Resolution Against National Convention Floor Fees

Carolyne Marbry plans to introduce the following resolution expressing the
opposition of the California LP to a "floor fee" at the LP National Convention.
I personally support this resolution and urge all delegates to the upcoming
CA convention to pass it.

Harland Harrison
LP of San Mateo County CA

Bylaw 11(3) says “delegates to a Regular Convention shall be selected by a method adopted by each affiliate party”. It also says "At all Regular Conventions delegates shall be those so accredited who have registered at the Convention." The Bylaws thus clearly imply that registration is a separate step beyond merely being satisfying the conditions that make one entitled to register. However, our Bylaws say nothing about what “registered” means, so its meaning is to be sought in RRONR. On p. 593 we read:

Registration – which normally includes these steps:
a) Submission, by the member intending to register, of evidence that he is entitled to do so;
b) Verification by the committee, or a subcommittee of it, that the member’s credentials are correct;
c) Recording of the member as officially registered, upon his paying the registration fee (which is sometimes sent in in advance) and signing the list of registrations; and
d) Issuing of the particular badge to which the member is entitled, the official program, and additional necessary information, such as time and place of individual section or committee meetings or workshops.

This seems like a pretty straightforward and reasonable definition of “registration”. If someone thinks that this is not the language governing the definition of “registration” as that word is used in the LP Bylaws, then can he please quote where the Bylaws provides an overriding definition? I can’t find it.


  Just because Roberts Rules of Order (RRONR) says registration "normally" includes certain steps, that does not mean that these steps are thereby automatically brought into existence in the Libertarian Party unless our Bylaws specifically provide for them, which they do not. Unless the party's Bylaws are silent on a matter AND Roberts says something "shall" happen, whatever RRONR says is completely non-binding and provides no authority under which party officials may act.

  I support the resolution against floor fees, and urge you to do so as well, whether or not you agree that it is illegal under party rules for the Convention Committee to charge delegates such a fee, or merely a bad idea. If national LP officials are allowed to influence, via adding extra registration requirements, who can be a delegate, then the ability of state LP affiliates to select their own delegations is effectively undermined. Floor fees have not been used at past national conventions, and I believe the political impetus for introducing them now is the desire to influence the makeup of state delegations by tending to exclude those whom some members of the more conservative-leaning faction of the party notoriously called "Povertarians" (i.e. less well-heeled Libertarians who might be deterred on the basis of cost from attending a convention).

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))

There is only one "must do" duty of the Libertarian National Committee, and that's to put on the next convention. For that one single duty, they collect $50 every two years from us members. The cost of the convention is 1% of the LNC budget over that time. If they have to double-bill the delegates for the right to vote at convention, because they didn't budget properly for their one and only non-negotiable obligation, then they're fiscally inept and should be thrown out on their ears.

I have signed the statement opposing the LNC's poll tax.


Starchild’s non-answer to my challenge (to quote the Bylaws’ over-riding of Robert’s definition of registration) is rebutted here.

Why is a $99 floor fee OK for this weekend’s LPCA convention, but not OK for the LPUS convention in St. Louis?


  I disagree with your characterization of my response as a non-answer. I gave an explanation of why I believe a floor fee is a Bylaws violation, and I've made additional comments about it in other messages I believe you're probably read.

  Your question below rests on a false presumption -- I have never said that floor fees are okay for California LP conventions. They are not okay. I have consistently opposed them for years, and will continue to do so until they are eliminated.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))

I urge everyone to support a CA resolution against the floor fee at the National Convention.

This floor fee violates the By Laws because the Convention Committee does not have
the power to impose the fee. The National Committee does not have that power either.
The By Laws specifically describe the only fee which can be imposed, which is the
membership fee set by the National Committee.

The meaning of "registration" has nothing to do with it. The RRO section just explains that
a fee, if there is one, could be either collected in advance, or at the door.

If you still think the "registration" requirement authorizes a fee, consider the case of
our "Non-regular" conventions, when:

"Any person who wishes to attend may do so." Art 13 Sec 3 a

No mention of "registration" there. Yet a Non-Regular Convention would need
to collect expenses from attendees if any convention did.

The word "registration" is only mentioned for Regular Conventions to make it clear that
accredited delegates who do not show up, do not count in quorum requirements.

Harland Harrison