RULES OF THE CCLP
The following are the rules of the Chautauqua County Libertarian Party as revised at convention on April 14, 2019.
Article I: Organization
The name of this organization shall be the Chautauqua County Libertarian Party (“CCLP”). The CCLP is a County Organization, as defined in the bylaws of the Libertarian Party of New York (“LPNY”), covering Chautauqua County. The CCLP is also an Interim County Organization of the Libertarian Party, as defined in the rules of the Libertarian Party filed with the Board of Elections.
Article II: Objective
A. The purpose of the Chautauqua County Libertarian Party is to be a political organization with the express goal of working to place Libertarians into public office. The CCLP supports the extension of individual freedom to its furthest limits. In recognition of the fact that the initiation of force by government has been the chief instrument for the expropriation of individual rights and freedom, the CCLP enters the political arena for the avowed purpose of eliminating the intervention of government in moral, social and economic affairs by functioning as a libertarian political entity separate and distinct from all other political parties or movements and moving public policy in a libertarian direction as a political party that elects Libertarians to public office.
B. The Chautauqua County Libertarian Party holds that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, and that individuals have an obligation to recognize the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose. The CCLP agrees to the principles stated in the Declaration of Independence and supports the principles incorporated into the Constitution of the United States of America.
Article III: Membership
A. There shall be three classes of membership:
- Enrolled members are individuals who are enrolled with the Libertarian Party with the Board of Elections, a member of the LPNY, or a CCLP member in good standing as of December 1, 2018. Enrolled members must be a resident of Chautauqua County.
- Full members are enrolled members who have signed and submitted the following pledge: “I hereby subscribe to the Principles and Objectives of the Libertarian Party of New York and do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.”
- Supporting members are individuals who have signed the pledge indicated in the previous paragraph and who have paid dues as set by the County Committee. Supporting members shall be entitled to attend and participate in all events unless prohibited by law or these Rules.
B. Individuals who are both full and supporting members shall hereinafter be referred to as “full supporting members.”
C. Discipline. Members who engage in conduct injurious to the CCLP or its purposes or to the LPNY or its purposes may be disciplined per the parliamentary authority.
Article IV: Officers
A. The officers of the CCLP shall be the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.
- The Chair shall preside at all meetings and conventions, shall act as administrator and spokesperson of the CCLP, and shall have such other authority as granted by the County Committee or as normally pertain the office of chair per the parliamentary authority. The Chair shall also serve as the representative to the state committee of the LPNY, or may appoint another eligible individual to serve.
- The Vice Chair shall act as associate to the Chair and shall preside at all meetings and conventions in the Chair’s absence.
- The Secretary shall create and keep an accurate and complete record of the proceedings of all meetings and conventions and shall have such authority and perform all other duties as prescribed by the parliamentary authority. At each meeting, the Secretary shall present the minutes of the previous meeting or convention for approval. The Secretary shall call the roll whenever necessary and shall keep an accurate tally of votes at all roll call votes and elections.
- The Treasurer shall collect, hold, and disburse funds as authorized by the County Committee, maintain records of all financial transactions, maintain records of membership and dues payments, and have such authority and perform all other duties as prescribed by the parliamentary authority. The Treasurer shall submit reports of financial status annually and at meetings as directed by the County Committee. The Treasurer shall be responsible to perform all functions with regard to the collection of dues, as directed by the County Committee.
- The duties of the State Representative shall be to attend meetings of the LPNY State Committee, and to represent the CCLP and vote at said meetings with the best interests of the CCLP as prime consideration. The State Representative can be removed for cause by a majority vote at a regular meeting of the CCLP if the Representative fails to attend two consecutive meetings of the State Committee or fails to provide a written or oral report of the State Committee activities at two consecutive regular meetings of the CCLP Governing Body.
C. Elections. An election shall be held at the annual convention for each office above, in which those elected must receive a majority of the votes cast. Nominations shall be from the floor; nominating committees shall not be permitted.
D. Incomplete Elections. In the event that an election to fill any party office cannot be held due to the inability to convene a convention or gather a quorum to vote at any convention, a special convention shall be called for the purpose of electing a new officer as soon as practicable.
