At this point, there are sixteen motions being proposed as floor motions for the 2018 Annual Convention. I may have posted most of my motions a while ago, but there are a bunch now showing up. I’m planning on reviewing and posting on as many of these motions as I can before the convention. All of these blog posts will be tagged LPF2018, so if you want to look at my thoughts on those motions, just click on the LPF2018 tag on the right side of the page or the bottom of this post.
Gregory Peele is an officer of the Libertarian Party of Florida, sitting in the Director At-Large 3 position. He has proposed a number of changes to the Constitution of the Libertarian Party of Florida. The second change he’s proposing is to clean up the definition of the Candidates Committee.
Title: Remove Redundant Requirements on Candidates Committee
Article: ARTICLE III Officers, Executive Committee & Standing Committees
Section & Subsection (if applicable): Section 9
Text: Whereas Committees, by definition, are chartered to operate within the scope of their governing documents and Executive Committee referrals; and
Whereas Article III Section 3 of the Constitution already mandates all committees to report to the Executive Committee;
I move to delete the redundant final two sentences of Article III Section 9 that read “Should other duties of the committee arise which are not already specifically listed in this section, the Chair may make a motion as such to the Executive Committee or the LPF Chair for their approval before taking action as a committee. The Chair of the Candidate Committee shall present regular reports on the committee’s work to the Executive Committee.”
First, there probably should be a little context for this motion. The entire Section 9 text is the following, with the proposed deletion indicated by a strike out:
The Candidate Committee shall be appointed by the LPF Chair and approved by the Executive Committee and shall consist of at least five (5) members of the LPF. The principal duties of the Candidate Committee shall include but not be limited to identifying potential Libertarian Party candidates, directing and preparing potential candidates for review by the Selection Committee, to train vetted and approved Libertarian Party candidates for their respective races, and to identify and train campaign staff members to serve on the campaign staff for vetted and approved Libertarian Party Candidates.
Should other duties of the committee arise which are not already specifically listed in this section, the Chair may make a motion as such to the Executive Committee or the LPF Chair for their approval before taking action as a committee. The Chair of the Candidate Committee shall present regular reports on the committee’s work to the Executive Committee.
Greg’s previous motion, if passed, would have removed the first sentence of this section (in red). So the final section if both motions are passed is the text in black that’s not struck out.
In my analysis of Greg’s previous motion, I had questioned why he had left the last sentence in because it, also, was directly affected by his requirement for all committees to report to the Executive Committee on a monthly basis. He does delete the sentence here, so it will be gone if both motions pass. On the other hand, deleting that sentence makes sense for that motion, not this one.
The other change has to do with deleting the requirement that the committee must go to the Chair and/or the Executive Committee to do something not specifically identified in this section. Considering that this section already includes some wiggle room language — “shall include but not be limited to” — I’m not convinced either way that the sentence needs to be deleted. Has the Candidates Committee, in the past, gone beyond their mandate?
This motion does bring to light an interesting question about the entire purpose of the Candidates Committee and the Selection Committee. There is, in my mind, a strong overlap between these two Committees. I’m questioning whether there should be two separate committees, or one, or perhaps three.
It looks like we’re created a process in which the Candidates Committee recruits potential libertarian candidates for public office, the Selection Committee then determines if they are libertarian enough for support, and then the Candidates Committee trains the selected candidates and their staffs for the election. I’m not sure that this is handing off of responsibilities back and forth is really the most efficient way to do things. (There’s also an interesting legal question about the current role of the Selection Committee, but that’s a subject for a different post.)
But the skill sets for the three actions (recruitment, selection, and training) are different, so it may make sense to have three separate committees. Under the current system (as well as the system if this motion passes), the Committee Chair would probably focus the efforts on the part of the process that they think more important: do we want to have libertarians running for every open position, or do we want possibly fewer libertarians running better campaigns.
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think that we need three different committees handling the different phases of the candidate process. First, a Candidate Recruitment Committee, which scours the bushes looking for willing and able libertarian candidates. Then a second committee (the Selection Committee?) which examines all the libertarian candidates and determines which of the candidates can get support from the Libertarian Party of Florida. One of the first things you learn in economics is that resources are limited. This is very evident in the LPF. We cannot provide needed support to all the libertarian candidates in Florida. So some sort of selection process is necessary to ensure that the resources of the party are best utilized for various state and local races. The third committee would be the Campaign Training Committee, which provides training for all libertarian candidates on the legal requirements of campaigning, how to write press releases, access to volunteers, etc. (It could also be expanded to provide training for libertarian elected officials. But that’s also a project for a different day.) Three different functions, three different sets of skills.
There would still be a handoff process, but one that seems more logical than the current system. It’s too late to have this process added to the Constitution (30 day rule), but it’s definitely something to think about for the 2019 Convention.
Oh, yeah. Let’s return to the original post. The motion that Greg proposes, even though it probably should have been incorporated into his first motion, is a good motion. I’ll be voting yes on it.