Happy New Year! Agenda isn't published yet, so I'll be updating with any appointments or other items I missed later.
Vote Cheat Sheet
- Aye - Accept resignation of George Lebovitz from Region 9
- Aye - Accept resignation of Mike Cassidy from Region 5
- Appoint Region 5, Region 9 - no vote necessary
- Aye - Appoint Candidate Chair Shaun Kunz
- Aye - Appoint Legislative Action Committee (add Marcos Marrero, remove Larry GIllis)
- Aye - Appoint DL Cummings to Rules Committee vacancy
- Election of Region 8 Representative - Endorsed Bryan Zemina
- Election of Region 12 Representative - Endorsed Larry Gillis
- Election of Director At-Large 1 - Undecided
- Out of Order - Motion #614 - (Reconsider) Motion to remove Marialexandra Garcia as Candidate Committee Chair
- Nay - Motion #615 - Motion to amend Standing Rules Article V
- Nay - Motion #616 - Motion to reimburse affiliates
- Aye - Motion #617 - Resolution against the dictatorship of Maduro/Support of Venezuelan Libertarians
- Undecided - Motion #618 - Motion to task the Membership Committee
Accept Resignation of George Lebovitz from Region 9 - Aye
Analysis: George, we're going to miss you. George represented Region 9 (my home region) since I've joined the party, winning competitive elections to do so. Thank you for all you've done, particularly for being that cautious voice of reason and a strong opposition to leftist identity politics infiltrating the LP. Hope you can relax, enjoy yourself, and feel better soon.
Accept Resignation of Mike Cassidy from Region 5 - Aye
Analysis: Mike is a great guy, and I'm proud to have worked with him on improving Clay and Duval counties. Particular credit goes to him being one of our elected First Step officials. Unfortunately, when you have a full time job and an elected position, sometimes you have to prioritize, and I agree that he will best represent us in his elected office and let others take the helm for the LPF EC.
Appointment of Region 5 Representative - David Salisbury
Analysis: No vote occurs on interim appointments. David Salisbury currently serves on the Rules Committee, so I will ask to clarify if we need to formally accept his resignation to make this appointment.
Appointment of Region 9 Representative - John Olivadoti
Analysis: No vote occurs on interim appointments. John Olivadoti is highly respected in Region 9 (my home region) and I believe he will be worthy successor to George Lebovitz.
Appointment of Candidate Committee - Aye
Text: Motion to confirm Candidate Committee to be comprised of the following members: Shaun Kunz (Chair), Jordan Bosserman, Adolfo Jiminez, and Tia Jolie Phlillips
Analysis: In light of the critiques I've made, I am delighted by this appointment. Shaun is the perfect choice to move this committee forward: principled, no-nonsense, focused on getting the job done. I was not sure if any other changes would be made, but Chair Miralles mentioned to me that he intended to give Shaun that task of deciding whether he needs to add or replace people rather than making that decision for him, which I can support.
Appointment of Legislative Action Committee - Aye
Text: Motion to confirm Legislative Action Committee to be comprised of the following members: Ariel Salazar (Chair), Ryan Ramsey, J Mark Barfield, Michael Sperber, and Marcos Diego Marrero
Analysis: This motion adds Marcos Marrero (the Chair of LP Osceola) and removes Larry Gillis (now Region 12 Representative) to meet Bylaws requirements on committee composition needing at least 50% non-EC members. I hope we can find another qualified member so that we can re-add Larry Gillis since his expertise is very useful to this committee. Marcos Marrero is a great fit as an addition given his extensive experience advocating for and against local ordinances in Osceola County and the City of Kissimmee and his very no-nonsense get to the point attitude.
Appointment of DL Cummings to Rules Committee - Aye
Text: Motion to appoint DL Cummings to Rules Committee in the place of David Salisbury, to serve for the remainder of the term until the committee is re-elected.
Analysis: The LPF Bylaws do not permit serving concurrently on Rules Committee and the EC, so David Salisbury must leave the Rules Committee to accept the Region 5 Representative appointment. I recommended DL as a suitable replacement based on my work with him on improving the Duval affiliate's bylaws, his calm and objective attitude, his willingness to put in the work, and his prior experience serving on a deliberative body with significant rules disputes outside of the party.
Election of Region 8 Representative - Bryan Zemina
Analysis: Bryan ran a fantastic Florida House campaign in 2017, is active in the Hillsborough affiliate, and has been actively doing the job since appointed last month. He is clearly the right choice.
Election of Region 12 Representative - Larry Gillis
Analysis: Larry has a solid resume with a legal and legislative career in New Hampshire, was recently reelected as the Vice-Chair of the Lee affiliate, and has been actively doing the job since appointed last month. He is clearly the right choice.
