Libertarian Party Bylaws Committee Hearing set for June 22, 2017

Meeting Name: Bylaws Committee Hearing
When: 6/22/2017 6:00 PM Pacific / 9:00 PM Eastern
Purpose: To receive public feedback regarding the Bylaws and desired changes

Requested by: Katz (chair)

READ HEARING NOTICE HERE

As electronic meetings are in the nature of special meetings, no commitments may be made on items other than those listed in the call to meeting.

At the start of the session, I will introduce the following motions:

1. To record the session.
2. That consideration begin ad seriatim, to be followed by suggestions for new articles or larger changes.
According to the Policy Manual, “…the meeting notice shall describe how to participate in the meeting.” That information appears below. I have also included a note from the LNC Secretary on helpful tips for participation, as well as, for your reference, the relevant Policy Manual provision.
To join the meeting:
https://lp.adobeconnect.com/lnc/
Audio Conference Details: If you join by computer/webcam at the link above, you do NOT also need to dial into this teleconference, which is a backup audio-only option.
Teleconference Number(s): 866-814-9555
Conference Code: 7509417927

Please note that the information above is provided for committee members. According to the rules for electronic meetings, non-members must connect by computer.
If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before:
Test your connection: https://lp.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm
1) Even though it is possible to use a mobile device to join one of these meetings, you are mistaken if you think you can participate meaningfully while driving down the road in your car and connecting with your iPhone/iPad. It’s dangerous. You can’t pay attention to anything shown on the screen, and even the audio won’t have your full attention because you’re driving. Raising your hand, or voting, or trying to adjust your microphone is the equivalent of texting while driving, which could earn you a ticket (and no points from the Secretary, though other points could accrue on your license). You’re much more likely to lose your connection as your signal is transferred from one cell tower to another. Etc.
2) You should make arrangements to be in a reasonably quiet location with a decent-speed internet connection. If you have a slow connection (like a cell tower) the audio/video may cut in and out for you. Don’t be in a bowling alley or a night club or a grocery store. Children should be supervised by someone else in another room. Barking dogs or other noise-producing pets should be put in another location where they won’t be heard by the rest of us.
3) USE YOUR HEADPHONES OR EARBUDS. I use the same earbuds I use with my iPod. You can buy a pair for $5 in lots of places. Not using headphones/earbuds will cause echoes for other participants because the sound coming out of your speakers will feed back in through your microphone and get re-transmitted. The echoes are very distracting and maddening.
4) When this system is used with only a handful of people, participants can generally leave their microphones on and self-regulate if two people talk over each other. This meeting will be the largest we’ve ever used the system for, and I suspect it will be important for everyone to mute their microphones while they’re not talking, and use the raise-hand feature to have the chair recognize you to speak, after which you can turn on your microphone.
7) Electronic Meetings
a) The term “electronic meeting” within these electronic meeting rules shall be construed to include teleconferences and videoconferences.
b) The term “committee” within these electronic meeting rules shall be construed to include both the LNC (as the board of the Libertarian Party) as well as committees.
c) All videoconferences will be conducted via the Adobe Connect (Citrix) service, hereinafter referred to as Adobe Connect.
d) Electronic meetings may be called by either:
● The committee Chair, or
● 1/3 of the committee members or 2 committee members, whichever is
greater. However, the call of an electronic meeting can be canceled if a majority of the committee members email a cancellation request to the entire committee prior to the scheduled time of the meeting.
e) Each committee member calling for an electronic meeting must do so by emailing the entire committee and specifying the date of the meeting, time of the meeting, and the topic(s) to be addressed. Meetings must be so called no fewer than 2 days in advance for committees with fewer than 10 members, or 7 days in advance for committees with 10 or more members. These time limits do not apply to the LNC’s Executive Committee, the LNC’s Advertising and Publications Review Committee, or the Judicial Committee.
f) For electronic LNC meetings, messages calling or vetoing a meeting must be sent on the LNC-Business email list.
g) When a sufficient number of people have issued a call for an electronic meeting, the committee Chair or Secretary shall issue a notice of the meeting to each member and alternate of the committee. In addition to the standard notice content, the meeting notice shall describe how to participate in the meeting.
h) Each participant must provide his own equipment and connectivity, including but not limited to any computer, internet access, web camera, microphone, earphones, or telephone. Members and alternates have the right to participate in an electronic meeting by telephone, however they should use a
computer connection if feasible so as to be able to more fully use the Adobe Connect features. The organization is not responsible for providing a central location for physical attendance of an electronic meeting. For face-to- face meetings, electronic participation is not allowed.
i) Each participant must accurately identify himself by name when joining the meeting. Videoconference participants other than members or alternates of the committee must precede their sign-in name with “zz” so as to group them at the end of the alphabetical participant list.
j) Electronic meeting participants must try to eliminate, as much as possible, background noise, echoes, and call waiting interruptions. Participants shall not place their telephone connection on hold if the system has music or messages playing while in that mode.
k) All participants legally consent to having the meetings recorded, should the committee opt to do so.
l) Electronic meetings are special meetings such that only the topics listed in the call of the meeting may be considered during the meeting.
m) For original main motions, the committee Chair or Secretary shall document the time at which the vote tally was announced. A person eligible to vote who was present during the debate of the motion but who lost his connection to the meeting may still reconnect to the meeting and cast his vote on the motion no more than 5 minutes after the announcement of the vote tally. n) If the committee permits, participants other than members or alternates of the committee may observe videoconferences using Adobe Connect (and not by a toll-free number) with their web cameras off and their microphones muted. o) The LNC Secretary shall promulgate these rules to all members/alternates of each committee upon notice of their election or appointment.

