Document:Minutes of the National Convention 1-3 September 1989

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A. Officers and Personnel

B. Committees

Credentials Committee

Elected by National Committee

Elected by the five largest state parties

Also elected, but not attending were

Bylaws and Rules Committee

Platform Committee

Elected by National Committee

Selected by the ten largest state parties

Also elected but not attending were

C. Credentials Report

The Credentials Committee convened at 10:25 a.m. on August 30, 1989 at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The committee unanimously elected Dean Ahmad committee chairman and Gary Johnson as committee secretary. The committee reviewed state by state the source material sent in by the affiliates giving the names and addresses and/or rules for their delegates and alternates. It discussed applicable sections of the Party Bylaws and Convention Rules in relation to its work.

44 delegate lists were accepted as having been timely submitted.

4 affiliates sent in no delegate/alternate information in violation of the Bylaws: Articles 11, Section 6, Delegate Allocation, last paragraph.

The following 3 affiliates sent in delegate/alternate information late (i.e., after Aug. 1, 1989) in violation of the Bylaws--Article 11, Section 6, Delegate Allocation, last paragraph: Arkansas, Missouri, Rhode Island.

The job of the Credentials Committee is to implement the Bylaws pertaining to it; the Committee has no authority to credential state delegations not in conformity with the Party Bylaws. Therefore the committee instructed the registrar at the Credentials Desk not to credential delegate/alternates from the above listed states. At the recommendation of the committee, however, the convention suspended the rules for the purpose of seating these delegates.

For those delegations which we have seated, we have accepted the lists submitted by the affiliate parties, as amended by the affiliate parties, with the following exceptions:

Due to a technical error by the Credentials Committee John Robertson of Norman OK was not credentialled by the Credentials Committee as a delegate from California. Ahmad asked for a technical correction which was approved by unanimous consent.

The following persons were not credentialled because no address was given for them, in violation of Article 11, Section 6: Dil Bini (VT), Sean Breen (VT), Donna Bini (VT), and Dana Johnson (VT).

A credentials report was given at the beginning of the general session on Friday, Sept. 1 and a report of the maximum number eligible to vote was given at the opening of each morning and afternoon session throughout the convention. Attached is a tabulation of delegates state by state, showing (1) the total number (excluding ex-officio) allocated to each party, (2) the total of all delegates and alternates who actually registered by the end of the convention, and (3) the maximum number of eligible votes at the beginning of each session. (See Appendix I).

Throughout the meeting various delegations called for a suspension of the rules to amend their delegation lists. All such amendments were approved and the registrar's list amended to conform, except for an attempt on the last day to which there was an objection.

A complete list of delegates and alternates is given in Appendix II. Those who actually registered are indicated by a check mark in the last column.

D. Treasurer's Report

Steve Fielder delivered an oral report. Fielder reported that the Party has been completely out of debt since the end of April and that no FEC fines or penalties have been incurred since Sam Treynor assumed the Treasurership. Fielder answered questions from the floor. A. Clark (CA) moved to postpone approval of Treasurer's Report until all delegates have copy of the report, which should be delivered at the earliest opportunity. The motion passed on a voice vote, but no copies were delivered nor was the report taken from the table.

E. Bylaws and Rules Amendments

Bergland assumed the Chair during the Bylaws debate. David Nolan presented the report. The Bylaws and Rules Committee met on August 29 and 30, and presented their recommendations to the Convention on Sept. 1. Proposals were debated and sometimes amended from the floor.

