LP.org: Bylaws Committee Proposals for National Convention

Libertarian Party Bylaws and Convention Rules

From LP.org:

After each Libertarian National Convention, a Bylaws and Rules Committee is established to consider and recommend proposed amendments to the party’s governing documents. The Bylaws Committee consists of 10 members, no more than five of whom must be non-members of the current Libertarian National Committee; this year’s members are M Carling, Andy Craig, David Pratt Demarest, Caryn Ann Harlos, Joseph Bishop-Henchman (acting chair), Joshua Katz, Alicia Mattson, Chuck Moulton, Kimberly Ruff, and Aaron Starr.

The Bylaws Committee has reported out 29 proposals, 13 of which are unanimous recommendations. With the convention opening under two months away, the committee is providing a compilation of all its recommendations. The committee will be collecting feedback in a survey in a few days’ time, and the report for the convention will include summaries of proposals as well as arguments for and (if made) arguments against.

The committee appreciates all the feedback and suggestions we received from party members. The Bylaws and Rules Committee reports not to the LNC but directly to members, and we’ve kept that in mind as we’ve deliberated and voted. Your comments and concerns are welcomed, and may be sent to any committee member or, if you’d like it forwarded to all members, to Acting Chair Joe Bishop-Henchman at jdhenchman@gmail.com.

152 thoughts on “LP.org: Bylaws Committee Proposals for National Convention

  1. Thomas L. Knapp

    Lots of stuff there, some of it good. Enough of it good that I’ll just go straight to the bad stuff:

    The proposal titled “Require Endorsed Candidates to Affiliate with the Libertarian Party” is actually a repeal of the rule forbidding affiliate parties to endorse candidates of another party. In the past I have noted that there are problems with that prohibition, namely that it makes “fusion candidacies” in states that allow them a violation of the bylaws, a rule that should either be enforced or repealed. But how about a little truth in advertising? Under this amendment, an affiliate could endorse the Democrat or Republican in a partisan election, rather than running its own candidate, provided that Democrat or Republican sent $25 to the LNC.

    “Nominate Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates as a Ticket”

    After the Weld disaster, not to mention Root 2008, this strikes me as, on its face, perhaps the dumbest proposal on offer this time. Enough said.

    “Define in Advance the Party’s Agreement with Presidential Campaign”

    On the one hand, a pre-defined agreement would be better than the secrecy crap we went through last time. On the other hand, any such rule adopted must NOT (as the proposal does) make pre-convention agreement by the candidate a requirement for nomination. If a candidate doesn’t sign, then the delegates can take that into account.

    Also, any pre-defined agreement must not include the mark referring to the LNC’s fraudulent trademark claim on the name “Libertarian Party” as the sample agreement in the report does. Which brings us to:

    “Protect Party Name Rights for Affiliates” and “Duty to Defend Party Name”

    Even if “intellectual property” wasn’t an authoritarian concept antithetical to libertarianism, it would remain a fact that the LNC has no legitimate claim whatsoever to an “intellectual property” right in the name “Libertarian Party.” Such a claim would be indefensible in court, so in addition to it being an anti-libertarian proposal, it is a proposal to require the LNC to intentionally waste time, effort, and money on frivolous litigation.

  2. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I agree with you mostly but you missed two terrible ones. Really terrible ones.

    There will be minority reports.

  3. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Really look at the expand LNC one.

    Awful would be an insult to the word awful.

    It’s result would be a tighter consolidation into a totally opaque EC controlled by CA and TX and screw small states under the distraction of alleged more representation.

    It is not possible for me to hate it more.

    Also take a look at the purpose re-ordering. Look carefully. And see the poison pill. The author didn’t intend it but some of the supporters did IMHO (of course they don’t agree it is a poison pill but it’s step one to try once again to demote the Statement of Principles).

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    Caryn Ann,

    Yes, the LNC expansion is bad, but I wouldn’t call it so much a “consolidation” as a recipe for such complete dysfunctionality that the affiliates would likely end up setting up a new mutual affiliation mechanism to replace the LNC (at which point the LNC would likely piss away what remained of its treasury pursuing frivolous trademark suits against the state Libertarian Parties).

    I didn’t worry too much about the re-ordering of purposes because it has about as much chance of passing as I do of sprouting wings and being able to get a refund on my airfare to Columbus.

  5. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Tom it might pass because it’s not immediately obvious what it actually does.

    And re: consolidation

    Everything will be decided by the EC, which will be even smaller than the current LNC

    It’s a very sly bait and switch.

  6. George Phillies

    ” No affiliate party shall endorse any candidate who is a member of another party not a member of the Libertarian Party, or of the affiliate party, or a registered Libertarian voter, for public office in any partisan election. ”

    What is “endorse”? try ‘support’.

    Kill double negatives In partisan races, an affiliate party may only support candidates who will be identified on the ballot as candidates of the Libertarian Party, or is running as a candidate of no party in a race in which there is or can be no Libertarian Party candidate.

    Judicial Committee for four years in off year elections. A terrible idea.

  7. George Phillies

    “…t may, if the LNC so provides, substitute for the regional representative at meetings and in voting.”

    Some if the LNC does not provide, the Alternate may not vote or participate in meetings.

  8. George Phillies

    “Unless disapproved by a majority vote of the affiliate’s or Convention’s non-ex-officio delegates, in ddition to the delegate allocation, any sustaining member serving in public office subject to a vote of
    the general electorate is entitled to be a delegate in the corresponding affiliate’s delegation upon presenting proof of such status to the Credentials Committee. ”

    This convention vote happens when? So if I am the Governor of Massachusetts, and show up, I will not know if I am a delegate until after the convention starts???? Ditto for all the New Hampshire Cemetary Commissioners?

  9. George Phillies

    ““Sustaining members” are members of the Party who: a.During the prior twelve months have donated, or
    have had donated on their behalf, an amount of at least $25; or b.Are Life members.”

    So if I renew early, my new sustaining membership expires after fewer than twelve months. This could have been fixed.

  10. George Phillies

    Moving the JudComm and NatComm elections earlier is a good idea.

    Electing the President and Vice President as a slate is not only the worst idea of this report, it is one of the worst ideas of all time for an LNC Bylaws proposal,. ranking with the 1998 proposal that the National Chair would no longer be the chief executive.

  11. Chuck Moulton

    George Phillies wrote:

    This convention vote happens when? So if I am the Governor of Massachusetts, and show up, I will not know if I am a delegate until after the convention starts???? Ditto for all the New Hampshire Cemetary Commissioners?

    I agree it could leave potential elected official delegates in limbo until the start of tye convention. However, I insisted on this as an anti-takeover provision to prevent elected official from outnumbering and overwhelming traditional delegates without their consent — i.e., a bunch of Republicans switching to Libertarian last minute to takeover the party.

    If the LP actually elects a governor, he shouldn’t have any trouble getting a traditional delegate slot. Then if ex-officio delegates are approved, that traditional delegate slot would open to an alternate.

  12. Chuck Moulton

    George Phillies wrote:

    Electing the President and Vice President as a slate is not only the worst idea of this report, it is one of the worst ideas of all time for an LNC Bylaws proposal,. ranking with the 1998 proposal that the National Chair would no longer be the chief executive.

    I oppose both of these of course. And some tried to resurrect that 1998 idea.

    But the worst bylaws idea of all time honor belongs to the proposal in this report that would make the LNC much larger, strip its powers, and create a small much less accountable executive committee with the real power.

  13. Chuck Moulton

    George Phillies wrote:

    [So] if the LNC does not provide, the Alternate may not vote or participate in meetings.

    Yes. There are a lot of people on the bylaws committee who hate the concept of alternates and want them all to disappear. I am not one of them.

  14. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    And re: consolidation

    Everything will be decided by the EC, which will be even smaller than the current LNC

    It’s a very sly bait and switch.

    Exactly.

  15. Chuck Moulton

    Thomas L. Knapp wrote:

    The proposal titled “Require Endorsed Candidates to Affiliate with the Libertarian Party” is actually a repeal of the rule forbidding affiliate parties to endorse candidates of another party. In the past I have noted that there are problems with that prohibition, namely that it makes “fusion candidacies” in states that allow them a violation of the bylaws, a rule that should either be enforced or repealed. But how about a little truth in advertising? Under this amendment, an affiliate could endorse the Democrat or Republican in a partisan election, rather than running its own candidate, provided that Democrat or Republican sent $25 to the LNC.

    I don’t think this one is as bad as you think it is. My opinion on the current bylaw mirrors yours: either enforce it or change it to something we may actually enforce. I supported this proposal as that change, and I will also support that more explicitly prohibits fusion. The delegates can then decide which they want.

    The proposal is very permissive — as you correctly note. Its intention is to require a modicum of “libertarianness” or affiliation from candidates. The expansive definition was chosen because states vary widely in their party identification, ballot access, voter registration, etc. But this is of course only a floor of support… candidates still must satisfy state affiliate bylaw requirements. If a lot of Republicans or Democrats are paying $25 for a libertarian stamp on their candidacies, states could always tighten their own bylaws.

    Thomas L. Knapp wrote:

    “Nominate Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates as a Ticket”

    After the Weld disaster, not to mention Root 2008, this strikes me as, on its face, perhaps the dumbest proposal on offer this time. Enough said.

    I agree and I strongly oppose this. In practice it will just waste a lot of time becauase delegates would always dump the slates to vote individually.

    Thomas L. Knapp wrote:

    “Define in Advance the Party’s Agreement with Presidential Campaign”

    On the one hand, a pre-defined agreement would be better than the secrecy crap we went through last time. On the other hand, any such rule adopted must NOT (as the proposal does) make pre-convention agreement by the candidate a requirement for nomination. If a candidate doesn’t sign, then the delegates can take that into account.

    Also, any pre-defined agreement must not include the mark referring to the LNC’s fraudulent trademark claim on the name “Libertarian Party” as the sample agreement in the report does.

    I diagree in part. This is a recurrent huge problem which needs to be solved: presidential candidates routinely take our ballot access while doing little (if anything) to grow LP membership and feed new prospects to the LP.

    In my opinion any proposal which does not actually bind candidates by requiring compliance to even be nominated has no teeth and will always be ignored or circumvented.

    In the other hand, the sample contract is much too long and convoluted. What we actually need is very simple: data sharing, branding, and some ideological compliance. Anything beyond that is just riders of goodies people are trying to slip past the delegates to further their questionable agendas — and the trademark bit is a case in point of that.

    Thomas L. Knapp wrote:

    Which brings us to:

    “Protect Party Name Rights for Affiliates” and “Duty to Defend Party Name”

    Even if “intellectual property” wasn’t an authoritarian concept antithetical to libertarianism, it would remain a fact that the LNC has no legitimate claim whatsoever to an “intellectual property” right in the name “Libertarian Party.” Such a claim would be indefensible in court, so in addition to it being an anti-libertarian proposal, it is a proposal to require the LNC to intentionally waste time, effort, and money on frivolous litigation.

    I agree.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    Chuck,

    How many presidential campaigns have not entered into some sort of agreement with the LNC? My recollection is that most have, so clearly a requirement with “teeth” requiring them to do so before the nomination is not required to get them to do so after the nomination.

    It is my opinion that the delegates should nominate anyone they damn well please (in spite of the fact that those delegates have made terrible decisions the last three times out). And they can, of course, with a bunch of parliamentary fucking around, if a candidate is so popular that a super-majority wants to nominate him or her even in the absence of a pre-signed agreement. But why require that fucking around> The LNC should have a pre-nomination agreement on offer, and any candidate who doesn’t sign it should be challenged in campaign/debate as to why. Either the reasons will be acceptable to the delegates, or they won’t.

