By Greg Peele, LPF Director At-Large 3
Hi all, time to discuss and review party business for the LPF Executive Committee on Sunday, March 18, 2018. There's a lot on deck, most of it committee appointments (you're welcome guys). I note my own vote (Aye, Nay, or Abstain) as well as the disposition of the motion for both main motions and auxiliary motions.
The opinions presented here are my own and do not represent the Libertarian Party of Orange County nor the Libertarian Party of Florida.
Discussion of amendments and floor motions are based on my memory - check the recording and official minutes for the authoritative version.
Chair's Report Motions
Accept Resignations - Aye / Passed
- Accept the resignation of Alison Foxall as Chair of the Communications Committee.
- Accept resignations of the following people from the Membership Committee: Jeff Macolino, Ann Russo, Stephen Cummons, George Lebovitz, Jennifer Mitchell, and Derek Ryan, and Chaz Sanders.
Analysis: It is mostly pro-forma to accept resignations as presented. But I want to particularly thank Director Foxall for her hard work on Communications and look forward to working with her more actively in her Director At-Large role.
Appoint Membership Committee - Aye / Passed
- The Membership Committee shall be composed of Angela Kunz (Chair), Salvador Perez, Giovanna daSilva, Joshua Chase Baldwin, and Mike Avi.
Analysis: Mrs. Kunz is the existing chair, and I know and respect all of the appointees. I am particularly pleased to see a strong student focus and geographic diversity on this committee.
Appoint Fundraising Committee - Aye / Passed
- The Fundraising Committee shall be composed of Marc Golob (Chair), Jote Thompson, and Dana Moxley-Cummings.
Analysis: I had strong reservations about Mr. Golob after his committee report in Ft. Walton Beach, but I can't argue with the results he's achieved. The other appointees are strong-willed party stalwarts. This committee may be intense, but I expect to see great things.
Appoint Candidates Committee - Aye / Passed
- The Candidate Committee shall be composed of Marialexandra Garcia (Chair), Adolfo Jiminez, Tia Jolie Phillips, Jordan Blake Bosserman, and James Chipman, and Denise Weissmuller.
Analysis: This is more or less reappointing the existing Candidates Committee. It's a great and geographically diverse group and I look forward to recruiting for 2018 and beyond.
Appoint 2019 Convention Committee - Aye / Passed
- The Convention committee shall be composed of Zach Detwiler (Chair), Martha Bueno, Justin McCue, Mark Antonio Rodriguez, and Mercedes Camargo.
Analysis: Yes! This is a high-power group that I am certain will build us an amazing 2019 Convention. I will personally vouch for Mr. Detwiler due to his strong motivation and successes inside my home LP Orange affiliate, and Ms. Camargo similarly in LP Seminole.
Appoint Legislative Action Committee - Aye / Passed
- The Legislative Action Committee shall be composed of Ariel Salazar (Chair), Ryan Ramsey, J Mark Barfield, and Michael Sperber.
Analysis: Mr. Salazar is the existing chair and Mr. Sperber an existing member. Mr. Ramsey, while sometimes controversial, has a lot of experience crafting bills, reviewing bills, and conducting grassroots activism and lobbying for bills. Mr. Barfield, also an existing member, has covered many bills and ordinances as a news reporter.
Appoint Platform Committee - Aye / Passed
- The Platform Committee shall be composed of Steven Nekhaila (Chair), Davie Parrish, and Dennis Misigoy.
Analysis: These three gentlemen are principled Libertarians, even by purist Libertarian standards. I definitely trust them to safeguard our platform. I would like to see two additional members representing more moderate minarchist views appointed in the future to provide that additional perspective, but that's no reason to oppose this appointment.
