The largest issue with APA is that it is a good old boy network. AICP works in this manner as well. The concept was conceived to try and monetize education any way they could. APA has difficulty creating a niche like AIA or ASLA. We are so broad that they are unable to create the same "quality" of product and therefore have to come up with gimmicks to create the illusion that they are worthwhile.
I really believe that the problem with APA isn't with APA or the idea. I think it is with the fact that when you do try to get involved, you are still an outsider. Unless you have given all your time to being in leadership, you are not important enough to warrant attention. I have been in varying levels of leadership with APA. All of those experiences were fine, but I never really felt like my ideas would ever be considered. Take a look at the executive board or the AICP board. The top leadership has not changed significantly in 10 years. We continually rotate through the ranks.
CM credits are a good thing. They require that our profession keep on their toes and stay active. Charging small communities and not sharing credits with other professional organizations is very simply a money making tactic. APA needs to stop trying to make money and start providing value for the $ we all spend. AICP credits should be able to be obtained for free in many places. Or they should be able to be obtained at locations where other credits are valid.
I think our professional organization cannot decide who they are and instead of creating a niche like AIA or ASLA we are a big tent, and the quality of that tent is questionable at best.