For those of you who attended the state convention in San Diego, I have
When we suspended the rules for voting on national convention delegates,
1) Just suspend the rules for the sake of voting on them as a slate
instead of individually, or
2) Suspend all rules regarding national convention delegates, such as
the rule that requires national convention delegates to be either
dues-paying members of the LPC or government officeholders elected as
To me, the intent of the delegates was crystal clear (I won't say for
which one), but there seems to be a dispute regarding this. Before I
ask the Judicial Committee for an official ruling, I'd like a sanity
check to see if the intent of the delegates was as clear as I recall it
Intent doesn’t matter unless the wording was ambiguous, and even then,
it’s very difficult to argue.
The minutes should note a motion “to suspend the rules to...” where the
purpose of the suspension is named. I don’t remember what that purpose
was stated as being, but the minutes should have it. (One does not just
“suspend the rules”; in that case, the chair wouldn’t even have to
recognize speakers. One suspends specific rules to enable a specific
action that would otherwise be impermissible.)
If the suspension was to vote on the delegates en bloc, then IMO that
doesn’t waive the eligibility issues. If the suspension was to elect
that list of delegates, then that’s a more explicit statement that we
want these delegates, this particular list here, regardless of other
concerns. In any event, I would say that there is a pretty strong case
to be made that unless the suspension mentioned eligibility, then it
didn’t cover it.
The official convention minutes from the Secretary:
MOTION: Starr moved to suspend the rules to accept the list as amended,
which was seconded.
MOTION: McConnell moved the previous question, which was seconded.
VOTE: The motion for the previous question passed.
VOTE: Starr’s main motion to accept the list as amended passed.
I guess my question regarding "intent" is how we think the delegates
would have voted had the motion been specific. Would the motion have
passed if it had been specifically
"accept the list as amended, except for those on the list who we
discover later (when the membership database is available) don't meet
the eligibility requirements in rule X, section Y"
and similarly would it have passed if it had been specifically
"accept the list as amended, even if those on the list don't meet the
eligibility requirements in rule X, section Y"
The root cause of the problem is that we relied on having internet
connectivity at the convention, which not only screwed up credentialing
the first night, but also screwed up important functions like deciding
who would be our delegates in Denver. But we can't change that now. We
voted on a slate in which a third of the people did not meet the
eligibility requirements for nomination. So the question is whether the
motion above suspended just the part of the rules where we do secret
ballots to vote for delegates (i.e., did we suspend the rules merely to
save time), or did it suspend the entire rule, which includes the
eligibility requirements (i.e., did we intend to allow those who were
not dues-paying-members of the LPC to serve as delegates in Denver)?
Unfortunately, I can't tell from the motion as recorded what the intent
was, even though I sure as heck know what my intent was and would have
voted differently based on which interpretation is used.
Christopher R. Maden wrote:
My ultimate answer is that "suspending the rules" meant whatever it
means according to the bylaws and Robert's Rules. If it depends on
how the motion is stated, then I'd need to hear the exact language of
the motion to determine what was intended. I don't know what the
intent of the person who moved to suspend the rules was. Having heard
a rumor that Wayne Allyn Root submitted many names, and given it was
Aaron Starr who made the motion, I consider it possible -- although
not a firm conclusion in the absence of evidence -- that the intent
was to get those folks in without too much analysis. I was also told
by someone that Aaron made the motion in order to keep an ally from
embarrassing himself by trying to have *me* removed from the delegate
list -- although it sounds a bit farfetched, that *was* said to me.
As for the delegates as a whole, I doubt most of them considered the
scope of what particular rules were being suspended, but simply
looked at this as the mechanism that would allow the vote to happen.
I doubt most would have intended to suspend rules such as the rule
requiring national delegates to be either dues-paying members of the
LPC or government officeholders elected as Libertarians -- unless, of
course, they were aware of or someone informed them of the national
bylaws rule allowing LPUS members to be selected as California
delegates to the national convention without necessarily being LPC
members. That's something apparently no one on the ExCom knew either
(nor did I know it) until Brian Holtz pointed it out in a recent email.
I'm pretty sure that some of the delegates voting for the rules
suspension would have objected to the ExCom unilaterally overturning
their vote and setting up different procedures later.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
Well, that's simply not true. I knew delegate rules were up to the
states, and that the national rule tended to be more liberal, because
LPMA was in such chaos in 2006 that George and I were considering this
as a contingency for going to Portland. Nobody at the state excom
meeting last weekend ever claimed that these people were ineligible by
national rules -- merely that they were ineligible by state rules. And
I still stand by that.
So the claim that nobody on the state excom knew the national rules is
not only blatantly false -- it's offensive. And I have no idea why
you're repeating propaganda spread by those who want to re-install the
pre-San Ramon state party leadership. We on the current state committee
are neither incompetent nor ignorant.
I also have no clue why you're trying to pack the delegation with Root
voters. I thought you were supporting Ruwart.
By the way, Starchild, were you the one who added all the extra names to
the delegate list from San Francisco? So far, nobody who was added and
who wasn't on the original list that I turned in has said that they want
to go to Denver. Much of this chaos is due to a whole bunch of names
being submitted for people who never had any intention of going to
Denver. If the people who submitted delegate names without the approval
of those whose names were submitting had simply refrained from doing so,
we'd not be in the mess we're in now.
P.S. I'm not going to post on this topic here in the activists list
anymore. I'd love to hear feedback here from state delegates, but any
future commentary from me will be in lpsf-discuss instead.
I apologize for stating that no one on the LPC ExCom knew that
national rules allowed national LP members to be California delegates
if this was untrue. I assumed it was the case, or else it would have
come up. Because isn't it the case that California LP bylaws must
conform to the LP's national bylaws regarding state representation at
national conventions? I would prefer this *not* to be the case, as I
think the state organizations should be able to set their own rules.
But then again I also favor a unified membership plan, where people
belonging to the national LP would automatically belong to their
state and local chapters, and therefore be automatically eligible.
I do support Mary Ruwart for president, and am not "trying to pack
the delegation with Root voters" -- stating as fact that I was doing
this is something that *I* find offensive. But while I am as opposed
to seeing Root as the LP presidential nominee as you are, I am also
troubled by the prospect of the state Executive Committee overruling
a decision made by the convention. In any case, if the rumor that
Root or his supporters submitted many names to the delegate list is
true, I don't know whether those names were on the list approved by
the convention, or were added later. If the latter, then upholding
the priority of those on the convention list over later additions
would not benefit the Root campaign.
I am indeed the person who added the names of other LPSF activists
to the delegate list -- I wanted to make sure that anyone from our
group I could think of who might possibly have an interest in
attending the national convention as a delegate would be able to do
so, my presumption being that it would be a lot less trouble to get
the names of people off the list later who did not wish to attend,
than to add anyone who wasn't on the list and did want to attend. I
told you what I was doing at the time, and I don't recall you telling
me not to submit the names; in fact as I recall, you tried to help me
think of any names I might have missed, when I consulted you about it.
I don't think this is what caused the chaos. I think the chaos was
caused by the names on the list not being checked at the convention
as to whether they were eligible or not, and that information not
being disseminated at that time.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))