The following amendments to the Bylaws and Rules were adopted:

  1. Article 8, Section 7: [Move to beginning and renumber accordingly. Insert after the word "Bylaws":] The Libertarian National Committee shall establish and oversee an organizational structure to implement the purposes of the Party as stated in Article 3.
  2. Article 8, Section 1 (b): [Delete section, and renumber following sections accordingly]
  3. Article 8, Section 1 (d): [Replace "5" with "10"]
  4. Article 8, Section 1 (d): [After the word "representative" insert:] and one alternate
  5. Article 8, Section 1 (c); Rule 11: [Replace the word "seven" with "five."]
  6. Article 6: [Insert after "Columbia" in Section 2:] hereinafter, state. [Replace "organization" with "Party" in Section 2] [Insert after "Principles" in Section 2:] and file a copy of their Constitution and/or Bylaws with the National Secretary. [Delete ", territory, or the District of Columbia" from Section 3]
  7. Rule 1, Item 5: [Add:] (Non-nominating conventions only)
  8. Rule 1, Item 6: [Add:] (At non-Presidential nominating conventions only deletions may be considered).
  9. Rule 1, Item 7 and Rule 8; Article 5: [Delete Rule 1, Section 7 and renumber the following rules accordingly and transfer Rule 8 from convention rules to Bylaws as a new Article 5, "Libertarian Party Program" with the following changes: Replace Section 1 with: "(a) The National Committee shall adopt and report the LP Program to the membership." Replace "Convention" in Section 2 with "Committee". Replace "a draft program to the National Committee at least 210 days before the first day of the Convention" in Section 3 with "draft program planks to the National Committee" Replace Subsection 4 with "Motions to approve planks require a 2/3 vote of the entire National Committee."]
  10. Rule 10, Section 2: [Replace "four" with "two"]
  11. Article 12 (formerly 11), Section 4: [Replace Paragraph (a) with: " a. One delegate for each 20 members or fraction thereof, of the National Party (at least one such delegate must be a resident of that state); plus] [Delete Paragraph (b) and renumber subsequent paragraph]
  12. Article 16 (formerly 15), [Add:] A copy of these Bylaws and Convention Rules shall be provided to each member of the National Committee, each member of the Judicial Committee and each Chair of an affiliate party within 90 days of adoption.
  13. Article 9 (formerly 8), Section 9: [Delete the rest of the sentence after "Secretary"]
  14. Article 9 (formerly 8), Section 9: [Insert, after "Secretary":] The Secretary shall establish procedures for identifying voters in a mail ballot, and may accept votes through any mail system, including facsimile and electronic mail, for which such procedures have been established. Votes from alternate regional representatives will be counted, in accordance with the ranking procedure of the region, only if the regional representative fails to respond to the ballot.
  15. Article 9 (formerly 8), Section 1: [Replace "seven" with "five"]
  16. Article 10 (formerly 9), Section 1: [Replace "five" with "seven"]
  17. Article 10 (formerly 9), Section 3: [Replace "The Judicial Committee shall submit the Rules of Appellate Procedure to the National Committee" in the second sentence with "The existing Rules shall remain in effect until and unless the Judicial Committee submits new proposed rules to the National Committee"]

Bylaws and Rules Committee proposals which failed to receive the necessary approval by the convention were:

  1. Addition of a new Section 2 to Article 8 to authorize the Executive Committee and mandate that it make written reports to the National Committee.
  2. Amendment of Article 12, Section 2 to make signing a contract with the National Committee a prerequisite for eligibility as LP candidate for President.
  3. Amendment of Article 6, Section 5 to require affiliate parties to maintain a minimum National membership of 10 to retain affiliation.
  4. Amendment of Article 11, Section 3 to require all convention delegates be members of the Party.
  5. Amendment to eliminate the Presidential election bonus delegates to the convention by deleting Article 11, Section 4(c)

An attempt to suspend the rules to consider additional amendments failed to receive the necessary approval by the convention.