This entry was posted in Libertarian Party on by .

About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of Colorado, Colorado State Coordinator for the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus, as well as Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LPCO, LPRC, or LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

34 thoughts on “Libertarian Party Bylaws Committee Hearing set for June 22, 2017

  1. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I am a Bylaws Committee member. I completely favour multiple hearings like this as a portion of transparency, but not the amount of transparency that should be required which is all of our meetings and email deliberations being open to the membership. I have been informed that these items (as applies to this current committee) are not properly the scope of member inquiry. Fair enough. But asking for future Bylaws proposals that require more transparency from future committees is certainly in order – similar to the requirements for the LNC as well as requiring that minority reports/questions be included in all reports and surveys (a Bylaw requiring it in reports has support amongst the committee).

    My email is carynannharlos@gmail.com if you wish to email any comments, suggestions, etc regarding Bylaws.

    I highly encourage you to attend.

  2. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I personally request your feedback personally (here or email) or at the meeting regarding “fusion” candidates, revisiting failed Bylaws amendments from last year, and revisiting Bylaws amendments not introduced last year (the past committee did not prioritize them) as well as any thoughts on a contract with the presidential ticket.

    Other items that have come up with mixed support (some more than others) from members are requirements for delegates to avoid perceived carpet-bagging (not my words) and LNC term limits.

  3. D. Frank Robinson

    According Ballotpedia, “Currently, eight states allow for fusion voting: Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Mississippi, New York, Oregon, South Carolina and Vermont. Though it is permitted in all eight of these states, fusion voting is only commonly practiced in New York.”

    I see no advantage for the Libertarian Party in fusion candidacies in any of those states. Fusion is detrimental to LP members who seek nomination as a singularly Libertarian Party candidate. State laws bar party members who lose a nomination to a fusion candidate from seeking election as an Independent in the same election cycle.

    I urge the members of the Bylaws Committee to reject fusion with either of the old corrupt parties.

  4. Richard Winger

    If IPR wants to continue holding itself out as featuring news about all parties (other than Dem and Rep) the title should be altered to include the word “Libertarian” or “Libertarian Party.” Otherwise IPR is looking like a site that just covers the Libertarian Party.

  5. Kyle Markley

    It would be an uphill battle to get Oregon to heed anything that the national bylaws would have to say about fusion nominations. We have our own provisions regarding fusion nominations in our own bylaws, and we like our autonomy. If national tried to tell us we can’t make fusion nominations, it would end in pointing and laughing.