Suspend the Rules to Accept Region 6 Resignation - Aye / Passed
- Move to suspend the rules to accept the resignation of Chaz Sanders from Region 6 Representative
Analysis: When appointing Chaz to the Communications Committee, and taking Mario Romero off the appointment, it was realized this would lead to an out of order Communications Committee since a majority of its members would also be members of the Executive Committee (Chaz and Alison, vs. Mark and J Mark) which would be a violation of Bylaws Article III Section 1. Chaz agreed to resign to remove this violation. We determined that our bylaws did not require the vacancy to be filled until our next regular business meeting, but see below.
Appoint Communications Committee - Aye / Passed (Modified by Subsequent Motion)
- The Communications Committee shall be composed of Chaz Sanders (Chair), Mark Rodriguez, Alison Foxall, and J Mark Barfield, and Mario Romero.
Analysis: This appointment set combines continuity with new ideas. Mr. Sanders brings significant social media experience, Director Foxall's qualifications of course need no explanation, Mr. Barfied brings the writing skills of a veteran newspaper reporter, and Mr. Rodriguez brings some fresh ideas on application and backend development.
Motion 541 - Aye / Passed as Amended
Motion to Increase the Monthly Allocated Budget to the Candidates Committee
Text: I, Chairman Miralles, move to increase the monthly budget of the Candidates Committee from one hundred dollars ($100) to up to two hundred and fifty dollars ($250), to be used to recruit candidates as part of Operation: First Step, until July 1st, 2018, after which the budget shall return to its original amount.
In addition, the Candidates Committee shall be granted one thousand dollars ($1,000), to be expended by the Committee until November 6th, 2018.
All funds shall be expended according to the appropriate parliamentary procedures observed by the Candidates Committee.
Amendment 1 - Correct name of committee, add "up to" on monthly budget, and strike $1,000 grant - Nay / Passed
Analysis: I support increasing the support for candidate recruiting until the 2018 qualification period, so we can field as many qualified candidates as possible. I would have liked to see more explanation of the $1,000 grant, but Representative Gilmore moved an amendment to strike that grant that was only opposed by myself and Director Rose. In general I strongly approve of more support for our candidates.
Motion 542 - Aye / Passed
Motion to allocate funds to the Finance Fundraising Committee
Text: I move to allocate up to one hundred dollars ($100) a month to the Finance Fundraising Committee, effective immediately and to expire in May 2019.
Amendment 1 - Correct name of committee - Aye / Passed
Analysis: Need money to make money. We need to take fundraising seriously if we expect to ever be more than a token third party. This budget is in line with our financial resources and other committees.
Motion 543 - Aye / Passed
Moment of silence for Dale Doelling
Text: I move that the EC observe a moment of silence to recognize the passing of our brother in liberty, Dale Doeling.
Analysis: I only met Dale once, I believe, but I am told he was a longstanding and well-respected liberty activist. He was also the Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of Indian River. I offer my condolences to his family and friends.
Suspend the Rules to Consider Motion 551 - Aye / Passed
Motion 551 - Aye / Passed
Moment of silence for the victims of the Miami bridge collapse
Text: I move that the EC observe a moment of silence to recognize the victims of the Miami bridge collapse.
Analysis: This event is a horrifying, unnecessary, and unacceptable tragedy. My heart breaks for those who lost loved ones so senselessly.
Motion 544 - Aye / Passed as Amended
Motion establishing Automated Voting Systems
Text: I move that the Executive Committee direct the 2019 Convention and Communication Committees investigate the possibility of implementing an automated voting system for the 2019 and future Annual Conventions. The system should not require that delegates own any particular device or class of devices. Cost and functionality of the system should be factors in the analysis. A report and cost estimate should be brought back to the Executive Committee 90 days prior to the 2019 Convention so that action may be taken.