Election of Director At-Large 1 - Undecided pending nominations and discussion
Analysis: I have had positive discussions with the interim appointee, Adolfo Jiminez. His colleagues in Broward appear to think very highly of his resume, however I have heard a concern about how much time he will have to invest in the position. My support will depend on clarifying his intended action plan until May, who else may be nominated (I do not have another nominee to make), and his presentation on what he has accomplished since being appointed.
Motion No.: 614 - Out of Order
Title: Motion to reconsider: Motion to remove Marialexandra Garcia as Candidate Committee Chair
Mover: Chris Rose
Text: I move to remove the Candidate Committee Chair. Please see LPF Bylaws Article III, Section One, Clause B (below) for authority and expected responsibility.
"Committees and Committee Chairs shall be appointed by the Chair
of the LPF with the approval of the Executive Committee, unless
otherwise provided in the Constitution or Bylaws. Each Committee
shall consist of at least three members of the party (disregarding
ex-officio members) of which a majority must not be current Executive
Committee members. Appointment terms shall last until the next
Executive Committee election or until the committee member is
removed or replaced, unless otherwise provided in the Constitution or
Bylaws. Removal of persons on a committee shall need the approval
of the Executive Committee. Actions of all Committees shall be
reported monthly to the Executive Committee. Special committees created by the Executive Committee shall also follow these requirements unless otherwise provided upon their creation."
Analysis: Per the minutes, Director Rose voted against the ruling of the Chair last month that ruled #614 out of order. So this motion would be out of order since he is not eligible to move it; only a member on the prevailing side can move to reconsider. However, assuming the appointment of Shaun Kunz as the new Candidate Committee Chair passes, this motion will be out of order for all the right reasons regardless, and we can move on.
Motion No.: 615 - Nay
Title: Motion to amend Standing Rules Article V
Mover: Chris Rose
Text: I move to amend LPF Standing Rules Article V, Section 6, to add subsection F, which shall read:
"No more than two absences per term by Executive Committee members may be considered excused."
Analysis: I believe Director Rose's intent is to ensure that excused absences are treated seriously and only handed out when truly merited. The current system has no check or balance on the Chair handing out excused absences either unconditionally - effectively disenfranchising regions whose representatives are consistently missing - or only excusing friends or political allies. I don't believe Chair Miralles has done anything inappropriate with this power, by any means, but I am always sensitive to the ways in which well-intended powers may be abused.
However, I don't believe Rose's motion is the right solution. I believe it will conflict with provisions of Florida statute - possibly to the extent of being out of order. Even if not, choosing the number two is arbitrary, yet provides no new oversight - and is particularly ambiguous for positions with multi-year terms like the officers and directors. Furthermore, it is possible that a Region's delegates may willfully elect a Representative who does a great job organizing the region yet has an unavoidable conflict that leads them to miss many EC meetings. If the Region wants their representative excused, that should be a possibility. Finally, I believe this type of matter - decisions about EC terms that can result in EC members being ejected - should only be decided by the full delegation at convention via Constitutional amendment. Putting this in the standing rules leaves it up to the whims of the EC, and can just as easily be undone by the next EC.
As a practical note, this will have no real impact on the current EC even if passed since it cannot be retroactive and there will only be three meetings remaining in the current EC.
If this motion is referred to the Rules Committee I will vote aye on that, because I believe Rules will consider the same issues I have but prepare a more rigorous response.
If we do propose a constitutional amendment covering excused absences, I believe it would be appropriate to carefully craft it with regard to state law (there are dragons there) and to make it a voted decision of the EC rather than an absolute power of the Chair.
Motion No.: 616 - Nay
Title: Motion to reimburse affiliates
Mover: Chris Rose
Text: I move to reimburse any County Affiliate to the LPF up to $100 for an event banner. The banner shall include the affiliate official name and logo. The County Affiliate shall absorb the initial purchase price. A receipt for purchase, bearing a date of January 2019 or after, may be sent by the Affiliate to the LPF Treasurer, who shall issue a reimbursement check to the Affiliate within 30 days of receiving it. Only one reimbursement check may be issued per Affiliate for this purpose. This offer shall sunset at the LPF Annual Convention.
Analysis: I commend Director Rose for wanting to provide better support for our county affiliates. However, on the priority list of things to provide rebates or subsidies to county affiliates on, I don't think banners are necessarily the right target. This motion in theory exposes the party to a $2,800 liability, including a requirement to reimburse affiliates who already have their own banners or already have the funds to purchase one if they deem it appropriate yet choose to take advantage of this motion anyways. Most counties that would effectively use such a banner already have one. Most counties who would benefit from financial support have much higher priorities than a banner. I can think of only one affiliate - Columbia - that would likely use such a banner effectively yet not currently have the funds to purchase one. And since the affiliate must front the full cost of the banner, that doesn't even solve that problem.
I believe there are a number of better ways we can approach affiliate support:
1.) Ask affiliates, particularly new affiliates, what the gaps and shortfalls all and what the LPF can do to address them - let's listen to what affiliates need rather than direct them from the top down
2.) Any gaps that require additional fundraising, either direct Fundraising Chair Golob or Chair Miralles to conduct such a directed fundraiser - such as the one Chair Miralles conducted for LP Manatee
3.) Encourage county chairs to discuss their needs with Chair Miralles - he has a $100 / month discretionary budget and is looking for seeds to plant with it
4.) For situations where LPF funds really are the right answer, encourage county chairs to work with their Region Rep to file a procurement motion specifically for what they need
I will be voting no for all of these reasons and since I do not believe top-down command-style planning like this is best for our affiliates.
Motion No.: 617- Aye
Title: Resolution against the dictatorship of Maduro/Support of Venezuelan Libertarians
Mover: Brandi Hicks
Text: Whereas the Libertarian Party of Florida stands in support of the Libertarian Movement of Venezuela;
Whereas the Libertarian Movement of Venezuela rejects the presidency of Nicolas Maduro as illegitimate and his reelection and inauguration to be equally illegal and illegitimate;
Whereas the Libertarian Movement of Venezuela endorses the National Assembly’s imminent selection of a provisional president for the sole purpose of peacefully forcing Maduro to resign immediately;
Whereas the Libertarian Movement calls on Maduro to renounce the presidency immediately and remove himself from government affairs;
Whereas the Maduro dictatorship has been denounced as illegitimate by the Libertarian parties or movements of Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, and Chile;
Whereas the Libertarian Party of Florida would immediately denounce a similar dictatorship and in a similar manner if it ever arose in the United States;
This Twentieth day of January, 2019, it is RESOLVED that the Libertarian Party of Florida and its body of members do not recognize Maduro’s right to the presidency nor the one-party state under the United Socialist Party that claims sovereignty over Venezuela, and we call on Maduro to step down;
Furthermore, it is RESOLVED that the Libertarian Party Florida hereby affirms its support for the Libertarian Movement of Venezuela, temporarily recognizes Alianza Soy Venezuela as the legitimate representative movement of the Venezuelan people, and will look to the Libertarian Movement to be our guides in which future Venezuelan governments and individual public servants have freedom’s best interests at heart.
Analysis: I strongly endorse this resolution. As Libertarians, we wish to see a world set free in our lifetime. Our political action is limited to the jurisdiction of the United States - and specifically Florida - by our charter, but we absolutely can and should support Libertarians worldwide when we can. Taking a stand against a violent communist dictatorship engaged in a near civil war with its own population should not be controversial. As someone who worked in international diplomacy for a nonprofit contracted to the U.S. Department of State, I can attest that pro-liberty rebels and dissidents - particularly libertarians - look up to and respect the United States and our recognition means a great deal to them. It is a huge morale boost and good publicity for them when they receive support from the third largest Libertarian state party in the largest Libertarian national party. Public recognition of dissidents also, somewhat counterintuitively, helps protect them from being "disappeared" by the dictatorship as most dictatorships are surprisingly worried about international publicity. The most dangerous thing for a pro-liberty dissident in an authoritarian country is to be unknown and unsupported.
Obviously, as Libertarians we do NOT support forcible regime change or intervention by the United States government and military, and nothing in this resolution supports that. Furthermore, encouraging internal change makes it less likely that Washington DC will have an excuse to do so in the future.
I will note that it is not only Libertarians noticing this. My Florida House Representative, Carlos Guillermo Smith, is supporting a similar resolution circulating in the Florida House that is obviously less libertarian-focused but still recognizes the legitimacy of the National Assembly. I was pleasantly surprised by this since Smith is very much a progressive Democrat, and he caught flack from some of his own supporters over - as they called it - "supporting a right-wing coup against a democratically elected progressive government." I made sure to thank him for his stand even though I had minor disagreements with the exact wording.
I stand in solidarity with our Libertarian brothers and sisters.
Motion No.: 618 - Undecided
Title: Motion to task the Membership Committee
Mover: Chris Rose
Text: I move to task the LPF Membership Committee with the designing and printing of LPF-specific literature. Examples: rack cards, brochures, door hangers, to be made readily available for use by County Affiliates. The Membership Committee shall have an operating budget of up to $400 for this project. This budget shall sunset at the March EC regular business meeting.
Analysis: I believe the scope of this motion is somewhat misplaced as I believe the responsibility for printed material and all other communications rests with the Communications Committee. However, if both the Communications Committee and the Membership Committee agree that the Membership Committee should perform this task, then let's set aside jurisdictional issues.
I do believe we should be doing a better job of providing county affiliates with Libertarian printed materials that are consistently branded across the state - assuming county affiliates are willing to use it. $400 is a reasonable amount to budget for this and if the project is successful it would be easy to justify more funds.
I will reserve further judgment until I hear the full set of arguments for and against.
If, for some reason, a proper motion to reconsider ends up on the agenda, and if no new Candidates Committee Chair is appointed, then either the Chair must accept the resignation he used to justify ruling #614 out of order, or I will vote in favor of the reconsidered #614.