Chair's ruling on floor fee


  Bylaw 15 doesn't "simply require that the party hold an annual convention." It is much more detailed than that (see relevant bylaws and convention rules at the bottom of this email). It sets up specific requirements for becoming a delegate, which again DO NOT include paying a fee, and says that persons meeting these requirements SHALL be delegates.

  As for your example of holding a virtual convention, I think there is a much stronger argument that this would be within the purview of the bylaws -- I do not see anything in the bylaws specifically contrary to such a plan, although it could be argued that the bylaws strongly imply a physical meeting. Of course if no one wishes to hold such an event then it is a moot point.

  Team playing works both ways. If state leaders and convention organizers want the party to pull together as a team, they should seek to accommodate points of view within the party other than their own, and stop taking unilateral actions that can reasonably be expected to provoke internal controversy and dissent.

  Any energy and time they put into trying to maintain this floor fee at the convention will be at the cost of energy and time that might instead go into what I hope is the Party's objective, to advance freedom by whatever means ethical and necessary.

  Those who want to run the party in a corporate, top-down manner already have lots of things going their way in terms of the way we do business. They also got to have a floor fee last year and possibly at one or more previous conventions, even though this was in violation of the party's bylaws.

  I do not believe that the principle of trying to get the maximum financial reward for one's time and effort is relevant; we are a volunteer activist organization, not a for-profit venture, and maximizing our own financial rewards should not be a consideration when engaging in the work of the party. Not that I think anyone here is driven by a desire to make as much money as they can at the party's expense, but you listed it below as a principle that is in play, and I don't think that's the case.

  Part of the unwillingness to compromise on this issue comes from the fact that this is -- if you haven't figured it out -- about more than just the floor fee. Many of us feel alienated from the state party leadership, which we see as bent on pushing through as much of a top-down, corporate-style governance system and conservative party culture as they can get away with. If the state leadership would stop trying to push this agenda, and instead implement more activist-friendly changes, I suspect they would see less dissension and more cooperation.

Yours in liberty,
        <<< Starchild >>>


I've taken a look at the Bylaws; I don't agree that they are violated by
charging a base fee for delegates; I remain confident that of my
fundamental honesty.

The Bylaw in question, number 15, simply requires that the Party hold an
annual convention. Nothing is said about how this requirement is to be met.

Some apparently strongly believe that the Party has the obligation to
provide this convention at no cost to members, and object to being charged
a floor fee, calling it a "poll tax".

Another objection could be raised, a silly one but it seems to me
completely parallel in reasoning: The Convention organizers have
shortsightedly bound themselves to the definition of a convention
established by precedent, by convening it in a physical location. This
requires perhaps half of the delegates to travel long distances and provide
accommodations for themselves, at a net expense even greater than the $39
floor fee being objected to. The organizers have an obligation to find a
way to hold a virtual convention available on the Internet in real time.
Otherwise those who might be inclined to attend will be dissuaded by having
to pay the "poll tax" involved in the expense of traveling and paying for a

As for "principles", no one principle ever stands alone as an argument for
a certain behavior.

I hear in this case that some are very firm in their opposition to ever
making a payment for a floor fee that is not specifically provided for in
the state bylaws (principle A). There is another principle in play, having
to do with the value of operating as a team (principle B).

Any energy and time that might go into this topic at the Convention will be
at the cost of energy and time that might instead go into what I hope is
the Party's objective, to elect Libertarians and advance freedom. The
organizers have deferred to this principle (B) and compromised, [details
of asking people to pay snipped here]. I am guessing that they are
thereby subordinating another principle (C), that it is proper to get the
maximum financial reward for investment of one's labor and skills, for the
sake of principle B (team playing.)

I urge the adherents of principle A (not gonna pay anything) to be as

Allen Rice
Region 43 rep

From state bylaws listed at :


Section 1.

The Party shall hold an annual convention of delegates of the State Central Committee to conduct such business as may properly come before it, at a time and place set according to the Bylaws and in conformance with the Bylaws and Convention Rules. (2/3 required to amend)

Section 2.

It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Committee to set the time, place, and schedule of events for the convention of delegates to the annual meeting of the State Central Committee. At least 120 days’ notice must be provided to the membership concerning these arrangements.

Section 3.

Every county shall be entitled to send delegates to the convention according to the following criteria:

A. Each county central committee shall have one delegate for each 0.33% or fraction thereof of the total number of all members of all county central committees. These delegates shall be selected by counties in such a manner as the county organizations may provide.

B. In addition to the foregoing, each holder of an elective public office who is registered to vote as a Libertarian, each chair of a county central committee or a person appointed by the chair of that county central committee who is otherwise qualified as a delegate under Rule 3, and each member of the Party Executive Committee, at the time the convention is held, shall be a delegate from his or her respective county. Central committee membership shall not be considered to be holding of public office.

C. No person shall be a delegate who does not meet such requirements as may be stated in the Convention Rules.


You've convinced me. I'm going as a San Francisco delegate and will not be paying a fee. I hope this issue will be resolved before the convention, but I'm willing to turn this into an activism event if we need to.

-- Steve