    FWIW, Oregon only made two fusion nominations in 2016; one Republican and one Independent (which is a actually a major party here).

    P.S., Ballotpedia is wrong about how common fusion is in Oregon. It’s very common, and in fact the Working Families Party makes tens of fusion nominations every election cycle.

  6. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    @Richard, I updated the title

    @Jill I intend to introduce that but it would be great to have it brought up by members. I also think that the chairs of said committee should not be seeking LNC positions for the same reasons we don’t give main stage time to internal candidates.

  7. Jill Pyeatt

    Richard, I think we’d all like to see the other parties covered. It just so happens that most of us who write here are Libertarians, and we seem to run across Libertarian articles more often because that’s our primary focus. It seems that many of us have pressing needs other than IPR now, so we just don’t have time to post much anymore. Please let us know if you have anyone to recommend that we can add as a writer.

  8. Richard Winger

    Ballotpedia is also wrong to suggest that fusion isn’t used much in Connecticut. In Connecticut, fusion is just as common as in New York.

    There was once a Green Party Watch web page. Maybe the people who formerly did that page could be asked to become IPR writers.

  9. Observer

    As Kyle correctly notes; the current provision that some interpret as permitting fusion (though what it actually means is itself debatable), is simply ignored by any state party that wants to ignore it. The idea that the national party can, or will, enforce any prohibition on state parties running fusion candidates it is ignoring reality and an attack on state party autonomy.

  10. Marc Montoni

    We hear a lot of accusations of “poor marketing” aimed at people who say things that have a long libertarian tradition.

    Then many of those same “Marketing!!” people favor the idiotic dilution of the LP brand by ending the LP’s prohibition on fusion.

    Maybe we should allow fusion nationwide. Yes, state parties sometimes violate the provision anyway.

    Ergo, the trick to get “Libertarians” to honor their fucking word, obviously, is to not expect much of them. Let it slide when they violate their agreements, and repeal the things that become an obstacle to just doing whatever the hell they want in their state party.

  11. NewFederalist

    “How would someone who wanted to write for IPR, seek to apply.” – Jonathan Makeley

    Sign this guy up! How many Prohibition Party advocates can there be? This is pure gold!

  12. Observer

    Marc—-

    The current provision doesn’t refer to “fusion” anyway.

    It prohibits nominating anybody who is “a member of another party”– which as a lot of people have pointed out a) isn’t a thing we have any real definition of because most other parties don’t even have “membership” like we do, and b) oddly excludes from its prohibition independent non-Libertarian candidates like Evan McMullin, or Bernie Sanders, Ross Perot ’92, Angus King, etc. It would make a lot more sense, and be in line with actual practice, to instead require that nominated candidates be members of the LP.

    In any event, if you’d like to have brought a motion to disaffiliate Oregon, or New York, or Connecticut, etc. – then I suggest contacting a member of the LNC and seeing how far you get with that. Whether fusion is a good idea or not (probably usually not); try to tell the state parties they CAN’T do it and they’ll tell you to pound sand. There hasn’t been a general election year when the Oregon party, in particular, didn’t run a mix of both fusion and non-fusion candidates….. and as we’re all well aware, LP-Oregon is not terribly keen on being told what to do by the national party.

  13. Marc Montoni

    …then I suggest contacting a member of the LNC and seeing how far you get with that…

    Abolitionists didn’t make much progress getting judges to outlaw slavery, either, but that doesn’t mean the abolitionists weren’t right. (And for that matter, it was a judge who first institutionalized involuntary servitude in the colonies IIRC in the 1640’s — so being smart is obviously no barrier to being fucking stupid).

    History is replete with examples of people being stupid. The LNC majority that has had a virtual stranglehold on internal policy for the last decade and a half has little history worth remembering for its brilliance and bravery..

    Calvin Warburton back in the 90’s and the half-dozen or so other elected Libertarians in NH, as I recall, were all elected by some form of fusion. What we got for all that fuss and vinegar was an “L” legislator proposing some new tax legislation. This was within a few months of the national LP touting Calvin Warburton’s defection to the LP.

