Monday, May 08, 2017

LPF Convention Recap, First Pass


I'm back from the Libertarian Party of Florida's 2017 state convention. I wish I could say I'm rested up from it, but I'm not quite there yet. Still, I'd like to get some thoughts down on what transpired.

First, a huge THANK YOU to those who financially supported me in making this trip! There were things I wanted to accomplish, some of which worked out and some of which didn't, but I think the effort was worthwhile regardless.

And THANK YOU to the convention for consenting to a moment of silence in memory of Libertarian Hero R. Lee Wrights.

So, here's what happened vis a vis my own agenda:

The Battles I Fought and Won


  • I proposed the following bylaws amendment: "The following section shall be added to Article III, Section 4 of the bylaws ('Meetings of the Executive Committee'): The Executive Committee shall use roll call voting on all substantive motions. On all roll call votes, the vote of each individual Committee member shall be recorded in the minutes." It passed, and I think that's a good thing when it comes to transparency and accountability.
  • I opposed the following language, which was proposed as part of a batch platform amendment: "We oppose using state and local resources to enforce federal immigration laws against foreign nationals who do not pose a credible threat to security, health or property." That language was divided into a separate motion from the rest of the batch, and then tabled.

The Battles I Fought and Lost

  • I ran for the position of Director At Large 1 on the party's executive committee. I didn't expect to win, and I didn't win. Congratulations to Alison Foxall, the incredibly hard-working incumbent who DID win. My purpose in running was to make one particular point about the party standing up for itself when threatened with frivolous/malicious litigation over its public communications, and I got the chance to do that. My impression is that quite a few delegates agreed with me on the matter and hopefully that will affect the executive committee's actions in the future.
  • Thanks to my friend Paul Stanton, who nominated me for appointment to Florida's slot on the national platform committee. The delegates chose Frank Caprio of the Orange County affiliate to fill that position. Congratulations to Frank. I will continue to work on the platform as I have been so far -- as an advocate, and next year from the convention floor.
The Battles I Didn't End Up Fighting
  • I was encouraged by several Florida Libertarians to run for a seat on the executive committee as my region's representative. I wasn't inclined to do so, and after informally discussing the matter with delegates from the region, my perception was that they were neither unhappy with the incumbent  (Ryan Ramsey) nor inclined to replace him. God knows I'm not afraid to pick a fight (I'm sure some people think I pick way too many), nor am I afraid to lose a fight. I just wasn't convinced that there was anything worthwhile to be gained by picking this fight. Congratulations to Ryan.
  • I proposed (prior to the convention through the party's mechanism for doing so) a lengthy bylaws amendment relating to suspension/expulsion of members. When that motion arrived on the floor, I withdrew it. Obviously this bears explanation, so:
    1. The convention was pressed for time, and this was an item which would have required lengthy discussion and almost certainly would have run out the clock without a vote. I didn't want to be the asshole who kept the delegates in session for longer than necessary without getting the job done anyway.
    2. At least one other amendment came up on which this proposal would have had bearing. Pressing it would have made things even more complicated, and that other amendment also made it clear that there is a load of work to do in getting the next convention's delegates to think about the nature of "membership" in the party, what that entails, and what powers the executive committee actually has (the bylaws are at variance with both the party's Constitution and Florida law). I plan to come to next year's convention with a more comprehensive fix to bring the party's rules into line with reality, and I plan to have thoroughly explained that fix and why it's necessary before then.


I expect to have more thoughts on this weekend's happenings, but frankly I'm still too worn out to get those thoughts together -- so I'll come back with another post later. In the meantime:


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