Libertarian Party Sets Up National Convention Delegate Fund

Paulie cropped

Independent Political Report‘s own Paul Frankel, known to us as Paulie, who is an Alternate At-Large Representative of the Libertarian National Committee for Region 7, reports that the Libertarian Party now has a way to offset some of the fees for Libertarians wishing to attend a National Convention. The next National Convention is planned for June 26-29, 2014, in Columbus, Ohio.

Paulie writes on the “LP Radical Caucus” Facebook Page:

Thanks to my token donation, the national LP now has a National Convention Delegate Fund. If anyone would like to donate, go to https://www.lp.org/contribute and in the bottom box where it says Comment (optional) put National Convention Delegate Fund. The purpose of the fund is to make it affordable for more people to attend in case there is a floor fee, or perhaps it could also help with the costs of getting to and from the convention and getting a room.

There was quite a bit of discussion here on IPR regarding the floor fees of our last national convention, which was in Las Vegas in 2012. Here are a couple articles:

Moulton Writes Open Letter to LNC Re: Floor Fees

George Phillies Discusses Convention Floor Fees

There are a few details to be worked out still, such as does the money contributed apply to only the minimum package, or to all the packages offered? Also, will the fund be closed after the packages and their prices are announced? These questions have been raised, but so far, the committee members haven’t talked them through to final answers.

Thanks for the suggestion and contribution to the LNC, Paulie!

18 thoughts on “Libertarian Party Sets Up National Convention Delegate Fund

  1. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I think the fund should apply to only the least expensive package, and I think it should continue until the day the convention opens. The idea is to make it easy for those people to go to the convention who might otherwise not be able to go.

  2. paulie

    I agree. So far Scott Lieberman has been the only person to disagree, but no one on the LNC spoke up to agree with me either. I don’t know if the fund has received any other donations besides the token amount I kicked in to kick it off.

  3. Stewart Flood

    The problem with this type of funding is that there is no way to know in advance how many people will sign up and how much money will be raised, making it nearly impossible to determine how much it affects the price for attendees until the event is actually over. Convention expenses depend on the number of room nights sold by the hotel, the number of people who choose higher plans and get fed, etc. The food guarantee is the most difficult part to estimate.

    Raising money through donations is certainly a good idea, but it will be a mess to manage. What I’ve pointed out above should be considered “concerns” and not “objections.”

  4. paulie

    I don’t think it should be administered in a way which requires us to know the package costs, numbers of attendees etc in advance, which is what Scott is suggesting. My understanding of the motion passed by the national convention is that the intent is to pay the floor fee, if there is one (looks likely based on preliminary discussions but one has not been passed yet), for those who can’t pay it and would be delegates except for inability to pay the floor fee. If there is money left over it could conceivably go towards other travel expenses for those really stretching their budget just to get there and back and have a place to stay.

    That would mean people buying the minimum package, not a slice off the top of all packages as Scott is suggesting.

    Of course that brings up the question of how to tell the genuine needy cases from those just wanting to be cheap who could easily afford to pay it on their own, or even people who would maliciously apply for the funding just to deny it to others. I don’t know of any foolproof answer to that but my suggestion would be to let the state delegations make that determination. Of course then that would bring up the question of allocation among states, so I don’t have all the answers.

    And we may be discussing dividing up a fund which will have little or no money. As of now, I’m not aware of other donations having been made or planned.

    The convention minutes on this are:

    c. Delegates shall not be required to pay a registration fee to be credentialed or to access the floor for business
    sessions.

    Will McVay (DE) moved to amend to insert “in excess of the sustaining member dues” after “registration fee”,
    and to add a final sentence, “Sustaining members shall not be required to pay a floor fee.” The McVay
    amendment failed by a voice vote.

    Following further debate, a voice vote on the main motion was inconclusive. A subsequent standing vote was
    inconclusive. A standing counted vote on the main motion resulted in 165 in favor and 112 opposed, failing to
    achieve the required 2/3.

    Pat Dixon (TX) moved to suspend the rules for the purpose of considering of a resolution at this time. A voice
    vote on the suspension motion was inconclusive. A subsequent standing vote adopted the suspension motion.
    2012 Libertarian Party Convention Minutes, Las Vegas, NV Page 13
    Pat Dixon moved to adopt the following resolution:

    The LNC is requested to establish a National Convention Delegate Fund to reduce the minimum registration
    cost for convention delegates. Donors may contribute directly to this fund for this specific purpose.

