Open thread: Libertarian National Committee “registration fee” debate

First on the agenda for today’s meeting of the Libertarian National Committee is the matter of charging a convention registration fee as a requirement for delegate floor access and voting rights. This thread is for live-blogging, discussing and debating that issue as it unfolds.

123 thoughts on “Open thread: Libertarian National Committee “registration fee” debate

  1. Nicholas Sarwark

    Sullentrup is pointing out that the option to come as a delegate for free has traditionally been concealed or minimized. Thinks having a floor fee is more up front.

  2. Nicholas Sarwark

    Lee Wrights moved to extend. Says this isn’t Admiral’s fault, but appreciates him trying to take the responsibility. Says it’s almost offensive to make the Missouri Compromise a policy manual change. Substitute is attempt to shift argument.

  3. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    Some of the pro-floor-fee peeps keep referring to the Robert/Balch opinion as a “decision.” Last time I checked, Robert and Balch had not decision-making authority, or even formal position, in the LP or on the LNC.

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    The ability of the affiliates to send non-national-members as delegates is not a “loophole,” it’s a safeguard.

    Hypothetical situation: A state affiliate’s members, many or most of whom are also national LP members, become angry enough with LNC/LPHQ over something that they withhold their sustaining dues. The current bylaws allow them to send those members to the national convention as delegates to correct the situation that brought that attitude about. It’s a checks-and-balances kind of thing.

  5. Nicholas Sarwark

    No motion to extend. Proceeding to a vote.

    Starr makes a point of parliamentary inquiry. Chair rules that this is amendment to something previously adopted. Will require 9 votes to pass.

  6. Nicholas Sarwark

    Ruling of the Chair sustained. Moving to a vote on the main motion.

    Starr – N
    Ruwart – Y
    Flood – Y
    Ryan – Y
    Fox – Y
    Sink-Burris – N
    Karlan Y
    Wrights Y
    Lark – Y
    Hawkridge – Y
    Lieberman – N
    Mattson – N
    Dixon – Y
    Jingozian – Y
    Sullentrup – N

  7. Thomas L. Knapp

    Good for Flood — the “Missouri Compromise” (a program connecting sponsors with attendees to purchase packages) is a GREAT idea … as long as the floor access/voting rights aren’t tied to mandatory package purchases.

  8. Thomas L. Knapp

    Can someone get the full text of the passed motion, so that it can be posted as an article here?

    I suspect this issue won’t die — the delegates may very well want to consider modifying the bylaws to provide for a registration fee, and that’s another discussion we should have.

  9. Morey

    I had tentative arrangements to promote a competing hotel package, which I will now abandon. The LNC did the right thing.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    I just went to buy the basic package, and discovered that it has all the same BS a la memberships/donations about not being able to have my spouse pay for my package with her debit card (I don’t have or use plastic myself).

    There’s no information on where or how to send a check or money order.

    I’ve written to Wes Benedict to see if that difficulty can be addressed.

  11. Shane

    James, good observation. It’s a bit more complex than that but if you want to be treas, you should be aware. Get in touch with me and I’ll explain with docs.

    On another note, what’s up with Karlan’s terrorist comment? Are free rider’s now terrorists or just those who support no floor fees?

    I bet if they offer a floor fee level package and name it the “Terrorist Package” it would sell like hot cakes.

  12. Thomas L. Knapp

    This is especially irritating since mainly I’d just like to give $99 to the LP/LNC for doing the right thing. They’d make really good money off of me, since I doubt I’d attend the receptions/snack breaks. But they’re making it hard for me to give them money.

  13. Thomas L. Knapp

    Shane,

    I think Mr. Karlan is a little miffed that two parties in his region opposed the registration fee and one instructed him, as their regional representative, to oppose it at this meeting.

    I don’t blame him, necessarily. I think it was Edmund Burke who said that a legislator owes his constituents his conscientious attention to duty, not his obedience to their every whim (or something like that).

    If he sincerely supports the registration fee but is being told by his region’s parties to vote against it, that’s an uncomfortable situation. Not sure I’d call it terrorism, but I can see why it would seem onerous to him.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    Shane,

    Yeah, I know, but it’s a predisposition to hyperbole is a vice I share with Mr. Karlan 😉

    Holy Shit, it just hit me … if it’s illegal for someone to buy a convention package for someone else, then why was the LNC even considering that there “Missouri Compromise?” That’s a program for some people to buy convention packages for other people!

  15. Shane

    Tom, that only applies if you’re trying to remove a member. In reality, not illegal per the FEC. Call and verify for yourself if you weren’t joking.

  16. Shane

    I actually commend them for doing so well with so many different versions of reality and the truth.

    Dependent upon the argument, they can call upon the appropriate version and throw the others down the memory hole. Pretty efficient.

  17. paulie

    On another note, what’s up with Karlan’s terrorist comment? Are free rider’s now terrorists or just those who support no floor fees?

    I bet if they offer a floor fee level package and name it the “Terrorist Package” it would sell like hot cakes.

    Allegedly some people threatened violence if a registration fee was used to prevent them from voting on thr floor.

    Something about whiskey, gunpowder and lead.

  18. Nicholas Sarwark

    “Allegedly some people threatened violence if a registration fee was used to prevent them from voting on the floor.

    Something about whiskey, gunpowder and lead.”

    I heard that allegation, but I never saw any evidence that it was true.

  19. Shane

    Uhhh, okay. So they threatened to start a revolution.

    I think we took only one of those seriously in the past and that’s when a hot tempered Florida guy threatened to punch Gordon in the face. Actually, I’ll correct myself, I didn’t take it seriously but Steve’s face did.

    Regardless, if Karlan was taking that as true threats of violence then well . . . I don’t know what to say.

  20. paulie

    that was John Wayne smith who threatened Steve.

    As I recall, Steve was not intimidated, lol.

    He said that he went up to John and introduced himself to make sure John knew who he was.

  21. paulie

    in the meantime.

    Something went down in flames.

    Changing the speakers somehow, I think.

    Anyone follow more closely? I was busy catching up on these comments after I overslept….

  22. Morey

    I wish they had worded the refund motion to include everyone up to the point that the website is changed.

    @51 Wasn’t there some similar situation with Steve and GE?

  23. Nicholas Sarwark

    Passing a motion to prohibit candidates for National office from having speaking slots at the convention failed. Left in the hands of the Convention Committee.

    Morey, I think the refund motion was passed that way.

  24. paulie

    @53

    I don’t recall Jason ever threatening violence but he did talk a lot of crap about Steve until he met him, and took it back afterwards IIRC.

  25. Shane

    The speaker’s change was instigated by David Nolan and the intent was proper but his execution was self-serving in my opinion.

    He wanted to forbid officer candidates from speaking at the high-profile convention events. Nolan seemed to carve out an exception for himself as an at-large candidate who is scheduled to speak.

    The rule would mainly make an impact on Root, presumably the reason for Starr’s objection.

    Note that a similar conflict occurred in ’08 as Barr was scheduled to be the keynote but withdrew when he announced.

    We seem to go through this each year so the rule should be that if you’re running for a seat, you should not be a speaker. Yes, common sense says that but if there’s no rule, it will be manipulated.

