Motion: Language Consolidation regarding County Affiliates within Standing Rules

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 the other motions, just click on the LPF2018 tag on the right side of the page or the bottom of this post.

Kevin O’Neill is a member of the Hillsborough County Libertarian Party, where he’s the Chair of the Political Action Committee and the Development Committee.  He has proposed several changes to the Governing Documents of the Libertarian Party of Florida.  His first motion consolidates the language in two separate sections of the Standing Rules.

Kevin has created a YouTube video explaining and justifying his motions.  You should watch it to understand why he’s making the motions he’s making.  My commentary is based on the text of the motion, not the justification.  (I wish I could say that I’ve watched it, but when this is being written I haven’t had a chance to.  Drama and work have eaten more of my life than I’d like.  Hopefully this weekend…)

Type: Standing Rule
Title: Language Consolidation regarding County Affiliates within Standing Rules
Article: ARTICLE III County Affiliates
Section & Subsection (if applicable): Section 1 and 8
Text:  I, Kevin O’Neill, active member from Hillsborough County, move to
Modify Existing Standing Rules as described in FROM and TO. Language added is in quotes, direction to re-order and re-reference said document is further noted after the quotes.

FROM;
ARTICLE III County Affiliates
Section 1.
Any county may call an organizational meeting to affiliate with the LPF.

Section 8.
The LPF will recognize only one affiliate per county.11

TO:
ARTICLE III County Affiliates
“Section 1.
Any county may call an organizational meeting to affiliate with the LPF, provided that an affiliated county organizations does not already exists in that county, and existing organization has been in good standing with the LPF at any time in the last 12-months. The LPF will recognize only one affiliate per county.”

Section 8. will be removed due to its incorporation in Section 1 as described.

All remaining Sections are to be re-numbered in chronological order, as well as updating any references to these sections shown elsewhere in these Standing Rules.

END of MOTION

A couple minor complaints:  First, the numbers at the end of the current text are not part of the current text.  They are footnote references to information about when that was added to the Constitution.  As such, they’re not part of the text.  Second, I don’t think the word you’re looking for is “chronological.”  That has to do with listing things in time order.  Just a direction to “renumber the remaining sections” would be fine.  Finally, I don’t think you need to mention in your motion that you’re an active member, or what county you’re from.  (Although I was able to use your county information to look up a little bit about you.)

Now for the actual meat of the motion.  To do that, let’s see what the entire text is for Article III (cleaned up by removing footnote references):

ARTICLE III County Affiliates

Section 1.

Any county may call an organizational meeting to affiliate with the LPF.

Section 2.

The Constitution and Bylaws of the LPF must be approved by a majority vote.

Section 3.

An application for affiliation must be signed by the elected officers and filed with the LPF Secretary.

Section 4.

Any additional Bylaws or Standing Rules adopted by the county affiliate may be filed with the LPF Secretary.

Section 5.

To continue affiliation, prior to April 1 of each year, County Affiliates are required to send to the LPF Secretary a current list of officers with their title, mail address, email address, phone number, and a copy of the annual audit required by their local county elections office.

Section 6.

No county affiliate shall endorse a candidate for statewide office who has opposition by a candidate endorsed or nominated by the LPF.

Section 7.

The county affiliate may petition the LPF or its officers or committees on any political matter.

Section 8.

The LPF will recognize only one affiliate per county.

Section 9.

(A.) All affiliates shall deposit any check(s) or monies once received from the LPF within 25 days. Any check(s) or monies not deposited in this time frame shall be subject to cancellation at the discretion of the LPF treasurer. Upon official cancellation of said check(s) and notification by email or letter to the affiliate, the LPF shall have no duty to resend the same check(s). (B.) It shall be the duty of the treasurer or the deputy treasurer and the representative of the region the affiliate in question is located in, to verify that a check was received and when, lso, to verify what or if any action was taken within the 25 day time frame. If there is no Representative for the region which the given affiliate is located, before or during the 25 day time frame, the treasurer may ask an At Large Director to assist in the verification process. (C.) This Standing Rule should go into effect immediately in 2016 and have no expiration date. Nothing here shall prevent a future Executive Committee and/or the delegates at the The Annual Meeting from voting to modify or rescind this rule.

Kevin is correct that this Article probably needs reorganization and cleanup.  While I removed the footnote references, I did not correct any spelling errors.  (Of course, the spelling or grammatical errors may only exist on the version posted online and not in the actual document.)  This article is full of tiny little sections, followed by one big one.

What Kevin’s motion has done is to combine Sections 1 & 8, plus some additional text.  Combining the two sections by itself is reasonable.  However, the additional text is more interesting.

provided that an affiliated county organizations does not already exists in that county, and existing organization has been in good standing with the LPF at any time in the last 12-months.

It appears that what Kevin is trying to do is make sure that a county with an existing affiliate doesn’t get a second group of libertarians trying to form another chapter in the same county.  That’s a reasonable idea, but I’m not sure that the wording he’s adding doesn’t include loopholes.  Among other things, it precludes libertarians in a county from forming an affiliated county organization for twelve months if the Libertarian Party of Florida deliberately cuts ties from the county’s old affiliate.  On the other hand, the LPF also cuts ties if paperwork isn’t filed on time.  In that circumstance, do we want to open the door for a second group to jump into the fray?  I haven’t found a solution, but the one proposed bothers me.  I don’t think that the problem Kevin identifies needs an immediate solution.  I’d rather the right solution be put into place.

Another thing I don’t like is that the motion keeps the language of the existing Standing Rules.  In the existing documents, the “county” is the organizing entity.  I disagree.  The “county” is either just a lump of dirt or the county government.  I’d prefer neither to organize a libertarian executive committee.  That’s a job for a collection of registered voters who are registered as libertarians.  In other words, people.  (If Ryan’s motion goes through, those individuals could be referred to as LPF members who are registered to vote in a specific county.)  But leaving the existing wording alone isn’t a reason to be against the motion; it’s just a reason to revisit the wording of this section again.

The good news is that this is part of the Standing Rules.  Unlike many other proposed changes, changes to the Standing Rules may be made during the year by the Executive Committee.  If Kevin runs for (and wins) the Region 8 seat, he can bring forward a version of this motion (hopefully addressing my thoughts) at a monthly Executive Committee meeting.  There are only four delegates registered from Region 8 on the last count I saw.  It may not be difficult to convince two other people to vote for Kevin.  If Kevin does not become the Region 8 Representative, he can discuss the issues he sees with the Standing Rules to whoever the Region 8 Representative is (currently Mark Rodriguez) and convince them to bring the changes to the Executive Committee for consideration.  And if that doesn’t work, he can try to convince any member of the Executive Committee.


I want to remind Kevin that he needs to attend the convention on Sunday in order to formally propose his motions.  As of the last list of delegates I’ve seen, he’s not registered.  (But there’s still plenty of time, and the list I saw was of those delegates who allowed their contact information to be listed.)

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