Libertarian Party: Notice of Bylaws Committee Meeting 12/17/17

Meeting Name: Bylaws Committee
When: 12/17/2017 6:00 PM Pacific / 9:00 PM Eastern
Purpose: To consider proposals relating to the size of the LNC postponed from the previous meeting, and to consider business relevant to the committee’s recommendation regarding the Presidential campaign agreement.

Requested by: Katz, by direction of the committee

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

Given that there is time before the 7 day notice period expires, additional topics may be added if agreed to by the requesters and conveyed in time to update this call.

According to the Policy Manual, “…the meeting notice shall describe how to participate in the meeting.” That information appears below. I have also included a note from the LNC Secretary on helpful tips for participation, as well as, for your reference, the relevant Policy Manual provision. Pending a decision on the matters to be introduced, the meeting will be open only to committee members. It will be recorded.

To join the meeting:

Audio Conference Details: If you join by computer/webcam at the link above, you do NOT also need to dial into this teleconference, which is a backup audio-only option.
Teleconference Number(s): 866-814-9555
Conference Code: 7509417927

NOTE: If a videoconference becomes impossible, alternative information for a teleconference will be distributed.

If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before:

Test your connection:

1) Even though it is possible to use a mobile device to join one of these meetings, you are mistaken if you think you can participate meaningfully while driving down the road in your car and connecting with your iPhone/iPad. It’s dangerous. You can’t pay attention to anything shown on the screen, and even the audio won’t have your full attention because you’re driving. Raising your hand, or voting, or trying to adjust your microphone is the equivalent of texting while driving, which could earn you a ticket (and no points from the Secretary, though other points could accrue on your license). You’re much more likely to lose your connection as your signal is transferred from one cell tower to another. Etc.

2) You should make arrangements to be in a reasonably quiet location with a decent-speed internet connection. If you have a slow connection (like a cell tower) the audio/video may cut in and out for you. Don’t be in a bowling alley or a night club or a grocery store. Children should be supervised by someone else in another room. Barking dogs or other noise-producing pets should be put in another location where they won’t be heard by the rest of us.

3) USE YOUR HEADPHONES OR EARBUDS. I use the same earbuds I use with my iPod. You can buy a pair for $5 in lots of places. Not using headphones/earbuds will cause echoes for other participants because the sound coming out of your speakers will feed back in through your microphone and get re-transmitted. The echoes are very distracting and maddening.

4) When this system is used with only a handful of people, participants can generally leave their microphones on and self-regulate if two people talk over each other. This meeting will be the largest we’ve ever used the system for, and I suspect it will be important for everyone to mute their microphones while they’re not talking, and use the raise-hand feature to have the chair recognize you to speak, after which you can turn on your microphone.

7) Electronic Meetings

a) The term “electronic meeting” within these electronic meeting rules shall be construed to include teleconferences and videoconferences.

b) The term “committee” within these electronic meeting rules shall be construed to include both the LNC (as the board of the Libertarian Party) as well as committees.

c) All videoconferences will be conducted via the Adobe Connect (Citrix) service, hereinafter referred to as Adobe Connect.

d) Electronic meetings may be called by either:

The committee Chair, or

1/3 of the committee members or 2 committee members, whichever is greater. However, the call of an electronic meeting can be canceled if a majority of the committee members email a cancellation request to the entire committee prior to the scheduled time of the meeting.

e) Each committee member calling for an electronic meeting must do so by emailing the entire committee and specifying the date of the meeting, time of the meeting, and the topic(s) to be addressed. Meetings must be so called no fewer than 2 days in advance for committees with fewer than 10 members, or 7 days in advance for committees with 10 or more members. These time limits do not apply to the LNC’s Executive Committee, the LNC’s Advertising and Publications Review Committee, or the Judicial Committee.

f) For electronic LNC meetings, messages calling or vetoing a meeting must be sent on the LNC-Business email list.

g) When a sufficient number of people have issued a call for an electronic meeting, the committee Chair or Secretary shall issue a notice of the meeting to each member and alternate of the committee. In addition to the standard notice content, the meeting notice shall describe how to participate in the meeting.

h) Each participant must provide his own equipment and connectivity, including but not limited to any computer, internet access, web camera, microphone, earphones, or telephone. Members and alternates have the right to participate in an electronic meeting by telephone, however they should use a computer connection if feasible so as to be able to more fully use the Adobe Connect features. The organization is not responsible for providing a central location for physical attendance of an electronic meeting. For face-to- face meetings, electronic participation is not allowed.

i) Each participant must accurately identify himself by name when joining the meeting. Videoconference participants other than members or alternates of the committee must precede their sign-in name with “zz” so as to group them at the end of the alphabetical participant list.

j) Electronic meeting participants must try to eliminate, as much as possible, background noise, echoes, and call waiting interruptions. Participants shall not place their telephone connection on hold if the system has music or messages playing while in that mode.

k) All participants legally consent to having the meetings recorded, should the committee opt to do so.

l) Electronic meetings are special meetings such that only the topics listed in the call of the meeting may be considered during the meeting.

m) For original main motions, the committee Chair or Secretary shall document the time at which the vote tally was announced. A person eligible to vote who was present during the debate of the motion but who lost his connection to the meeting may still reconnect to the meeting and cast his vote on the motion no more than 5 minutes after the announcement of the vote tally.

n) If the committee permits, participants other than members or alternates of the committee may observe videoconferences using Adobe Connect (and not by a toll-free number) with their web cameras off and their microphones muted.

o) The LNC Secretary shall promulgate these rules to all members/alternates.