  26. Shane

    Nick or Tom, I’m just curious, during the approval of the agenda at convention, can delegates vote to instate that speaking rule — changing the non-business structure of the convention?

  27. Thomas L. Knapp

    Shane,

    Trying to find our way to any enforceable “Fairness Doctrine” on this is unlikely.

    Since nominations can be made from the floor, there’s nothing to prevent a speaker from making his speech and THEN becoming a candidate. And even if he’s been talking like a candidate for months, unless he’s said “I’m running,” who gets to decide that he is in fact a candidate and cannot be booked as a speaker?

    Also — as I argued with reference to the “subsidies” part of the registration debate — the banquets are NOT CONVENTION EVENTS. They’re extracurricular events that happen to be scheduled for the convention venue/timeframe in order to attract some of the same people.

    I think the best we can hope for is that the convention organizers will not try to stack the deck by making all the events “an evening with out favorite candidate.” Subjecting them to oppobrium (or refusing to buy tickets) if they do is about the only recourse that makes sense.

  28. Thomas L. Knapp

    Shane,

    That’s a tough question to answer. Technically, I guess the delegates could vote to suspend the rules for the purpose of passing a motion, etc., with that effect. But I don’t see it happening.

    To the extent that anyone may see the speaker schedule as reflecting bias toward candidates, I expect that would likely backfire on those candidates anyway.

  29. Thomas L. Knapp

    Where and how to spend money (and how to come up with it) for ballot access is always a tough call. And Illinois is one of those states that always makes it as hard as possible on third parties trying to get on the ballot.

    That said, this year rather than 2012 may be the best year to really push in Illinois. There’s anti-establishment/Tea Party momentum, the last two governors (from each of the “major” parties) have had huge corruption scandals, and Julie Fox is a very good candidate to get 5%+ for comptroller. If that happens, 2012 is “automatic.”

  30. Shane

    Good points made in 61. On 62, it was a hypothetical but you’re right — unlikely.

    This year is odd in that half of the speakers are also candidates. Any overt electioneering that goes on within the actual speech will most likely backfire.

  31. paulie

    Crystal J. is relying on commitments from locals to work for $1, 1.25 etc in IL, I don’t think that can be reliable. People often don’t do what they say, and/or their validity will be not so good…

    Good luck tho.

    I’d like to go there.

    Not sure I can afford what is likely to become a 5-figure de facto in kind contribution when balanced against what is likely to be out at some of the same time…

  32. Andy

    “paulie // Feb 28, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Crystal J. is relying on commitments from locals to work for $1, 1.25 etc in IL, I don’t think that can be reliable.”

    That’s not enough for Illinois in 2010.

  33. Starchild

    Thank heavens a majority of the LNC saw the light on this (either that or felt the heat!)

    Ending the requirement that expensive hotel conventions be subsidized by those LP members who can least afford to pay for them was definitely the right thing to do. And this move also avoids violating the party’s Bylaws which give state affiliates authority over who is a delegate.

    Kudos to Mary Ruwart, Stewart Flood, Tony Ryan, Julie Fox, Dan Karlan, Lee Wrights, Jim Lark, Rachel Hawkridge, Pat Dixon, and Mike Jingozian for casting a responsible vote you can be proud of.

    I urge those LNC members who “get it” to take further action at their earliest opportunity to help ensure that the elitist concept of a floor fee or poll tax does not raise its ugly head again at some point in the future.

  34. Starchild

    P.S. – At this point my intention is to buy a Gold Package at the convention as a result of this positive decision, although I reserve the right to back out if it turns out that buying such a package will unavoidably include paying for speakers who are clearly taking the party in the wrong direction (e.g. Bob Barr/Wayne Allyn Root), or there are any further developments between now and then that approach the outrageousness of convention organizers seeking to levy a poll tax.

  35. Rorschach

    Starchild @71:

    Mary Ruwart will be speaking at breakfast Saturday.

    Bob Barr will be speaking at lunch Saturday

    David Nolan will be speaking at breakfast Sunday.

    Wayne Allyn Root will be speaking at lunch Sunday.

    Neal Boortz will be speaking at dinner Sunday.

    Lineup subject to change, of course. I don’t know if any of the speakers are being paid for their time, I assume that Mr. Boortz, at the very least, has been written a check, but I have little evidence more compelling than hearsay and conjecture with which to support that statement.

    Hopefully this has helped you to reach a decision.

  36. Carolyn Marbry

    Much thanks to the states who managed to get their resolutions on this point passed in time, especially those who had to call special meetings and so on. Well done, and thanks for your support in defeating the floor fees.

    This battle isn’t over yet, however. Sure, we defeated it for the 2010 convention, but in order to keep this same nonsense from coming up over and over every time we get an LNC that’s sympathetic to the anti-“povertarian” line of thought, we need a straight up decision from the delegates in St. Louis to support the by-laws change to disallow floor/registration fees for the national convention PERIOD. Bear in mind that this will have no bearing on the states’ ability to charge or not charge floor fees — if your state charges floor fees for conventions and you don’t like it, at least you’ll have this precedent to draw from for your own by-laws change.

    I encourage you to continue to speak out on this issue and try to gain the support of those who are going to St. Louis for this change. I also urge those of you who were on the fence about registering for St. Louis to get yourselves registered and show the LNC how much this means to you.

  37. James Oaksun

    My understanding is that Boortz will be paid. The others I am unsure but I would be really surprised if they were compensated beyond possibly free or upgraded accommodations.

    I understand what David was trying to do with his proposal to ban officer candidates from speaking. My understanding is that it’s not a final for sure that Wayne will be speaking.

  38. D. Frank Robinson

    In the future the LP would be better served to use a market-based approach to fund the national conventions. If we accept the hard realities of the geographical and dual-layered nature of the U.S. political system, we ought to apply our principles to that system to the best of our ability. Our principles are free market.

    If there is still doubt, the LP ought to reflect that the national LP is based on individuals who reside in the states first and that is the basis of representation in NatCons.

    I propose the voting rights of each delegate shall be equal.

    I propose that the NatCon delegates seats be distributed in the future to, and by, the states in two classes: (1) majority of those seats transferable among the state parties by auction; and, (2) a minority of the NatCon delegate seats non-transferable among the states. Those non-transferable seats would be allocated by whatever formula each state party deems wise.

    The state parties individually would subscribe a portion of the funds from auctioned seats to finance the LNC, as their agent to produce the NatCon.

    The non-transferable seats might or might not produce any revenue to the state parties, but their voting rights would be equal to those of the transferable seats.

    The purpose is to enable the general market of all libertarians, who meet the qualifications for membership, to reveal how much it is worth to fund a national Libertarian Party Convention. Let supply and demand for a scarce good guide the process and let management adapt to the reality of that market.

    The details of implementing this market approach will be determined, I hope, by civil discussion and mutual, good faith negotiations.
    This may not be the best of all possible ways to match funding to representation, but it is different than what has been done with adverse repercussions.

  39. Stewart Flood

    A few comments about the registration system on the website:

    The system does not prevent someone’s spouse from paying for a registration. You enter your information when you register, but the payment page on Authorize.net allows you to change the name of the person paying.