Amendment 1 - Add 90 days report deadline - Aye / Passed
Amendment 1 - Remove language about delegate not owning devices - Aye / Passed
Analysis: Anyone who attended the Ft. Walton Beach Convention and experienced the Selection Committee, Rules Committee, and LNC Delegate votes understands the need for an automated system. Conducting and tallying these votes by paper ballot induced significant delays in the business proceedings. This is also an opportunity for the Libertarian Party to demonstrate technology savvy, reach out to the blockchain community, and get ahead of the curve. I agreed with the amendment to give more definite lead time to the report, and I agreed with striking the language about not requiring delegates to have devices to increase the flexibility of the research. I do feel we spent far too much time debating the actual substance of automated systems for a motion whose goal was to task people to research the possibility.
Motion 545 - Aye / Passed
Standing Rule change: Convention Deadline and other matters
Text: I move that ARTICLE XII Annual Convention Delegates & Procedures, Section 3 of the Standing Rules, which currently reads as follows:
The Annual Meeting Minutes (after approval by the Executive Committee) as well as any Committee reports to the Annual Meeting, including amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws, shall be made accessible to the membership in a digital format no less than 14 days prior to the next Annual Meeting.
be replaced with the following text:
The draft Annual Meeting Minutes and Constitution, Bylaws, Standing Rules, and Platform as amended shall be made accessible to the membership in a digital format on the LPF website within ninety (90) days of the close of the Annual Meeting.
Committee reports to the next Annual Meeting, including proposed amendments to the Bylaws, Standing Rules, and Platform shall be made accessible to the membership in a digital format on the LPF website no less than fourteen (14) days prior to the next Annual Meeting. Notice requirements for Constitutional amendments shall be in accordance with the Constitution.
Analysis: The minutes of the annual convention and, even more importantly, the current state of the LPF governing documents are the contract between the LPF members and the LPF Executive Committee. All of these documents should be kept up to date in their most current state as quickly as possible, and not requiring them to be updated until 2 weeks prior to the next Convention was insane. The governing documents, in particular, are necessary for the EC to understand the rules that meetings and actions must conform to. Given the importance of accuracy and the complexity of some of the changes, I do think 90 days within the Convention is a reasonable balance of speed vs. caution, though ideally I'd prefer to see the governing documents updated prior to the first EC meeting after Convention.
Motion 546A - Aye / Passed as Amended
Temporary Investment Policy and Formation of Ad-hoc Committee
Text: I move that the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Florida establish the following temporary Investment Policy:
1) The Treasurer of the Libertarian Party of Florida is authorized to deposit marketable securities donated to the LPF into a separate interest-bearing campaign account in the name of the Libertarian Party of Florida by the Treasurer ("Brokerage Account").
2) The Treasurer of the Libertarian Party of Florida is not authorized to transfer funds from any other source into the Brokerage Account.
3) The Treasurer of the Libertarian Party of Florida is not authorized to transfer funds or securities from the Brokerage Account to any other account except as authorized by the Executive Committee.
4) The Treasurer of the Libertarian Party of Florida is not authorized to enter into trades with securities held in the Brokerage Account, other than depositing any cash generated in the Brokerage Account into an interest-bearing sweep account.
5) Any cash or securities generated by holdings in the Brokerage Account shall be kept within the Brokerage Account.
Move to Split the Question - Nay / Passed
Amendment 1 - Clarify that EC can direct Treasurer to withdraw from brokerage, remove redundant restriction 5 - Aye / Passed
Analysis: The original motion was split into two pieces, which I felt was not ideal since they were both linked. This motion is necessary because a donor has already pledged to donate securities and I personally think it is never wise to turn away money from our supporters. This temporary policy is in place as an interim solution until a formal policy is developed, it allows the LPF to receive securities donations and, at the explicit direction of the EC, sell them for cash, but no other investment activity is permitted.
