This LPF EC meeting has the distinction of being an in-person meeting, conveniently (for me) located in my hometown.

Chair Report

Confirm Appointment of Platform Committee - Undecided

Text: Motion to confirm Platform Committee to be comprised of the following members: Steven Nekhaila (chair), Dennis Misigoy (secretary), Davie Parrish, Kevin O’Neill, Celicia Slafter

Analysis: This adds Celicia Slafter to the Platform Committee. I don't know Ms. Slafter at all, so I will have to wait until I hear about her credentials and hopefully hear from her in person. I normally vote to confirm appointments unless I have a specific objection to the appointee related to the position in which they will serve.

Old Business

Motion 566 - Nay

Title: Provide Process for stopping Recurring Donations

Text: I move that the LPF Treasurer and Communications Committee develop a process for fully processing stop requests of recurring donations within 5 business days and to temporarily suspend accepting recurring donations until such process is in place and functioning.

Description: While the LPF clearly desires and prefers recurring donations over one-time donations, we have had recurring problems over a period of years with stopping such donations when the donor requests.  It has been stated that the process is complex with many moving parts. However, it is unfair for the LPF to ask donors to give monthly unless, at the same time, we can honestly assure them of their ability to stop such donations at their will.  It appears to be fairly normal to take several months for the LPF to process stop requests. As this type problem has continued for more than a year without resolution, it would be dishonest, disrespectful, and counter-productive to continue to request or accept recurring donations until we can do so in good faith. Five business days appears to be a reasonable and normal time-frame for a transaction of this nature to be processed.

Here is a link to an article about Hillary Clinton's never-ending recurring donations for her presidential campaign: www.latimes.com/business/lazarus/la-fi-lazarus-hillary-donations-20161202-story.html. It illustrates how not expeditiously handling recurring donation stoppages can backfire on the recipient.

Analysis: This problem was already resolved a few minutes prior to our last meeting, however the EC decided to postpone it to this meeting for final disposition just in case that resolution did not hold. So far as I know, all affected recurring donations have been ended or updated properly so unless there is something I'm not aware, we hopefully can vote it down and move on.

New Business

Motion 576 - Aye

Title: Move to Reconsider Motion 575 

Text:  I move to reconsider Motion 575 on confirmation of the Legislative Action Committee report on Florida Constitutional Amendments 1-10.

Analysis: Motion 575 was approved last meeting subject to a confirmation vote by email. There was some confusion regarding how the confirmation vote would work, including when the 15 day voting period started and ended, as well as debate on the individual positions of two of the amendments. The motion failed because of this confusion since a majority vote was not secured with a 15 day time period no matter which interpretation is taken of that time period. I believe we shouldn't throw away the good work of Legislative Action Committee due to procedural mistakes and as such we should reconsider, address any concerns the EC may have, and settle the recommendation now.

If this motion passes, it will Motion 575 onto the agenda immediately following the vote.

Motion 575 (If 576 Passes) - Amend and Divide

Title: Motion to allow EC to approve Legislative Action Committee reports on FL Constitutional Amendment

Text:. I move to approve the Legislative Action Committee reports on Florida Constitutional Amendments 1-10, appearing on the November, 2018 ballot.

Approval will be confirmed in an email vote to conclude July 25, giving 15 days following the meeting for the EC to review and write minority reports if any so desire.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/129tdKhCFoWfC2PkrAlvMvm2v6TOCCDZWoh_W5S7f-10/edit?usp=sharing

Analysis: Given the scenario that happened, if we do reconsider 575, I recommend first amending to strike the entire last sentence about email vote approval since that is no longer applicable. Then, I recommend moving to divide the question in three separate motions:

  • 575(a): I move to approve the Legislative Action Committee report on Florida Constitutional Amendment 3 - Nay
  • 575(b): I move to approve the Legislative Action Committee report on Florida Constitutional Amendment 4 - Aye
  • 575(c): I move to approve the Legislative Action Committee report on Florida Constitutional Amendments 1, 2, and 5-10 - Aye

Of the reports, I only substantially disagree with the committee's recommended "Aye" position on Amendment 3. This amendment does not grant any additional rights to Floridians, and conversely allows a majority of Floridians to deny rights regarding gambling without any respect for home rule and eliminates the (admittedly unlikely) possibly of the legislature approving some or all gambling in Florida. As a general rule, I disapprove of direct democracy, except in the defense of individual rights.

If the division fails, I will have think hard on whether my opposition to Amendment 3 is sufficient to justify voting nay on the entire report.

Hopefully this doesn't end being a hot mess.

Motion 577 - Aye (If In Order)

Title: Convention Location Selection 2019   

Text: Motion to vote on the approval a final location for the 2019 LPF Annual Convention & Business meeting, and authorization to sign a contract on behalf of the Libertarian Party of Florida with said chosen location.

Description: The purpose of this motion is to select a location for the 2019 LPF Convention. The Convention Committee presents two options to the Executive Committee for deliberation and selection, the Crowne Plaza Westshore in Tampa, FL and the Rosen Plaza in Orlando, FL. These locations were selected based on a number of criteria set forth by the committee, and the current proposals as presented to the EC have been negotiated for cost efficiency prior to presentation in the convention committee report.

