[Lnc-discuss] No Floor Fees - Let those who want and can afford comfort/convenience pay for it - don't impose these costs on all delegates


  I am with you as far as focusing on cost. I can't believe that we can't find a room big enough to accommodate our business sessions at a convention for much, much less than $15,000 a day.

  Our Bylaws specify that we must hold conventions with business sessions, but they don't require us to meet in upscale hotels, where you estimate the "true cost" of a large meeting room might run in the range of $60,000.

  I'm sure some LP members consider these facilities worth the cost of $86 or whatever it breaks down to per person, whether it's the party paying, or them paying directly out of pocket. I'm equally sure some other LP members do NOT think the expense worth it, and would rather meet in more modest and less expensive surroundings, even if it means not having certain amenities, whether because (a) it's an onerous expense that's difficult for them to afford on top of other expenses, like paying the rent and paying to travel to a convention, paying for lodging, etc. or (b) they feel that we as a party ought to prioritize advancing the cause of freedom over our own comfort and convenience when it comes to making collective decisions like where to meet.

  We don't know how many LP members fall into each category. We do know however that a majority of delegates who voted on the question at our last convention wanted to write a ban on floor fees into our Bylaws.

  As I pointed out in my response to Scott, there is also a cost to having an office. If, as some have suggested, most staffers would rather work in a fixed office in the Washington D.C. area than in a less expensive mobile office such as an RV, then having the brick-and-mortar office is a benefit to them. Should everyone who uses the office pay a portion of the costs that arise from this choice, including unpaid interns? How about paid staff? Since they are the ones using the office, should they pay for this benefit? I believe it would be foolish and unjust to try to bill interns and staff for a portion of our office costs, just as I believe it is foolish and unjust to try to bill delegates for our convention costs.

  Paying for meals, hotel rooms, speakers, special events, and so on is optional. No one is required to pay for these extras -- no one is being required to directly fund any more of the convention than they want to. It makes sense that we should offer optional extras like these to cover the costs of our meeting space, because it gives people a choice of whether to spend the money or not, without interfering with their ability to participate in the party's governance by attaching some kind of fee to their delegate status. We do not want to be a "pay to play" party governed only by those who can afford to exercise their voting rights.

Love & Liberty,
                                 ((( starchild )))
At-Large Representative, Libertarian National Committee

P.S. - I think anyone in this conversation on the LNC who receives money from our conventions should acknowledge a conflict of interest with regards to this issue. Those who are paid in conjunction with our conventions have a direct financial interest in seeing more money come in, even if it means Libertarian delegates being forced to cough up that money.