Monday, February 8, 2010

LPNY Opposes LPUS Mandatory Convention Registration Fee

On Sunday, February 7, 2010, the Libertarian Party of New York passed the following motion opposing the institution of a mandatory convention registration fee imposed upon all elected delegates seeking to attend the Libertarian Party's National Convention in St. Louis over Memorial Day Weekend:

MOTION: Whether or not the Libertarian Party's National Committee has the legal right to assess a registration fee upon all duly elected delegates attending the LPUS National Convention in St. Louis, Missouri over Memorial Day Weekend, the payment of which is being treated as a mandatory prerequisite to the Credentials Committee seating said delegates, it is the opinion of the Libertarian Party of New York that such a mandatory registration fee should not be assessed for delegates who wish to attend and vote exclusively at the business sessions of the LPUS National Convention.

Dr. Tom Stevens, who serves as the State Representative of the Libertarian Party of Queens County, drafted and proposed the motion. During debate, he said: "putting aside the issue of whether the Libertarian Party's National Committee has the legal right to assess a mandatory registration fee on duly elected delegates, the payment of which has become a prerequisite to the Credentials Committee seating said delegates, this motion merely expresses the opinion of the LPNY that such a fee should not be assessed for delegates who wish to attend and vote exclusively at the business sessions of the LPUS National Convention. While this motion will have no impact on the rules adopted for this convention, I hope that national takes our opinion into account when establishing the rules for the 2012 LPUS National Convention."

Sam Sloan, State Representative of the Manhattan LP, supported the motion stating that "some of our most important activists make an extraordinary effort to simply attend the convention" and that "requiring a mandatory registration fee would effectively exclude these individuals from participation during the business sessions of the national convention."

Blay Tarnoff, State Representative of the Nassau LP, in opposing the resolution called the language of the motion "bellicose" and stated that "a $25.00 mandatory registration fee" was acceptable to him. Joseph Dobrian, LPNY Vice-Chair, who spoke in favor of the motion stated, "there is nothing "bellicose" in the language of the motion". Dr. Stevens then spoke again pointing out that the mandatory convention registration fee is $99.00, not $25.00. M Carling, who serves as LPNY Secretary and in a number of appointed positions on the national level, warned that although he will ask for national's financial help with upcoming statewide petition drives both this year and in 2012, he fears his requests will fall on "deaf ears" if the LPNY expresses its opposition to the mandatory convention registration fee. In the end, Chris Edes, LPNY Chair, broke a tie and voted in favor of the motion. He will be informing national of the LPNY's opinion on this issue.

Dr. Stevens stated: "It is important that the Libertarian Party of New York express itself on this issue. In my opinion, the LPUS can charge for its cocktail parties, for convention materials, for access to the vendor floor or even to hear speakers. However, it should not require a mandatory registration fee be paid before the Credentials Committee will seat a duly elected delegate. In my opinion, every duly elected delegate should be credentialed and should have the right to vote during the business sessions of the LPUS National Convention."

3 comments:

  1. Sam Sloan, MLP State Representative, recently posted to the LPNY_Committee Yahoo Group the following statement:

    "...as to the quote, "M Carling, who serves as LPNY Secretary and in a number of appointed positions on the national level, warned that although he will ask for national's financial help with upcoming statewide petition drives both this year and in 2012, he fears that his requests will fall on "deaf ears" if the LPNY expresses its opposition to the mandatory convention registration fee".

    I was there and this is exactly what M Carling said. If he does not wish to be quoted saying things like that, then he should not say them.

    Sam Sloan

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  2. The following statement was issued by the undersigned against the Mandatory Floor Fee:

    We strongly oppose the imposition of a floor fee by the LNC for credentialing of national delegates. The By-laws and Convention Rules are quite clear in saying that delegates are chosen by the states and do not allow additional requirements to be added by the national party.

    A floor fee will restrict the delegates’ participation in party business, hindering their ability to carry out their responsibilities to the state parties.

    Given that the anticipated revenue from the floor fee amounts to only one percent of the LNC’s 2-year budget, it seems unreasonable that the LNC should be unable to earmark 1% of its annual budget to cover expenses for a required event.

    If we allow the LNC to circumvent the By-laws and Convention Rules in this seemingly small regard, we may find it difficult to keep it from running roughshod over the By-laws in more controversial matters in the future.

    The statement above has been endorsed by the following individuals:

    George Phillies – candidate, LNC Chair
    Carolyn Marbry – candidate, LNC Vice Chair
    Rob Power – candidate, LNC Secretary
    James Oaksun – candidate, LNC Treasurer

    Mary Ruwart – candidate, At-Large
    R. Lee Wrights – candidate, At-Large

    Rachel Hawkridge – candidate, LNC Regional Representative
    Michael Seebeck – candidate, LNC Regional Representative
    Jake Porter – candidate, LNC Regional Representative
    Scott Williamson – candidate, LNC Regional Representative
    Charles Wilhoit – candidate, LNC Regional Alternate

    Eva Kosinski – 2008 National Convention Team

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  3. The Libertarian Party National Committee voted in Austin, Texas to eliminate the Mandatory Convention Registration Fee for the 2010 LP National Convention in St. Louis, Missouri over Memorial Day Weekend.

    The issue will now be left up to the delegates to decide because a proposed bylaw amendment (that will be voted upon by the delegates at the LP National Convention) states that the LP may NOT charge a mandatory convention registration fee in the future. If the bylaw amendment fails, the LNC will interpret that as consent by the delegates to charge the fee in the future.

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