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Is Free Republic a Fraud? Is it time for Free Republic to go away?
Free Republic | 11/28/01 | Jim Robinson

Posted on 11/28/2001 7:31:29 PM PST by Jim Robinson

Free Republic has had one helluva run over the last five years or so. We helped impeach one president and helped get another into office. We've been active in demonstrations and protests in nearly every city across the nation. We've participated in conventions, petition drives, activism campaigns and projects for dozens of conservative causes.

We've grown from a tiny web site with a few hundred posters and readers from the time of inception in 1996, to one with tens of thousands of participants today. Along the way we've made lots of great friends and, unfortunately, also made lots of bitter enemies.

We've grown from a small web site that I could manage myself on a part-time basis to a huge monster that has totally consumed all of my time and resources plus nearly all of John's time, plus the time and resources of many dedicated FReepers who volunteer or contribute large amounts of their own time and money.

The site is now consuming all of a 10 mbps dedicated line with two servers and we're still growing, and it consumes large amounts of money to keep all this running. In the early years, it only took a few thousand dollars per month to keep Free Republic on the air, but it is now costing over $20,000 per month to cover all expenses.

The major costs include approximately $8,000 per month for bandwidth, 3,000 for systems management and programming services, 7,000 for management, operating and administrative services, plus two or three thousand per month for miscellaneous office expenses, telephone, communications, repairs & maintenance, travel & lodging, postage, rentals, insurance, legal fees, accounting fees, etc., etc.

We anticipate a reduction in bandwidth costs next year as we renegotiate our contract (the market price for bandwidth has fallen recently), however, that will be more than offset by an expected increase in costs of our legal expenses. As most of you know, our pro bono attorney has left us and we've hired a new attorney to continue with our case, plus we have the suit against eschoir to pay for. My projections are that our regular monthly expenses for next year will be running in the neighborhood of $22,000 per month, or approximately $264,000 total for the year. This means we will need to raise approximately $66,000 per quarter.

Talking about making enemies, we've got several ex-FReepers and other detractors who are claiming on their anti-freeper web sites that I am ripping off the donors and that Free Republic is a fraud. Now, Free Republic is what it is, and it is definitely not a fraud. It is a conservative news discussion forum that encourages participation in politics and activism projects. It is not being billed as anything else. We are not selling or promising anything. And I am being up front about our operating costs. The costs of running Free Republic are what I've stated above and they are necessary to keep FR on the air. I do not have the financial wherewithal to operate this site without your help. If the majority of the FReepers feel that these costs are out of line or too much to bear or that Free Republic is no longer wanted or needed, then we will either cut it back or shut it down or do something altogether different.

I've also been criticized about not making our financials public. Well, the reason I do not want to do this is that I have been sued, both personally and as Free Republic, LLC. The people suing us want to bankrupt us and shut us down. They subpoenaed our financial records, but we refused to turn them over. The judge agreed that the plaintiffs have no right to the information, thus I have no intention of making any more of it public than I absolutely have to, until this lawsuit is resolved. You all know the amounts of money we raise if you follow the fundraising threads. It is all above board and out in the open. The totals posted by BadJoe are usually pretty close to the actual cash received and the amounts expended are pretty close to the amounts projected. No one is getting rich here and no one is being ripped off. The funds raised are being used for the purposes stated, and that is keeping this website on the air and that's it. Nothing fraudulent about it. Those who want to help fund us freely do so with nothing expected in return. Those who do not want to contribute do not have to.

There was a thread running this morning where people were making all kinds of accusations about Free Republic "hiding the truth" or whatever. These accusations are being made by Chuck Allan and others and fall along the same line with the accusations being made by some of the earlier banees or AFers including Mojo, Inspector Harry Callahan, Arator, keep U.S. Sovereign, TKEman and others. Some of these people are existing FReepers and some are banned. I am going to reinstate Mojo, Inspector Harry Callahan and Arator's accounts so they can join Chuck Allan, TKEman, K.U.S.S. and whomever else wants to get involved, and I invite them to come onto this thread and make their accusations public. As long as they do not go onto other threads and make a nuisance of themselves, I will let them have their say.

