To the editor:
After Madison (Grimm’s) reinstatement as the Junior Duck Stamp winner, there has been some mischaracterization as to the reasons why she was reinstated.
I want to be very clear, the reason they reinstated Madison is because they were entirely in the wrong and I had more than enough evidence to prove it.
When the duck stamp office called us for the first and only time (late Friday afternoon, one week after the judging) to inform us of their decision to disqualify Madison, they completely brushed off my attempts to correct their misinterpretation of the contest rules.
There was no confusion. Madison followed all of the contest rules and legitimately won. Let me say that again, the contest rules are fine. They are not confusing so long as you don’t have an issue with the English language or a comprehension problem.
Upon realizing their misinterpretation of their own rules, the duck stamp office twisted it to say that Madison violated the “spirit of the rules.” This was apparently their attempt to disregard the actual rules and interpret the meaning to be whatever fit their current desires.
Following our notification, they immediately sent out a national press release announcing the disqualification. The duck stamp office’s incompetent actions forced us to take a stand. Failure to do so would have allowed their false accusations to tarnish not just Madison’s, but many artists’ reputations. Their actions resulted in character defamation of many artists by wrongfully labeling a normal part of the artistic process as invalid. The fallout from their actions would cause irreversible damage to both contests.
I informed Dan Ashe (director of the USFWS) that if they didn’t fix this quickly, I would fix it myself by releasing all of the evidence, publicly humiliating them, and taking legal action. The duck stamp office sought to cover up their numerous culpabilities with a dishonest press release. Their faults being calculated, malicious, and discriminatory, I’m not surprised they would seek to keep it from being known.
We care about the program, but we care more about truth and justice.