    As I mentioned in the meeting, I have temporarily disabled basic package registrations until I can get home and make all the changes necessary to implement the sponsorship option. I was hoping to get time in the car to start writing code, but I have been asleep for most of the trip.

    There are obviously places where text on the website will need to be changed. The changes will be made, but getting a good enough signal for ssh to work while traveling has been difficult.

    We expect to be back in Charleston this afternoon. Implementing the sponsorship system and verifying it in the test system (yes there is a fully functional duplicate of the convention site for testing code changes) could take a day or two.

    It is logical to assume that those desiring to get attend without purchasing a package would not be registering for gold or silver packages, so I only disabled registration for the basic package.

    I will have registration for basic packages and non-package registration enabled as quickly as I can. I would prefer to get some sleep in an actual bed instead of a moving car before designing it at this point, so it is unlikely that it will be completed today.
    Stewart

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    Stewart,

    Thanks for the info. Wes Benedict also pointed me to the latest LP News, which has a printable registration form for sending check, etc. [PDF].

    The problem on the site is that it requires you on the first page to certify that the registrant is paying with a card for which he/she is responsible, etc. I can’t so certify — it’s my spouse’s debit card. Even though there’s a degree to which our household funds are fungible, I’m simply not the cardholder, so I can’t check that certification box.

  41. Thomas L. Knapp

    Eric,

    There are up sides and down sides to it.

    Up side: With the three-day weekend, more people can attend who might not have had the vacation hours, etc. to do so otherwise.

    Up side: To the extent that it becomes a “standard” over time, people can plan well ahead for it.

    Down side: Giving up a “holiday weekend with the family,” or prime campaign event times (parades, etc.).

    Down side: It may be more expensive, both personally (the holiday gas price jack-up, etc.) and for the party (booking hotels/facilities during a prime time).

  42. Gene Trosper

    A possible solution for those who don’t have a credit/debit card of their own: Purchase a pre-paid Mastercard or Visa debit card. They can be reloaded and used online.

  43. paulie

    My understanding is that Boortz will be paid.

    LNC member(s) have told me he is not.

    I don’t remember who said that anymore.

    BTW sorry if I missed you while we were here. Still interested in talking to you, give me a call when you have time. If you are still here, I’m in the lobby area for another hour or two. I’m taking greyhound, so I’ll be able to talk on the phone while traveling.

  44. paulie

    Carolyn,

    “Much thanks to the states who managed to get their resolutions on this point passed in time, especially those who had to call special meetings and so on. Well done, and thanks for your support in defeating the floor fees.

    This battle isn’t over yet, however. Sure, we defeated it for the 2010 convention, but in order to keep this same nonsense from coming up over and over every time we get an LNC that’s sympathetic to the anti-”povertarian” line of thought, we need a straight up decision from the delegates in St. Louis to support the by-laws change to disallow floor/registration fees for the national convention PERIOD. Bear in mind that this will have no bearing on the states’ ability to charge or not charge floor fees — if your state charges floor fees for conventions and you don’t like it, at least you’ll have this precedent to draw from for your own by-laws change.

    I encourage you to continue to speak out on this issue and try to gain the support of those who are going to St. Louis for this change. I also urge those of you who were on the fence about registering for St. Louis to get yourselves registered and show the LNC how much this means to you.”

    If I understand correctly, there is a bylaws proposal to ban mandatory registration fees at future conventions which made it out of the bylaws committee and will be going to a floor vote in St. Louis.

    Furthermore, if I understand correctly, another bylaws proposal, to explicitly allow mandatory registration floor fees at future conventions, did not make it out of committee.

  45. Nicholas Sarwark

    Two points of information:

    1) I believe I heard during the LNC meeting in the Admiral’s report that one speaker will be getting a gold package and partial airfare reimbursement. Other than that, people are speaking without being paid for it.

    2) The proposal to allow floor fees did not make it out of the Bylaws committee, but probably not for the reasons you might think. We had discussed a proposal in Charleston to cap the registration fee at a particular amount ($50 I think, but there was discussion about the right amount). Because there was already a move to reconsider that proposal, the Chair ruled that a motion to allow floor fees was out of order.

    FYI, the proposal to cap registration fees did not make it out of committee.

  46. Carolyn Marbry

    RE: the Missouri Compromise, does anyone have that already in electronic format, or do I need to scan it in? If you have a copy of it, please forward it to my email. Thanks!

    I wanted to get that out in the open because they’re going to do it anyway, without it being part of the policy manual.

    It’s not readily apparent why they need to do it now that the floor fee has been dropped for this convention, except as a potential way to get more people to pay and raise a little more money. That’s fine. But yes, making it a change to the policy manual is dubious.

    A similar program was implemented in CA in 2005 just after the then-chair, Aaron Starr, managed to implement floor fees. They had a little program where people could pay floor fees for others who were less fortunate to attend the convention. The only catch was that if someone paid for you, you had to wear a little sticker on your name badge that said “SUBSIDIZED.”

    To Libertarians, of course, “subsidy” is a bad word, almost as bad as “poll tax,” for example, or “bailout.” It was meant as a scarlet letter, to shame people into scraping together the money for themselves or subject themselves to being second-class Libertarians.

    Bear in mind that by paying for someone’s entry into convention, unless it’s completely anonymous ON BOTH SIDES, it creates obligation for that person, a marker to be called in later. Will it be for money? Support? Votes?

  47. Stewart Flood

    What Ms Marbry has failed to point out is that the “Missouri Compromise” has nothing to do with the policy manual. The convention committee was delegated the authority to run the convention and implementing a method of allowing sponsorships for delegates does not require putting anything in the policy manual.

    A point of inquiry was raised regarding whether approval of the board was required to implement the system and it was noted by the chair that permission is not required. As I said at the meeting, I am planning on implementing it.

    I do not recall using the words subsidize or subsidy in the discussion. This is a plan to allow sponsorships. We have volunteers who will be working the convention. Someone may wish to sponsor them, hopefully for a silver or gold package so that they can have a little fun.

    There are student libertarian organizations that may be able to send delegates that will now be able to ask to be sponsored.

    Ms Marbry is attempting to maintain a level of distrust in her remarks. What obligation would someone have to someone who sponsored them? Had she been listening to the explanation of the plan, she would realize that a “pool” of money for sponsorships that are given out in the order they are asked for implies a significant level of anonymity.

    But what if someone wants to sponsor a specific member? Should we not allow them to do this? Ms Marbry’s comments imply that we should not allow, for example, Tom Knapp’s spouse to pay for his registration, but to be required to dump it into a pool and hope that it goes to him.

    But since there is no requirement to pay for attending the business session of the convention, a delegate will only be asking for sponsorship if he or she wishes to be able to attend other functions at the convention. In Mr Knapp’s case, he wishes to support the convention, but has pointed out (correctly) that we need a method for his spouse to pay for it. That is “technically” a sponsorship. I see no reason for his badge to indicate in any way anything other than that he is a delegate with a “basic registration”. Ms Marbry believes that we will stamp his badge or ribbon with the words “my wife subsidized me.” This will not happen.

    I have arrived in Charleston, and will be taking Mr Karlan to the train station shortly to catch the train back to the Garden State. I will then play Rip Van Winkle and when I wake up I will deal with the Missouri Compromise.

    Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

    Stewart

  48. Carolyn Marbry

    No, Mr. Flood, no one said anything about legislating or mandating what private individuals decide between themselves as far as paying for each other. Let me tell you a little bit about the Libertarian party… 🙂

    No, I made it clear what I was referring to with my example and what I wanted to avoid. I also made it clear I was talking about what the PARTY implements.

    You’re welcome to try to obfuscate it further, but the fact is, the original substitute motion DID involve trying to put the change into the policy manual.

    From Seebeck’s Tweet (which I realize does not qualify as the official minutes , but which was documenting the meeting on the fly and so is not subject to editing after the fact):

    “Starr offers sub motion by him, T. Ryans, Jingo. Amend policy manual to implement online sponsorship to sponsor others for. Mattson 2nd. ”

    So yes, actually, the original motion WAS to amend the polyc manual. After Dixon’s motion passed, it was decided that it didn’t take a change to the policy manual if they decide to do it themselves anyway — I believe Lee Wrights pointed that out to the LNC.

    The point is, I want to be sure that no such “scarlet letter” thing happens.

  49. Carolyn Marbry

    Paulie @83, you said, “If I understand correctly, there is a bylaws proposal to ban mandatory registration fees at future conventions which made it out of the bylaws committee and will be going to a floor vote in St. Louis.

    “Furthermore, if I understand correctly, another bylaws proposal, to explicitly allow mandatory registration floor fees at future conventions, did not make it out of committee”

    Yes, that is also my understanding. I’m encouraging people to speak out and educate the delegates on this matter, which ever side you’re on. Trust the delegates to see reason without having to use sleight of hand and parliamentarian parlor tricks.

    I will tell you this. If the delegates at convention vote down the by-laws proposal to ban floor fees and instead vote one in that allows them, I will support that decision BECA– USE IT CAME FROM THOSE WHO WOULD BE EXPECTED TO PAY IT and would be an actual policy set in place in the by-laws, not because it was thrust upon them by a failure-to-speak in the by-laws.

    Gotta say, that was the lamest part of the pro-floor fee argument — “well, it doesn’t say we CAN’T implement it,” is the same reasoning that has so much extra-constitutional governing and taxation going on in this country.

  50. Stewart Flood

    I’m not trying to obfuscate anything. The Missouri Compromise was submitted by our Secretary, not Mr Starr. What was submitted had no reference to the policy manual. I’ve just read it again to be sure, and there is absolutely no mention of the policy manual in the Missouri Compromise, nor is one needed.

    The fact that Mr Starr tried to make a substitute motion that was defeated (I voted against it) is not important. What is important is that the idea that Bob submitted was a good one and I’m going to implement it.

    I’m not really concerned with what happened in California. That is your convention and it is run by your rules. My only concern is the national convention, and there will be no scarlet letters.

    Time to sleep.

    Stewart

  51. Shane

    Stewart on this compromise thingamabob, why does a $0 transaction need a sponsor?

    If there’s no fee requirement then why does someone need to be sponsored?

    Is it that the basic package is now eliminated and the minimum package is now Silver so your letting folks pay for a basic package for others?

  52. Carolyn Marbry

    Then we’re on the same page — you don’t want any scarlet letter nonsense, and neither do I. Cool.

    What happened in CA on this was not good, and it’s something I would want to avoid at national. That’s why it matters, and that’s why I brought it up.

  53. D. Frank Robinson

    If some delegate seats were auctioned among the state parties, then the sponsors could fund the purchase of a seat for their state party. The state party would then pay for all its delegates in a lump sum – no stigmas. Why castigate the slum lords (sponsors) who provide homes or those who rent from them? Has California become a European hyper-class conscious slum? What’s next government matching funds to we can have a convention produced by James Cameron?

  54. Brian Holtz

    the same reasoning that has so much extra-constitutional governing and taxation going on in this country

    The reasoning ws that the power of a Credentials Committee to require a registration fee is an enumerated one, just like its power to require a signature:

    RRONR p.593: “Recording of the member as officially registered, upon his paying the registration fee (which is sometimes sent well in advance) and signing the list of registrations.”

    There was no dispute about whether a registration fee is mentioned in our rules. The dispute was just about whether that mention needed to be repeated in our Bylaws in order to count as part of our rules. Or something like that.

  55. Thomas L. Knapp

    “There was no dispute about whether a registration fee is mentioned in our rules.”

    Yes, there was.

    “The” (not “a”) registration fee is mentioned in the book that happens to contain our (auxiliary/interstitial) rules. A lot of things are mentioned in that book, but not all of them are rules.

  56. Michael Seebeck, doing the wrap-up

    Here’s the play-by-play, restructured into proper order with a little help from Excel and Notepad.

    In and set up for what is going to be a contentious floor fee fight this morning at the LNC in Austin. Nobody else here yet. 5:28 AM Feb 28th via web

    Registration fees first item on agenda. It gets hot early here. Stay tuned. 6:10 AM Feb 28th via web

    People starting to trickle in: Sullentrup, Lark, Dixon, Kraus, Chair of LPOH, Karlan, Mattson, Ryans, etc. 6:20 AM Feb 28th via web

    Got Hawkridge’s camera up and going, but not webcasting, just recording. Gonna get started shortly. 6:31 AM Feb 28th via web

    In order at 8:34. Colley speakerphoning in. 6:35 AM Feb 28th via web

    Floor fees lead off. 30 minutes. Dixon moves to have no delegates denied entrace to floor during business session based on fee. Wrights 2nd 6:36 AM Feb 28th via web

    Dixon speaks to motion, thanks Colley, says people should pay own way, but too soon to do a floor fee. Says delegates aren’t happy. 6:37 AM Feb 28th via web

    Dixon says sell as many packets as possible. Shouldn’t turn away delegates, fears less attendance with fees. Doesn’t want to change prices 6:38 AM Feb 28th via web

    Dixon says delegates should decide at convention, not LNC. Wants to maximize turnout. 6:39 AM Feb 28th via web

    Mattson says spoke to Colley, who said loss of fee means raise prices or lose money. Says motions failed in other states, including CA 6:41 AM Feb 28th via web

    but CA didn’t fail–it was never discussed. Mattson moves to table motion. No second. Redpath asks Colley to comment, he defers 6:42 AM Feb 28th via web

    Fox speaks to motion, points out that the higher packages PER COLLEY already “subsidize” the floor costs. Contradicts Mattson. 6:45 AM Feb 28th via web

    BetteRoseRyan speaks from gallery about costs, Starr stuck on his $33K numbers again. Off topic of motion. 6:46 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr going on and on, not germane to motion. Claiming it’s part of a point of information from Sullentrup on costs. 6:48 AM Feb 28th via web

    Hawkridge speaks to FL not passing a resolution from inaction–same as CA–fears it will kill convention numbers 6:49 AM Feb 28th via web

    Ruwart says Bylaws issue, states pick delegates, says plain english good enough, intent was to state pick delegates, fee limits delegates 6:50 AM Feb 28th via web

    Ruwart expresses disappointment in parliamentary D&D (see my speech), says Robert III never answered the question properly. 6:51 AM Feb 28th via web

    Ruwart says it’s causing divisiveness, says committee not consulted on questions to Robert III, says delegates should decide. 6:52 AM Feb 28th via web