  17. George Phillies

    On the bright side, “slate” might have killed Barr Root, as neither of them was likely to agree before the convention to run for VP. If it is in the bylaws, the delegates cannot ignore the slate requirement.

  18. ATBAFT

    Is anyone suggesting that conventions in the presidential election years be moved up several months, or more, giving extra time to organize campaigns and fund raise? It seems to me these benefits far outweigh any “need” to see who the front-runners are for the other parties.

  19. George Phillies

    “. An affiliate that does not have on file with the Party a signed standard agreement acknowledging that
    the affiliate’s use of the Libertarian Party name is contingent upon it remaining an affiliate, that affiliate shall not be eligible to:”

    This sentence no verb.

  20. George Phillies

    ” These Bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the delegates at any Regular Convention with 90 days notice to the Secretary.”

    Notice of what? Intent to move to amend? Text of teh amendment? Does this apply to the Bylaws Committee?

  21. George Phillies

    “Restructure Libertarian National Committee”
    Eliminate Alternate Regional Representatives

    The national convention will no longer elect the national officers. Instead, there will be a group of around 100 “National Committee” members elected by the states who will do this.

    These are remarkably ill-advised ideas.

  22. George Phillies

    Once upon a time, the idea was that by moving the convention date forward from the odd year to the Presidential election year, we would get more press attention. Notwithstanding 2016, that approach did not appear to work well.

  23. Tim Hagan

    George Phillies wrote:
    The ex officio rule is the same as the Democratic superdelegate rule, except there is almost no limit on their numbers.

    This could be fixed by limiting the number of ex-officio delegates to be no more than the number of non-ex-officio delegates an affiliate is entitled to.

    The number of elected offices varies widely by state. I could vote for this only if the ex-officio superdelegates are limited to Federal offices, statewide offices, and state legislatures.

  24. George Phillies

    Tim has an excellent point. Readers should recall that the number of elected statewide offices wanders, a lot, and some state legislatures are far larger than others.

    The proposal that the delegates would is practice only elect electors who would elect the Politburo–an Executive Committee of 11 that in practice would have all power — is basically the Communist organizational scheme, and we should have no part of it.

    Readers might ask what is wrong with our party leadership — and I am not blaming the Chair, who does not appoint these people — that convention after convention we keep getting from Platform or Bylaws piles of nonsense that must be rejected.

  25. George Phillies

    Tim has an excellent point. Readers should recall that the number of elected statewide offices wanders, a lot, and some state legislatures are far larger than others.

    The proposal that the delegates would is practice only elect electors who would elect the Politburo–an Executive Committee of 11 that in practice would have all power — is basically the Communist organizational scheme, and we should have no part of it.

    Readers might also ask how the transition to this absurdly huge national committee and excomm with all power is supposed to work.

    Readers might ask what is wrong with our party leadership — and I am not blaming the Chair, who does not appoint these people — that convention after convention we keep getting from Platform or Bylaws piles of nonsense that must be rejected.

  26. Stuart Simms

    I can’t agree more with the opinions previously expressed regarding the wolf in sheep’s clothing attempt to distill power into the hands of fewer people and at the same time add a thick layer of insulation to the small group with this power.
    IIRC, in Columbus, there was a proposal to eliminate Regional Representatives which was soundly defeated. This proposal has the same practical effect but through deception.
    For now all I can do is to make sure that every member of our delegation has my opinion on some of these proposals and consider requesting to be on the Rules & By-Laws or Platform Committees.

  27. George Phillies

    Readers might ask what is wrong with our party leadership — and I am not blaming the Chair, who does not appoint these people — that convention after convention we keep getting from Platform or Bylaws piles of nonsense that must be rejected.

  28. Seebeck

    Been waiting for this. I will have my own analyses up here in a day or so.

  29. Chuck Moulton

    Thomas L. Knapp wrote:

    How many presidential campaigns have not entered into some sort of agreement with the LNC? My recollection is that most have, so clearly a requirement with “teeth” requiring them to do so before the nomination is not required to get them to do so after the nomination.

    The LP has not had full data sharing with candidates since Badnarik. It has not had immediate (daily) data sharing since Marrou.

    Both Johnson campaigns and the Barr campaign delayed signing a contract for a long time, then raked the LP under the coals because the LP had zero leverage in the bargaining. It disgusts me.

  30. Chuck Moulton

    Tim Hagan wrote:

    This could be fixed by limiting the number of ex-officio delegates to be no more than the number of non-ex-officio delegates an affiliate is entitled to.

    The number of elected offices varies widely by state. I could vote for this only if the ex-officio superdelegates are limited to Federal offices, statewide offices, and state legislatures.

    Tim,

    Limiting it to higher level office was considered within the committee. Ultimately we decided there are very few libertarians elected at such levels right now, and we want to encourage more libertarians to get elected (or elected officials to switch parties) at lower levels. The thought was if this proposal were adopted and we achieved more electoral success such that we were flush with elected libertarians, then the bylaws could be amended at a future convention raising the requirements.

    All that said, I understand and empathize with your concerns. I suggest having language drafted and ready to amend that proposal on the floor. You can also mention your concerns when we send out the survey, and perhaps the bylaws committee will modify the proposal at its on-site pre-convention meeting.

    As for your other concern, if the number of ex-officio delegates were limited to the affiliate’s delegate allocation (at most doubling its number of delegates), how would you suggest the ex-officio delegates be chosen if an affiliate has more potential ex-officio delegates than its allotment? It’s not a bad idea to so limit this… but it will require careful drafting to account for that possibility.

  31. dL

    Readers might ask what is wrong with our party leadership

    Other readers might ask why one would expect the LP to be exempt from the laws of political science

  32. Chuck Moulton

    Seebeck wrote:

    Been waiting for this. I will have my own analyses up here in a day or so.

    I look forward to your thoughtful take on them. I also hope George Phillies and Tom Knapp provide commentary on each proposal rather than just the most glaring ones.

  33. Caryn Ann Harlos

    It was a very divided committee on many proposals.

    If Starr, M, and Mattson wanted something, most of the time the same people were nope and noper.

    Craig was usually the me too to them.

    Henchmen impressed me. I like him despite his one awful proposal. He’s a good guy.

    The opposition tended to be me, Moulton, Demarest, and Ruff though Ruff was not at the in person meeting.

  34. Chuck Moulton

    George Phillies wrote:

    As this is a committee with a constituency, the delegates, we should know how each of you voted on each proposal.

    I agree we as a committee should have roll call votes on main motions, which should be noted in meeting minutes. I called for roll call votes each meeting, but was out-voted. I put forth a proposal on this matter… couldn’t get everything I wanted, yet got some steps in the right direction. I still may put forth a stronger proposal as a minority report.

    I disagree if you are implying roll calls should be in the committee report. In my opinion noting roll call votes in the minutes would be sufficient.

    It is unclear whether the bylaws committee’s constituency is the delegates they serve or the LNC who appoints them. Right now neither of those entities have access to the committee’s roll call votes, which means the LNC has no way of knowing which committee members ought to be re-appointed next term (if any).

  35. Seebeck

    Chuck Moulton wrtoe:

    I look forward to your thoughtful take on them.

    Thanks, Chuck. Will be posting them here once I get there.

    I’ve been balancing building a shed/greenhouse hybrid this weekend with other stuff, including prep for Columbus (Caryn Ann, please call me ASAP on that!), plus work, and I’m exhausted. Thankfully no wind all weekend allowed raising walls. Gotta play severe catch-up.

    I simply need to read the proposals after deciphering from that simply unreadable horrid 3-column nonsense (English-language humans read table in rows first and columns second, not the other way around!) and analyze them.

    Related note, for this weekend’s PlatComm meeting, if anyone has any questions or concerns over proposals, email me at mike.seebeck@platform.lp.org and I’ll do my best to answer them.

  36. Seebeck

    Chuck wrote:

    It is unclear whether the bylaws committee’s constituency is the delegates they serve or the LNC who appoints them.

    The Committees (Bylaws, Platform) report to the delegates, even though they are appointed by the states and LNC. I am fairly certain that the appointers inserting themselves into committee business when both the committees and the appointers have plenty of other stuff to would not be looked on very kindly. I for one, while voicing my opinion, prefer to let the delegates decide on proposals, unless a proposal is so egregious that consideration of it is tantamount to insanity.

  37. Seebeck

    Sorry, in my fatigue, I forgot the point: the constituency of the Committees is therefore the delegates.

  38. Seebeck

    OK, took a look at the one separate proposal that had to do with allowing a recall of an officer or an at-large LNC member. Outside of some very minor technical issues, non-substantive, I would support this proposal. It places oversight of the LNC into the state affiliates beyond just their own regional representative, with reasonable bars, but still allows the LNC to police its own if necessary.

  39. George Phillies

    Under the dishonest title Clarify that Alternates are not Members on National Committee

    “[the alternate] may, if the LNC so provides, substitute for the regional representative at meetings and in voting.”

    So if the LNC does not provide, the Alternate may not vote or participate in meetings.

  40. Andy Craig

    “Craig was usually the me too to them”

    That sort of dishonest swipe at me is beneath you, Caryn. If you had pulled your nose out of your Facebook audience long enough to address the concerns and arguments being made in the room, perhaps you would have had more success influencing the outcomes of votes, instead of frequently losing the other radicals on the committee by not listening to what they were saying.

  41. Thomas L. Knapp

    —–
    Is anyone suggesting that conventions in the presidential election years be moved up several months, or more, giving extra time to organize campaigns and fund raise? It seems to me these benefits far outweigh any “need” to see who the front-runners are for the other parties.
    —–

    I have been calling for that for years — I think that the presidential nominating convention should be held in the fall of the preceding year, and preferably in Manchester, New Hampshire, so that our NOMINEE can do some campaigning right at the height of the other parties’ PRIMARY campaigning in the big pre-nomination media state.

    At least one year, anyway. In other years, look at the primary schedule and do our nominating conventions in other big states right before their primaries so that our nominee is hitting the hustings at the same time and in the same place as the big players, but with the nomination already in hand.

  42. Thomas L. Knapp

    “I also hope George Phillies and Tom Knapp provide commentary on each proposal rather than just the most glaring ones.”

    I’ll try to make time to do that, but the platform committee meets next Sunday and I am the type who spends days obsessing over travel details and getting ready to go. Then I get where I’m going and realize I forgot four or five important things.

    On the convention delegate proposals, I will go ahead and say that I favor a convention of 538 delegates, apportioned to the state affiliates in the same manner as presidential electors, and under the existing rules as to whom the states may appoint. I strongly suspect that a state with elected public officials will make those public officials delegates if they WANT to be delegates, but don’t see any reason to have that be done outside of normal apportionment.

  43. Seebeck

    George has it correct on that proposal. Stack the deck against undesirable alternates with go-along reps, or even more so, have meetings in obscure places and times that regional reps can’t attend (like on cruise ships!), shut out the alternates, and instant oligarchy develops.

    Plus it destroys the concept of regional representation and makes the regional reps mere pawns of the LNC.

  44. D Frank Robinson

    Re: Make Elected Libertarians Automatic Delegates at Convention
    Except the bylaw does not say elective office. It says “public office.” I object to seating persons as delegates who have been appointed to public office , but rather only persons who have actually been voter approved.
    I suggest the ex-offico elected persons be non-voting participants with speaking privileges only. Of course holding elective office should not disqualify a person from being elected by their affiliate party as a full delegate.

