to the aviation world, to seek solutions to the problems we face, and to offer a guiding light to those seeking help in getting what they want out of the aviation world -- safely and responsibly. Cirrus Aircraft appears (to us) to be attempting their utmost to stop us from being of service to all of you. Not a day goes past without a request from a member of the aviation world seeking our help -- some of them claiming that we're the only place that seems willing to offer them the aid and support they seek -- but to keep our mission on track, we'd like to ask your help in defending ourselves against the unceasing attacks we have experienced over the past two years -- and is doing, allowing us to be one of your first lines of defense against what might threaten you now and in the future...

Here's Why -- A Synopsis Of Our Dilemma:

  • ANN published a number of critical stories in response to concerns expressed about Cirrus Aircraft's actions and behaviors.
  • Cirrus Aircraft took offense and acted aggressively and negatively against ANN
  • ANN published ground-breaking (and correct) details about negotiations taking place between Cirrus and Chinese aviation entities last year
  • Cirrus vehemently denied and ridiculed ANN's story, accused ANN of lying, and belittled ANN for its stories.
  • Cirrus eventually admitted that they were negotiating with the Chinese and sold the company to the same entities.
  • Incensed, Cirrus refused to honor ANN's warranty on our SR22 and demanded that ANN agree to their terms... including editorial control of Cirrus coverage.
  • Cirrus quit paying ANN for marketing programs and even admitted that this would continue while ANN continued to 'critique' Cirrus (according to a memo sent by Cirrus counsel Peter Carter).
  • After threatening a number of harmful tactics against ANN, Cirrus broke a documented marketing agreement reached between ANN and (then) CEO Alan Klapmeier.
  • Cirrus Dale Klapmeier not only admitted that Cirrus had an agreement with ANN (after previous denials), but also admitted that they broke it, in public remarks made to members of the Cirrus Owner's and Pilot's Association, as documented and webcast on video.
  • Cirrus interfered with ANN's business relationships and admitted/bragged about it in public settings
  • Cirrus attempted to restrict ANN access to aviation industry events and demanded that ANN be restricted using threats of financial harm (pulling their sponsorship of an industry event) to another organization (as confirmed by Cirrus Owners and Pilot's Association board member).
  • A Senior Cirrus official lied to our local FBO, claiming to be acting with our permission, in order to gain access to our aircraft without our knowledge or permission.
  • A Senior Cirrus official moved and tampered with our aircraft without our permission and foreknowledge.
  • Cirrus has engaged in multiple tactics intended to harm and bad-mouth ANN, and to cast it in a negative light.
  • ANN has made dozens of attempts to make sure that the Cirrus side/explanation of a number of issues raised on Cirrus-related stories have their input and they have not only refused to cooperate but used legal threats to refuse any input.
  • Cirrus has engaged in similar tactics with those that have earned their disapproval and broken contracts, refused payments and otherwise conducted themselves very negatively with critical partners, suppliers and customers.
  • In approximately the same time frame as our airplane was in the control of a Senior Cirrus official, valuable personal and professional items were taken from our airplane by person unknown.
  • Cirrus is now threatening the ownership of our SR22, and has refused to negotiate this matter, despite previous promises to do so by new CEO, Dale Klapmeier.
  • Cirrus's continuing financial, legal and harassing actions have cost ANN a great deal and have hurt ANN's mission to serve the aviation community aggressively, honestly and passionately to the best of our ability.
  • ANN's decision to seek legal protection and recourse for the damages done to ANN, in order to eliminate further harm and harassment, is costly in both terms of time, energy and finances...

SO... we want to continue to serve you... we want to continue to be of great aid to the aviation world... and Cirrus' actions have harmed our ability to do so. We have been amazed by, and are deeply appreciative of, the MANY offers of help, support and aid received by us from ANN readers and supporters all over the world. We want to continue our mission with as little hindrance as possible and we plan to be able to do that with your continued aid and support. While many of you have suggested some interesting, aggressive, righteous, and appealing courses of action, we're not sure that we've reached that level yet... although we admit that the time for sterner measures DOES appear to be fast-approaching.

In the meantime we invite you to help via financial contributions to the ANN Legal Fund, so that we can try to level the playing field a bit between a small but honest media company trying to tell the truth, and the much larger Chinese owned and controlled company that appears intent on ignoring the All-American concept of freedom of the press and destroying us in order to shut us up. The upcoming legal fight will not be cheap (and hasn't been so far), and despite the advantage of working with trusted friends and associates who are being very reasonable in regards to our legal costs, we have no doubt that there are tremendous expenses to come if Cirrus continues their current course of attack, harassment and intimidation. We've been here before, having to fight a tough foe whom we thought was not acting ethically, responsibly or even legally -- and back then the establishment of a legal fund to help us emerge victorious after some pretty intimidating attacks, was of inestimable value.

And so we're going to open that door again, and ask that those of you who value ANN, and value what we at Aero-News try to do each and every day for you, and on behalf of the industry that we hold so dear, think of us -- and if you feel so disposed, please contribute to a legal fund to help us put a stop to Cirrus’ continued intimidation and interference with ANN. If you do contribute to our legal fund, we ask that you contribute in the name of the Aero-News Network, and specifically note your donation as "ANN Legal Fund" via notation or memorandum, so that we may properly document each and every contribution.

Look folks... we know we're in for a fight and its one that has already cost us dearly. I'm probably going to lose my home over this (as a result of the massive amounts of money Cirrus owes us for payments due as well as the damages we have incurred because of their actions), and I'm prepared to accept the necessary sacrifices I have to make in order to NEVER let you down.

SO... if that is of value to you, please become a part of our (and ultimately, YOUR) defense.  -- Jim Campbell, ANN CEO/Editor-In-Chief

ANN Legal Fund Data:

By Mail: Aero-News Legal Fund, c/o POB 305, Green Cove Springs, FL, 32043.

PayPal: jim@aero-news.net (use the 'Send Money' Tab at www.paypal.com)

Background Data:
 
FMI: ANN Legal Fund

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