    Ruwart says delegates not thinking of attending. 6:52 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr POI to ask if called Robert III on phone to answer Ruwart’s question. Ruwart deflects, says not enough time to consider properly. 6:53 AM Feb 28th via web

    Ruwart says she sees more and more applying RONR to bylaws a bad idea, doesn’t like the centralization. 6:54 AM Feb 28th via web

    T. Ryan says agrees in principle with motion, says doesn’t like RONR not to be used as a blunt instrument on members. Asks POI. 6:55 AM Feb 28th via web

    Ryan POI asks Colley if the costs for staff, awards, speakers, etc. are already figured into fees and packages. 6:56 AM Feb 28th via web

    Colley replies that only Keynote gets full Gold package. Awards coming out of Colley’s pocket? No real answer. 6:57 AM Feb 28th via web

    Wrights POI asks to clarify that Colley is paying for awards OOP this year, and Redpath asks for clarification. 6:58 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr refers to spreadsheet from Kraus on past expenses. Colley says he paid for the trophies. 6:58 AM Feb 28th via web

    About $200. 6:59 AM Feb 28th via web

    Sullentrup says free option was concealed for 39 years, calls it a “dirty little secret”, says it’s fraud on gold and silver package buyers 7:00 AM Feb 28th via web

    Sullentrup calls it a hidden tax on those package buyers. (Argument is more about transparency than fees–deflecting argument -MWS) 7:01 AM Feb 28th via web

    Sullentrup says 16% got in free, and that $60 of each gold/silver package covers that cost–another subsidy argument, then tries to pass it 7:01 AM Feb 28th via web

    pass it off to next set of donors. Repeats that it’s a tax on delegates to not do so. Calls for Missouri Compromise. Stuck on subsidies. 7:03 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr offers sub motion by him, T. Ryans, Jingo. Amend policy manual to implement online sponsorship to sponsor others for. Mattson 2nd. 7:04 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr speaks to motion. Says that helping people attend is a good thing, says wants to replace coercive funding mechs with other ways. BUT 7:07 AM Feb 28th via web

    BUT…that doesn’t eliminate the fees. Still stuck on RONR argument to authority. 7:07 AM Feb 28th via web

    Colley: never “crossed him mind that people didn’t want to pay their fair share”. Claims that they examined Bylaws and RONR and didn’t ask 7:08 AM Feb 28th via web

    Colley: agrees with Ruwart that a Bylaws change needed at convention. No effort to discriminate, pure business, for fair share. 7:10 AM Feb 28th via web

    Colley: Says tossing RONR isn’t a good idea, should address Bylaws better. 7:10 AM Feb 28th via web

    Colley: MO Compromise to take out sting–ignores that it leaves the fees in. 7:11 AM Feb 28th via web

    Personal comment: any compromise that leaves the fee in existence is no compromise at all, but a LOSS. 7:11 AM Feb 28th via web

    That was me speaking, folks. Back to the feed. 7:12 AM Feb 28th via web

    Colley: convention mentioned to be stage for the election season, takes responsibility for the chaff, says need to put it behind us. 7:13 AM Feb 28th via web

    Wrights moves to extend 15, w/o objection. 7:13 AM Feb 28th via web

    Wrights speaks against motion to amend PM to “give permission” to libs to do that is almost offensive, permission not needed. 7:15 AM Feb 28th via web

    Wrights: sub motion is to shift the argument away from the fees existing. Says teh real issue is following the Bylaws, backs Ruwart’s 7:16 AM Feb 28th via web

    concerns about ?’s to Robert III. Says that national is excluded on purpose from delegate selection, and a fee is an extra requirement 7:16 AM Feb 28th via web

    Wrights: says convention is required by Bylaws, that LNC works for delegates, not the other way around, and that a required fee should be 7:17 AM Feb 28th via web

    Wrights: decision made by delegates. 7:18 AM Feb 28th via web

    Dixon: objects to sub motion, agrees with Wrights. Disagrees with Colley’s either-or proposition on raise fees or lose money, says costs 7:19 AM Feb 28th via web

    costs will not increase, shouldn’t change policy. Says nobody pays for business sessions, but optional stuff like Chairs debate last night 7:20 AM Feb 28th via web

    can be paid for, and nobody objects. 7:20 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr: asks about LSLA business meeting fee. Dixon: no statement either way there. 7:21 AM Feb 28th via web

    Lieberman: Pt of Parl Proceed how to make a motion to call Balch to ask about it. 7:22 AM Feb 28th via web

    Redpath: hold that in abeyance. 7:22 AM Feb 28th via web

    Mattson: says that revenues would go down even if expenses go up. Goes back to more Bylaws, claims the usual arguments. 7:24 AM Feb 28th via web

    Note: holding in abeyance got Starr off his cell to Balch. 7:25 AM Feb 28th via web

    Ruwart: objects to the idea of people “mooching” when they don’t–calls sub motion passing the floor fee, states have the right, will cause 7:26 AM Feb 28th via web

    Ruwart: cause big rift between LNC and states. 7:26 AM Feb 28th via web

    Colley: agrees with Ruwart, says it should be voluntary, shouldn’t be LNC forcing delegates to do anything. 7:28 AM Feb 28th via web

    Sink-Burris: says some states support fee, so does she. 7:30 AM Feb 28th via web

    Wrights moves to extend 15, objected, hand count, 7-8 fails. Vote on sub motion to amend PM to “allow” online sponsorship for fees. 7:32 AM Feb 28th via web

    Redpath: asks Colley question, replied that MO Compromise. 7:33 AM Feb 28th via web

    Sub motion: 6-8 fails. Karlan moves to extend 5, w/o objection. 7:33 AM Feb 28th via web

    On main motion by Dixon. 7:34 AM Feb 28th via web

    Karlan: talking about his history, segues into personal payments and values. Goes into being upset about non-fee payers, inflates #s 7:37 AM Feb 28th via web

    Karlan: #s to 25%. Talks about loophole in Bylaws about non-national members doing national business–complaint about states? 7:38 AM Feb 28th via web

    Karlan: says he’s tried to bring clarity to Bylaws (MWS: Yeah, right!). Goes into budget, off topic. Redpath letting him ramble. 7:39 AM Feb 28th via web

    Karlan: calls objections to fees “terrorist threats” Hawk objects on decorum. Karlan says he will vote for motion from outside pressure. 7:40 AM Feb 28th via web

    Redpath: out of time, but asks about calling Balch: body says no. Hawk moves to extend, objected, Hawk withdraws. 7:42 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr: asks if this is amending something previously adopted, so needs 2/3 vote (that’s correct-MWS), so needs 9 votes to pass. 7:44 AM Feb 28th via web

    Confusion on what’s being voted on, but it’s the Dixon main motion. 7:45 AM Feb 28th via web

    Ruwart objects to ruling of the chair, majority vote to overturn. sustained by vote. main motion roll call vote. 7:46 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr: N, Ruwart: Y, Flood: Y, Ryan: Y, Fox: Y, SB: N, Karlan: Y, Wrights: Y, Lark: Y, Hawk: Y, Lieb: N, Matt: N, Dixon: Y, Jingo: Y, 7:48 AM Feb 28th via web