    Lee Wrights (TX) moved to amend the resolution to strike “is requested” and insert “is directed”. Following
    debate, the Wrights amendment was adopted by a voice vote, making the main motion:

    The LNC is directed to establish a National Convention Delegate Fund to reduce the minimum registration cost
    for convention delegates. Donors may contribute directly to this fund for this specific purpose.

    The main motion as amended was adopted by a voice vote.

  5. From Der Sidelines

    So, IOW, the LNC still hasn’t learned convention economics and still is looking to gouge members with yet another floor fee because they don’t understand that members already pay to play by their dues.

    While paulie’s idea is commendable, it shouldn’t be necessary in the first place.

    I for one have better trips to make with my hard-earned money and slowly-accrued time off than the illustrious Columbus Ohio (or almost anywhere east of Chicago, for that matter!), and this trend only continues to make the LPUS a joke beyond what it already is.

    No wonder 60% of America says we need a third party but ignores the LP…

  6. paulie

    While paulie’s idea is commendable, it shouldn’t be necessary in the first place.

    It is not my idea. It was a motion passed by the delegates at the convention (see comment above) which was made by Pat Dixon and amended by Lee Wrights.

    I pointed it out several times to the LNC list before and asked whether we did anything about it and no one answered. Finally someone else on LNC brought it to Geoff Neale’s attention that the convention passed this motion and he said he did not recall that, but would set up the fund if and when someone would donate to it.

    I got that message when I was catching up in my email a couple of months later and since no one else had as far as I know followed up I went ahead and made a small contribution. Robert Kraus then confirmed the fund is set up, at which point Scott Lieberman brought up the additional points of contention.

    it shouldn’t be necessary in the first place.

    I agree, Unfortunately, even though we had a majority, we did not have the 2/3 to pass the bylaw prohibiting floor fees.

  7. Michael Gilson-De Lemos (MG)

    I congratulate Paulie. This looks productive.

    I would suggest dialogue on a return to free attendance of the business convention and also free info/ training workshops for potential candidates. Charges should be left for the separate speaker’s conference. These two, namely convention-workshops and conference, are being confused. It was never our intent these floor charges exist. In addition basic membership should be free. It once was.

    The LNC has made profits on that model. I’ve profitably run very large state conventions and one national. These used a recommended contribution, per event fees, and targeted internal fundraising meals. In addition great care was taken negotiating low-cost venue. There is no how-to secret here. Many feel right-wing elements in the party appear to be institutionalizing their crony business incompetence as an excuse for exclusion. I hope this is not really the case. Perhaps having alternate free business convention and charged conference-nomination years would be helpful.

    Maximum ease of entry, minimum reason to leave.

  8. paulie

    This looks productive.

    We’ll see.

    I would suggest dialogue on a return to free attendance of the business convention

    There’s dialogue, but I’m getting the feeling we are going to lose that fight.

    and also free info/ training workshops for potential candidates.

    I know some money was being raised for that…maybe a year ago? I don’t know what happened with that. Some states are doing it on their own such as Texas and Tennessee.

    In addition basic membership should be free.

    There’s already a free membership, and there always has been – you just sign the pledge and be done. What I don’t see is any way to do it on the website. I did ask about that too. No response, as far as I can remember.

    per event fees, and targeted internal fundraising meals.

    We still have those.

    Many feel right-wing elements in the party appear to be institutionalizing their crony business incompetence as an excuse for exclusion.

    Continued efforts to undermine the intent of the motion lends credence to such suspicions. Also, I don’t know if the fund’s existence will ever be promoted by any official channels.

  9. paulie

    Still no clarification from anyone on LNC/staff as to how the fund will be disbursed (IE whether my understanding, or Scott’s, or something in between is correct) or whether or how it will be promoted.

  10. Stewart Flood

    We’re nearly a year and a half into the current LNC’s term. You’d think that the person who proposed the amended motion (the vice chair) would have been on this from day one!

    Again, smoke and [broken] mirrors…

  11. paulie

    We’re nearly a year and a half into the current LNC’s term. You’d think that the person who proposed the amended motion (the vice chair) would have been on this from day one!

    Good point.

  12. George Phillies

    FDS: indeed, I am regularly seeing articles that discussion the possibility of a third party, entirely in terms of that Bloomberg and friends vehicle, Americans Elect or whatever it was.

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