  45. George Phillies

    Tom,

    You should try being right more often. (8^))

    George

    Good catch on “public”. Readers familiar with the number of elected boards to be found in California, many with tiny signature requirements and vacant seats, will realize where this proposal is going.

  46. Seebeck

    Immediate reactions to first cut through are that there is a lot of garbage here, some ok stuff, but not much good. Will post specifics here tomorrow, proposal by proposal.

  47. Chuck Moulton

    Andy Craig wrote:

    If [Caryn Ann] had [listened better], perhaps [she] would have had more success influencing the outcomes of votes, instead of frequently losing the other radicals on the committee by not listening to what they were saying.

    I’m fairly radical, but it’s hard to pigeonhole me. I don’t think she “lost my vote” by making bad arguments… I just disagreed with her on some issues.

    For example, I have never put the platform or the SoP up on as much of a pedestal as many radicals. I have vocally opposed the cultish pledge for a decade as an anarchist death pact which excludes moderates — though I can attest to it myself as an anarcho-capitalist. I helped orchestrate the Portland purge because the 2004 platform was bad positioning and so large that it was unwieldy (I would prefer a directional platform to a destinational one). I’ve always thought the LNC should focus on actual oversight rather than waste time debating ideological resolutions. I’ve never been against the concept of fusion candidates as long as they are actually libertarian.

    I vote my conscious, not for some particular tribe or faction. I happen to agree with Caryn Ann Harlos and other radicals more often than not (great minds think alike!), but it should not be a surprise when I fail to vote in lockstep all the time. That is no slight on Caryn Ann’s attention or persuasiveness.

  48. Chuck Moulton

    D Frank Robinson wrote:

    Re: Make Elected Libertarians Automatic Delegates at Convention
    Except the bylaw does not say elective office. It says “public office.” I object to seating persons as delegates who have been appointed to public office , but rather only persons who have actually been voter approved.

    George Phillies wrote:

    Good catch on “public”. Readers familiar with the number of elected boards to be found in California, many with tiny signature requirements and vacant seats, will realize where this proposal is going.

    Frank is correct that it includes appointed officials. That was intentional, as we wanted to encourage Libertarians to see appointment. However, to clarify for other readers: such appointed officials would be limited to vacancies in elected offices, not positions which are always appointed. This is made clear with the language “serving in public office subject to a vote of the general electorate”.

    If you want to exclude appointments that fill vacancies of elected office, I would suggest drafting language in advance to amend this proposal on the floor.

  49. George Phillies

    “serving in public office subject to a vote of the general electorate”.

    That wording includes people who are appointed and subject to recall elections.

  50. Shawn Levasseur

    Re: “Make Elected Libertarians Automatic Delegates at Convention”

    If this passes, I’d automatically be a delegate for the next few conventions, as I’m an elected member of the Knox County Budget Committee, and yet, I’m against it.

    My reasons to be against it:

    1. Not all states have the same opportunities for public office. Some have more committees and levels of government than others. I see it as giving some state affiliates more or fewer potential delegates for reasons beyond their control.

    2. “Serving in public office” is a broad term that would include appointed positions. I think earlier proposals were at least limited to those elected into public office

    3. I think party members should choose their delegates. Being a delegate should be about representation, not rewarding individuals.

    4. There isn’t enough competition for delegate spots as it is. If you want to be a delegate and can go to the national convention, you can easily become one. That means there is little opportunity for non-convention going members to have their say in who represents them at the convention. Expanding the potential size of the delegate pool shouldn’t occur until becoming a delegate is a much more competitive process.

  51. Shawn Levasseur

    RE: “Expand Report from the Bylaws and Rules Committee”

    I oppose this.

    Oppose.

    Anyone with any suggestions for new bylaws should distribute proposals to the committee members. This change makes matters more complicated (and removes the language permitting a minority report) to no discernable benefit.

  52. Shawn Levasseur

    RE: Proposal 8: Condense articles 6 through 8.

    TL;DR

    Unless someone gives me a reason why this is better. I’m just going to oppose it for the practical reason that it is too large a change to expect it to get passed at the convention.

    If all it is meant to do is “condense” as the title of the proposal implies, it’s not worth the time spent at the convention.

  53. Shawn Levasseur

    RE: Proposal 12: “Make Judicial Committee a Four-Year Term.”

    Support.

    Given how the Judicial committee elections tend to be jammed in at the end of the convention, running up against the clock on our rental of the convention hall (and people’s flight schedules), I’m for this. There have been proposals to do this for the LNC officers as well, but there seems little support for that.

    The judicial committee is called upon so rarely that a four-year term makes better sense.

  54. Shawn Levasseur

    Proposal 13: “Elect LNC and JC Earlier”

    So, what was the reasoning behind this? (A lot of these proposals could use some context)

    A good reason may be that people tend to leave during the last day of presidential nominating conventions after the presidential ticket has been nominated. This change would keep people around to vote on the LNC at-large and JC members during those years.

    The only other reason I can think of for the change: LNC officer nominating speeches would be less likely to be broadcast on C-SPAN while the voting for the VP nomination is going on.

  55. Shawn Levasseur

    RE: Proposal 17: “Nominate Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates as a Ticket”.

    NO.

    The method we use may get messy, but it is the right way to do it.

    I say this as a supporter of Weld on the most recent ticket. Weld was a hard sell, and Johnson should have introduced him to us as being his preferred VP, much sooner than the week before the convention.

    I also say this as someone who voted for Barr’s nomination in ’08 (again, my apologies) but did NOT vote for Root’s VP nomination.

    I want that choice in the delegates hands.

    Enough delegates automatically defer to the presidential nominee’s choice anyway. In 2008, a saw a Mary Ruwart supporter vote for Root because he was Barr’s choice. In 2016 I saw several Austin Peterson supporters vote for Weld because he was Johnson’s choice.

    Given how our nomination process comes to a head at the convention; unlike the major parties which is more of a coronation after the fact; this removes the ability for ticket balancing, or having a presidential nominee runner-up be the VP nominee.

  56. Shawn Levasseur

    Proposal 18. Alternative Pledge

    NO.

    We tried this before, it didn’t pass. Multiple options for the pledge unnecessarily confuses the membership forms

  57. Shawn Levasseur

    Proposals 27/28: Restructuring the LNC

    No… No… Dear God, NO!

    This would turn the LNC into a mini-convention of around a hundred, and make it an unwieldy mess unable to do what it does now, devolving the real LNC power to the executive committee of the LNC.

    This strikes me as a cargo-cult like attempt to ape the major two parties with their enormous national committees.

    If a case can be made for expanding the LNC, it should be done only in smaller increments. Maybe by changing the regional representation from regions of 10% of the membership or more (9 regional reps at most) to regions of say 8% (12 regional reps at most) or some other figure as appropriate.

    If by some nightmare, this does pass, it needs to have a proviso to have it implemented only upon the NEXT national convention. Giving the national party time to better plan for the shift (both in logistics and LNC meeting procedures), and states the opportunity to set rules for electing representatives if they want to do it in a manner other than election by the states’ delegations at the national convention.

  58. D Frank Robinson

    I see a danger to transparency in trying to adapt LP rules to fit the idiosyncrasies of all state political jurisdictions. Instead the LP should conform its rules only when compelled to do. Any parallels between LP rules and the institutions of any particular state should be matters of convenience or mere coincidence. This was one reason at the founding why state affiliate parties were intended to have considerable autonomy to structure themselves with the national organization guarding primarily ideological standards which, hopefully, would remain non-justiciable under whatever remnants of the First Amendment were still observed in the distant future.
    As founders this was our organization preference, speaking for myself, I realize structures and procedures must adapt to new ideas while resisting change by force majeure.
    An minority organization seeking to avoid being swallowed and digested by state-supported competitor may appear to have only two strategies to follow: put their faith in the judgment of small core of “true believers or one believer” or put their faith in the judgment of the “masses.”
    We attempted a third strategy. Decentralization of operations and assets and centralization of ideological authority beyond the reach the “masses” with the Statement of Principles and the 7/8ths rule.
    Frustration with this “third way” may have caused more turnover in members and leaders than with the conventional formulas of the self-entrenching parties. But we were revulsed by statist customs of those parties and wanted to try another approach.
    Frustration with operations of affiliate parties is not sufficient reason to further centralize operations in the center (LNC). I believe much of the frustration directed at the SoP or the affiliates by some should be directed at ballot access censorship at the state level aided and abetted by biased courts. Operational efficiency and sterling candidates cannot overcome the fortifications of ballot censorship behind which the statist parties have entrenched themselves in power.
    When and if only the general public is informed about how the ballot is rigged to keep them in thrall, there is hope of emancipation and at that time organization structures will not matter much.
    Meanwhile judge changes in the Bylaws by the overall design for the LP and avoid mimicry of the adversaries whenever possible and prudent.

  59. Andy

    Bill Weld was a “hard sell” for a good reason. The man is far from being a libertarian.

  60. Andy

    Note that 8 months before the 2016 LP National Convention, Bill Weld endorsed Jeb Bush for President, and after Jeb was out of the Republican primaries, Weld endorsed John Kasich for President, 3 months prior to the 2016 LP National Convention.

  61. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy Craig you are very grumpy – that was NOT an insult – did you ever depart from voting with Mattson, Starr, and Carling?

    You seem very determined to just be angry today.

    And frequently losing the votes of other radicals by not listening? Examples please.

    And note: I am not a radical voting bloc. What I like very much about radicals though is that we OFTEN don’t vote together. On the Platform committee, radicals felt free to disagree with the one challenged ruling, and I was very glad to see that. On Bylaws however I cannot think of a single example of what you are saying – care to give some?

    Andy I have tried over and over and over to stop this silly cold war. My intention in joining your group in which per the Bylaws I am already a member was to have reasonable discussions with you and others. Your response was to decline and block me from even seeing the group. (yes I know you are blocked from LPRC – that should have zero difference – and I would be glad to explain why if you wish). But instead you attack me here and on that 2018 delegates group.

    Truce? Actual discussion?

  62. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Shawn I agree with a lot of your observations. Minority reports will reflect that (been insanely busy).

    Mike Seebeck, will call you tomorrow or try calling me any time – tonight even if you like, I am a night owl.

    Chuck, exactly right. What I cherish so much about our friendship is that we often disagree and it is with great respect.

  63. Thomas L. Knapp

    Since Chuck asked me to take the bylaws proposals one at a time and comment, I’ve started doing so. Not sure how far I will get or how fast, but my opinions on the first three are here.

    The third one opens up the discussion that sucks but that has to be had every two years, vis a vis the machinations of a small faction (three main figures with an assorted and constantly changing group of hangers-on) that’s been using committee work and parliamentary card tricks to attempt to subvert the party to its whims for 15 years or more at this point.

  64. Chuck Moulton

    Thanks, Tom.

    I agree debating platform plank removal will probably just waste time. That’s time out of the platform committee report… I’m unclear whether that time would otherwise be used making the platform better or making it worse. Depends on the composition of the platform committee, I suppose.

    With regard to your discussion of the proposal to select the credentials committee earlier: as you probably saw before, there are several veiled threats on Oregon later in the report.

    The report is in order of support from the bylaws committee, so in general the further you go the more controversial they get.

  65. Andy Craig

    I think you know exactly why I’m more annoyed than usual at you, Caryn Ann, and that it has nothing to do with egotistical silliness about who was or wasn’t mean in online comments or who is or isn’t allowed in whatever facebook group. Your public swipes at me— including your outright lie about my votes on Bylaws— don’t matter. It is your private actions that have demonstrated a petty vindictiveness I can’t respect, and I’ll leave it at that before I say something I really will regret.