Like I said above, if it is time for Free Republic to go away so be it. Those who want to keep it going speak up. Those who want it to go away, tell us why. But if those who want it to be gone lose out in the debate, then I'd say they should just go away themselves, or, in the very least, shut up and quit whining about it.

Thanks,

Jim


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Announcements; Breaking News
KEYWORDS: bushbabeslist; enviralists; hughhewitt; jimroblist; opuslist; usocanteen; zionist
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1 posted on 11/28/2001 7:31:30 PM PST by Jim Robinson
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To: Jim Robinson
KEEP IT OR SELL IT TO ME!

Nuff said.

2 posted on 11/28/2001 7:33:03 PM PST by DCBryan1
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To: Jim Robinson
Keep the hope alive, Jim!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3 posted on 11/28/2001 7:33:31 PM PST by LJLucido
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To: Jim Robinson
Its time to pay the rent. Thanks for the update Jim. Can someone post a link to the donations page..?
4 posted on 11/28/2001 7:34:56 PM PST by Lady GOP
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To: Jim Robinson

Two thumbs up for keeping it going!


5 posted on 11/28/2001 7:35:36 PM PST by ambrose
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To: Jim Robinson
You have to be kidding Jim, You are the Rush Limbaugh of the internet.
6 posted on 11/28/2001 7:35:52 PM PST by redskin
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To: Lady GOP
Fundraising Bump. Charity starts here, at home. Thanks Jim for all you do for us!
7 posted on 11/28/2001 7:35:54 PM PST by VA Advogado
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To: Jim Robinson
in the very least, shut up and quit whining about it

BUMP!

8 posted on 11/28/2001 7:36:12 PM PST by Cleburne
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To: Jim Robinson
"I am going to reinstate Mojo, Inspector Harry Callahan and Arator's accounts so they can join Chuck Allan, TKEman, K.U.S.S...."

Sorry to hear that. These are not your friends, but your enemies.

9 posted on 11/28/2001 7:36:17 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: Jim Robinson
Why can't you make Free Republic a pay-per-use website? I think it's worth at least $10.00 a month. Not to offensive, and gets people paying.
10 posted on 11/28/2001 7:36:33 PM PST by DCBryan1
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To: Jim Robinson
FR Rocks--love it or leave it!
11 posted on 11/28/2001 7:36:37 PM PST by Constantine XIII
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To: Jim Robinson
I'm just getting into it - don't make it go away!
12 posted on 11/28/2001 7:36:40 PM PST by Clintons Are White Trash
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To: Jim Robinson
Whoa! I vote stay and I have bookmarked this thread. It should be interesting (to say the least).
13 posted on 11/28/2001 7:37:11 PM PST by Protect the Bill of Rights
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To: Jim Robinson
It is NOT a FRAUD and SHOULD NOT GO AWAY.
14 posted on 11/28/2001 7:37:16 PM PST by Neets
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To: DCBryan1
Studies have shown that that doesn't work too well, historically anyway.
15 posted on 11/28/2001 7:37:31 PM PST by Sir Gawain
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To: Jim Robinson
I like it, but to be honest I don't want to pay for it. Kind of the same reason you use linux. It's *free*.

Not to get on my soapbox about Linux not really being free, but the same arguments apply.

16 posted on 11/28/2001 7:37:39 PM PST by for-q-clinton
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To: Jim Robinson
There's no other place like it, so screw the detractors Jim, and keep on going.You're a treasure, and FR is badly needed, so stay put.All the best.
17 posted on 11/28/2001 7:37:45 PM PST by habs4ever
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To: anniegetyourgun
Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer...
18 posted on 11/28/2001 7:37:49 PM PST by Hotline
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To: DCBryan1
I think it's worth at least $10.00 a month.

I'd be willing to pay more...Hell, AOL charges me 20 bucks a month!

19 posted on 11/28/2001 7:38:02 PM PST by DCBryan1
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To: Jim Robinson
We need this like Paul Revere needed the minutemen to warn if the British are coming.

