By Greg Peele, LPF Director At-Large 3

Hi all, time to discuss and review party business for the LPF Executive Committee on Sunday, April 15, 2018. Now also updated with the vote results and summary of discussion.

The opinions presented here are my own and do not represent the Libertarian Party of Orange County nor the Libertarian Party of Florida.

Chair's Report Motions

Accept Resignations - Aye / Passed

  • Accept the resignation of Russ Wood as Region 8 Representative.

Analysis: It is mostly pro-forma to accept resignations as presented. I am sad to hear of the health issues that require Russ to resign and wish him the best of luck in recovery. Russ, thank you for your service to the party and to liberty.

Appoint Candidates Committee - Aye / Passed

  • The Candidate Committee shall be composed of Marialexandra Garcia (Chair), Adolfo Jiminez, Tia Jolie Phillips, Jordan Blake Bosserman, and Brandon Kneeld.

Analysis: This motion effectively replaces James Chipman with Brandon Kneeld, I am told at the request of Committee Chair Garcia. I don't know Mr. Kneeld personally, but he is the gentlemen who won the Davenport City Commission election as a registered Libertarian in Polk County, so I think that is sufficient credentials to justify the appointment.

Motion 553 - Aye / Passed

Motion to Affiliate Suwannee County

Analysis: Another county in Region 4 on board! Glad to support spreading liberty with a North Florida accent.

Motion 554 - Aye / Passed

Motion to Affiliate Manatee County 

Analysis: Manatee just barely missed the March 31 reaffiliation deadline, so in reality this is just reaffirming the existing affiliate is still there. I am excited to see what the new Chair in Manatee County brings to the party.

Motion 555 - Aye / Passed

Motion to Affiliate Clay County

Analysis: Clay just barely missed the March 31 reaffiliation deadline, so in reality this is just reaffirming the existing affiliate is still there. 

Motion 556 - Aye / Passed

Motion to amend Standing Rules to create an Article XIV titled "Selection of Presidential Electors"

Text:

I, Chairman Miralles, move to amend the Libertarian Party of Florida's Standing Rules to create an Article XIV, which shall be entitled "Selection of Presidential Electors" and which shall read:

"Each qualified member of the LPF EC who accepts service as an LPF Presidential Elector shall be appointed as such. Each member of the LPF EC who does not accept service as an LPF Presidential Elector shall select a qualified and willing LPF member to be appointed in their place.

The Chairperson of the LPF shall select the remaining candidates for approval by the EC. No more than three (3) candidates selected by the Chairperson shall come from the same region.

Each appointee shall be bound by a written oath to vote by ballot for the nominees of the Libertarian Party at the location specified and on the date selected by Congress , and shall have been, prior to their selection and continuously through that date: an LPF member, an LPF elector, and a subscriber to the LPF Non-Aggression Pledge. Appointees deemed by the Secretary and confirmed by the Chairman to be unqualified at the time of their selection or to have become unqualified thereafter shall be void.  

The EC shall appoint by resolution the final list of Presidential Electors and alternates by 15 August of each presidential election year.

The Chairperson of the LPF shall file a certificate within two (2) business days of that appointment to the authority specified by Florida statute, naming the LPF Candidates for President and Vice President and the appointed LPF Presidential Electors and alternates so that its receipt and sufficiency can be confirmed before the Governor's deadline to appoint Presidential Electors." 

Analysis: Florida requires parties to have a written rule defining how we select Presidential electors. This only truly comes into play if we are able to win the Florida popular vote for the presidency, so at the moment is it largely symbolic. The details of how the electors are selected could be debated, but I figure it's good to have a procedure in place and we can always amend it later.

Motion 557 - Aye / Passed

Title: Motion to appoint Steven Nekhaila as alternate to LP Platform Committee

Text: I move to appoint Mr. Steven Nekhaila, of Monroe County, to serve as the Alternate Member to the Platform Committee of the Libertarian Party.

Analysis: Due to the de facto resignation of Frank Caprio, the existing alternate Thomas Knapp was promoted to primary member. Steven Nekhaila is an obvious choice for the new alternate given that he is our existing LPF Platform Committee Chair as well as an an existing LNC Region Representative Alternate.

Motion 558 - Aye / Passed

Motion to set a deadline for motions to the EC

Text:

I move to create Article V Section 9 of the standing rules to read,

Members of the Executive Committee must submit prior to midnight of the 5th day preceding a regularly scheduled executive committee meeting, per Article V Section 1 of the standing rules, any motions to be included by the secretary in the agenda.

This section shall not be construed to impair the Members' normal rights to propose motions, nor construed to impair Members' ability to conduct business under Article V Section 2 of the same.

Analysis: The current deadline of 3 days in practice means that we typically don't know the full slate of motions on the agenda until Friday morning, and Secretary has to then put together agenda. This tends to limit the amount of discussion, consensus building, request for public comment, etc. that can be conducted on our business to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Moving this deadline up two days means more time to sort out potential issues with motions prior to the actual meeting, and more chance for members to provide feedback. For exceptional situations, we can still amend the agenda at the meeting itself, or call special meetings.