    But since we’re on the topic: the only minority report I have filed on Bylaws was against a proposal by Mr. Starr. Just to correct the record on that particular bit of dishonesty.

  66. Seebeck

    I cannot see Tom’s stuff from my location, due to firewall blockage. Not his fault.

    Without further ado…roughly in order of the report at the link, but in a far more readable format.

    These are my opinions only, and I could be wrong.

    ***********

    First one:

    Allow Debate on Proposals to Delete Platform Planks
    Adopted 9-0

    What it does: Allows up to 10 minutes of debate on a delete motion for a Platform plank in the initial delete-or-not vote before amendments. Currently that motion is not debatable.

    MWS: OPPOSE. There is no need to debate a simple up-down vote to delete a plank, and all this does is waste time. Debate over a plank rightfully happens after a deletion vote fails, and the convention can still move to delete it in that debate. This is a solution in search of a problem.

  67. Seebeck

    Clarify Method of Electing Judicial Committee
    Adopted 8-0

    What it does: Makes Judicial Committee member elections done by written ballot, which is how it has been informally done in the past anyway.

    MWS: SUPPORT. This corrects a conflict within the Convention Rules (Rule 2 and Rule 9 referencing Rule 8) and attempts makes elections consistent with each other across the board.

  68. Seebeck

    Appoint Credentials Committee Members Earlier
    Adopted 8-0

    What it does: changes the drop-dead for state CredComm appointees from one month before convention to 6 months, the same as the LNC-appointed members.

    MWS: SUPPORT. This allows them to get working earlier and cut back on the late work crunch.

  69. Seebeck

    Clarifying Procedures for Regional Alternates
    Adopted 8-0

    What it does: Includes regional alternates in the same remove/replace/election processes as regional representatives.

    MWS: SUPPORT. This clarifies that representation on the LNC for regional representation includes alternates.

  70. Seebeck

    Simplify Article 4 Language on Membership
    Adopted 8-0

    What it does: redefines what a Sustaining member is, cleans up the Bylaw, retains the Wrights Rule, and eliminates the Sustaining member numbers requirements for delegate appointments and LNC representation, LNC office holding, and Presidency/Vice presidency candidacies.

    Proposed Amendment:
    ARTICLE 4: MEMBERSHIP
    1. Members of the Party shall be those persons who have certified in writing that they oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals.
    2. The National Committee may offer life memberships, and must honor all prior and future life memberships.
    3. “Sustaining member” is any Party member who has given at least $25 to the Party in the prior twelve months, or who is a life member.
    4. The National Committee may create other levels of membership and shall determine the contribution or dues levels for such memberships.
    5. Higher levels of contribution by or on behalf of a Party member qualify as sustaining member status for any provision of these Bylaws.
    6. Only sustaining members shall be counted for delegate apportionment and National Committee representation. Only sustaining members shall be eligible to hold National Party office or be a candidate for President or Vice-President.

    3. “Sustaining members” are members of the Party who:
    a. During the prior twelve months have donated, or have had donated on their behalf, an amount of at least $25; or
    b. Are Life members.

    MWS: SUPPORT on Sections 3-5 and OPPOSE on Section 6:
    1. The reword of Section 3 is fine.
    2. The “other levels” of membership is rarely if ever done, so removing Section 4 is fine.
    3. Removing Section 5, the “Wrights Rule,” would be an emphatic OPPOSE, except that it is covered in the reword of Section 3.
    4. Removal of Section 6 creates several problems that need addressing:
    a. With this removal, what is the metric for delegate apportionment and LNC representation for regions?
    b. If there no longer is a sustaining membership requirement to be on the LNC or Judicial Committee, or to be the Presidential or Vice Presidential nominee, then what is that new metric?
    Keep in mind that the definition of a member varies state-by-state.
    Best approach is divide the question to address Sections 3-5 in one part and Section 6 in the other.

  71. Seebeck

    In the previous, the second #3 in Article 4 along with subsections a and b should have been underlined as additions.

  72. Seebeck

    Make Elected Libertarians Automatic Delegates at Convention
    Adopted 8-0

    What it does: Automatically makes all Libertarian elected public officials “bonus” national convention delegates above the normal allocation for that state, unless the state delegation says otherwise.

    Proposed Amendment:
    ARTICLE 10: CONVENTIONS
    4. Affiliate Party Delegate Entitlements:
    Each affiliate party shall be entitled to send delegates to each Regular Convention on the following basis:
    a. One delegate for each 0.14 percent, or fraction thereof, of the total Party sustaining membership in that affiliate; provided that at least one such delegate must be a resident of that State or District.
    b. One delegate for each 0.35 percent, or fraction thereof, of the votes cast nationwide for the Libertarian Party candidate in the most recent presidential election, cast in that affiliate’s state.
    Unless disapproved by a majority vote of the affiliate’s or Convention’s non-ex-officio delegates, in addition to the delegate allocation, any sustaining member serving in public office subject to a vote of the general electorate is entitled to be a delegate in the corresponding affiliate’s delegation upon presenting proof of such status to the Credentials Committee. The Credentials Committee shall include in its report the number of such delegates added to each delegation.

    MWS: OPPOSE. This should be a decision of each state affiliate within their own delegate allocation, and the number of electable public officials that are Libertarian varies by state. This can stack the deck in larger states even more than their current proportions. This is another solution in search of a problem.

  73. Seebeck

    OK, the bold part should be an addition. Will go with that since still can’t get underline to work.

  74. Seebeck

    Expand Report from the Bylaws and Rules Committee
    Adopted 8-0

    What it does: changes the contents of the Bylaws Report, and changes submission dates to the Committee.

    Proposed Amendment:
    ARTICLE 11: OTHER COMMITTEES
    6. Committee Procedures
    b. Four or more members of the Platform Committee may join together to issue a minority report regarding any plank reported to the floor of the Convention. Two or more members of the Bylaws and Rules Committee or of the Credentials Committee may join together to issue a minority report regarding their business.
    c. Each proposal supported by at least two members of the Bylaws and Rules Committee shall be included in the committee’s report, ordered by number of votes in favor. The Bylaws and Rules Committee shall consider proposals submitted not less than six months prior to the convention by resolution of any three state affiliates or any board or committee established by these bylaws. The Bylaws and Rules Committee shall recommend that each proposal be either a) adopted as proposed, b) adopted following adoption of a pending amendment, or c) not adopted.

    MWS: OPPOSE. This confuses the entire process. Per the wording, if a proposal in the Bylaws Committee fails 6-2, it is still included in the majority report, which short-circuits minority reports on some items, and that will confuse the delegates and lead to a lot of proposal shuffling in the majority report on the floor, which wastes time. But there is a bigger problem here. Per the wording, proposals cannot be considered later than 6 months prior to convention, but per Article 11, Section 2, the latest deadline for appointing the Bylaws Committee is 3 months prior to convention. That means that submissions prior to that appointment are effectively dead letters going nowhere, which shuts out the state affiliates from the process. This is a solution in search of a problem.

  75. Seebeck

    Condense Articles 6 through 8
    Adopted 8-0

    What it does: reorganizes Articles 6, 7, and 8, including rolling the officers into the grouping that is the LNC. There is no added or removed text except for one redundant section being removed.

    Proposed Amendment: FULL REWRITE

    MWS: NEUTRAL. This is a full re-organization of these three articles, and while it does try to make things organized in a different manner, there is really no changes outside of combining officers and LNC members in various spots, and that can be accomplished without rewriting everything. This may be a waste of delegates’ time, or it may pass without any trouble.

  76. Seebeck

    Elevate Style Changes from Rule to Bylaw
    Adopted 7-0

    What it does: Elevates Rule 5, Section 8 to a Bylaw, to enable the LNC to fix non-substantive problems with the Platform or Bylaws.

    Proposed Amendment:
    RULE 5: DEBATING AND VOTING – PLATFORM
    8. Should changes to the bylaws or platform result in a grammatical error in accordance with the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, the LNC presiding at the time of that discovery is authorized to make those grammatical corrections provided it does not change the meaning or intent of the item edited.

    ARTICLE 7: NATIONAL COMMITTEE
    1. Should changes to the bylaws or platform result in a grammatical error in accordance with the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, the LNC presiding at the time of that discovery is authorized to make those grammatical corrections provided it does not change the meaning or intent of the item edited.

    MWS: OPPOSE. This is why Style Committees exist! The current convention rule is never practiced on the floor, and elevating it to a Bylaw is simply saddling the LNC with another task that is best suited to be delegated to a Style Committee to fix. Several states have Style Committees, and having run two of them myself, they are very successful in getting the job done. The better way to do this is to make a Style Committee a standing committee to let them focus on it instead. The Colorado model works very well.

  77. Seebeck

    Amend Style Change Provisions
    Adopted 6-2
    Dependent on previous proposal being adopted

    What it does: Pending adoption of the previous proposal, this proposal would amend it to ban delegation of those fixes to any other body.

    Proposed Amendment:
    ARTICLE 7: NATIONAL COMMITTEE
    15. Should changes to the bylaws or platform result in a grammatical error in accordance with the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, the LNC presiding at the time of that discovery is authorized to make those grammatical corrections provided it does not change the meaning or intent of the item edited. The National Committee is authorized to make corrections to conform the Bylaws and Convention Rules and the Platform with the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, provided such changes do not alter the meaning or intent. The National Committee may not delegate this power.

    MWS: OPPOSE. Same reasons as for the other one. But this one slams the door on any Style Committees, too. That’s unacceptable.

  78. Seebeck

    Clarify that Alternates are not Members on National Committee
    Adopted 6-0

    What it does: Allows the LNC to determine if a regional alternate may vote or not in place of a regional representative, instead of letting the regional representative and alternate figure it out.

    Proposed Amendment:
    ARTICLE 7: NATIONAL COMMITTEE
    2. The National Committee shall be composed of the following members:
    a. the officers of the Party;
    b. five members elected at large by the delegates at a Regular Convention; and
    c. any additional members as specified below:
    Any affiliate party with 10% or more of the total national party sustaining membership within affiliate parties (as determined for delegate allocation) shall be entitled to one National Committee representative and one alternate for each 10% of national sustaining membership. Affiliate parties may, by mutual consent, band together to form “representative regions,” and each such “region” with an aggregate national party sustaining membership of 10% or more shall be entitled to one National Committee representative and one alternate for each 10% of national party sustaining membership for each 10% of national party sustaining membership. Each region shall also be entitled to one alternate for each 10% of national party sustaining membership, who shall not be a National Committee member but may, if the LNC so provides, substitute for the regional representative at meetings and in voting. “Representative regions” may be formed or dissolved once every two years during a period beginning 90 days before the beginning of and ending on the second day of the National Convention, and notice of new formations or dissolutions must be given in writing to the national Secretary prior to the close of the Convention at which they take place.

    MWS: OPPOSE. This places the ability of alternates to substitute for regional representative into the hands of the LNC and out of the hands of the regional representative and alternate, which diminishes their ability to do their jobs and takes those LNC voices away from the states. This is a solution in search of a problem.

  79. Seebeck

    Make Judicial Committee a Four-Year Term
    Adopted 7-0

    What it does: Moves elections of Judicial Committee members to every 4 years, done in non-presidential election-year conventions (2018, 2022, etc.)