E. Terms and Vacancy. Party officers shall serve until the close of the convention at which their successor is elected or until such time as they resign or are removed from office or are no longer able to serve. Officers may be removed from office as provided in the parliamentary authority. A vacancy in the office of Chair shall be filled by succession of the Vice Chair. A vacancy in any other office shall be filled by the County Committee.
F. Eligibility. Party officers shall be members of the Libertarian Party.
Article V: Conventions
A. The CCLP shall hold an annual convention between January 1 and July 31 of each year, the location and precise hour of which shall be determined by the County Committee.
B. Special conventions may be called at any time for any particular purpose by either (1) the County Committee, or (2) anyone who makes a written request to the Chair or Secretary which specifies who is calling the special convention and for what purpose and is signed by twenty-five percent (25%) of the current members in good standing. Only subjects which directly relate to the purpose for which the special convention is called may be considered at any special convention.
C. Notice shall be sent to each member not less than ten (10) nor more than sixty (60) days in advance of any convention. Such notice shall include the date, time and location of the convention, and, for special conventions, shall also include who is calling the special convention and for what purpose. Attendance without protest at any convention by any member shall constitute a waiver of notice, as shall the signing of a waiver of notice before or after the convention.
D. Conventions shall be held within Chautauqua County, except annual conventions held jointly with the LPNY or with any County Organization as defined in the rules of the LPNY may be held in any county adjacent by road to Chautauqua County.
E. To be entitled to be credentialed to vote at any convention, one must be a member of the Libertarian Party. Each voting member shall be entitled to one vote. The presiding officer shall not vote except on ballots and when his vote will change the outcome. No voting by proxy will be permitted.
F. In any ballot vote in which the required number of candidates do not receive the requisite number of votes, another round of voting shall be held in which the candidates who received the lowest vote totals and whose combined vote totals would not have changed the outcome shall be dropped from the ballot. If there are no such candidates, then the candidate who received the lowest vote total shall be dropped from the ballot, unless there is a tie for lowest vote total, in which case no candidate shall be dropped from the ballot. Any voting member may demand that any election or endorsement be held by ballot vote.
G. In every election and endorsement vote, “none of the above” (NOTA) shall be a valid choice. Any nominee out polled by NOTA on any round of voting shall be ineligible for the position for the remainder of the convention.
H. The convention shall have the authority to appoint special committees as necessary to carry out its intent.
I. Quorum at any convention shall consist of the greater of:
- twenty percent (20%) of the number of enrolled members in good standing registered for the
- fifty percent (50%) of voting body.
Article VI: County Committee
A. Powers and Duties. All executive authority to which a private organization is entitled, and which is not limited by these rules, the bylaws of the LPNY, or applicable law, shall be vested in the County Committee, subject to the direction of the membership as expressed at conventions.
B. Members. The County Committee shall consist of the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer, and all dues- enrolled members present at the meeting. Each member of the County Committee shall be entitled to a single vote, including the presiding officer. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members of the County Committee, including at least two officers.
C. Meetings. The County Committee shall meet at least once annually, at the close of the annual convention. Meetings of the County Committee held in person must be held in Chautauqua County, except for the meeting held at the close of the annual convention. Meetings may be held by telephone or other electronic means.
D. Notice. Meetings may be called by (1) the Chair, (2) the County Committee, or (3) a written request submitted to the Chair or Secretary signed by one-third (1/3) of the members of the County Committee. The Secretary shall notify each member of the County Committee of any meeting at least five (5) days in advance, unless emergency circumstances dictate otherwise. Attendance without protest at any meeting shall constitute a waiver of notice, as shall the signing of a waiver of notice before or after the meeting.
E. Candidate Support. The County Committee shall not have the authority to expend any funds in support of any candidate for public office not endorsed in accordance with these rules.
F. Conflict of Interest. The County Committee shall not have the authority to lend money to any officer or to otherwise engage in a material commercial transaction with any officer without approval in each case of a majority of the disinterested enrolled members of the County Committee, after full disclosure of all material facts pertaining to the transaction.
G. Committees. The County Committee shall have the authority to appoint officers and standing or special committees as necessary to carry out its functions.