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About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee and is a candidate for LNC Secretary at the 2018 Libertarian Party Convention. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

23 thoughts on “Libertarian Party: Notice of Bylaws Committee Meeting 12/17/17

  1. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I have asked for the exact proposals thus far to be sure everyone can review. I have several versions of them and want to be sure I attach the right ones.

    As far as a larger LNC, I absolutely oppose. And have found little to no support for it among members and current and past LNC members.

  2. Carol Moore/

    Will be hearing anything at all here about the progress of the Platform Committee??

  3. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Platform committee is not fully populated late. I am not sure all of the states that have not yet appointed, but Colorado is one. And they may not appoint until the deadline. Why? General disgust with the anti-transparency shenanigans on the Bylaws committee. And whoever CO sends will insist on an open email list and likely will not obey any secrecy mandate.

  4. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    The edit function is not working so I am doing an Andy.

    late should be yet

    And I would add that the states need to stop letting the tail wag the dog. They need to reclaim their power.

  5. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    George we have a good proposal (I will dig it out and post it) that passed. The ONLY reason I voted for it is because the delegates could negate it from the floor or ask for additional items. Other committee members are concerned that delegates on the floor might ask for something unenforceable. I think there are other ways around it. I will not vote for something that gives the delegates no future say without amending the bylaws.

  6. Chuck Moulton

    I have concerns about the current language of the presidential comtract proposal. I hope it will be posted publicly sooner rather than later so we can get more eyes on it and revision suggestions from LP members.

  7. Andy Craig

    I support some sort of reform to the nominee-LNC contract process. But the current proposal is deeply flawed and I can’t support it. I don’t think the Bylaws Cmte. should be trying to unilaterally write its own draft of a contract, and then make that text part of the bylaws, without any negotiation or review by attorneys (other than those who happen to be on the Bylaws cmte.) I also have serious concerns about not just the enforcability, but also the legality, of the proposed draft contract that we’d be writing into the bylaws and making mandatory as a condition of eligibility for the nomination.

    I’m open to giving the convention some sort of say, e.g. up-or-down approval, and I like the idea of putting candidates on the record as signing a contract pre-convention. But actually trying to rewrite and amend a several-page contract from the floor of a convention, w/ ~1000 people in the room, is a horrible way to write a legally valid and binding contract, and totally impracticable. This is the sort of thing that requires some degree of delegation of authority, at least to the LNC or some other committee, even if we do want to put some guide-rails on the process.

    We’ve all seen the sort of comma-splicing arguments that conventions can get into just over relatively short provisions in the Platform and our own Bylaws, and both of those things go through a committee first to mark up ideas and fine-tune amendments. This proposed contract wouldn’t. We don’t do any other business like that, because it’s just not practical.

  8. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Check out this massive consolidation of power:

    The Executive Board
    shall be composed of the four
    officers and seven members
    elected by the National
    Committee by ballot vote. The
    Executive Board shall exercise
    all powers of the National
    Committee between meetings
    except for those powers that the
    National Committee reserves for
    itself by a standing rule or
    delegates to another committee.

  9. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    This may convince me to run for a different position than I originally planned.

  10. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    It passed and is even more Machiavellian than I thought.

    It is a phantom of a large representative body with in actuality making a less representative smaller body.

  11. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Its up to maybe 400. And no transparency requirement. It is smoke and mirrors that will consolidate power in 11 people in which the populous states will always dominate. A very bad deal for MT, WY, and HI out of region 1. It isn’t even per capita calculations at all. So screw you NH too. Yeah. My thoughts exactly.

  12. Carol Moore/

    So do we get the names of those who are coming up with these absurd proposals (Aaron Starr, for starters no doubt.)

  13. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Aaron Starr and M Carling jointly worked on it. Voting in favour – M. Carling, Andy Craig, Alicia Mattson, and Aaron Star. Voting against, David Pratt Demarest, Caryn Ann Harlos, and Chuck Moulton.

    Absent were Joe Henchman and Kim Ruff. I know for a fact that Kim would have voted no (unless she got persuaded by the pro arguments at the meeting, which I suppose is always possible, but I doubt it). And I am pretty certain Joe would have voted no as well.

    So this terrible proposal got through on a slim margin minus two people who would have opposed. If a full committee there it would not have passed, even if the chair voted which would have been a tie.

    Yeah. Ugh.

  14. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    There was also a dispute on the prior minutes. In my view, they were bare bones and only included the final motion and not the very substantive amendments which would likely be the basis for a minority report. The committee voted down my motion to go back and have that information added (we have a video so it could be done). I informed the committee that I was going to do it anyways and was giving them a good faith heads up to let them have input so it would be an official version rather than just mine. They invited me to move to amend later after I have done it. I will prepare the summary but I have not yet decided if I will bring it their vote. I gave a good faith effort and each time the minority has we get voted down or out-Roberts-ed. These committees are a perfect example of how Roberts is not used to facilitate but to gunk up the works. People of good will and amity wanting to work things out in a give and take should be able to do things without diving head first into technicalities to avoid things.

    The Priesthood of RONR. There were plenty of times I *could* have raised this or that just to delay or obfuscate and did not. I could force everything to a vote and waste time. But I don’t bother but hell if the minority is shown that courtesy.

    PS: I was asking for nothing more than is routinely included in LNC minutes. Alicia very carefully notes substantive amendments.

  15. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    FWIW despite my disagreement on his interpretation of what can or cannot be repeated in our discussions, Joshua Katz is a very good committee chair.

  16. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    We didn’t vote on the presidential contract thing. A few committee members wanted more time to work out a good proposal.

  17. Carol Moore/

    I think another Starr-Carling plot to control the LP will NOT fly with the delegates. The question is, why do these guys KEEP getting on these committees? grrrr

  18. Andy

    Expanding the size of the LNC is not a good idea. How about focus on expanding the size 9f the party instead?

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