F. Platform Amendments

David Bergland assumed the chair for the Platform debate. Steve Givot presented the report. The Platform Committee met on August 29 and 30 and submitted their recommendations to the Convention on Sept. 2. As many proposals as time permitted were debated and sometimes amended from the floor before being voted upon. The following amendments to the Platform were adopted:

    • 5. Justice for the Individual: [Replace "the rights" with "exercising their rights"]
    • 8. Government and Mental Health: [Replace "community" in Subsection d with "tax- supported community"]
    • 11. The Right to Property: [Delete "recent" from the fourth paragraph]
    • 17. Immigration: [Replace "wouldpunish" with "punish" in the third sentence]
    • 1. Colonialism: [Delete the comma after "them" in the second sentence]
    • 1. Energy: [Replace "as" with "to be" in the fourth paragraph]
    • 7. Poverty and Unemployment: [Replace "privacy-invading" with "invasion of privacy" in the fourth paragraph]
    • 9. Resource Use: [Replace "private use, voluntary transfer of water rights, or of the" with "private use or voluntary transfer of water rights or" in the second paragraph] [Replace "Engineer's" with "Engineers'" in the third paragraph]
    • 3. Inflation and Depression: [Replace clause d of the last paragraph with "d. the elimination of laws setting margin requirements on purchases and sales of securities;"]
    • 5. Government Debt: [Replace "over-ride" with "override" in clause a of the first paragraph]
    • 7. Subsidies: [Replace "interest" in the first sentence of the second paragraph with "interests"]
    • 6. Transportation: [Replace "the federally imposed 55 mph speed limit" at the end of the last paragraph with "federally imposed speed limits."]
    • 2. Taxation: [Insert before the last paragraph:] We oppose any and all increases in the rate of taxation or categories of taxpayers, including the elimination of deductions, exemptions, or credits in the spurious name of "fairness," simplicity," or alleged "neutrality to the free market." No tax can ever be fair, simple, or neutral to the free market.
    • 6. Public Utilities: [Insert "cable television," after "natural gas," in the first sentence]
    • 19. Women's Rights: Women's Rights and Abortion [Instead of adding a new plank on Abortion Rights, the convention voted to change the title of the section on "Women's Rights" to "Women's Rights and Abortion"]
    • 22. The War on Drugs [Add a new plank:] The so-called "War on Drugs" is a grave threat to individual liberty, to domestic order and to peace in the world; furthermore, it has provided a rationale by which the power of the state has been expanded to restrict greatly our right to privacy and to be secure in our homes. We call for the repeal of all laws establishing criminal or civil penalties for the use of drugs and of "anti-crime" measures restricting individual rights to be secure in our persons, homes, and property, or limiting our rights to keep and bear arms.
    • 9. Freedom of Communication: [Delete the word "legislative" from the third sentence of the sixth paragraph]
    • 15. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms: [Insert "or requiring" after "restricting" in the 1st sentence]
    • 2. Central America; Latin America: [Rename the Central America Plank "Latin America" and replace the first four paragraphs with: "We oppose the current thrust by the U.S. government to establish American political control over the Western Hemisphere and its growing involvement in internal conflicts in Latin America and the Caribbean. Specifically, we oppose the continuing U.S. campaigns to overthrow the government of Nicaragua; to intervene in the internal politics of Panama to overthrow its ruler; to fight 'drug wars' in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and Columbia; and to prop up the government of El Salvador by sending in military personnel and foreign aid."]
    • 3. The Middle East: [Delete the last paragraph]
    • 4. China: [Add new final paragraph:] We support the aspirations of the Chinese people to free themselves from their oppressive government, and we look forward to the day when both personal and

economic liberties are respected in that country.