We cannot afford to lose this vital information link until the terrorists have been eradicated.

20 posted on 11/28/2001 7:38:09 PM PST by umbra
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To: Jim Robinson
Mojo too?
21 posted on 11/28/2001 7:38:22 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: Jim Robinson
NO! Disruptors be damned - this is a place of free speech; the left/losers always wanted you shut down, and the posers will do it any way they can. These people who accuse you have never proven anything to me except that they are liars and frauds themselves... you have proven up everything you've ever done. I trust very few, but I trust you. To hell with them, I'm sticking by you and FreeRepublic!
22 posted on 11/28/2001 7:38:24 PM PST by dandelion
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To: Jim Robinson
...we've got several ex-FReepers ... who are claiming ... that I am ripping off the donors and that Free Republic is a fraud.

Let them prove it or go pound sand. Diehard! Rage! Rage against the dying of the light!

23 posted on 11/28/2001 7:38:33 PM PST by Petronski
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To: Jim Robinson
I give monthly.

I will increase my monthly giving as of today.

I hope that all regular FReepers who enjoy this site will treat it as a subscription service, and give monthly to support it.

Best,
The Orthodox Presbyterian (formerly Uriel1975)

24 posted on 11/28/2001 7:38:35 PM PST by OrthodoxPresbyterian
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To: Jim Robinson
I qualify as an oldtimer.

Many times I have said on here: As goes the FreeRepublic, so goes The Republic.

Check's in the mail.

25 posted on 11/28/2001 7:38:41 PM PST by IncPen
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To: Jim Robinson
In the nearly 4 years I've been here as a lurker and registered poster, FR has kept me informed, inspired me to become politically active and provided a wealth of like-minded friends. The anti-freeps are bitter, whining children in a state of arrested development whose lives are so miserable that their idea of a fun web site is one where they can all sit around calling freepers names. (Yes, reminds me of 5th grade, too).

I would encourage all registered Freepers to donate a respectable amount to keep this place in operation, and would ask all the whiners and complainers to put up or shut up.

26 posted on 11/28/2001 7:39:00 PM PST by mountaineer
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To: GovernmentShrinker
FYI
27 posted on 11/28/2001 7:39:10 PM PST by Free the USA
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To: Jim Robinson; Senator Pardek; Askel5; Nita Nupress; logos; palo verde
We won't let you go away Jim.

You've got the best site on the web. But, please, don't let that mojo character back on the boards.

28 posted on 11/28/2001 7:39:18 PM PST by Fred Mertz
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To: Jim Robinson
Those who want to keep it going speak up

I can't tolerate the folks who use the site to denigrate the site.

I contribute, I use the services, and I am content.

The malcontent should get a life.

29 posted on 11/28/2001 7:39:27 PM PST by otterpond
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To: VA Advogado
Is there anyway to develop a monthly pledge system whereby we all make monthly commitments to xxx dollars and send that in or have it placed on automatic withdraw?

Thank you Jim!

30 posted on 11/28/2001 7:39:29 PM PST by zeaal
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To: Jim Robinson
I'd like to keep it going, JimRob. It seems as though some housecleaning is in order and that the original intents and purposes of this forum be respected and adhered to.

Cheers, CC :)

31 posted on 11/28/2001 7:39:36 PM PST by CheneyChick
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To: BADJOE
You have permission to up my monthly credit card donation to $15.00 per month. Do you need me to input the information again, or can you take care of it?
32 posted on 11/28/2001 7:39:44 PM PST by LJLucido
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To: Jim Robinson
Don't worry Jim

Freepathon starts Saturday.

$80,000 or bust. : )

33 posted on 11/28/2001 7:40:00 PM PST by BADJOE
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To: Jim Robinson
I hope you at least offered them some cheese, so many whines, so little time.
34 posted on 11/28/2001 7:40:09 PM PST by Republic
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To: Jim Robinson
KEEP HOPE ALIVE!
35 posted on 11/28/2001 7:40:17 PM PST by Hazzardgate
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To: Jim Robinson
No, definitely not time to toss in the towel.
36 posted on 11/28/2001 7:40:27 PM PST by Don Joe
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To: Jim Robinson
Free Republic IS the "vast right wing conspiracy"...