Upon approval of this motion, the Executive Committee shall immediately conduct a vote to select a single location in the following manner. The floor shall be opened to EC members for no more than 10 mins to allow discussion and deliberation on the merits of both locations. At the close of discussion, the EC members shall place a single roll call vote per individual for one of three options {The Crowne Plaza, The Rosen Plaza, NOTA}. In order for a location to be approved for selection, one of the two locations must receive a majority approval vote (50%+1). If a single location fails to reach a majority vote, no more than 5 mins of additional discussion time shall be opened up to EC members for deliberation. A second vote shall then be conducted in the same manner as the first vote (roll call single vote, majority 50%+1 approval) to select a location. If at such time the EC fails to reach a majority approval, the Chair of the Convention Committee shall recommend a single location to the EC for an up or down (yes or no) approval vote. If at such point, a location has failed to be selected, the voting process shall be closed, and the proposal selection process will be deferred back to the Convention Committee, with comment, for further review by the committee until such time that a new motion can be brought in front of the LPF EC for location approval.

Analysis: This is an odd motion regarding setting a voting procedure to choose the 2019 Convention location from two options. I do agree that we need to make this decision immediately and appreciate the Convention Committee presenting multiple valid options. If the particular voting process is in order, it sounds as good as any to me. If not, then we still should settle this item by moving to suspend the rule to make the decision some other way.

Location Vote: I will need to hear the full explanation of each choice, but based on information I've heard prior to this meeting I am leaning toward The Crowne Plaza in Tampa, unless new information is presented that warrants selecting The Rosen Plaza in Orlando. 

Motion 578 - Undecided

Title: Convention Location Selection 2020

Text: Motion to approve the Rosen Plaza in Orlando, Fl as the convention location for 2020.

Description: Based on selection criteria, attendance expectations for the Presidential Election year, and proposal information provided by the sales management at the Rosen Group, it is the Convention Committee’s recommendation that the Rosen Plaza be approved as the location for the 2020 LPF Annual Convention location. Because the National Convention will be held in May of 2020, the Convention Committee recommends that the LPF Convention be held in late Feb. to early March. This motion approves the committee to negotiate in good faith, and sign a contract with the Rosen Plaza with in the stated parameters.

Analysis: While Orlando is always a rock solid choice for a Convention, I am conflicted on committing a future EC to the decision of the current Convention Committee. We had this discussion with the 2018 Convention Committee where I was persuaded to vote in favor of the Daytona contract despite my misgivings, which ended up being justified and why we must consider Motion 577. On the other hand, the folks that made the case for Daytona on that prior vote also had legitimate justifications about the need for proper prior planning, advertising, etc. significantly in advance, and made that case that we need to trust and empower our committees. I will wait to see what case is made before committing to a decision, but most likely I will make the same decision as I did with the 2018 Convention Committee and defer to the committee appointed to solve these problems.

Motion 579 - Aye

Title: Approve an Additional Budget for Web Hosting & Server Maintenance

Text: Motion to approve and additional budget of $400 /year for server hosting and maintenance upgrades.

Description: Upon review of critical operating systems by industry professionals as related to our data and web hosting, it is the committee’s recommendation that changes and upgrades to our current services be made to improve efficiency, cost effectiveness, and ease of use. The committee has found a more cost-effective server host (Linode), and a server maintenance company that will ensure our website stays operational and our server operates at optimal levels with minimal need for committee member involvement.

Current Host:    Amazon Web Services            $40/mo average

Proposed:    Linode Server Host                $20/mo

        Cpanel (website management tool)        $17/mo

    Platnum Management Services        $29/mo (add. charges for   emergency)

                                ------------

                                $66/mo

      Links to Proposed Services:

            https://www.linode.com/pricing

            https://cpanel.com/pricing/

            https://www.platinumservermanagement.com/#section-price

Upon approval of the motion Chris Wiggins and Perry Love have volunteered to help setup and migrate our systems over to the new servers and setup our website (including affiliate sites) as such. Under recommendation these upgrades will allow “everyday” users in the communications committee to better manage our online infrastructure, set up new websites for affiliates, manage outages, and ensure proper functionality of the site.

Analysis: I strongly and unequivocally support this motion. Our current setup is, to be frank, nonsensical, and requires advanced expertise to manage. The technical volunteers who conducted this evaluation agreed with my assessment and proposed a reasonable alternate that includes technical support for when our internal expertise is insufficient. I particularly recommend CPanel as a management tool since it is usable by mere mortals.

Motion 580 - Aye

Title: Approve a Signed Fundraising Contract

Text: Motion to approve the signed Fundraising Contract of Zach Detwiler.

Analysis: Assuming this contract is identical to the one previously signed by Marc Golob, this is a win/win - to the extent that Zach is successful, the LPF also benefits. If the contract is not identical, then we will need to review it.

Motion 581 - Aye

Title: Approve Time for Discussion of Executive Director

Text: Motion to approve up to 15 mins for discussion on the need for an Executive Director for the LPF.

Description: If approved, this motion would allow for a 5 min presentation about the role of an executive director and the benefits of having one. Then would allow for up to 10 mins of discussion by EC members on the topic. In the efforts to grow the party, having full time paid staff members greatly improves the party’s ability to drive productivity and outreach from volunteers in the community. The Executive Director is responsible for a whole host of tasks which help drive the vision of the party and allow for the professional management of party operations on a day to day basis.

Analysis: I don't think this needs to be a motion, I think the Chair could have just scheduled this on the agenda. But if we must vote on I'll vote in favor to hear the presentation.

Region 7 Representation Election

Interim Appointee: J Mark Barfield

Analysis: Region 7 covers Volusia, Putnam, and Flagler counties. Mr. Barfield is automatically nominated by virtue of being the interim appointee by Chair Miralles to fill the vacancy. I have no intention of nominating another candidate and will vote to approve Mr. Barfield absent a truly compelling reason to do otherwise.