What’s going on at The Animals’ Agenda?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 1992:

MONROE, Conn. Five months after the
Animals’ Agenda board of directors sacked
most of the staff and forced editor Kim
Bartlett’s eventual resignation, the publication
is in “dire financial peril,” according to a late-
September appeal issued by board president
Wayne Pacelle..
Under pressure from numerous national
organizations who were irate over exposes of
group financial practices, among them PETA,
the National Anti-Vivisection Society, the
Doris Day Animal League, In Defense of
Animals, and the American SPCA, the board
abruptly fired news editor Merritt Clifton,
now editor of ANIMAL PEOPLE, last May
1. Simultaneously, the board terminated use
of otherwise vacant space at the magazine
offices by Bartlett’s feral cat rescue project.

As the primary author of grant proposals and
appeal letters, Clifton had also been the maga-
zine’s main fundraiser. While Clifton agreed
to complete his writing assignments for the
July/August issue, he refused a board offer to
continue fundraising on a freelance basis.
Also at the May 1 meeting, the board rati-
fied the dismissal of three non-editorial
employees for unsatisfactory work perfor-
mance. ANIMAL PEOPLE subsequently
learned that board member and interim.
Animals’ Agenda editor Jim Motavalli had cir-
culated an anonymous letter purportedly repre-
senting “the staff” to selected other board
members prior to the May 1 meeting.
Apparently originating from one or more of
the dismissed non-editorial employees, with-
out the knowledge of any other staffers, the
letter leveled allegations against Clifton and
Bartlett that were strikingly similar to those
leveled against Wally Swett of Primarily
Primates (see above), and included 32 specific
misstatements of alleged fact in only four
typed pages.
“It was actionable,” said Clifton, “but we
preferred to spend our energies in starting
ANIMAL PEOPLE and getting on about cov-
ering the news.”
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