    Sull: N, passses 10-5. FEES KILLED. 7:48 AM Feb 28th via web

    Flood: still intends to implement MO Compromise anyway. (Not needed now-MWS) 7:50 AM Feb 28th via web

    Hawk: asks for LNC numbers for silver/gold packages, and who’s changing their minds. 7:51 AM Feb 28th via web

    Next Item: Ruwart: Motion written by Nolan: “no person who is a declared candidate for LNC officer shall be given a speaking slot as Keynote 7:52 AM Feb 28th via web

    cont. “Speaker, or at Brkfst or Lunch event, at the convention unless all candidates given equal time.” (paraphrasing). Hawk seconds 7:53 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr: opposes. Speaks about past motions similar that failed. Concerned about officers only and not at-large as well. 7:55 AM Feb 28th via web

    SB: opposes, echoes Starr. Lark: defers to Ruwart, who agrees to objection of Starr, offers to withdraw as a convention speaker 8:00 AM Feb 28th via web

    Mattson: opposes no matter what amendments made. 8:00 AM Feb 28th via web

    Dixon: neutral, says ConCom aware of it, doesn’t want to micormanage “common sense” 8:01 AM Feb 28th via web

    Wrights: calls question, w/o objection. 8:02 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr: same parliamentary point, 2/3 required as before. Chair rules it. 8:03 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr n, Flood, n, Ruwart, y, Fox n, SB: n, DK: n, LW abs, Lark n, RH y, SL n, AM, n, PD n, MJ n, BS n, motion fails. 8:04 AM Feb 28th via web

    recess for 10, thank goodness! 8:05 AM Feb 28th via web

    Back at 10:30. SB: Motion to have those who paid basic package to get a refund. Flood 2nd. w/o objection, Dixon objects. 5 min to suspend 8:40 AM Feb 28th via web

    w/o objection. SB: would affect 16 people. Discussion on impacts, including staff. Starr favors informing those people only. 8:41 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr: move to amend to those only 16 people. seconded, w/o objection. “Good faith gesture to inform the people who bought a basic pkg… 8:43 AM Feb 28th via web

    “…to this point that they can get a refund.” Ruwart: says website needs to be changed to reflect. Thinks there might be more ramificats 8:44 AM Feb 28th via web

    Out of time, move to extend 5, objected, passes. 8:44 AM Feb 28th via web

    Flood: would still need to allow silver/gold registration while fixing website. 8:45 AM Feb 28th via web

    Wrights: supports the motion, says it’s the right thing. 8:45 AM Feb 28th via web

    Motion reread. Roll call vote. AS y, MR y, SF y, TR y, JF y, SB y, DK y, LW y, JL y, RH y, SL y, AM y, PD y, MJ y, RS y 8:47 AM Feb 28th via web

    Affiliate support committee 30 min, Jingozian. 8:47 AM Feb 28th via web

    Reading. Putting on my LPCA SVC hat for a moment. 8:48 AM Feb 28th via web

    Will analyze later. Already see some problems with it. 8:49 AM Feb 28th via web

    Jingo explains the idea. Starr asks about PM mention of the committee. (YTF does it need to be in the PM? Make it a standing cmte!) 8:54 AM Feb 28th via web

    Motion is to put the committee into the PM, with “reformatting” w/o objection. 8:58 AM Feb 28th via web

    Dixon: concerned about “shall” clauses in the motion. Karlan: author, clauses there to get things done, “to light fires”. 8:59 AM Feb 28th via web

    Wrights: supports putting it in PM for body carryover. Starr: asks if it doesn’t go in PM, does it evaporate? Mattson says yes. 9:01 AM Feb 28th via web

    Flood: LNC should have responsibilities for each member–variation of Hinkle kitchen cabinet arg (CO system), supports as worded. 9:03 AM Feb 28th via web

    discussion. Benedict supports idea. question called, w/o objection. Roll Call vote: 9:08 AM Feb 28th via web

    AS y, MR y, SF y, TR y, JF y, SB y, DK y, LW y, JL y, RH y, SL y, AM y, PD y, MJ y, RS y 9:09 AM Feb 28th via web

    passes unanimously 9:09 AM Feb 28th via web

    Ballot access: Redpath: Kevin Nedler (sp?), LPOH Chair explains victory there. 2-18 petition deadline for primaries–forgo to Nov or be in 9:12 AM Feb 28th via web

    Voting in OH L is registering, advantage for contacts. Donations $20K to get petitions, 2.25 per, got full statewide slate, 60 total. 9:13 AM Feb 28th via web

    Redpath: LPNM: 15K from LNC to petition drive, ongoing, to get LPNM ballot access for 2010. 9:14 AM Feb 28th via web

    LPNE: in contact with issues there, ongoing, CD-by-CD reqs, 5% statewide vote for ballot line. 9:15 AM Feb 28th via web

    LPPA: LNC interested in LPPA helping on ballot access there? Redpath to follow up, 20K sigs for statewide office needed. 9:16 AM Feb 28th via web

    LPNY: former R Cong candidate wants to run for Guv as L, maybe fusion, LPNY Chair Eades encouraging idea, time window TBD 9:17 AM Feb 28th via web

    LPIL: working issues there, progressing, 50K sigs, 25K valid, Fox knows the details, too. 9:19 AM Feb 28th via web

    Motion to fund LPIL petition drive, seconded. Fox; favors, gives details. 9:22 AM Feb 28th via web

    Technical problems on video camera resolved. 9:25 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr: concerned about 2012 over 2010 and money not being there. 9:26 AM Feb 28th via web

    Jingo on gavel, out of time, move to extend 5 passes. 9:26 AM Feb 28th via web

    Fox: no guarantees of 5% vote total, but optimistic that it’s very doable. 9:27 AM Feb 28th via web

    Wrights: ballot access is key, agrees with Redpath. Flood: also agrees. Volunteers $500 to replenish funds to start. 9:29 AM Feb 28th via web

    Mattson: concerned on where costs coming from for spending. Redpath says it’s increasing not budget-shifting. 9:30 AM Feb 28th via web

    Dixon: shot to be fired, Starr pessimistic. Dixon pledges $3K to Benedict to help out. 9:31 AM Feb 28th via web

    Lark: asks Fox what would be race statuses in terms of candidates. Fox: Gs in most races from their winning ballot status. 3P deadine June 9:32 AM Feb 28th via web

    Fox: CP weak as well, may not make ballot. Redpath concurs. Out of time. Starr moves to extend 2, w/o objection. 9:32 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr: says ballot access costs drive LP into debt each time, wants to save up for 2012 instead. Concerned that it might be more than $20K 9:34 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr: says it will hurt us for the future. Jingo asks if this is for keeping Fox from running. Starr: no. 9:35 AM Feb 28th via web

    Vote to increase budget $15K to $35K, with the $20K to LPIL for their ballot access. Roll call vote: AS n, RS n, Fox abst, SL absent, rest y 9:37 AM Feb 28th via web

    short-form for space only, folks. 9:38 AM Feb 28th via web

    Redpath: move to suspend rules to put Hinkle on EC (LNC version of Operations Committee) since he left the LNC. No second. 9:41 AM Feb 28th via web