    My recollection is he backed off of it. He acted very surprised by the backlash.

    Today, with political moderates in fairly complete control of the LP, that bill would have been made law.

  14. D. Frank Robinson

    What could a fusion ticket for President and Vice President by the LNC accomplish for the LP?

    State affiliates may nominate anyone they choose for state offices as permitted by state law. LNC cannot control that nor should it take official notice of state-level fusion candidates.

    The potential conflict arises between LNC and state candidates nominated for U S Senate and U S Representative. In states where this is permitted, the LNC should not act to disaffiliate a state LP. The LNC does, however, have the authority to withhold assistance to such fusion candidates for federal office by prioritizing assistance to non-fusion LP candidates elsewhere in the U S.

    State autonomy should be respected for nomination of Federal candidates; and those affiliates should pay their own way when fusing with party’s candidates while the LNC exercises the right to withhold assistance to such Federal fusion candidates.

    As in all things electoral, the Democratic and Republican legislators are going to make the laws to their advantage and our detriment and the probability is very high, based on the judicial record, that the courts will curtsy and bow to the old entrenched parties wishes while blowing smoke of impartiality.

  15. D. Frank Robinson

    Further remarks on Fusionism

    Throughout most of the nineteenth century, while the two post-Civil War parties dominated elections,
    minority parties were considered serious contenders in the political arena at times. In some cases, the minority party succeeded in electing their own candidates to public offices, at other times, they agreed to support a major party’s candidate in return for various concessions. This was what we now call fusion or cross-nomination.

    Clearly, if a minority party candidate does not have a significant likelihood of a plurality victory in an election, a fusion by cross-nominating a major party candidate can only win some promise of some benefit in the future, such as a ballot access concession, which the major party can renig on with impunity. If the minority party candidate in a a race does have a significant likihood of a plurality victory in an election, the major party will seek some concession for it’s cross-nomination of the minority party candidate. The major party holding a legislative club over the head of the minority party, even if its candidate wins, can punish the minority for reniging on whatver promise it extracts.

    For these reasons in the 21st century, I see fusionism for LP as a dead-end strategy so long as the ballot is controlled by the old parties legislators and their judges.

  16. D. Frank Robinson

    Don’t be confusioned, Here is an extended quotation from a peer-reviewed paper in a law journal in 2008. (Footnotes omitted)

    “The importance of fusion ballots for the survival and success of minor parties led the two major parties to adopt restrictive measures to eliminate this phenomenon. In the last two decades of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, after the Australian government-issued ballot was introduced, states quickly outlawed fusion candidates. Although the major parties portrayed these anti-fusion laws as a necessary means to prevent voter confusion and electoral fraud, the laws were generally perceived, and sometimes explicitly presented, as means to weaken minor parties.

    “Currently fusion is legal in only a few states. All other states have adopted some form of anti-fusion law. New York, however, marks an interesting exception as the New York Court of Appeals held in 1911 that anti-fusion laws were unconstitutional, and fusion candidates have been common. As a result, minor parties continue to play a significant role in New York politics: three minor parties have official party status in New York, and their support proved crucial in various electoral campaigns on the federal and state level.”

    Link: http://digitalcommons.law.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2428&context=lawreview

  17. Observer

    Darcy-

    Just as a point of clarification; the rule in question is a restriction on the state parties and their nominated candidates (i.e. lower offices below POTUS/VP); it does not apply to the presidential ticket which is all handled under a different section. It also actually doesn’t explicitly prohibit fusion either; at least not as such. The confusion over what the current provision actually means is part of how it’s become a dead letter.

    I’m not aware of any case where the LNC has provided monetary or other support to a fusion candidate for federal (or other) office; though I can’t say it’s never happened. I imagine any such request would get a lot of heavy scrutiny and probably rejected altogether. You are, of course, exactly right that the history of anti-fusion laws is part and parcel with other ballot access restriction laws; imposed by the duopoly to harm and weaken third-parties. Which is why I find it odd some Libertarians, who rightly point out the self-dealing behind other ballot access laws and duopoly protectionism, seem so intractably hostile to the idea. You’re also right on the point that there’s precious little the LNC could do about what is or isn’t permitted under state laws for nominating candidates.