Motion 559 - Nay / Failed

Text: I move that the LPF contribute $5,000 to Randy Wiseman's gubernatorial Campaign.

Amendment 1 - Reduce $5,000 to $1,000 - Aye / Failed

Pre-Vote Analysis: Prior to the meeting, I struggled with this one. At a personal level, I support Randy Wiseman's campaign, and have personally contributed funds to it. But as one of the 21 tasked with the fiduciary duty of advancing the party's interests, I have reservations about expending over 10% of the party's cash on hand without more supporting detail on the strategic plan and the expected return on investment vs. other allocations that we could make with donor funds. While I absolutely appreciate the value of having a strong gubernatorial campaign at the top of the ticket in terms of visibility and membership recruiting, I can't vote to approve the allocation at this point in time without more justifying details. 

Additionally, I have a few procedural concerns that have nothing to do with Mr. Wiseman's campaign specifically.

First off, I would like to say that I don't feel that the Executive Committee setting is ideal to conduct a thorough review on the business plan, strategic value, and return on investment. Certainly not on a single phone call with some informal prior discussion. Speaking personally, I have almost no experience assessing statewide campaigns. I had originally stated that I wanted to see these ideas originate in Candidate Committee with a full review and assessment reported to the EC. However, a closer review with Rules Chair Cadorette revealed that this type of assessment, and indeed anything related to money or fundraising, was outside the charter of the Candidate Committee and would be arguably out of order. Since we lack any other sort of committee tasked with financial review or assessment of candidates (having abolished the Selection Committee for good reason, and that committee also wouldn't have been appropriate for financial review) then I lack any real mechanism to suggest for conducting this assessment though, short of a special committee.

Second, I am in general hesitant to contribute party funds to a campaign prior to candidate qualification, since in general it is possible for multiple Libertarian candidates to qualify and enter a primary, or alternatively for candidates to fail to qualify at all. In the multiple candidate primary scenario, the party should either be willing to equally support all Libertarian candidates, as the two old parties sometimes do, or hold off supporting them until the Libertarian primary voters have decided the party's nominee without the party establishment tilting the scales in favor of one candidate - possibly against donor wishes.

I do realize that Libertarian primaries are rare and this guideline hasn't necessarily been followed in the past - in particular, the party award $10,000 to the Alex Snitker for US Senate campaign to meet the filing fee, and in a more limited way to front the filing fees of several candidates as a loan to be repaid from the partisan assessment refund - so it's not a hard and fast rule, but I want keep an eye on possible future issues. This doesn't stop the candidates themselves from using party data and venues to fundraise for their own campaigns directly from party members and donors of course, and I absolutely encourage that. I have no specific reason to believe that Mr. Wiseman will face a primary challenger, but stranger things have happened, and I don't want to obligate the party to spend another $5,000 on such a last-minute challenger should one arise. I do think it remains entirely appropriate for the party to provide non-financial logistics support to all certified candidates, including printed materials, social media sharing, coordinating events and venues, and even scheduling primary debates in the case where it is relevant, since these are both obviously in line with the party's overall mission and can easily be done fairly in the event of a primary.

Once Mr. Wiseman qualifies for the ballot and is officially chosen as the party's official nominee, I would encourage him to present a plan to the Executive Committee on how we can best assist him in a way that balances all of the considerations facing the party in 2018. Until then, I would encourage Mr. Wiseman to continue fundraising directly from the party's members and donors as well as the general public, and I support assisting Mr. Wiseman's campaign logistically in the interim.

I regret that I will have to vote nay at this time, unless there is substantial information presented to me that I did not consider that provides compelling supporting detail or other justification to reconsider.

Post-Vote Analysis: I was deeply unimpressed with several incidents that occurred during the discussion. I went into the meeting needing one main thing to happen that should have happened prior to the call - sell me on the return on investment of this expense. Explain why this is something the LPF specifically - as opposed to solicited donors to Mr. Wiseman's campaign - should award 12% of our cash on hand to fund this one campaign with no strings attached. Why $5,000? Why not some other amount? What will it accomplish at a high level - specifically? Address the real concerns of skeptical EC members. To put it delicately... this did not happen. I've voted in favor of previous expenditures, including some sizable ones, because I felt I had a good grasp of what they would achieve for the party. I don't feel like a serious attempt was made to justify this one. It's my impression that the mover and other supporters believed the case in favor should have been obvious. But it was not obvious to me nor to a majority of the Executive Committee. I would say the best case in favor was made by Representative Folsom's impassioned speech about the nature and purpose of the state party, but I also can't say that I felt this speech specifically addressed the motion at hand and the concerns associated with it.

As a side note, I will mention that the mover, Representative Braden, specifically noted that he did not consult with Mr. Wiseman before moving this, which I found strange and didn't make me more inclined to support it. Representative Braden also voted against it to reserve the right to bring it up for reconsideration, which is an interesting parliamentary trick I previously learned from him.

At the end of all that, I voted nay. I wanted to be able to support it. But I couldn't justify it at this time. I hope if it is brought up for reconsideration it is done so with new discussion points and data and less drama.