[Note that this document was converted from a .pdf file – as a result the format has suffered]
Judicial Committee of the Libertarian Party of California
March 31, 2023 Report
Complaint RE: LPCCC 2023 Annual Meeting Notification
The Judicial Committee (JC) of the Libertarian Party of California (LPCA) received a complaint on Wednesday, March 8th regarding the 2023 Libertarian Party of Contra Costa County's (LPCCC's) annual meeting. This is the annual meeting at which officers are elected. The complaint was that notification to members had not been sent to some members. In the complaint accusations were made, and actions outside the purview of the JC were requested. The JC received several exhibits which illustrated that communication and a working relationships appear to have severely broken down among various LPCCC members.
The JC had one member that expressed a desire to consider this matter. In addition to that member, the JC Chair felt there was a potential violation of LPCA Bylaw 9 Section 6.
LPCA Bylaw 9: County Organizations
A county organization is deemed as having selected its officers only if an election
notice has been mailed to its members at least thirty days but no more than sixty
days in advance of that election. The election notice shall also be sent to and
received by the Party Secretary at least thirty days in advance of the election.
Such notice shall specify the reason for the meeting and a time and place
reasonably accessible to its membership. An election shall be held every year. The
results of the election shall be reported to the Party Secretary within fifteen days
after the election. Any member of that County Central Committee may challenge
the legality of an election by bringing the issue before the Judicial Committee. The
Executive Committee may declare a county organization to be inactive if it fails to
hold elections in accordance with this section.
The Chair called a Zoom meeting for Wednesday March 15th. The meeting began at 8:30pm and ran for one hour. The meeting was called to determine if the JC had two members willing to take up this matter. A second Zoom meeting was held on March 21st to finalize a draft report.
Based on discussions, and the questions and answers in the meeting it was understood that the LPCC [sic] was not able to gain control of their domain(1). They could not maintain their website or use its email functionality over the course of past year(2). In order to communicate with members a google group (populated with data from NEON) was created by the LPCCC Officers and invites were sent to members to join that group for future communication(3). Potential issues with the google group were reviewed and discussed by the JC. That included questions about whether members received the google group invitations and whether they accepted them(4).
From Ms. Kallander’s complaint it was apparent not everyone received the google group's email notice for the LPCCC's annual January meeting. However, the notices were sent on time via LPCCC's google group on November 29, 2022(5), and the details were posted again as a reminder on the LPCA 's Northern Area Facebook page on January 10, 2023(6). As required, the LPCA Secretary was also sent the details in a timely manner, which he furnished immediately upon request. That request by the complainant was made in February 2023; however, after the usual January LPCCC annual meeting occurred. In addition the JC was informed the Officers were elected unanimously at the LPCCC annual meeting.
Following these discussions the JC still had only one member that wished to hold a hearing on this matter. If the JC had conducted a hearing, it would have been limited to investigating the LPCCC google group set and requesting the membership information for LPCCC from the LPCA Secretary. Either way, the committee spent many hours reviewing the facts and making a determination on this case.
The JC is concerned about the understanding of notice to LPCA members from County Organizations for annual elections. Per the LPCA aforementioned state Bylaw 9 Section 6 the notice of annual elections is to be “mailed” from the County Organizations to their members. Under current LPCA bylaws notification can be electronic (Bylaw 4.D).
Bylaw 4: Definitions
D. All references in these Bylaws and Convention Rules to “mail,” “written
notification,” or similar terms shall be considered to include electronic
Recommendations: The LPCA JC agrees it is good practice to a have a well working domain and website so that members can be notified of upcoming annual elections and monthly or quarterly meetings along with other local events. Members without e-mail addresses should be mailed a written notification, if written notice is not sent to all members(8). Notification should be sent to members even if they appear to have expired in NEON within the last 90 days (3 months). This is to avoid issues with members' dues payments processing or their cash flow.
County Secretaries should download the LPCA Neon data 30 days prior to their County's annual meeting/convention to insure any new members are notified via e-mail or regular mail as soon as possible about the County's annual meeting.
Summary: The claimant’s concerns regarding the required notification to county members is legitimate. However, this body finds the members were properly notified. Further, it finds no malicious intent on the part of the LPCCC; they did their due diligence and acted in good faith in notifying the members of upcoming meetings(9).
This is a report of the Judicial Committee of the Libertarian Party of California.
<![if !supportLists]>(1) <![endif]>Maintenance and control of the domain ccclp.org was thwarted by Adrian F. Malagon. He interrupted the process of having the CCCLP pay its bills in a timely manner (see Black Paper, commencing with item 5)). No one was then willing to pay any of the party’s other expenses until the situation was cleared up. It hasn’t been – Kevin Moore, the previous chair is still owed outstanding sums that he paid for out of pocket. The LPCCC has been forced, by recent circumstances, to realize that they actually do have to pay some of their bills.
<![if !supportLists]>(2) <![endif]>The CCCLP website may have had email capability, but if so, it was not used. Inquiries were handled by the state party’s email servers, not by the local servers (the address to contact was at ca.lp.org).
<![if !supportLists]>(3) <![endif]>Joining the email distribution list is supposed to be automatic, based on joining the CA.LP and affiliating with a County Central Committee. Requiring someone to “opt in” to the communications loop is a non-viable procedure that leads to tyranny. Making such a requirement at the County Central Committee level is an abuse of authority; the County ExCom is supposed to communicate with those Members that the CA.LP tells them to communicate with, not just those that they decide to communicate with.
<![if !supportLists]>(4) <![endif]>I, for one, never received an invitation to join the Google Group.
<![if !supportLists]>(5) <![endif]>It should make no difference that ”…the notices were sent on time…” if they were only sent to a select few (or even if they were sent to the majority).
<![if !supportLists]>(6) <![endif]>Notification via Facebook is irrelevant; membership in the LP, the CA.LP or the CCCLP is not predicated upon a membership in Facebook. We can’t even require that a Member have access to the internet.
<![if !supportLists]>(7) <![endif]>Announcing annual meetings (for the purpose of electing officers) solely via electronic communications should never be allowed.
<![if !supportLists]>(8) <![endif]>The minimum standard for communications must by USPS Mail. If this standard is complied with, other methods of communication can also be allowed, but they cannot be allowed to meet the minimum standard if used by themselves. As we have now seen, it leads to failures, excommunication and disenfranchisement.
<![if !supportLists]>(9) <![endif]>It is apparent that not all County Central Committees are able to send out monthly mailers. To assist with this, it seems prudent to allow neighboring Central Committees to voluntarily cooperate regarding the mailing of non-election-related notices.
<![if !supportLists]>(10) <![endif]>Regardless of what the Judicial Committee finds, only some of the Members were properly notified. “Notifying some of the Members” is not an option that is allowed in the State Bylaws. The implication is that all Members are to be notified, and failing to do so is grounds for the County Central Committee to be declared inactive.
Footnotes respectfully submitted by
Chairman of the CCCLP Bylaws Committee