    I think it’s hard to say the fusion *never* does any good or that it’s always bad. I agree with a lot of the reasons why it’s *often* not a good idea; or why it shouldn’t constitute the bulk of LP candidates. At the same time, to pick an example, if it was an option in Texas, would anybody really have objected if Ron Paul had been re-elected to Congress every two years as the nominee of both the LP and the GOP? I mean I suppose some of the usual Paul critics would object (maybe for some good reasons); but they’d be a pretty small minority in the party. It’s entirely possible in some cases that the LP nomination would reflect their true loyalties and sympathies more and that the other-party label would be one of convenience. It’s going to be a case-by-case judgement call; and the state parties are in the best position to make that call. Sometimes they’ll get it wrong but that’s how federalism and autonomy works. On balance they’ll probably get it right more often than the national party trying to dictate a one-size-fits-all rule from above (particularly if that rule is never going to be enforced anyway).

  18. Observer

    The term “fusion” is also somewhat misleading itself. It involves, of course, no actual fusion of the parties in question. It just means two (or more) parties both happen to have nominated the same person as their candidate; both parties independently reached the conclusion that John Doe is the best person to fill [Office X]. The candidate themselves might be a “member” or self-identify with one of those parties, or neither, or both. Why would we want to tell another party they *can’t* endorse or cross-nominate a Libertarian? We don’t tell members of other parties that we don’t want their votes for our candidate, after all.

    The whole idea really covers a wider range of scenarios and possibilities– made even more nuanced by the wide variations in all the different state laws– such that lumping them all in together as a single category obscures more than it illuminates. People often talk about it with a particular type of scenario in mind and then generalize from that; but that’s not very accurate.

  19. D. Frank Robinson

    People qualified to vote are free to vote for whomever their state allows them to vote for.

    So-called cross-endorsement/cross-nominations by various parties would not be an issue with an all write-in ballot.

    Freedom of association means a party can make their own rules of association concerning whom they will endorse/nominate. A party cannot compel any member to vote or to vote for anyone in particular. At most a party can sanction a member for declaring themselves a candidate of another party.

    However, with an all write-in ballot no rational party would sanction any member just because some voters wrote her name on their ballots after an election.

    Fusion/cross-endorsement-nominations under present laws are often simply divisive ploys against minority parties which the Democrats and Republicans are becoming. Their legal self-entrenchment does immunize them from voters entirely.

    Fusion is illegal in all but a few states by D & R fiat. That doesn’t mean Libertarians need to embrace it.

  20. NewFederalist

    “Darcy-…” – Observer

    I didn’t see a post from Darcy Richardson. Is that who you were referring to?

  21. Tony From Long Island

    Cross endorsements are allowed in New York and I hate it! I actually accidentally voted for Gary Johnson under the “Independence Party” line rather than the LP line.

    It still counted toward Johnson’s overall total, but I would rather have voted on the LP line.

  22. Observer

    my post was in response to D. Frank Robinson. Brain fart swapped “D.” for “Darcy” for some reason.

  23. Eyes That See

    Interesting choice of nom de plume, Andy Craig. I would think your position on the Bylaws Committee would make you more of a “Participant” and less of an “Observer.”

  24. Observing Participant

    You may think whatever you wish of my identity, Kim Ruff. Sometimes the point of a pseudonym is to make an argument on the merits while avoiding ad-hominem sniping and personal demonization; sometimes the pseudonym is deliberately rather transparent to make exactly that point, even. Unfortunate that some people just can’t stand engaging a discussion on the direct merits of such matters, without the ability to personalize the attack against the person saying it. Case in point.

    Sincerely,
    The Super-Secret Anonymous Commenter With An Interest in the Libertarian Party’s Bylaws

  25. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Irony. Going from zero to extreme nastiness in a single bound. Wow.

    On the fusion argument, I am still undecided and find the arguments interesting. But the argument from affiliate autonomy, when one is trying put a different requirement – this one just one that some may find more reasonable – is still telling an affiliate what they can and cannot do – just a different way, and I seriously doubt the LNC would do anything against an affiliate in that circumstance either, and in fact, affect potentially more affiliates, since fusion is illegal in most states, but in CO – for example – we could not then nominate someone who for whatever reason did not want to register Libertarian. CO is just hypothetical because our own bylaws require party membership.

    If affiliate autonomy is the factor (and it is a highly persuasive factor to me – BUT the way the Bylaw is written is to tie it to the ONE thing we already make a requirement – the SoP) then there should be NO requirements. Cakes cannot be had and eaten at the same time.

    This is one I am still very much personally puzzling through.

    I haven’t yet been able to find the history of the insertion of that bylaw. It isn’t original.

  26. Kim Ruff

    Andy, I wasn’t sniping at you — I just thought it was funny that the only person who used a pseudonym on this whole thread was you, and of all the pseudonyms you could have chosen you picked “observer” like you’re not directly involved as a member of the Bylaws Committee. Me choosing to use my own silly pseudonym in the same vein was to make light of it. I have no issue with people assigning my words to my name, nor any desire to attack you personally (which I didn’t do.)

    That being said, your ability to go into the Admin function of IPR and look up my email to ascertain my ID confirms what I already said; you are you and definitely not an Observer.

  27. Observer

    It’s an account I’ve used sporadically before, since I left regularly contributing to IPR — the “observer” bit was actually a tongue in cheek reference is to IPR itself and the discussions taking place here, i.e. that I was just a passing observer and no longer a regular participant; not whatever absurd nefarious meaning you want to read into it, nor a reference to this particular discussion. And I used it because I found this to be such a toxic environment that commenting under my own name usually got nothing but personal attacks and sniping and very little substantive engagement of my points; which is a shame because there are people here whose thoughts and input I appreciate even while disagreeing. That’s also why I stopped contributing posts here; and with rare exceptions no longer comment or even read what is posted on IPR. I honestly didn’t think much of it in this case– it was the username already in my browser as the default; and which was already approved to get past the spam filter. So your accusation that it was some contrivance or deliberate falsehood in reference to this particular discussion is easily disproven by the past comments on unrelated past threads under the same username. In several cases even people who knew full well who I was, were more likely to respond on the merits I found, without jumping straight to personal attacks.

    Still, I’m glad you agree that unmasking anonymous or pseudonymous commenters on a website that welcomes and encourages them is improper and that you protest it being done– which was of course precisely my point in doing the same thing in return. Some might even call it “extreme nastiness” to do such a thing. I know for a fact that there are, or at least were, actual members of the LNC doing the same thing here; and often with much more vitriolic and personal comments about each other than anything I’ve ever said. So, yes, I find it annoying and hypocritical to be called out for like it’s some sneaky or dishonest thing to do, or is violating any sort of rule, or was attempting to mislead anybody. I’ve posted some of the same things almost verbatim under my real name publicly elsewhere; there is nothing secret about my opinions on these things. Just some people who would rather shoot the messenger than respond to the message. Like I said, case in point.

  28. wolfefan

    I do think that it is inappropriate for an administrator (particularly a pretty inactive one) of a site to use their privileges to unmask a poster simply because that poster disagrees with them or has figured out who they are by careful observation of their comments. That doesn’t apply to posters who have been banned or are being abusive in some way. Sites like this offer anonymity for a reason, and for an administrator to strip a commenter of their anonymity because of personal pique strikes me as wrong.

  29. Darcy G Richardson

    While I totally concur with wolefan’s comment and entirely agree that anonymity is important — on this site and elsewhere — it’s amazing how many people actively involved in politics these days are so damn thin-skinned that they use it as a first resort. It seems that they can’t stand any criticism whatsoever.

    I guess it’s a sign of the times, as the hypersensitive schmuck in the White House vividly demonstrates on an almost daily basis.

    What Andy Craig did — using his admin role here at IPR to “out” an anonymous commenter — was quite simply beyond the pale.

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