    Proposed Amendment:
    ARTICLE 8: JUDICIAL COMMITTEE
    1. The Judicial Committee shall be composed of seven Party members elected at each Regular Non-Presidential Convention, and any five members shall constitute a quorum. No member of the National Committee may be a member of the Judicial Committee. The members of the Judicial Committee shall select the Chair of the Judicial Committee. The Judicial Committee shall take office immediately upon the close of the Regular Non-Presidential Convention at which elected and shall serve until the final adjournment of the next Regular Non-Presidential Convention. All Judicial Committee members shall have been Party members at least four years at the time of their selection. The remaining members of the Judicial Committee shall appoint new members if vacancies occur, such appointees to serve until the final adjournment of the next Regular Non-Presidential Convention.

    RULE 1: ORDER OF BUSINESS
    The standing order of business for a Regular Convention shall be as follows:
    1. Call to order
    2. Credentials Committee report
    3. Adoption of agenda
    4. Treasurer’s report
    5. Audit Committee report
    6. Bylaws and Rules Committee report
    7. Platform Committee report
    8. Nomination of Party candidates for President and Vice-President (in appropriate years)
    9. Election of Party Officers and at-large members of the National Committee
    10. Election of Judicial Committee (in appropriate years)
    11. Resolutions
    12. Other business

    MWS: NEUTRAL. Moving the Judicial Committee elections to non-presidential conventions frees that up from an already overloaded agenda in the presidential conventions. However, that also frees it up to be ripe for a power consolidation in the Judicial Committee at those lesser-attended conventions—ESPECIALLY since there is STILL no mechanism to remove a Judicial Committee member, for cause or not, in the Bylaws. That should be fixed first.

  80. Seebeck

    Elect LNC and JC Earlier
    Adopted 7-0

    What it does: rearranges the convention order of business to elect Judicial and National Committee members ahead of Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominations.

    Proposed Amendment:
    RULE 1: ORDER OF BUSINESS
    The standing order of business for a Regular Convention shall be as follows:
    1. Call to order
    2. Credentials Committee report
    3. Adoption of agenda
    4. Treasurer’s report
    5. Audit Committee report
    6. Bylaws and Rules Committee report
    7. Election of Judicial Committee
    8. Election of Party Officers and at-large members of the National Committee

    9. Platform Committee report
    10. Nomination of Party candidates for President and Vice-President (in appropriate years)
    11. Election of Party Officers and at-large members of the National Committee
    12. Election of Judicial Committee
    13.
    11. Resolutions
    14. 12. Other business

    MWS: NEUTRAL. How would this affect C-SPAN airing the Presidential nominations?

  81. Seebeck

    Eliminate Unused Convention Rule 5.6
    Adopted 6-0

    What it does: deletes the convention rule that allows at the end of Platform debate to hear proposals that did not pass the committee.

    Proposed Amendment:
    RULE 5: DEBATING AND VOTING — PLATFORM
    5. After all Committee recommendations have received initial consideration, any delegate may propose amendments to the Platform. The delegate may take up to two minutes to state and explain the proposal, with debating and voting to proceed as described in Section 3b.
    6. Finally, if time permits, proposals which were considered by the Platform Committee but which received an unfavorable vote from a majority of the Committee, may be considered, with a spokesperson for the minority position giving the reasons in favor and the Platform Committee Chair or other representative of the majority position giving the reasons why it was voted down, before the proposal is taken to the floor for debate.

    MWS: OPPOSE. It is only unused because the Platform is a giant mess that needs major cleanup (which I am attempting to get done! As such, time tends to run out before this ever happens, but it could in the future once the Platform is properly cleaned up and so much time is not spent on the minutiae that is taken now.

  82. Seebeck

    Require Endorsed Candidates to Affiliate with the Libertarian Party
    Adopted 7-1

    What it does: amends to make endorsed candidates be national or state Party members or registered to vote Libertarian, instead of the current broader language.

    Proposed Amendment:
    ARTICLE 5: AFFILIATE PARTIES
    4. No affiliate party shall endorse any candidate who is a member of another party not a member of the Libertarian Party, or of the affiliate party, or a registered Libertarian voter, for public office in any partisan election. No affiliate party shall take any action inconsistent with the Statement of Principles or these Bylaws.

    MWS: SUPPORT. This does accommodate the varying party memberships in the states. This may allow endorsement of fusion candidates, where the current language does not.

  83. Seebeck

    Reorganize Purpose Statement
    Adopted 7-2

    What it does: rewords the Purposes statement to make the verb tenses consistent, put the purposes into a list, and add a small mission statement.

    Proposed Amendment:
    ARTICLE 2: PURPOSES
    The Libertarian Party is organized to defend freedom and expand liberty in America by:
    1.
    implementing and give giving voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles by:;
    2.
    functioning as a libertarian political entity separate and distinct from all other political parties or movements;
    3. moving public policy in a libertarian direction by building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office electing Libertarians to public office to move public policy in a libertarian direction;
    4.
    chartering affiliate parties throughout the United States and promoting their growth and activities;
    5. nominating candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States, and supporting Party and affiliate party candidates for political office; and,
    6. entering into public information activities.

    MWS: SUPPORT. This doesn’t change the context but does make it much more readable.

  84. Seebeck

    Nominate Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates as a Ticket
    Adopted 6-1

    What it does: Make nominations for president and Vice President to be a slate/ticket instead of individual, but the convention delegates (30 minimum) can override that by vote. Also drops nomination and second speech total times from 16 and 11 minutes to 20 minutes total.

    MWS: OPPOSE. Slates are problematic as they have given parties poor candidate combinations in the past, and they take away from the delegates’ ability to choose both separately. While deference can be and is given to the Presidential nominee’s preference for Vice President, it is still up to the delegates. This proposal does allow the delegates to split the slate, but it simply complicates the current process. It isn’t broken, so let’s not fix it until it is.

  85. Seebeck

    Add Alternative Certification Language for Membership
    Adopted 6-2

    What it does: adds an alternative means for membership other than the Pledge.

    Proposed Amendment:
    ARTICLE 4: MEMBERSHIP
    4. Members of the Party shall be those persons who have certified in writing that they:
    a.
    oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals, or
    b. agree all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

    MWS: NEUTRAL. While b) is nice, and it does give a nod to the SOP, is it really necessary?

  86. Seebeck

    Define in Advance the Party’s Agreement with Presidential Campaign
    Adopted 6-2

    What it does: lays out the base boilerplate agreement between the Party and the Presidential candidates for all to read and amend in convention.

    Proposed Amendment:
    ARTICLE 14: PRESIDENTIAL AND VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS
    1. During any Regular convention the delegates may by a majority vote amend the standard agreement specifying the terms by which the Party and the Presidential and Vice-presidential campaign shall assist and support each other. Proposed amendments require 90 days notice to the Secretary, who shall cause them to be published on the Party’s website not less than 60 days prior to the Convention. The National Committee shall publish the standard agreement on its website. The Chair shall sign on behalf of the Party with each person who otherwise qualifies and desires to be our candidate. Only those persons who have signed prior to the close of nominations and are in compliance with the contract shall be recognized as candidates and be eligible to be nominated for President or Vice-President. The parties may modify the agreement by mutual consent after the nomination.

    MWS: SUPPORT. The transparency is good, but how many people actually read this?

  87. Seebeck

    Protect Party Name Rights for Affiliates
    Adopted 6-3

    What it does: requires affiliates to sign an affidavit that they can only use the party name as a chartered affiliate and attaches strings to using the party name.

    Proposed Amendment:
    ARTICLE 5: AFFILIATE PARTIES
    1. No person, group or organization may use the name “Libertarian Party” or any confusingly similar designation except the Party or an organization to which the Party grants affiliate party status or as otherwise provided in these bylaws.
    2. An affiliate that does not have on file with the Party a signed standard agreement acknowledging that the affiliate’s use of the Libertarian Party name is contingent upon it remaining an affiliate, that affiliate shall not be eligible to:
    • send delegates to any Regular Convention;
    • join a representative region;
    • receive resources from the Party;
    • appoint anyone to serve on any Party board or committee.

    MWS: OPPOSE. The term “confusingly similar” is already subjective enough to have that part of the Article tossed if it ever went to court. The second section drops a cudgel on the affiliates that tells them, “You will not infringe on our name of similar or we will kick you out of the group and not let you play in our sandbox.” This proposal is a continued fallout from the Oregon and Arizona situations of several years ago, and is completely unnecessary. Besides, whom outside the Party is going to follow this anyway if they choose to steal the designation, like it can be done in Top Two primaries in both Washington and California?

  88. Seebeck

    Roll Call Votes for Committees
    Adopted 6-3

    What it does: requires that standing committees use roll call voting on all main motions, or any other motion if 2 members request it. Permits recording of committee meetings.

    Proposed Amendment:
    ARTICLE 11: OTHER COMMITTEES
    4. The Bylaws and Rules Committee, Platform Committee, and Credentials Committee shall use roll call voting on all main motions. Additionally, those committees must have a roll call vote upon request of any two Committee members present on any motion. On all roll call votes, the vote of each individual Committee member shall be recorded in the minutes.
    5. Any person may record the proceedings of the Bylaws and Rules Committee, Platform Committee, and Credentials Committee while in open session.

    MWS: OPPOSE. RRONR already allows for roll calls to be made on committee votes, and the committees should be able to exercise their own discretion and choice on this, not make it mandated. As for recording the proceedings, that is already allowable anyway, and done to assist the Committee Recording Secretary, so this section is unnecessary.

  89. Seebeck

    Reduce Email Vote Time
    Adopted 5-2

    What it does: Amends the voting period for an email vote from ten to seven days.

    MWS: NEUTRAL. Even seven days is long. Three business days would be more efficient. Business days makes more sense, too.

  90. Seebeck

    Require Credentials and Platform Committee Members to be Party Members
    Adopted 5-3

    What it does: requires CredComm and Platfom members to be national Sustaining members (but not Bylaws).

    Proposed Amendment:
    ARTICLE 11: OTHER COMMITTEES
    3. The Platform Committee shall consist of 20 Party sustaining members selected as follows: […]
    4. The Credentials Committee, composed of ten Party sustaining members, shall be selected as follows. […]

    MWS: OPPOSE. If a state affiliate appoints a state Party member to those committees that is not a national Party Sustaining member, then that is the state affiliate’s prerogative to have its interests represented in that manner.

  91. Seebeck

    Require Advance Notice of Bylaws Proposals
    Adopted 5-3

    What it does: requires floor amendments to have 90 days advance notice to the Secretary and publication not less than 60 days out.

    Proposed Amendment:
    BYLAWS ARTICLE 17: AMENDMENT
    1. These Bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the delegates at any Regular Convention with 90 days notice to the Secretary. All proposals shall be published on the Party’s website not less than 60 days prior to the Convention.

    MWS: OPPOSE. While there is a valid objective to have proposals available in advance, that can’t always be the case if something must be proposed on the fly, as has happened in at least one state in the past. 30 days’ notice and 15 days’ publish time might be a better timeframe, but even that has the same concerns.

  92. Seebeck

    Abolition of Alternates on Committees
    Adopted 5-4

    What it does: prohibits state affiliates from selecting LNC regional alternates or alternates to other “Convention” committees (CredComm, PlatComm, B&R).

    MWS: OPPOSE. Alternates serve a purpose, and if appointing bodies wish to appoint them, or not, then that is their prerogative.

  93. Seebeck

    Duty to Defend Party Name
    Adopted 5-4

    What it does: mandates the LNC enforce the LP’s “intellectual property rights” without any explanation of what they are.

    Proposed Amendment:
    ARTICLE 11: AFFILIATE PARTIES
    1. No person, group or organization may use the name “Libertarian Party” or any confusingly similar designation except the Party or an organization to which the Party grants affiliate party status or as otherwise provided in these bylaws. The National Committee shall have a duty to enforce its intellectual property rights.