And DANG proud of it too !!!
37 posted on 11/28/2001 7:40:51 PM PST by freeman_of_mx
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To: Jim Robinson
Can I pay you to ban Arator again?
38 posted on 11/28/2001 7:41:21 PM PST by denydenydeny
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To: Jim Robinson
I want to thank you for all that you do. I have lurked here for years and only recently started joining in. Its people like you that make a difference. I assure you that I will make another contribution to keep this class act growing. Thanks JimRob!
39 posted on 11/28/2001 7:41:23 PM PST by BOBWADE
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To: Jim Robinson
Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease, Jim, keep Free Republic running. I just recently found it!

(Heading over to donations page right now...)

40 posted on 11/28/2001 7:41:25 PM PST by Jen
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To: Jim Robinson
It would be unpatriotic to shut this site down. Someone has got to speak up for freedom.
41 posted on 11/28/2001 7:41:28 PM PST by Brilliant
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To: ~Kim4VRWC's~; Mudboy Slim; Coop
It sure has gotten big, hasn't it? So different from the start. This is a heads-up post.
42 posted on 11/28/2001 7:41:33 PM PST by GummyIII
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To: Jim Robinson
Those who want to keep it going speak up.

AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! nO! NO! Don't kill it!!!!!

This is the best news site on the web with expert (and not so expert) commentary to boot!

Who will there be to separate the wheat from the chaff of information daily????

(note to self: remember to send money to FR)

43 posted on 11/28/2001 7:41:43 PM PST by Cogadh na Sith
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To: Jim Robinson
"We've grown from a tiny web site with a few hundred posters and readers from the time of inception in 1996, to one with tens of thousands of participants today."

"...but it is now costing over $20,000 per month to cover all expenses."

Gee, JR, charge a $2.00 a month user fee...Ought to also keep some of the rif-raff out. Anyone not willing to pay $24.00 a year to participate here doesn't belong here anyway!

44 posted on 11/28/2001 7:41:47 PM PST by Joe 6-pack
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To: Lady GOP
Put your do$$ars here.
45 posted on 11/28/2001 7:41:48 PM PST by eloy
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To: Jim Robinson
Please stop posting these insipid vanities. Do I have to hit the abuse button?

If you charged a monthly fee for posting, I'd subscribe. I'm addicted.

46 posted on 11/28/2001 7:41:55 PM PST by breakem
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To: Jim Robinson; BADJOE
Well, this thread will go several thousand!

Free Republic a fraud?

That's the equivalent of claiming Bill Clinton tells the truth! Or that Hillary Clinton is the epitome of virtue!

What a lie for anyone to make that claim!

I hereby testify that I have contributed to Free Republic voluntarily over the past 3 years, with no one compelling me and no one promising me anything.

I further declare that it is now time to make another voluntary donation to keep Free Republic alive and well.

(Getting the checkbook - check in the mail, Badjoe!)

Thanks for the reminder, JR! I am sorry you are letting your enemies back on this site.....but you, like our President, have more grace and character than the whole lot of these detractors put together with Hill and Bill sitting on top!

It's up to everyone who cares to keep Free Republic alive.

47 posted on 11/28/2001 7:42:04 PM PST by Freedom'sWorthIt
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To: Jim Robinson
Keep it going! Don't let the lefty demonrats get their way! They've always wanted FreeRepublic shut down.
48 posted on 11/28/2001 7:42:04 PM PST by baseballfanjm
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To: Jim Robinson
Is there any way to continuously increase the revenue you need to operate by selling more advertising space on this site? Or, raising the prices for such ads? Just trying to help in some way. Surely this is an audience certain advertisers want to reach.
49 posted on 11/28/2001 7:42:20 PM PST by summer
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To: zeaal
I think so. There might be a link to something like that on the home page.
50 posted on 11/28/2001 7:42:21 PM PST by VA Advogado
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