CANCELLED Libertarian Party: Bylaws Committee 10/14 at 11pm Eastern (proposal to radically re-structure the LNC)


There is a Bylaws Committee meeting 10/14 – details from Chair Katz:

Meeting date: October 14, 2017Meeting time: 11:00pm eastern.

To join the meeting:

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

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There is the proposal being heard (presented in last open meeting by M Carling):

Download (PDF, 36KB)

and proposed allocation here.

Commentary from Bylaws Committee member Caryn Ann Harlos: It was unclear until late last night precisely what proposal was to be heard as several versions were heard in Kansas City, at least one presented at the very last minute and a dispute arose when some members objected to this surprise presentation and did not want to vote immediately. The basic premise is that the LNC needs to be larger. MUCH larger with one argument being that is how the RNC and DNC are. While the argument is made that it would presumably allow for more representation, it would in fact not benefit the smaller states who can now align with some influence with larger states in regions. Further such a large size would make most of the very complicated and serious discussion be reneged to a more core “Executive Committee” or some other variation (this is inevitable) thus consolidating control. On another note, all Committee members were invited to put their contact information on the the LNC Committees page so that members could contact them. As of this time, only four members have.

All Party members are welcome to attend and are highly encouraged to do so.

25 thoughts on “CANCELLED Libertarian Party: Bylaws Committee 10/14 at 11pm Eastern (proposal to radically re-structure the LNC)

  1. Shawn Levasseur

    I’m sure there will be the usual paranoid theories of the effect of such a change.

    Me, I have a simpler question: What problem does this change address? How would things be better under this? I guess that would have been listed under the heading “Rationale:” that has nothing following it…
    (Or was a page omitted from this post?)

    I don’t see how this would improve anything really, and just add layers of confusion and bureaucracy, in just having to deal with the LNC.

    Maybe if we become a much, much larger party, there may be a rationale, but I don’t see it.

    One possible concern may be that region formation is a bit of a crazy process, in trying to find the right combination of states to get the required 10% to become a region with an LNC Rep. Maybe that could be altered to a smaller percentage to allow for easier region formation, only growing the LNC by a much more manageable number. Maybe reduce the region percentage to say, 8%, growing regional representation from a maximum 9 regional reps, to 12 regional reps.

  2. Shawn Levasseur

    Oh, also of concern: The practical ability to get any such proposal passed at a convention.

    The proposal doesn’t sound like anything that would survive a floor debate and vote. Broad sweeping changes such as this tend not survive the process.

  3. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Shawn – to your first comment – that is absolutely an issue. I keep having to say in meetings that *our job is not to make solutions looking for problems* and *what obvious and well-supported need is this addressing rather than a personal whim or personal vision”? And this fails on both. Further the past/present LNC members I have asked about this thought it was a terrible idea. Virtually no polling or vetting amongst members (I am being charitable by saying virtually no, it seems like none) was done to find out if this would be supported.

    I will not be supporting. But this Bylaws Committee is very clearly divided on 6-4 or 5-5 lines, with the minority having to content themselves with multiple minority reports.

    However a good handful of solid proposals got unanimous support. Those will pass.

    And yeah, they want to screw with the Pledge again.

  4. Carol Moore/

    Comparing LNC to RNC/DNC stupid since most of their members are wealthier and/or get special interest money to get to meetings. Plus wealthier people in general have an even greater input in decision=making then the relatively lower income LNC members.

    Getting to an LNC meeting on a regular basis is expensive and not that many people want to take on the expense. (Some of those who do have questionable and not always libertarian conservative-oriented agendas.) I don’t think too many LNC members have been able to raise money to get themselves there.

    How many real candidates likely to attend LNC meetings even run now? How many odd ball individuals no one knows would end up on the LNC under this?

    So among other things that surely would happen, one is that more LNC people will show up at meetings closer to home. The may lead to some regional conflicts on money and priorities. And make a less coherent ability to get things done.

    Of course, if more meetings were held via Skype/whatever and more frequently, with only two in persons a year, that might help with both those issues. And raise it’s own.

    Need to compare other organizations with medium income members and how they work.

  5. George Phillies

    On the bright side, a group this large trying to do things will be entertaining as it tries to act. On the other side, there might well be large faction that refuses to delegate anything to the an Executive Committee.

    Readers will note that we already have a committee of the state chairs, namely the LSLA.

  6. George Phillies

    As a practical matter, this body will need to conduct its business electronically, and will need an efficient way of doing so. That way does not include Roberts Rules.

  7. Chuck Moulton

    I am inclined to oppose this proposal; however, I am open to hearing arguments at the online meeting to change my mind.

    In my opinion the current LNC is too large to efficiently make decisions and the voting method selecting many members (approval voting) leaves minority groups unrepresented. I would favor shrinking the size of the LNC and changing the voting method — ideally to a 10 member at-large LNC (which selects its own officers) elected in convention by single transferable voting, perhaps in staggered four year terms of 5 each convention.