    MWS: OPPOSE. WHAT intellectual property rights? LNC Inc. does not have a government-licensed monopoly on anything party-related, as federal courts ruled in the Washington Top Two case. If the Party claims such, then it must also engage in the proper licensing schemes for the state and local affiliates, and it will also be forced to engage in either negotiation or litigation with the various caucuses and similar organizations, such as Oregon, which opens a case of cans of internal worms that would sidetrack the Party’s mission to what end, besides creating more internal infighting, court cases to deplete the Treasury, and in general waste time and resources that are better-spent elsewhere.

  94. Seebeck

    Restructure Libertarian National Committee
    Adopted 4-3

    What it does: eliminates the 5 at-large LNC members and regional representatives and alternates and replaces them with one at-large LNC member for every 10 delegates, plus one, for each state, elected by those states. An undefined Executive Board (not currently in the Bylaws? Executive Committee?) runs things in between LNC meetings. Requires between 17 and a majority of LNC members in attendance to have a quorum. If in place now, it would have the LNC have the following at-large members: CA 11; TX 8; FL 6; IL, NY, OH, VA 5 each; CO, GA, MI, PA, WA 4 each, AZ, IN, MD, MA, MO, NJ, NC, TN, WI 3 each; AL, CT, IA, KS, KY, LA, MN, NV, NH, NM, OK, OR, SC 2 each, and the rest 1 each; total 135—plus the 4 officers. Removes the authority of the Judicial Committee to hear cases appealing suspensions of LNC at-large members. Puts suspension of LNC members in the hands of the states that select them.

    MWS: OPPOSE. The net result of this proposal is that the largest affiliates, starting with California, Texas, and Florida, will be running the entire LNC at the expense of every other affiliate. Such a power play makes it far easier for a hostile takeover of the LP from the outside. The current LNC structure is working relatively well, even if regional formations can be odd. If the goal is actually more equity for the states, then 10 regional representatives for 5 states each, geographically adjacent (it can be done if one works from west to east), plus 1 at-large national member to guarantee an odd number on the LNC, would make much more sense. But if it isn’t broken, then don’t fix it until it is.

  95. Seebeck

    Restructure Libertarian National Committee – Conforming Amendments to Rules
    Adopted 4-3

    What it does: if the pervious passes, amend convention rules to match. Places election of a state’s LNC at-large members in the hands of the state convention delegation and not the state membership.

    MWS: OPPOSE. Same reasons as above.

  96. Seebeck

    Create Method for Member Recall of LNC Members
    Adopted 3-2

    What it does: creates a set of methods to recall an officer or LNC at-large member, for cause, by a 2/3 LNC vote, a written request of a majority of the state chairs plus a majority LNC vote, or a 2/3 vote of the state chairs. Currently only regional representatives and alternates can be recalled.

    MWS: SUPPORT. Right now, there is no way to recall LNC members that are not regional representatives, and having a mechanism to do so will make the LNC much more responsive to the state affiliates and the membership in general, and also serve as a buffer against a hostile takeover.

  97. Shawn Levasseur

    RE: Seebeck’s commentary on “Simplify Article 4 Language on Membership.”

    Seebeck, Nice catch on the consequences of deleting section 6. I was mildly for this provision and missed that.

    I’ll be voting against it at the convention so that we can then alter it to keep the current section 6, then adopt.

  98. Shawn Levasseur

    Further on “Simplify Article 4 Language on Membership.”:

    After a search in the bylaws, apparently, the section 6 language is redundant. The relevant sections on Delegate apportioning, LNC regional rep allocation, and qualifications for the presidential ticket all use the “Sustaining Member” language.

    Section 6 can be safely deleted.

  99. Seebeck

    True, Shawn, but only as it is now. When I analyze these things, I treat them in isolation as much as I can, because I cannot assume any other ones pass.

    As I said above, I could be wrong. I will adjust my own notes accordingly, and thanks for catching that. 🙂

  100. Chuck Moulton

    Andy Craig wrote:

    the only minority report I have filed on Bylaws was against a proposal by Mr. Starr.

    Andy,

    I must have missed your minority report. Please re-send to the list. Thanks.

  101. Chuck Moulton

    Seebeck wrote:

    Roll Call Votes for Committees
    Adopted 6-3

    What it does: requires that standing committees use roll call voting on all main motions, or any other motion if 2 members request it. Permits recording of committee meetings.

    […]

    MWS: OPPOSE. RRONR already allows for roll calls to be made on committee votes, and the committees should be able to exercise their own discretion and choice on this, not make it mandated. As for recording the proceedings, that is already allowable anyway, and done to assist the Committee Recording Secretary, so this section is unnecessary.

    Mike,

    I hope you will reconsider supporting this at the convention.

    It mirrors some language from the bylaws for the LNC.

    It’s true that the committees can already have roll call votes by majority vote. This provision would lower that threshold so more votes are on the record. In past committees a majority has been against roll call votes, which means roll calls are not on the record. This impedes transparency and accountability. The appointing body has no idea what past committee members have written or supported proposals the appointing body thinks are good and what members have written proposals the appointing body thinks are bad.

    The recording secretary can already record the meetings. According to past interpretations, committees can close their meetings so LP members cannot observe. LP members may travel at considerable expense to committee meetings only to find themselves locked out. According to past interpretations, committees can prevent their meetings from being livestreamed to faraway observers who did not want to incur the expense of physically traveling to the meeting. This proposal opens up meetings and makes that clear in advance.

    I do not believe the proposal is at all redundant or unnecessary. I consider it a huge step forward for transparency, which is why I wrote and introduced it. There were some compromises made to get enough support for passing out of committee, but I still think it is much better than the status quo.

  102. Chuck Moulton

    Seebeck wrote:

    Expand Report from the Bylaws and Rules Committee
    Adopted 8-0

    What it does: changes the contents of the Bylaws Report, and changes submission dates to the Committee.

    MWS: OPPOSE. This confuses the entire process. Per the wording, if a proposal in the Bylaws Committee fails 6-2, it is still included in the majority report, which short-circuits minority reports on some items, and that will confuse the delegates and lead to a lot of proposal shuffling in the majority report on the floor, which wastes time. But there is a bigger problem here. Per the wording, proposals cannot be considered later than 6 months prior to convention, but per Article 11, Section 2, the latest deadline for appointing the Bylaws Committee is 3 months prior to convention. That means that submissions prior to that appointment are effectively dead letters going nowhere, which shuts out the state affiliates from the process. This is a solution in search of a problem.

    Mike,

    This process is a little convoluted and I understand why you oppose it. I will be submitting a minority report mirroring the platform process instead.

    However, I don’t think it suffers from the error you mention. Submissions between 6 months before the convention and the time the bylaws committee is selected (if later) can simply be evaluated and voted on once the committee is constituted.

  103. Chuck Moulton

    Seebeck wrote:

    Elevate Style Changes from Rule to Bylaw
    Adopted 7-0

    What it does: Elevates Rule 5, Section 8 to a Bylaw, to enable the LNC to fix non-substantive problems with the Platform or Bylaws.

    […]

    MWS: OPPOSE. This is why Style Committees exist! The current convention rule is never practiced on the floor, and elevating it to a Bylaw is simply saddling the LNC with another task that is best suited to be delegated to a Style Committee to fix.

    Mike,

    I agree with you, but the convention has repeatedly rejected bylaws proposals creating a style committee. This seems like the next best alternative to me.

  104. Chuck Moulton

    Seebeck wrote:

    Elect LNC and JC Earlier
    Adopted 7-0

    What it does: rearranges the convention order of business to elect Judicial and National Committee members ahead of Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominations.

    MWS: NEUTRAL. How would this affect C-SPAN airing the Presidential nominations?

    Note: This also flips JC and LNC elections so the JC isn’t a consolation prize for those who lose LNC races.

    My main concern with this proposal is it will make it harder to campaign for LNC. Everyone will be paying attention to presidential and not researching who is the best LNC candidate. It will also mean one less day and night of LNC campaigning / hospitality suites.

  105. Chuck Moulton

    Seebeck wrote:

    Require Credentials and Platform Committee Members to be Party Members
    Adopted 5-3

    What it does: requires CredComm and Platfom members to be national Sustaining members (but not Bylaws).

    […]

    MWS: OPPOSE. If a state affiliate appoints a state Party member to those committees that is not a national Party Sustaining member, then that is the state affiliate’s prerogative to have its interests represented in that manner.

    Mike,

    I agree with you. I will be submitting a minority report to only require national membership from those platform and credentials committee members selected by the LNC, not those selected by state parties.

    Note: The committee proposal actually requires sustaining membership (dues) for platform and credentials, but leaves bylaws as LP member only (no dues). That seems weird to me.

    For my minority report, do you think sustaining membership (dues) should be required for LNC appointments to platform, credentials, and bylaws? Or just LP membership (no dues)? I’d appreciate feedback on that before I officially submit it.

  106. Chuck Moulton

    Thomas L. Knapp wrote:

    Here’s part 2 of my proposal-by-proposal recommendations.

    PROPOSAL #5: Simplify Article 4 Language on Membership

    […] This one, I have two problems with.

    The first problem was pointed out at IPR by Dr. George Phillies of Massachusetts, and that is the trailing 12-month $25 dues requirement. If someone renews early, they lose sustaining membership time.

    […]

    The second problem is intentional and, in my opinion has precedent explaining why it’s a problem. It is this language: “or have had donated on their behalf.”

    […]

    Tom,

    The first problem you cite is already in the existing bylaws language. I agree it is a problem and I have proposed amendments to fix it in years past, but they never made it out of committee. I don’t think the simplification makes this existing problem any worse.

    The second problem you cite puts that language in the bylaws because that’s what we’ve already been doing for years. It was the core of the Lee Wrights membership issue that went to the JC. Later it was exploited to expand the size of a state delegation, as you noted. Again, the problem (if it is a problem) is already in the existing language (or at least, its interpretation), so I don’t think this simplification makes it any worse. I disagree that it is actually a problem.

    What I have noticed over the years is all the shenanigans exploiting weird bylaws loopholes are perpetrated by a tiny group of people. I believe the common denominator of those problems is those people, not the bylaws. Trying to draft bylaws to avoid weird shenanigans is not a good way of doing business. Close one loophole and they’ll find another. The bylaws will get bloated more and more as we waste time accounting for every sort of shenanigans — always responding to the last crisis.

    PROPOSAL #6: Make Elected Libertarians Automatic Delegates at Convention

    This proposal allows, unless specifically disapproved by the affiliate or national convention delegates, “any sustaining member serving in public office subject to a vote of the general electorate” to be a national convention delegate.

    I oppose this change for three reasons.

    One is that I am long on record in favor of reducing, not increasing, the number of delegates to the Libertarian National Convention. My preferred number is ~538, apportioned among state affiliates exactly as presidential electors are apportioned among states

    Tom,

    A bit off-topic, but I somewhat agree with you. There will always be more interest in presidential years than non-presidential years. In my opinion the delegate allocation should be lower for non-presidential years than presidential years. I floated the idea to make the delegate allocation attributable to the presidential vote totals only available for presidential conventions, with the delegate allocation attributable to membership available in both midterm conventions and presidential conventions. This would allow us to book smaller, cheaper hotels and not have half the seats empty. My proposal didn’t attract interest this term… I may float it again another year.

    It will be interesting to see how this upcoming midterm convention turns out. It may possibly have as much attendance as a normal presidential convention, which would refute the usefulness of my proposal.

    Btw, another reason to potentially oppose the committee proposal to make elected officials automatic delegates is that it will make planning the size of the convention hall much harder — there will no longer be a hard cap on the number of delegates.

