i've thrown up my hands on finding the proof on another point, so i'll just state my understanding and see if anyone else can confirm
francois just quoted actually another point i was meaning to well, "argue" would be strong a word, but basically yeah. The idea that simply being a ref would automatically mean the score would've been instantly verified and entered, while typically true i believe has two major issues in this one particular case
1. I dont know if todd while chief evangelist has the technical ability to log in and do so, but the lack of such an ability wouldnt proof a lack of the right
2. and theres the big one, donkey kong in particular was a very special game. they made an entirely new ruleset. PSPs statement hints at that without stating the rules, you can also very easily find no shortage of forum posts complaining about the new rules. I am however having a great deal of difficulty finding what those rules are. My point being, its totally possible that ecen someone we all agree was a ref wouldnt have been able to auto enter donkey kong, because well, its donkey kong.
side note: In looking for the rules i was suprised to accidnetally find as recent as 2017 even tgsap created a new verification rule set for donkey kong thats crazy long. this is quite odd considering TGs rules are normally just "do you believe the score is valid" and adjudicators are allowed to use whatever metric they want to determine validity. now we have only 3 exceptions
1. direct upload is required
2. mame requires inp (at least i think thats a formal rule, if not, might as well be)
3. donkey kong in particular has its essay length rule set
personal note: i definitely understand anti mitchel sentiment and emotions in this. They made the new donkey kong rule set from what side stuff i read because they wanted to avoid king of kong style controversy in the future. That makes sense on the surface right? In order to make sure they dont get accused of any funny business or mitchel bias in the future make this new super thorough rule set. ok cool, thank you for making sure a new thorough rule set takes human bias out of the equation. but oh wait, whats this, mitchel doesnt have to follow the same rules on that rule set? doesnt that defeat the entire point? so the new rule set thats allegedly there to make sure to avoid controvery, in reality, only made things even harder for mitchel's competitors while not making verification harder for him. on the flipside, in mitchels defense "hate the game not the player". heck it was voted on after all, we have multiple confirmation of that, so this goes beyond psp, todd, and billy as the list of people that can be blamed. I find it hard to believe billy managed to intimidate more than half the voters. it would appear at least half of all the refs were in on it based on that vote.
The rules were revised in February 2008 to require a high degree of verification when scoring over a million points:
February 2009 (reflects rule change instituted 15 Feb 2008)
These "enhanced rules" were dropped by March 2010, replaced by Donkey Kong Recording FAQ
The rules cited by David Nelson that Mitchell should have reached out to TG in advance to select a neutral referee dates from the 1998 TG rule set. I'd have to consult the later editions of the TG Book of records (2005 and 2007 I think?) to confirm the language. Basically, if you were competing on what was called a mature arcade video game, you had to have a dialogue with TG. "The game becomes 'mature' when the high score becomes so exhausted that the amount of practice and continuous playing needed to budge the score up even one further point is so extreme that even the best two or three players can no longer take the time to do it." [Definition from Walter Day (1998 edition)]
In the rules there's some attention to "games played in people's basement": namely, in order to attest to gameplay and settings and have the score accepted by TG, players had to bring three witnesses together "approved by Twin Galaxies ahead of time." However, "this offer is not available if this involves a 'mature' game. This has to be arranged ahead of time through Twin Galaxies so the situation can be thoroughly examined."