    Public comments: LPMO chair says thanks for reconsidering floor fees, positive for delegates. 9:41 AM Feb 28th via web

    LPTX member (name?) mentions Alamo and TX independence. Welcome to TX. Sees wind change on LNC attitude. Will give $2K for LPIL in 2012 9:44 AM Feb 28th via web

    LPNH Tomasso: thanks LNC for their help in NH. Mentions possibility of major party status in NH, which would create a LP Dixville Notch! 9:45 AM Feb 28th via web

    LPWA G. Hawkridge: cordiality while disagreeing. common solutions needed. Help the resource-challenged states 9:47 AM Feb 28th via web

    LPTX AG nominee: 1. develop informal strategy re: tea parties. 2. special election coming up in TX for US Senate, unique opportunity to hit 9:50 AM Feb 28th via web

    Lark: thanks everyone. 9:51 AM Feb 28th via web

    Starr: thanks LPTX for hosting and LSLA etc. 9:52 AM Feb 28th via web

    LPOH Nedler: LPOH rebuild, going to drive registration by focus on GenY for legacy for them. 9:55 AM Feb 28th via web

    Me: blah blah. 9:56 AM Feb 28th via web

    Wrights: proud of the effort today. 9:57 AM Feb 28th via web

    Adjourned. I’m outta here. 9:57 AM Feb 28th via web

  57. paulie

    A similar program was implemented in CA in 2005 just after the then-chair, Aaron Starr, managed to implement floor fees. They had a little program where people could pay floor fees for others who were less fortunate to attend the convention. The only catch was that if someone paid for you, you had to wear a little sticker on your name badge that said “SUBSIDIZED.”

    I remember. However, I did not put on the “subsidized” sticker.

  58. paulie

    Ms Marbry is attempting to maintain a level of distrust in her remarks. What obligation would someone have to someone who sponsored them?

    People are welcome to sponsor me if they wish. My votes will not be for sale.

    I may help some people if need be at some point, but I won’t be buying their vote.

  59. paulie

    Stewart on this compromise thingamabob, why does a $0 transaction need a sponsor?

    If there’s no fee requirement then why does someone need to be sponsored?

    Is it that the basic package is now eliminated and the minimum package is now Silver so your letting folks pay for a basic package for others?

    I won’t object if someone wants to buy me meal tickets and/or a motel room 🙂

    If it helps make the convention financially successful, that’s good too.

    If I find a cache of diamonds or something like that between now and May, I’ll buy meals and rooms for everyone I can.

    I hope that addresses the substance of the question(s).

  60. paulie

    Then we’re on the same page — you don’t want any scarlet letter nonsense, and neither do I. Cool.

    I love it when my friends agree with each other 🙂

  61. Thomas L. Knapp

    In practice — and “sponsorship” is not a new thing, only formalizing it would be — it tends to work the other way:

    Sponsors don’t sponsor someone and then lean on them for a quid pro quo, they sponsor someone whom they already expect will be working on their side of various fences.

    I’ve been to four national conventions. For at least three of them, I received some sort of sponsorship/support to do so, either from campaigns I was working for or from individuals who were supportive of the what they expected I’d be doing there.

    I was sponsored once — a plane ticket to an LNC meeting when I was an alternate — by a Libertarian who frequently and vehemently disagrees with me.

    There was a vacancy on the LNC. This Libertarian knew that I supported one candidate while he supported another, and that I would be working for (and if moved up from alternate to regular, voting for) the candidate I preferred, not the candidate he preferred. But for whatever reason, he thought it would be a good thing for me to be at that meeting and he helped me get there.

    I think that’s relevant, because that sponsor was Bob Sullentrup, author of the “Missouri Compromise” proposal. Whatever else one might say about him, I don’t think that he tries to buy people. If he sponsors someone under his own proposal, it will likely be someone he believes thinks his way, but I just don’t see him trying to extract votes, etc. for the sponsorship.

  62. paulie

    @100 cont

    Also, I’m willing to hand out nametags, do manual labor such as set up and breakdown/cleanup, etc, liveblogging if I can get computers I can use.

    Nice to know others can help make it a financial success. We all should pitch in one way or another. Not by mandate, but by choice.

  63. paulie

    Sponsors don’t sponsor someone and then lean on them for a quid pro quo, they sponsor someone whom they already expect will be working on their side of various fences.

    I received word indirectly that at least two people offered to help buy me meal tickets. If one of them helps with motel costs instead that would be very cool.

    I don’t know who they are, but I am roughly guessing that they may very well be people that will vote differently from me for most LNC positions.

    The folks on that side of the party have by and large been very nice and friendly to me. We disagree, but we do so agreeably, and I will personally defend their character.

    The fact that we have different opinions of what will make our party more successful in ultimately moving the US/world towards liberty does not mean they are ill-intentioned or any of the other things many people say. As far as I can
    tell they are by and large personally good people and sincere fighters for liberty. As Tom Knapp illustrates with his note about Bob Sullentrup in 102.

  64. Stewart Flood

    One of the people who offered to sponsor Paulie was me. The other was an LNC member — one who would normally be voting on the opposite side of votes.

    I would sponsor Paulie because I know that he knows that I know that his vote isn’t for sale. If it were, I would never offer to sponsor him.

    My offer was to sponsor him for a basic package. The other offer was to get him either a silver or gold. I can’t recall at this moment which one was mentioned, but it was a genuine offer and certainly trumped mine.

    I’ve been up since about 5am this morning (couldn’t sleep) and I’m just about getting caught up on all the network/systems disasters clients had while I was gone (why can’t paying work show up when you are in town and not when you are out of town?), so hopefully I will either get started on the changes to the site tonight or in the morning if I end up z’ing out after I get home.

    And Paulie — I am NOT on the same side as Ms Marbry. She is trying to play head games and scare people into thinking that the worst will happen. I should not have been asked and should not have had to answer that question. Slapping “SPONSORED” on someone’s badge at our national convention would be childish at best and disruptive at worst.

    Those who only attend the business meeting will certainly have a badge that says “Business Meeting” but we have to do that so that we know that they are not to be admitted to non-business meeting events. The others will say basic, silver or gold package so that we will know what events they are to be admitted to.

  65. paulie

    One of the people who offered to sponsor Paulie was me. The other was an LNC member — one who would normally be voting on the opposite side of votes.

    I would sponsor Paulie because I know that he knows that I know that his vote isn’t for sale. If it were, I would never offer to sponsor him.

    My offer was to sponsor him for a basic package. The other offer was to get him either a silver or gold. I can’t recall at this moment which one was mentioned, but it was a genuine offer and certainly trumped mine.

    Thanks to both of you.

    If you are both still interested, a motel room would be even more appreciated than meal tickets.

  66. paulie

    And Paulie — I am NOT on the same side as Ms Marbry. She is trying to play head games and scare people into thinking that the worst will happen. I should not have been asked and should not have had to answer that question. Slapping “SPONSORED” on someone’s badge at our national convention would be childish at best and disruptive at worst.

    I only meant that you both agree that badges should not say “sponsored.” I know there are differences between you. I just try to accentuate the common ground. Something all too rare in the LP.

  67. paulie

    Sorry to keep this thread going, since the subject has been put to bed at least for now.

    But I thought I should relay some good news.

    Over at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lpradicals

    Several people are saying they are now buying above-basic packages, including people who have never bought packages before or haven’t bought them in many years.

  68. Stewart Flood

    If you are going to be a volunteer then you will need to be in the hotel. What we may be able to do is get someone to sponsor a room for the volunteers.

    Since we are no longer getting every delegate to pay their fair share of the cost of the business session (which certainly includes things like rooms for volunteers who are working the convention) then we’ll have to get someone to pay extra to sponsor it.

    As I said in the meeting, I believe that a registration fee is not only allowed in the ByLaws, but is the proper libertarian approach to the issue of funding the convention. I do not believe that the disagreement should be dealt with by a contentious JC hearing that would be held just weeks before the convention. I’d rather give in when I know that I am right than be right and allow those who I believe are wrong to damage the party through an appeal to the JC.

    What I just said was not intended to start another discussion on here. The issue is settled for now — the delegates at the convention can decide if we are going to be libertarians and pay our own way to conventions or demand that the party find others to pay for those who won’t cover their share.

    There is nothing hypocritical about this position, nor is there any reason for anyone on the other side to attack me on this. I understand that some members of the party believe that the ByLaws do not allow a registration fee. I understand that some members of the party believe that this should somehow be part of the general budget. I understand that some members believe that they have a “right” to come in for free. I disagree with them and I will certainly be lobbying for what I believe is the right choice at the convention.

    Ok, end of long message. Time to get some dinner. I’m still waiting for Paulie to charge his phone and call me back, so I better get dinner before he calls.

  69. Stewart Flood

    Your comment crossed mine. That is good news. Very good news.

    Unfortunately, that amounts to a total of four people in the past two days. They must mean that they are going to buy them, because they haven’t bought them yet.

    But that’s ok. There is still time and getting more support from across all segments of the party is what we need to have a great convention!

  70. Carolyn Marbry

    Nope, not trying to scare anyone. Just pointing out how this was done in CA and making sure that everyone is aware that this kind of thing CAN creep in so that all of us who oppose it, including Mr. Flood, can keep a watchful eye that nothing like this can happen again.

    I’m not accusing anyone of doing this in this instance. I’m speaking preemptively to be sure it does NOT happen. And I don’t recall ever challenging Mr. Flood to answer what I posted. I believe he took that upon himself.

    As I said, we’re on the same page — we don’t want any sense of obligation created nor any stigma attached to this program. Awesome. I’m all for maximum participation, and I would even be willing to kick in some cash for the program as long as it runs that way.

  71. Stewart Flood

    It will certainly be run that way. I designed the website. I write the code.

    To paraphrase the old saying of “he who has the gold makes the rules” I would say “he who writes the code writes the rules.” The Admiral would certainly be against anything unethical in how we do this, the plan that the Secretary put forward has no unethical elements in it and there is no way that I’d write unethical rules into the system even if the entire LNC ordered me to. I drop the project and make them find someone else to handle the convention website before I’d expose myself or my company to an E&O suit.

    Now I just have to find time while installing cameras in front of turtle eggs to write some code…

  72. Stewart Flood

    And yes, I’m installing cameras in front of turtle eggs. Private foundation money. The hatchery is down in the armory of the Yorktown in a brand new marine education center. Turtle eggs with high resolution cameras recording them for months on end until they hatch. All of it will be viewable from the Internet.

    We’re putting in a dual four core (eight each with hyperthreading) server to record and analyze the video inside the ship as well as from cameras outside that view the harbor. Really cool stuff. NOT government funded. Private foundation money.

    The Yorktown isn’t owned by the Feds anymore. They gave it to South Carolina and it was set up to be managed by a private foundation that raises money to do things like the education center that we are building.

  73. Thomas L. Knapp

    I love the Yorktown.

    When I was a kid, we visited my brother at MCAS Beaufort and went to visit the ships in Charleston Harbor (the Yorktown, a WWII sub, and a nuclear powered merchant ship, the USS Savannah). I spent a few hours wandering around the Yorktown.

    A few years later, ABC ran a movie about terrorists setting off a nuke in Charleston Harbor. The “explosion” was filmed from the Yorktown’s fantail.

  74. Morey

    Stewart @109 ignores that there are other options to greatly lower the cost of holding a convention. Some of us don’t need fancy hotels or jumbo-trons.

    I had a tiny role in the organizing of the 2007 LPCA convention in that I identified a nearby corporate training center as a suitable venue at a lower cost than hotel facilities. There is also at least one university in the country that allows space to political organizations for free. Many others would provide a lower cost option.

    As has been stated many times, the cost of appearing “big league” should be borne by those who want that appearance.

  75. Stewart Flood

    Morey,

    I am not ignoring options. The size of the facility needed to meet the requirements that the party ByLaws hold us to requires somewhere between 17 and 22 thousand square feet. Outside areas for registration and other events add even more space, making it difficult to find facilities in cities where the local party affiliate will help with the operation of the convention.

    But I’d rather talk about the Yorktown right now. They are doing great things there and it will all be visible live online shortly. The grand opening is the 16th. We started wiring the facility Friday. We need to work really quickly to get this done…

  76. Thomas L. Knapp

    “The size of the facility needed to meet the requirements that the party ByLaws hold us to requires somewhere between 17 and 22 thousand square feet.”

    That’s one good reason to reduce the maximum number of delegates.

    If I’m not mistaken, there were more than 1,000 potential delegate slots in 2008. The LNC had to book space that could accommodate the maximum number of delegates who might show. But at the high point of the convention, the presidential nomination vote, there 600-odd actual delegates on the floor.

    Presumably as the potential maximum number of delegates decreases, the percentage that shows up will increase (because there’s probably a floor of “will definitely show” people regardless of the potential maximum).

    I’ve proposed 538 is a reasonable number — two delegates per state base, plus one per congressional district, just like the Electoral College. Giving DC, Puerto Rico, et. al either the “base” two, or three, delegates would still keep it to around 550 maximum.

    That would cut the required size of the meeting facility considerably, meaning not only lower prices on the basis of square feet needed, but also more venues equipped to compete for our business.

  77. Nicholas Sarwark

    I’ve proposed 538 is a reasonable number — two delegates per state base, plus one per congressional district, just like the Electoral College. Giving DC, Puerto Rico, et. al either the “base” two, or three, delegates would still keep it to around 550 maximum.

    I saw your proposal on Knappster. I’m not opposed to a smaller total number of delegates to give us more of a packed house effect at conventions. However, your proposed allocation has no incentives for state parties to be politically effective. Whether they had 10 members or 10,000, they’d still get whatever number of delegates is proportional to Congressional representation.

  78. JT

    I agree with Tom about the number of delegate slots alloted. I don’t see what the point is of having so many available slots when the party never even comes close to filling them all. Having much fewer delegate slots wouldn’t only cut costs but would also ensure that those who are delegates are actually selected delegates (as opposed to people who just show up at the last minute and expect to vote as a delegate).

  79. D. Frank Robinson

    How is the “fair share” for delegates’ fees discovered? I see three options in descending order of credibility. Market negotiation, fiat, divine revelation.

  80. Mike Seebeck, thinking back

    D @122: don’t forget the other two: throwing darts at a dartboard and WAGs. 🙂

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