    This proposal on the other hand would exacerbate the problem of the LNC being too large. The sheer volume of a LNC email list with more than 150 active members makes my head spin. Debating and passing motions would be all but impossible online. In person meetings would be mini-conventions requiring considerable expense both from the LP and from traveling members. Most likely, in reality the actual governing of the party would be delegated to a much smaller body: an executive committee with broader delegated powers than our current EC. In effect this would add another useless layer to our governing structure, insulating the actual decision makers from direct accountability to party members by at least 2 additional jumps: state convention delegates elect state chairs who choose LNC members who choose EC members; compared to our present arrangement whereby national convention delegates choose LNC members.

  8. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Meeting time correction: I apologize but I communicated the wrong date to Paulie – the meeting is 10/14 not 10/13. Corrected in article.

  9. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Good thing I had the date wrong for the meeting – I got nearly violently ill when I got home – I either got food poisoning from something I ate at the convenience store right after my nail appointment or something in the chemicals made me ill. The room is still spinning.

  10. George Phillies

    “…usual paranoid theories…” As always, some people will believe that changes are being proposed at random with no calculation of their possible effects.

  11. Carol Moore/

    Right on, George. So you’ve got this hound dog on the trail. Since this proposal gives more power to the states with most members, it’s obvious it’s a California/Texas/Texas plot to take over the party, probably in the interest of making the party more pro-war intervention. Oh, look, as I expected, Aaron Starr is on the committee. As well as on the platform committee. (Why do we have THREE LNC members on both Bylaws and Platform anyway????) So it’s probably just just another Starr power trip. Can’t we get rid of that guy?? Any other specific individuals?

  12. Carol Moore/

    If you want to read some dirt on Starr’s pro-war elitist machinations do this search

    Also, per my money-related comments above, I see now what the plan is. Middle income libertarians can afford to come to an LP convention for 2-5 days once every two years to vote for at-large people. Candidates may be upper income, but at least they are making promises to delegates and can get kicked off LNC next convention. But states largely will find themselves appointing mostly upper income LNC members who may have pull with state committees through their financial contributions. They can afford to come to 6 LNC meetings every 2 years.

    So we end up with people like Aaron Starr who manages to be the CA LNC alternate cause no one else wants to to , so he makes at least alternate almost every year. (Unless one of his pro-war elitist cronies does.) Don’t forget how in bed Starr was with that creep Wayne Allen Root.

    Yes, George, it’s ALL A PLOT… I’m sharing this also with

  13. Caryn Ann Harlos


  14. Carol Moore/

    Good. More time for people to realize what a crap idea gutting delegate input into LNC is. Or more time for Aaron et al to bully and intimidate other members of Bylaws committee??

  15. Chuck Moulton

    When the meeting is rescheduled its new date will be publicized… however, due to notice requirements and the difficulty of coordinating schedules of 10 committee members, it will probably be another 2-5 weeks.

  16. Robert

    The people proposing this should be banned from the party, period. They’re part of the ‘conservatarian’ effort to destroy or manipulate the party from day one.

    They got something like this passed decades ago and it was a disaster. If they want to improve the LNC limit terms.

    The LNC is in charge of holding conventions and managing the money for various purposes set by the donors, such as getting people into office.

  17. Carol Moore/

    Robert: “They got something like this passed decades ago and it was a disaster. If they want to improve the LNC limit terms.”

    Do you remember approximately when bylaws were changed?

    Term limits IS a good idea for the worst LNC members; but too often axes out best ones, too. Though maybe that’s the price you have to pay.

  18. Chuck Moulton

    I introduced a term limits proposal in the bylaws committee this year. It did not get majority support, and therefore will not be included in the committee report.

  19. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I support Chuck in the term limits proposal and also prohibiting one person from serving on multiple convention-related committees. I would love to see consecutive limits on those – the same cast over and over is an idea that needs to go.

  20. From Der Sidelines

    The proposal simply reeks.

    First, it removes the removal clauses and replaces it with nothing. That by itself is enough to say no.

    Second, as Phillies points out, the state chairs, already with enough to do, have LSLA.

    If anything, a reformation of the LNC would require an LP Senate, composed of 1 rep from each state, either selected by the state Boards/ExComms or elected by their members (each state’s choice), with the regional reps being eliminated, and adding a minimal 1-2 At-large LNC members to keep the numbers odd, with changing the LNC to the LP Executive Board. Then all proposals by the LPEB would be subject to Senate oversight and/or amendment or veto, with either body able to propose things. That gives the states a better say in how the LNC is run and keeps the perpetual statist morons like the Starr Chamber (Starr, Carling, Mattson, etc.) in check. Yeah, it increases the bureaucracy, but it also pushes it to go virtual as well, which can save everyone time and money.

  21. Michael

    I’m with Shawn and Carlos on this. I haven’t seen the problem that this change is intended to solve. So I’m against this change.

  22. Andy

    This proposal is a complete waste of time.

    Instead of wasting time on this nonsense, why don’t they do something productive, as in things that will grow the party and advance the cause?

  23. Michael H Wilson

    In a couple of places in the by-laws, as I recall, the number of sustaining members in a state party is important. Wouldn’t it be more reasonable to make that determination based on the number per capita? As I see it big states such as California get the benefit because of their large population, whereas a smaller state that might be working harder to recruit members does not get that benefit. Basically, to me, states are being rewarded based on their size., and not on the effort they put out.

    I’d be interested in hearing what others think.

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