    • 5. Southern Africa: [Replace the current plank with:] We oppose apartheid as a fundamental violation of individual rights. At the same time, we applaud efforts by Africans of all races to free themselves from governments that deny them economic and personal freedom. However, since we believe in the right of free trade without the interference of any government, we oppose any mandatory sanctions against Americans doing business with South Africans or buying their products. The imposition of sanctions violates the free market and causes unemployment of black South Africans, the same people the U.S. government has stated it intends to help through this legislations. We recognize that foreign business and trade has in many cases undermined apartheid and helped improve the standard of living of blacks, coloreds, and Indians. Nevertheless, we believe that opponents of apartheid and of South African regime may choose to cease their business activities in South Africa or organize voluntary boycotts against South Africa (or any other nation) if they so desire.
    • 2. Pollution: [Replace "permit continued degradation of the environment and continued violations of individual rights. 'public property'" in the first paragraph with "block privatisation of the use of the environment and hence block resolution of controversies over resource use."
    • 8. Health Care: [Replace "prescription requirements" in the last sentence of the third paragraph with "laws requiring prescriptions" and insert a new third paragraph:] Since a person's body is his or her own property, we favor repeal of the existing prohibition on the commercial sale and purchase of body parts.

The following recommendations from the Platform Committee failed:

  1. A motion to add a new abortion rights plank was replaced by substitute motion 15 above.
  2. A motion to add a new plank on Military Forces was tabled.
  3. A motion to add a new plank on Military Alliances was tabled.
  4. A motion to add a new plank on Offensive Weapons and Nuclear.

Deterrence was tabled.

Time expired before action could be taken on the other proposals of the Platform Committee.

Motions to suspend the rules to consider various other changes to the platform were all defeated.

G. LP Program Committee Report

T. Brown (CA) moved that the rules be suspended to permit the Program to be handled by the NatCom in the manner specified by the newly adopted Bylaws. The motion passed on a voice vote.

H. Election of National Committee Officers, Members, and Alternates and Judicial Committee Members


David Bergland assumed the chair for this item. The order of nominations was determined by lot. Robert Waldrop (UT) nominated Robert Murphy (OK). Darlene Brinks and Dottie Lou Brokaw seconded the nomination. Andre Marrou (NV) nominated David Walter (PA). Karl Hess (WV) and David Nolan (CA) seconded the nomination. Ron Paul (TX) nominated Matt Monroe (TX). Alicia Clark (CA) and Murray Rothbard (NV) seconded the nomination. Cullene Lang (CA) nominated None of the Above.

The results of the balloting were Walter 149, Monroe 64, Murphy 49, None-of- the-Above 34. Walter was declared the winner.


David Walter resumed the chair. The order of nominations was determined by lot.

  • David Walter (PA) nominated Mary Gingell]] (CA). Karen Allard]] (WA)and Tonie Nathan (OR) seconded the nomination.

The results of the balloting were Gingell 176, Iddings 62, Manhart 42, None of the Above 6. Gingell was declared the winner.


The order of nominations was determined by lot.

The results of the balloting were Dehn 162, Sapowsky-Smith 90, None of the Above 11. Dehn was declared the winner.


Steve Fielder's nomination was uncontested. Fielder was elected on a voice vote.

At-Large Members

The order of nominations was chaotic.

The results of the balloting were Ahmad 188, Redpath 151, Segal 127, Alexander 125, Black 125, Walsh 122, Turney 78, Johnson 63, and None of the Above 13. Ahmad, Redpath, Segal, Alexander, and Black were declared elected.

Regional Representatives

A 20-minute break was called for Regional Caucuses. The following regional alignments and their election results are recognized:


  • Alabama remained unaffiliated with any region.

Judicial Committee

The results of the ballot were: Nolan 113, Clark 112, Walsh 94, White 86, Smith 80, Turin 60, Dean 56, Dillon 49, McEwen 40, Bowden 33, Martin 32, None of the Above 7. Nolan, Clark, Walsh, White, Smith, Turin and Dean were declared elected.

I. Resolutions

Time expired before reaching this part of the Convention.

J. Other Business

Time expired before reaching this part of the Convention.


Credentials Statistics

Not attached.

List of Delegates and Alternates

Not attached.

State-by-State Voting Records

Not attached.


The convention adjourned at 3:40 p.m. on Sunday Sept. 3, 1989.

Respectfully submitted, I. Dean Ahmad