    The second is that the language is fuzzy. Since some appointed public officials can be recalled or otherwise removed by voters, they are in fact “serving in public office subject to a vote of the general electorate.”

    Tom,

    That is a concern the bylaws committee did not anticipate. We may need to amend the proposal with more careful language to account for that possibility.

    The third is that different states offer wildly different possibilities for getting elected to “public office.” At least at one time, low-level election judges were elected in Pennsylvania in non-partisan races (I helped a couple of people get elected to that office); in Missouri, they were appointed and had to be either Republicans or Democrats. Ballot access laws also vary from state to state. So having more or fewer elected officials doesn’t necessarily mean that a state affiliate is “better” or “worse” than another, or that it deserves or doesn’t deserve extra representation at the national convention.

    Tom,

    Yes, they do. I will note that Judge of Election in Pennsylvania is a partisan office, not a non-partisan office. I am an elected JOE.

  107. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Mike I want to talk to you about the purpose statement – I think you will end up opposing.

  108. Thomas L. Knapp

    Chuck,

    For some reason I thought that PA’s JOE races were non-partisan. Sorry about that. It’s been … oh, at least 14 years since I worked on some PA JOE campaigns (from afar).

    But I think the point does hold. There’s such a wide variety from state to state regarding what offices are elected versus appointed, partisan versus non-partisan, small constituency versus large constituency, etc. that it’s not obvious that “elected Libertarians as automatic delegates” delivers anything other than some feel-goodism. When my wife was elected non-partisan city marshal in a town of a few hundred, of course I talked that up, but it would be hard for me to make the case that that was as big or important a win as electing a partisan state representative.

  109. George Phillies

    With respect to purpose, the focus should stay on creating conditions where we move things in our direction, not on electing people per se.

  110. Seebeck

    Chuck,

    RE: Roll Call Votes for Committees:

    The Bylaws language is the problem, and making the rest mirror that just compounds the problem.

    These committees need to have maximum flexibility to do their work, and mandating what should be an option is simply the wrong way to go about it. Yes, that might cost some transparency, which is regrettable, but if the committee wants to exercise the option, then let them do so. Part of the delegation of tasking to a committee is giving them the ability to get the job done without handcuffing them.

    Past interpretations are not indicative of present or future actions. The problem with people being locked out of committee meetings, besides the abuse of meeting rules, is simply that the meetings are still physically present and not virtual. Our binding to Robert’s has also bound the Party to last millennium’s processes, which are by definition obsolete in the modern Skype/GotoMeeting world. Binding committees to Adobe Connect is also a stupid idea, since it sucks, but the LNC needs to fix that and they haven’t. The Superdorks at Robert’s haven’t figured out how to codify online meetings because they simply don’t get the tech, yet I have ran committees doing this, within the rules and using common sense and fairness, without any problem.

    People tweeting and livestreaming these meetings has been going on for a decade, and the simpler solution is to fix accessibility requirements and availability of the records. Those do not hinder the flexibility of the committees to get their work done.

  111. Seebeck

    Chuck,

    RE: Expand Report from the Bylaws and Rules Committee

    The fundamental problem, besides the fact that three months before convention is absurdly short in a 2-year cycle, is that the times are not consistent with each other, and THAT needs to be fixed. All of these different timeframes do nothing useful and introduce calendar clutter.

    It makes a lot of sense to get all of these dates and time-certain deadlines consistent, both among themselves and between each other, not only to simplify operations, but to make life easier for everyone involved and to make the governing documents less confusing and complicated.

  112. Seebeck

    Chuck,

    RE: Elevate Style Changes from Rule to Bylaw, Amend Style Change Provisions

    Yes, they have rejected them, and it has been a mistake each and every time they have done so. The net result is that the B&R and Platform Committee (and the convention) spend way too much time dotting i’s and crossing t’s, dealing with Oxford commas, verb tenses, and consistency in capitalization and punctuation instead of dealing with actual substance. Having done this successfully in two states now (CA and CO), I am walking proof that it not only can be done, but that it works. Forcing that onto the LNC is a stupid idea, since there are people on there that can’t hit the restroom without a main motion and three amendments before a recess. Hell, give me a week and I can fix both for the LNC and make both of them look like polished, professional documents, instead of the raw papers they are now.

  113. Seebeck

    Chuck,

    RE: Elect LNC and JC Earlier

    But does it make the LNC a consolation prize for those who lose JC races?

    The LNC and JC should be on equal footing, and right now, they really aren’t. Sure, one of them has to be elected first, unless we jungle it, which would be absolutely nuts.

  114. Seebeck

    Chuck,

    RE: Require Credentials and Platform Committee Members to be Party Members

    Since the state-appointed members are not done for B&R (that should be changed to mirror Credentials and Platform), ALL of the appointees should not be required to be Sustaining members. Once the B&R mirrors the other two, then the LNC appointments can be required to be Sustaining members.

    I understand the argument that B&R is far more primarily concerned with national party operations while Credentials and Platform have a more of a national-state mix in their activities, but at the end of the day, all power to the national party comes from the membership at the state and local level, and the B&R reports to the members, so the members should have a far greater say in who populates their committees. The LNC and the state affiliates just facilitate the committees, but that’s it. Furthermore, the B&R do impact state operations, so their voice needs to be heard as well on B&R.

  115. Seebeck

    Reorganize Purpose Statement
    Adopted 7-2
    What it does: rewords the Purposes statement to make the verb tenses consistent, put the purposes into a list, and add a small mission statement.
    Proposed Amendment:
    ARTICLE 2: PURPOSES
    The Libertarian Party is organized to defend freedom and expand liberty in America by:
    1.
    implementing and give giving voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles by:;
    2.
    functioning as a libertarian political entity separate and distinct from all other political parties or movements;
    3. moving public policy in a libertarian direction by building a political party that elects Libertarians to public office electing Libertarians to public office to move public policy in a libertarian direction;
    4. chartering affiliate parties throughout the United States and promoting their growth and activities;
    5. nominating candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States, and supporting Party and affiliate party candidates for political office; and,
    6. entering into public information activities.

    MWS: SUPPORT. This doesn’t change the context but does make it much more readable.

    MWS: OPPOSE. After talking with Caryn Ann, I see what she is referring to, and I missed it the first time. This does change the context to the current list as a means to implement the SOP to making the SOP part of a list to “defend freedom and expand Liberty”, which puts the SOP, the core of the Party, on a second-tier status.

    I said I could be wrong. This is one of those cases. ?

  116. George Phillies

    It appears to me that (1) does the opposite of what You are concerned about. At the moment “The Party is organized to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles by” is simply a preamble. The things the party is supposed to do are the items here INCORRECTLY numbered 1-6. I say INCORRECTLY because

    , and supporting Party and affiliate party candidates for political office

    should be numbered separately.

    The poisonous change is 3, where ‘building an effective party’ is replaced with ‘electing candidates’. To elect candidates, when there is no effective party behind them, is to build a house upon sand.

  117. Seebeck

    I see your point about #3, George, but disagree with you and agree with Caryn Ann on #1.

  118. Anthony Dlugos

    “The poisonous change is 3, where ‘building an effective party’ is replaced with ‘electing candidates’. To elect candidates, when there is no effective party behind them, is to build a house upon sand.”

    This is not necessarily the case, and probably is not the case.

    There are a multitude of examples where the demonstration of the popularity of a particular product/service is FIRST demonstrated, then the framework to distribute that product/service is created around it.

    On the other hand, its probably quite unlikely to secure the necessary capital and resources to build an effective national party without that first, entrepreneurial step of a demonstration of the popularity of our ideals. You’ll be forever trying to build a foundation for a product you haven’t yet demonstrated is “profitable.”

    Don’t worry. Get someone elected to national office. You’ll have the foundation built up around that election in no time.

  119. George Phillies

    Seebeck: I think first is a meaningless distinction, so I don’t really care about it.
    What about my count of purposes. Are there six or seven?

  120. Seebeck

    George, you may think that, and we disagree, and others do, too.

    But the answer as written is 6, because #5 has the overall theme of candidates from the top on down.

  121. Thomas L. Knapp

    “The Superdorks at Robert’s haven’t figured out how to codify online meetings because they simply don’t get the tech, yet I have ran committees doing this, within the rules and using common sense and fairness, without any problem.”

    It’s been more than a decade since the first political party held an entire national convention — bylaws, platform, program internal leadership elections, etc. — online, and nearly a decade since that same party did it again and successfully added nominating a presidential ticket to the agenda.

    In the academic world, at least, inter-school stuff that used to either not even get attempted, or else required a physical meeting to coordinate, gets done in online meetings (my wife is often tasked with scheduling/coordinating those meetings). If university researchers can coordinate complicated research studies, etc. electronically, why is it so hard for a political party committee to do stuff that is relatively simple (I didn’t say “easy” — that’s not the same thing) by comparison without a bunch of people having to get on airplanes?

    RONR, that’s why.

    So far as I can tell, the mission statement of the Robert’s people over the last couple of decades (at least) has been to make/keep things as complicated as humanly possible so as to maintain a full employment program for the parliamentarian priesthood.

    I haven’t recently reviewed e.g. Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure to see if any of the parliamentary authorities are keeping up with the times. But Standard/Sturgis was better than Robert’s from the git-go and presumably still is.

  122. Seebeck

    Tom,

    I don’t know anything about Standard/Sturgis, but I completely agree with the rest.

    It’s not difficult to do, either, at least on small committees. Large conventions are a different story, but as you said, simple and not easy.

  123. George Phillies

    Look at Francis and Francis, which is short enough that it is difficult to be used to sabotage activities.

    As an alternative, rules for people who want to do work, I seem to recall that Don Gorman always advocated Mason.

    I have examined the former, but not the latter.

  124. Starchild

    I haven’t read all the way through the proposals yet, or this thread (it keeps getting longer!) but wanted to weigh in on one that particularly concerns me: The misguided proposal to give elected Libertarians automatic delegate status.

    This bid to ape the Democratic Party’s “superdelegates” who cost Bernie Sanders the party’s nomination in favor of insider favorite Hillary Clinton could easily be the future undoing of the LP if adopted.

    Chuck Moulton writes (May 6, 2018 at 15:16), “The thought was if this proposal were adopted and we achieved more electoral success such that we were flush with elected libertarians, then the bylaws could be amended at a future convention raising the requirements.”

    I see little reason to think undoing the damage at that point would be so easy. If we were to reach a point where there were lots of elected Libertarians, it would mean the party had real, significant power compared to what it has now. Thus, the “power incentive”to be a convention delegate would be far higher. Those entitled to these slots might well be unlikely to want to give them up — thus there would be a sizable constituency of entitled Libertarian officeholders opposed to any change.

    Holding public office is its own reward. We don’t need to incentivize it by giving office-holders more control over the Libertarian Party. On the contrary, it is vital that we keep Libertarian office-holders accountable to the party as much as possible. The party is, or should be, a bottom-up mechanism run by people who support libertarianism (non-initiation of force and fraud) as the basis for public policy. The voting public who elect officeholders, including Libertarian office-holders, obviously have no such ideological commitment to libertarianism.

    Once a politician is elected and becomes popular enough with the public to be reelected without the party’s help, then there is little to keep him or her beholden to the LP. Power corrupts, and the temptations of money and power can get to officeholders, even Libertarians. Why would we want to give a group of people in positions which make them highly at-risk to be corrupted, the keys to running the party?

    We should honor and support our officeholders in other ways — when they use their offices to advance the cause of freedom. But they are among the last Libertarians, not the first, who we should want as delegates. It’s far too great a risk, and once created, this entitlement could prove very hard to remove.