Motion 546B - Aye / Passed as Amended
Temporary Investment Policy and Formation of Ad-hoc Committee
I also move that an ad hoc committee be formed to develop and propose a permanent an Investment Policy to be incorporated into the Standing Rules of the Libertarian Party of Florida. This ad hoc committee shall consist of the Treasurer of the LPF, a member of the Rules Committee, a member of the Fundraising Committee, and other members of the Libertarian Party of Florida based upon their expertise and willingness to serve. The Rules and Fundraising committee members shall be selected by the Chairs of the respective committees. All other members of the committee shall be selected by the Chair and approved by the Executive Committee of the LPF. The proposed Investment Policy, once approved by the Executive Committee and incorporated into the Standing Rules, shall replace the temporary Investment Policy outlined previously.
Amendment 1 - Remove the word "permanent" - Aye / Passed
Analysis: Given that we passed a temporary investment policy, it is only logical to task a committee to develop a permanent non-temporary one. The composition of the committee is a little unusual, but our bylaws do permit special committees to have custom construction like this.
Motion 547 - Aye / Passed
Authorization for the Treasurer to open a brokerage account
Text: I move that the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Florida authorizes the Treasurer to open a separate interest-bearing campaign account in the name of the Libertarian Party of Florida to hold marketable securities for the Libertarian Party of Florida.
Analysis: This motion is necessary to implement Motion 546A.
Motion 548 - Aye / Passed
Resolution to thank Alison Foxall
Whereas it is recognized that the primary goal of a political Party is to run candidates;
Whereas it is recognized that candidates for political office oft sacrifice personal goals for their political Party;
Whereas it is recognized that any election cycle has the potential to be mentally, physically, and spiritually taxing;
Whereas it is recognized that running for public office is oft burdensome on one's own family;
Therefore let it be resolved by the Libertarian Party of Florida that, for her gallant efforts in selflessly campaigning for Special Election in the year of our Lord, two-thousand and eighteen, for State House District 72,
That we the Executive Committee on behalf of its members and associates do hereby recognize and congratulate Alison Foxall, her campaign staff, and volunteers and supporters thereof,
And we thank Miss Foxall for her dedication and sincerity to our mutual Cause.
Analysis: Obviously. But I mentioned in discussion that EC resolutions are not the most effective way of thanking people - public promotion on our social media, website press releases, etc. will have a wider reach than just people who hate themselves enough to listen to our calls and read our minutes.
Motion 549 - Aye / Passed as Amended
Motion to allocate funds to Membership and Communication Committees
Text: I move to allocate budget up to $500 in a one-time grant to the Communications Committee, to be used in a joint effort with Membership Committee for the purpose of new Membership Drive, effective immediately. The money will be used for printed materials and digital advertisement. Printed materials to be implemented at the discretion of the Membership Committee, in coordination with local affiliates. All resources allocated shall be for specific targeting of rights violated by newly-passed SB 7026. This is a one-time allocation to be revisited next EC call for report and discussion of further outreach and allocation.
The email from Director Rose at https://docs.lpf.org/ec-emails/?place=msg%2Flpfec%2FvQTrFX1NJ8U%2FUmuun9NSAwAJ is also incorporated in this motion by reference.
Amendment 1 - Clarify that Communications is the Primary Recipient, Incorporate Report - Aye / Passed
Analysis: Overall I think this is a good idea in concept, but some details of the motion give me some procedural concerns. Assigning primarily responsibility to Communications makes sense if the primary focus is on design, formatting, editing, and promoting social media. Conversely, the Membership Committee should have primary responsibility for determining targeted members, message content, mailing, or physically delivering or posting material in communities. The funds, if unspent, do sunset at the next EC election since no explicit sunset is specified. I'm generally not in favor of micromanaging the messaging of Membership and Communications from the EC level, and I would generally prefer to see these motions (and most motions) come from the committees, but since the committees support this motion then I supported it. I do think we should take more chances on outreach and messaging.
Suspend the Rules to Add Region 6 Appointment - Aye / Passed
Text: Move to suspend the rules to add the appointment of Mark Rodriguez as Region 6 Representative to the end of the agenda.
Analysis: Agreed to consider rather than leave a vacancy.
Motion 550 - Aye / Failed
Motion to Dispense Outreach Funds
Text: Whereas, the current national conversation on gun legislation compounded with Republicans voting in favor of gun control measures in Florida has created a prime opportunity to have a conversation with gun owners who find themselves politically homeless. Under the Libertarian Party of Florida platform article IV section 1), we assert the right to protect ourselves how we choose, unrestricted from government intervention. Many conservatives and NPA’s are low hanging fruit for the Libertarian cause and are ready defect and support libertarian legislators who will protect their rights without compromise. Therefore, The Libertarian Party of Florida shall grant its participating county affiliates $100 within now and 90 days from today for tabling at any gun show, or similar venue, to recruit voters and solicit donations. Therefore, The Libertarian Party of Florida shall grant its participating county affiliates a onetime reimbursement of up to $100 for tabling space, supplies, and outreach materials to be used for tabling at any gun show, or similar venue which may be approved by the Chair, for the express purpose of voter recruitment and outreach. Receipts must be submitted to and approved by the Treasurer for reimbursement into affiliate coffers. Regional Representatives may take advantage of this offer to table within an unaffiliated county within their region.
Analysis: I love seeing the LPF offering more support to our affiliates for outreach activities. Nothing compels the affiliates to accept this grant, but it may empower some that otherwise would lack the resources. Steven Nekhaila made an amendment that addressed my initial minor concerns. I am very disappointed to see this motion fail since I feel it represents a missed opportunity to support our affiliates and strike while the iron is hot on an outreach opportunity.
As I understand it, the primary concern was that this opened the LPF to a potential financial liability of $6,700 if all 67 counties held suitable events. In practice, I would be surprised if more than 5 counties even had gun shows in the specified time frame, and if we did have a unified front of 67 LPF tables at 67 gun shows, I personally feel that would have been money well spent. We win no prizes for not spending money on worthwhile activites.
There was also a secondary concern of whether these kinds of events qualified as tax-exempt activity as defined by IRS Section 527. I disagreed with this concern. Some county affiliates already do this, and so long as the table is promoting partisan Libertarian support including voter registration and calls to vote for Libertarian Party and Libertarian candidates, this should qualify as tax-exempt activity. Furthermore, the Republicans (hypocrites that they are) definitely conduct similar events. I do plan to review campaign finance law regarding this to make sure I understand, though.
Suspend the Rules to Appoint Communications Committee - Aye / Passed
Text: Move to suspend the rules to add the appointment of Harvert Martinez to the existing appointments on Communications Committee as the next item on the agenda.
Analysis: Mark Rodriguez is currently ineligible to be appointed as Region 6 Representative since that would cause the Communications Committee to be in violation of Bylaws Article III Section 1 by being composed of a majority of EC members. Added a new member not on the Executive Committee would resolve this rules issue.
Appoint Communications Committee - Aye / Passed
Text: The Communications Committee shall be composed of Chaz Sanders (Chair), Mark Rodriguez, Alison Foxall, and J Mark Barfield, and Harvert Martinez.
Analysis: This restates the earlier Communication Committee appointment with the addition of Harvert Martinez from Miami-Dade County. I've met Harvert at Convention and via social media and feel that he would be a hard worker and a good addition to the team, despite the unusual circumstances of this particular addition. The Chair had previously considered adding Harvert in the original motion, but decided against it until he had a chance to confirm Harvert was willing to serve.
Appoint Region 6 Representative - Aye / Passed
Text: Appoint Mark Rodriguez as Region 6 Representative.
Analysis: I know, admire, and respect Mark. Out-of-region appointments are always not ideal, but Mark at least lives in the neighboring region and can drive to the counties in the region in a reasonable time frame. Mark pledged to regularly visit all counties in the region and appeared familiar with their current situation. Mark was also endorsed by two county chairs in the region - Chaz Sanders of Citrus County and Jay Wood of Lake County. Good luck Mark.