H. Transparency. All meetings of the County Committee shall be open to observation by all enrolled members in good standing, limited only by the need for orderly meetings. Any such member who expresses interest must be informed of meetings held by telephone or other electronic means.
Article VII: Endorsements
A. Jurisdiction. Candidates for public office whose jurisdiction lies partly or entirely within Chautauqua County may be endorsed by two-thirds (2/3) vote of a convention.
B. By County Committee. Such candidates may also be endorsed by three-fourths (3/4) vote of the County Committee, except that candidates running for offices to be voted on at the general election may not be endorsed by the County Committee prior to that year’s annual convention.
C. Withdrawal. The CCLP may withdraw its endorsement of any candidate for public office by special convention or for cause by three-fourths (3/4) vote of the County Committee.
D. Any candidate for public office must assert that he will not publicly advocate any position that is contrary to the principles and objectives of the Libertarian Party. No candidate for public office who is enrolled with a party other than the Libertarian Party may be endorsed by less than unanimous consent.
Article VIII: Town Committees
A. Chartering Town Committees
- The County Committee shall charter any Town/City/Village Committees (hereafter: “Town Committee(s)”) which meets all of the requirements stated in this article. No more than one Town Committee may be chartered in any one Town. The County Committee may revoke the charter of any Town Committee if and only if it fails to live up to its requirements under the County rules.
- Upon the request of any CCLP member residing in a Town in which there is no chartered Town Committee, the County Committee shall appoint some CCLP member residing in that Town to take the position of Acting Town Chair. The purpose of such appointment is to secure a contact person around whom a Town Committee may be formed. The County Committee may remove or replace any Acting Town Chair whom it does not deem to be performing his or her function satisfactorily.
- The geographical unit applying to become a Town Committee must have held a meeting attended by at least four (4) enrolled members residing therein, and a good faith attempt must have been made in advance to inform all enrolled members residing therein of the time and place of said meeting. No enrolled member residing in that geographical unit shall be denied the right to attend said meeting or join such Town Committee should it be chartered.
- In the case of multiple residences, the person who resides in more than one place shall be the only person to decide which place or residence to claim for purposes of joining, voting in a meeting of, or otherwise associating with a Town Organization, except that no person shall claim more than one place of residence in the same ninety (90) day period.
C. Rights of Chartered Town Committees
- Town Committees shall elect their own officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary) to serve one (1) year terms and are elected at a meeting held annually.
- Town Committees may set membership dues, raise funds, have a bank account, and establish criteria for candidate endorsement.
- Town Committees shall endorse any candidate for public office whose precinct is entirely within the chartered geographic area as long as it follows the County Rules.
D. Other Matters
- A Town Committee may continue in existence as long as it observes all requirements herein stated and in addition consists of at least four (4) members.
- The chair of any Town Committee must be an enrolled member.
- Any decisions not forbidden to the town Organizations in the CCLP By-Laws shall be reserved to the Town Organizations respectively, or to the individual members.
Article IX: Resolutions
Resolutions of the CCLP may be made by two-thirds (2/3) vote of a convention.
Article X: Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these rules and any special rules of order the CCLP may adopt.
Article XI: Amendment of Rules
These rules may be amended by either of the following procedures:
A. The County Committee may propose amendments to the rules for consideration at the annual convention. Written notice including the text of the proposed amendments and the provisions of the rules to be amended shall be sent to each member not less than ten (10) nor more than sixty (60) days in advance of the annual convention. Amendments shall be adopted upon two-thirds (2/3) vote of the convention. Amendments shall take effect at the end of the convention unless accompanied by a proviso to the contrary.
B. A special convention may be called to amend the rules, the notice of which shall include the text of the proposed amendments and the provisions of the rules to be amended. Amendments shall be adopted upon two-thirds (2/3) vote of the convention. Amendments shall take effect at the end of the convention unless accompanied by a proviso to the contrary.
C. A special meeting may be called to amend the rules in the period proceeding the 2020 primary for purposes of preparing the transition to a constituted committee. Notice shall be given to a minimum of CCLP supporting members not less than ten (10) days prior to the special meeting.
D. The text of properly disseminated proposed amendments to these rules may be altered at the meeting by a simple verbal consent of all County Committee members present.