    As bad as are the plans to expand the LNC, and elect the presidential and vice-presidential nominees as a slate, I fear that in the long run this proposal could do even more damage to the Libertarian Party and the cause of freedom for which it (currently) stands. I urge everyone to strongly oppose this proposal.

  125. Chuck Moulton

    Starchild,

    I would like to hear your take on all the proposals. There is still time for minority reports if something jumps out at committee members.

  126. Starchild

    Thanks, Chuck. I mentioned a couple of the others which I think are bad news, but will try to weigh in further. This one needs tweaking, imho:

    Create Method for Member Recall of LNC Members
    Adopted 3-2

    What it does: creates a set of methods to recall an officer or LNC at-large member, for cause, by a 2/3 LNC vote, a written request of a majority of the state chairs plus a majority LNC vote, or a 2/3 vote of the state chairs. Currently only regional representatives and alternates can be recalled.

    There should be a way to recall LNC officers and at-large members (of which I am one), but I would like to see more of a bottom-up mechanism for this, as opposed to a vote by state chairs or the LNC itself.

    For instance how about allowing members to vote directly on LP.org as confirmed by member number and current email address on file? Perhaps with the requirements that at least 2/3 of those voting favor recall, and that those in favor of recall must comprise at least 5% of current LP members.

  127. Seebeck

    Starchild wrote:

    There should be a way to recall LNC officers and at-large members (of which I am one), but I would like to see more of a bottom-up mechanism for this, as opposed to a vote by state chairs or the LNC itself.

    That should be up to each state affiliate to decide, whether they just let their state chair make the call, have a special convention to decide, or however. It’s not up to the national party to dictate that in their Bylaws, as it’s the wrong scope for it.

  128. George Phillies

    ““Sustaining members” are members of the Party who: a.During the prior twelve months have donated, or
    have had donated on their behalf, an amount of at least $25; or b.Are Life members.”

    As a result, if I renew early, my new sustaining membership expires fewer than twelve months after the prior sustaining membership expired. This feature has been known for a fair number of years, and has never been fixed.

  129. Seebeck

    George, if you call it in, you can tell them that it is to renew as of the expiration date. If you mail in a check, you can write on there explicitly what it is for and when applied, and they have to apply it that way, else it is an FEC violation.

  130. Jhandi

    ” That was intentional, as we wanted to encourage Libertarians to see appointment. However, to clarify for other readers: such appointed officials would be limited to vacancies in elected offices, not positions which are always appointed. This is made clear with the language “serving in public office subject to a vote of the general electorate”.”

    So a Libertarian US President and Supreme Court judge would be excluded, as these are, terminology notwithstanding, appointed offices. Nice work, morons.

    And isn’t the policy now to focus on the Presidency and local electives, not appointed? Activists are sick of these course reversals by the conservatarians /pseudo-radicals every few years.

    The By-laws and Platform committees and indeed most Platform change proposals attract anti-libertarian nincompoops. They should be limited by needing 3/4th approval. Indeed, the Platform Committee was abolished in 2002 except to highlight libertarian action being taken by members, so why is it still sending reports? None of this does a thing for winning elections.

    Meanwhile the partyarchy does zip about ending ballot access laws and training candidates despite several policies and convention directives. It does divert ballot access money to loser candidates, though.

  131. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ===I think you know exactly why I’m more annoyed than usual at you, Caryn Ann, and that it has nothing to do with egotistical silliness about who was or wasn’t mean in online comments or who is or isn’t allowed in whatever facebook group. ====

    No Andy I don’t. It is difficult to keep up with what is upsetting you (and I am sure you will get upset at that but it is my perspective). And still waiting for the answer on the FB group.

    ==Your public swipes at me— including your outright lie about my votes on Bylaws— don’t matter.===

    I asked – where is the lie – did you ever vote differently than Mattson, Starr, and Carling? Show me one and I will gladly correct that statement. There is nothing huge riding on that – your over-reaction notwithstanding.

    == It is your private actions that have demonstrated a petty vindictiveness I can’t respect, and I’ll leave it at that before I say something I really will regret.==

    Still have zero idea what you are talking about. I remind you Andy I VOTED AND SPOKE FOR YOU AND CONVINCED OTHER LNC MEMBERS TO VOTE FOR YOU ON BYLAWS. Both David D and Arvin V voted for you because I urged it (I think Starchild did as well). That is really odd for this horrible terrible caricature you keep painting.

    Now would I do that again? No. Not because you are not very very qualified – you are – but because you have been really personally nasty. Thus the request for a reset to clear away all of the old garbage. The cold war serves no one.

    ===But since we’re on the topic: the only minority report I have filed on Bylaws was against a proposal by Mr. Starr. Just to correct the record on that particular bit of dishonesty.====

    I haven’t seen that minority report, can you bump it up? And can you tone it down with your constant accusations of dishonesty? – the votes are public. Surely I am smart enough to lie about something not easily falsified. So yes, you are being very grumpy pants. And refuse every attempt for a reset.

    I would like to see that minority report to see if I would like to sign on to it.

  132. Seebeck

    Jhandi, on May 12, 2018 at 04:41 wrote:
    ” That was intentional, as we wanted to encourage Libertarians to see appointment. However, to clarify for other readers: such appointed officials would be limited to vacancies in elected offices, not positions which are always appointed. This is made clear with the language “serving in public office subject to a vote of the general electorate”.”
    So a Libertarian US President and Supreme Court judge would be excluded, as these are, terminology notwithstanding, appointed offices. Nice work, morons.

    Unnecessary name calling aside, appointed judges are supposed to be apolitical anyway, and under current law as constructed, a Libertarian US President is still subject to a vote of the general electorate, albeit indirectly. The argument is irrelevant. Plus, if the state affiliate in which they live wishes to make them delegates, they certainly can do so already.
    And isn’t the policy now to focus on the Presidency and local electives, not appointed? Activists are sick of these course reversals by the conservatarians /pseudo-radicals every few years.
    Doesn’t matter. Most appointed positions outside judgeships are local anyway, which makes the question moot.
    The By-laws and Platform committees and indeed most Platform change proposals attract anti-libertarian nincompoops. They should be limited by needing 3/4th approval. Indeed, the Platform Committee was abolished in 2002 except to highlight libertarian action being taken by members, so why is it still sending reports? None of this does a thing for winning elections.
    Unnecessary name calling aside again, a 3/4ths supermajority is unworkable and would require amending the Bylaws by 2/3 and that one would die a quick death in convention.

    The Platform Committee in 2002 adjourned sine die for that convention cycle, but it is a standing Convention Committee in the Bylaws and still does its work every convention cycle.

    The focus that does exist on B&R and Platform is to perfect the party operations and positions such that the focus can be on the educational and electoral functions of the Party, which others work on—division of labor. This is the same “nuts and bolts” stuff that all political parties do, and it tries to make sure that the operations and positions are functional and consistent to both draw in members and voters but also to make it easier to address them when they inevitably come up. The alternative is elitist chaos, as was seen in 2008 and 2012 at the GOP.
    Meanwhile the partyarchy does zip about ending ballot access laws and training candidates despite several policies and convention directives. It does divert ballot access money to loser candidates, though.
    Ballot access laws have continually been worked on, but the process is slow—ask Mr. Redpath or Mr. Winger, since they are the experts on it. Candidate training is a duty of the state and local affiliates as they are better qualified to do so due to the unique characteristics of the electoral structures, demographics, and politics of each district, be it statewide or local.

  133. Dan Reale

    The change re endorsing candidates who are not affiliating is confusing – and it WILL be read like a list of “or”s, basically allowing someone to pay $25 to be a national party member but not actually register Libertarian.

    Also, the proposal as set forth screws Rhode Island, which doesn’t allow anyone to register to vote as a Libertarian.

    Having said that, and having (too much) experience knocking down GOP electoral welfare (fusion) proposals, a better version would read, ” No affiliate party shall endorse any candidate who is a member of another party and who has not become a member of the Libertarian Party and the affiliate party, and is a registered Libertarian voter in a jurisdiction that recognizes the Libertarian Party affiliation, for public office in any partisan election. No affiliate party shall take any action inconsistent with the Statement of Principles or these Bylaws.”

  134. Seebeck

    Dan, here’s what it says:

    ARTICLE 5: AFFILIATE PARTIES
    4. No affiliate party shall endorse any candidate who is a member of another party not a member of the Libertarian Party, or of the affiliate party, or a registered Libertarian voter, for public office in any partisan election. No affiliate party shall take any action inconsistent with the Statement of Principles or these Bylaws.

    I read that to say that an affiliate cannot endorse a candidate that is not a national party member, a state party member, or registered to vote as a Libertarian, but that the affiliates have the option (but are not required) to endorse candidates that meet one of those criteria.

    The fact that Rhode island doesn’t allow voter registration as a Libertarian has no impact on this, since a candidate can still be a state or national party member.

    Your alternate wording really accomplishes nothing that the proposed change doesn’t do, since the proposed wording relies on party membership or registration only and deems other party membership as irrelevant.

  135. Chuck Moulton

    Dan Reale wrote:

    No affiliate party shall endorse any candidate who is a member of another party and who has not become a member of the Libertarian Party and the affiliate party, and is a registered Libertarian voter in a jurisdiction that recognizes the Libertarian Party affiliation, for public office in any partisan election. No affiliate party shall take any action inconsistent with the Statement of Principles or these Bylaws.

    Seebeck wrote:

    Your alternate wording really accomplishes nothing that the proposed change doesn’t do, since the proposed wording relies on party membership or registration only and deems other party membership as irrelevant.

    I disagree. His proposal is very different than the committee proposal. First, his proposal would prohibit fusion with other parties rather than allowing it. Second, it would present a higher bar as “and” instead of “or” on the libertarian affiliation criteria: instead of just one of national membership, state membership, and voter registration, he would require both state and national membership and voter registration where possible.

    Caryn Ann Harlos is planning to present an alternative proposal with her minority report on this which would prohibit fusion rather than allowing it. I suggest you share your proposed language with her.

  136. Chuck Moulton

    The Bylaws and Rules Committee has had a busy week writing, circulating, and signing minority reports. They will likely be released to the membership either in the survey or at the same time as the survey within the next week or two. (That is just my sense of the process and timetable… not anything that has been officially decided.) I authored 3 minority reports. Caryn Ann Harlos authored many more. Andy Craig authored 1 minority report. More may come later from others, but I’m done myself.

  137. Seebeck

    Chuck, I see the “and” you are referring to. It creates a higher bar to fielding libertarian candidates, and as such I would oppose.

  138. Starchild

    I would encourage the Bylaws Committee to number the proposals for easier reference.

    Another one I’d like to comment on which superficially looks good but is in fact a move toward more of a top- down system is the proposal to include in the Committee report any proposal with the support of at least two committee members.

    The problem is that this will come at the expense of delegate proposals from the floor unless more time is allocated for floor proposals. I would suggest an amendment or modification establishing that committee proposals alternate with those from the floor. Start with the first committee proposal, then take one from the floor if there is one, then the second committee proposal, etc.

  139. Carol Moore/Secession.net

    OK, I slogged through it. Too bad they didn’t clearly differentiate the language change (?) to bylaws from the restructuring proposal way down the line. I assume they’ll never get to it, of course.

    Some sneaky Aaron Starr/Ms. Mattson/& Tiny Cabal stuff in there, eh? Voted them down.

  140. Chuck Moulton

    I’d encourage anyone filling out the survey to share any comments here. It looks very unlikely the bylaws committee will make the survey results and comments public this year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *