George Washington Liberty Caucus

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George Washington Liberty Caucus
LPGWC.jpg
Type: Caucus
Established: August 4, 2019
Facebook: Facebook
Twitter: Twitter
Instagram: Instagram

The George Washington Liberty Caucus is a national Libertarian Party Caucus established in 2019 to promote the virtues of brotherhood, charity, and responsibility within the Libertarian Party and out in the world, and to encourage interest in Freemasonry. The GWLC is not sanctioned, endorsed, or sponsored by any Grand Lodge.

History

The Caucus was founded on August 4, 2019 by Anthony Pellegrino, Marcus Baker, Jason Loveland, Charlie Larkin, and other Libertarian Freemasons. According to the Facebook page, the Caucus is "Named for our First President and esteemed brother Mason, we are a caucus within the Libertarian Party who seeks to apply the principles of Freemasonry as they apply to the profane world, through political activity when needed."

The founding date is significant because on August 4, 1753, President George Washington was raised to the degree of Master Mason, the highest rank in Freemasonry, in his hometown of Fredericksburg, Virginia, at the age of twenty-one. On the 266th anniversary of this event, the Caucus held their inaugural teleconference to reinvigorate Americans’ passion for their history, inspire the virtues of Friendship and Brotherly Love among Libertarians, and advocate for the “great experiment” of independence.

Due to the Covid19 epidemic panic of 2020, the previously scheduled George Washington Liberty Caucus National Convention which was supposed to take place in Austin, Texas, adjacent to the Libertarian National Convention, was held remotely on Saturday, May 30th. Attendance for the Convention was up over 50% from the Inaugural Meeting the previous year and most of the Executive Committee was reelected.

Officers

Past Officers

The inaugural slate of officers, ie: “the Executive Committee” is composed of a Chairman (Anthony Pellegrino), a 1st and 2nd Vice Chairman (Jason Loveland and Dustin Tait), and a Secretary who also fills the role of Treasurer (Charlie Larkin). The officers were first voted into their respective positions during the Inaugural Teleconference on August 4th, 2019. On May 30th, 2020, all Executive Committee positions were up for re-election. Chairman Anthony Pellegrino, himself a lifetime Libertarian Party Member, ran and won on a platform of removing the Bylaw which required Officers to be members of the National Libertarian Party.

Mission Statement

Caucus Statement of Affiliations

The George Washington Liberty Caucus is not affiliated with any Grand Lodge of Masons in any way. We do not seek endorsement from, or affiliation with any Grand Lodge, although, we will eagerly work with any Masonic body that requests our assistance, when we are able.

The George Washington Liberty Caucus is guided by the following principles

  • The promotion of liberty for all and of the other common ideals shared between the Liberty Movement and the Masonic Fraternity.
  • The promotion of the Liberty Movement among our Brothers and of Freemasonry as a civic extension of that movement.
  • The promotion of Brotherhood and Charity as requisite to the promotion of Liberty, and that with Liberty, people are free to associate as they see fit.

The charitable work of the George Washington Liberty Caucus consists of

  • Giving funds to Masonic charitable organizations that promote the general welfare of Mankind.
  • Offering relief to a worthy Brother Mason, his widow, and/or orphan(s), or others as deemed qualified through the Caucus application process for Charitable Giving.
  • Giving funds to organizations not related to Masonry that act to promote virtues compatible with Masonry, including but not limited to, relief of the needy, promotion of education and the diffusion of knowledge, and advocacy for human liberty.

The political work of the George Washington Liberty Caucus consists of

  • The pursuit of justice in governance and economic and civil liberties through education, activism, and research.
  • Public recognition of individuals both in the private and government sector who share the goal of Liberty and providing commentary on proposed policies or established law.
  • The promotion of the George Washington Liberty Caucus Platform.

Structure

The Executive Committee is the name of the body of Brothers who bear the responsibility of action for the organization. These members also exclusively comprise the Bylaws Committee, which proposes the rules which the Caucus votes to either accept or reject.

Active Committees

Convention Committee

The first Committee after the Executive Committee that was created under the Caucus was the Convention Committee. The George Washington Liberty Caucus Convention Committee (the Committee) will serve by providing accommodations for the Caucus to hold the George Washington Liberty Caucus National Convention (the GWLC Convention). The duties of the Committee are to determine all non-agenda-related aspects of the GWLC Convention, including its date, time and location; to determine whether any decisions related to national conventions should become bylaws of the Caucus, presenting motions as necessary; to approve, reject, or plan all GWLC convention-adjacent proposed events, creating subcommittees as necessary; and other duties to be determined.

Outreach Committee

The third Committee created under the Caucus was the Outreach Committee. The George Washington Liberty Caucus Outreach Committee (the Committee) will serve by finding and creating opportunities for us as Members and Brothers to represent our Caucus; by promoting the the Caucus, its goals and merits, to our audience via social media, radio and podcasting, print, and through other means. The duties of the Committee are to increase social media engagement; to increase attendance at Caucus meetings and events; to increase Caucus membership by attracting Brothers into the Caucus and fostering interest in the Fraternity among free-thinking, noble theists; to determine whether any decisions related to Outreach should become bylaws of the Caucus, presenting motions as necessary; and other duties to be determined.

Vetting Committee

The fourth Committee created under the Caucus was the Vetting Committee. The George Washington Liberty Caucus Platform Committee (the Committee) will serve by creating and maintaining the political platform of the Caucus. The duties of the Committee are to receive and consider plank recommendations for incorporation into the political platform of the Caucus; to propose planks to the Caucus at the meeting immediately following the drafting of the same; to determine whether any decisions related to the platform or individual planks should become bylaws of the Caucus; and other duties to be determined.

Mission Statement Committee

The fifth Committee created under the Caucus was the Mission Statement Committee. The George Washington Liberty Caucus Mission Statement Committee (the Committee) will serve by creating the official Mission Statement of the Caucus. The duties of the Committee are to form all necessary mission statements and to propose them to the Caucus for adoption and use; to determine whether any decisions related to the mission statement of the Caucus should become bylaws of the Caucus, presenting motions as necessary; and other duties to be determined.

The official Mission Statement of the Caucus was voted on and approved at the 11th Regular Meeting on March 29th, 2020, and can be found here.

Bylaws Committee

The sixth Committee created under the Caucus was the Bylaws Committee. The George Washington Liberty Caucus Bylaws Committee (the Committee) will serve by implementing the bylaws which govern the rules and procedures of the Caucus. The duties of the Committee are to respond to motions to propose bylaws using the bylaw proposal procedure; to receive reports of bylaws violations from the Secretary, report to the Caucus a plan of action to be taken to re-mediate any bylaw violations, and act accordance with this reported plan of action; and other duties to be determined.

Scorecard Committee

The seventh Committee created under the Caucus was the Scorecard Committee. The George Washington Liberty Caucus Scorecard Committee (the Committee) will serve by scoring candidates for office, incumbent elected officials, policies, and policy proposals when appropriate.

The duties of the Committee are to create a system for scoring individuals and public policies; to receive recommendations for scoring by the Caucus; to research and verify all factors to be considered in the scoring of any particular recommendation; to submit all findings and scores to the Caucus at the meeting immediately following the conclusion of a scoring; to determine whether any decisions related to scoring should become bylaws of the Caucus; and other duties to be determined.

Platform Committee

The ninth Committee created under the Caucus was the Platform Committee. The George Washington Liberty Caucus Platform Committee (the Committee) will serve by creating and maintaining the political platform of the Caucus.

The duties of the Committee are to receive and consider plank recommendations for incorporation into the political platform of the Caucus; to propose planks to the Caucus at the meeting immediately following the drafting of the same; to determine whether any decisions related to the platform or individual planks should become bylaws of the Caucus; and other duties to be determined.

Formed Committees

Blue Lodge Committee

The eighth Committee created under the Caucus was the Blue Lodge Committee.

Bylaws

Membership Requirements

1. Members are required to be dues-paying members of a regular Grand Lodge in the United States in mutual amity recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England, including regular Prince Hall Grand Lodges.

2. Caucus dues are waived until the 2020 Convention.

2. a. If collecting dues becomes possible before the May 30th, 2020, Convention, all Members will be required to pay dues of $25 to participate. This contribution will also qualify as their dues until May 23rd, 2021.

3. Annual dues shall be $25.00 thereafter until dues are modified through the existing Bylaws process.

4. Members who joined after the adoption of the Mission Statement on March 29th, 2020, are required to sign the Membership Agreement. All members will be required to have signed the Membership Agreement to participate in the May 23rd, 2020, Convention and to maintain their membership for the following year.

4. a. Membership until the May 2020 Convention has been granted to all members of the Free & Accepted Libertarians Facebook group as of the date of the Inaugural Caucus Meeting which took place on August 4th, 2019. This temporary Membership does not require the Member to sign the Membership Agreement.

Membership Privileges

1. Any Brother who satisfies the first requirement for membership may be present during Regular Caucus meetings, however, only Members may participate and vote. Only members of the Caucus may be present and participate during all other official business meetings, unless otherwise stated.

2. Membership may be suspended at any time to a Member who no longer satisfies the criteria for membership. Membership may also be suspended or revoked for actions deemed un-Masonic, coercive, treasonous, or which threaten the reputation of the Caucus.

3. Membership suspension requires a Motion for suspension made by another Member, followed by a hearing of the Executive Committee, and written charges stating the reason or reasons for suspension. Upon a 3/5ths vote of the Executive Committee, the Member so charged shall be immediately suspended from the Caucus. The suspended Member may not be reinstated in any way until he meets the criteria for membership.

4. If a suspended Member meets the criteria for membership, he shall have 30 days to appeal to the Executive Committee of the Caucus. If a notice of appeal is not received by the Secretary within 30 days, the suspended Brother shall be immediately and automatically removed from membership indefinitely.

5. If a suspended Brother appeals his suspension, the Chairman must call a special meeting of the Executive Committee with the suspended Brother or a proxy designated by the suspended Brother who fulfills the first requirement for Caucus membership present to be held within 30 days after the receipt by the Secretary of the notice of appeal for the purpose of hearing arguments and presenting evidence.

6. If a suspension is sustained by a 3/5ths vote of the Executive Committee to be taken before the close of the special meeting with the suspended Brother, the arguments and evidence must be collected and presented to the body of the Caucus during a hearing no less than 30 days after the special meeting for the purpose of overruling or sustaining the decision of the Executive Committee.

7. The body of the Caucus must be notified via the traditional means of communication of the date, time, and means to participate in a suspension hearing no less than 30 days prior.

8. A confidential ballot of 3/5ths of those present at a suspension hearing voting to “overrule” instead of “sustain” shall be necessary to overrule the decision of the Executive Committee.

9. If the body of the Caucus votes to overrule the suspension by the Executive Committee, the suspension will be sustained until the first vote by an Officer to honor the overruling of the Caucus is cast.

10. If the Executive Committee does not unanimously reject the overruling by the Caucus, the Brother shall immediately and automatically be fully reinstated as a Member of the Caucus.

11. If such decision is not overruled then it shall be deemed sustained, and the Brother shall immediately and automatically be removed from membership indefinitely.


Committees

1. In order to create a Committee, a motion must be made, seconded, and approved by a vote of 3/5ths of the Caucus at a regular scheduled conference.

2. Committee Conference calls which last 1.5 hours require a motion to be made and approved by a 3/5ths vote in order to continue.

3. Committees reserve the right to create subcommittees and to populate those subcommittees with Members as necessary.

4. If in the event a Committee supports a motion requiring immediate action or support from the Caucus, the Committee Members may vote to hold an Emergency Remote Ballot. If the Committee members in attendance unanimously vote to hold an Emergency Remote Ballot, they will be required to collect the votes from the voting Members of the Caucus. If 3/5th of the voting Members of the Caucus vote in favor of the Emergency Remote Ballot, it shall be adopted by the Caucus.

Executive Committee

1. The name of this organization shall be The George Washington Liberty Caucus, or GWLC.

2. Candidates for an officer position within the Caucus must be a current member of the National Libertarian Party, and meet any one or more of the following criteria: Libertarian voter registration status, membership in a state, county, city, or town Libertarian Party.

3. The 1st Vice Chairman is responsible for carrying out the duties of the Chairman in his absence, the responsibilities of the 1st Vice Chairman falling on the 2nd Vice Chairman. In the event of the absence of the Chairman and the 1st Vice Chairman, the 2nd Vice Chairman becomes responsible for carrying out the duties of the Chairman.

4. The Secretary is responsible for carrying out the duties of Secretary as well as those of the Treasurer, and will serve as the Acting Treasurer. If unable to do so, the Secretary/Acting Treasurer may appoint a temporary replacement, whom can be rejected only by a motion by the Chairman, seconded by either the 1st or 2nd Vice Chairman.

5. Any Officer of the Executive Committee may be removed from office on the same grounds and by the same procedure set forth, however that procedure shall be known as an impeachment proceeding, and an impeachment proceeding and a proceeding for removal of the Officer as a Member of the Caucus may be combined in one proceeding.

6. All officer positions serve for a term of 2 years beginning with the second election of officers, which will take place in May of 2020 in Austin, TX.

Bylaws Committee

1. Bylaw proposals must receive 3/5th vote within the Bylaws Committee in order to be brought to a vote to the Caucus.

2. Any bylaw proposal having earned at least 3/5th of the vote within the Bylaws Committee must be brought to a vote before the Caucus at the next regular Caucus meeting and earn at least 3/5th of the vote from the body of the Caucus to be become a bylaw of the Caucus.

3. Official discussions and vote totals of the Bylaws Committee may not be withheld from the Members of the Caucus.

5. All votes cast in favor of a Bylaw Proposal since amended need to be recast to be counted unless the amendment is rescinded.

6. The Bylaws Committee is made up of the Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, 1st Vice Chairman, and 2nd Vice Chairman.

Mission Statement Committee

1. Statement proposals must receive 3/5th vote within the Mission Statement Committee to be brought to a vote before the Caucus.

2. Any proposed Statement having earned at least 3/5th of the vote within the Mission Statement Committee must be brought to a vote before the Caucus at the next scheduled Regular Caucus Meeting and earn at least 3/5th of the vote voting Members in attendance in order to become an Official Statement of the Caucus.

Finance Committee

1. The Chairman, 1st Vice Chairman, and 2nd Vice Chairman are ex officio members of the Finance Committee

Vetting Committee

1. Prospective members must submit a photocopy of their dues card to the Vetting Committee including a portrait photo.

2. The Vetting Committee will carry out their duties by collecting voluntarily submitted photocopies of members’ authentic dues cards on an annual basis into the archive of the Caucus, including a portrait photo of the member.

3. The Secretary is an ex officio member of the Vetting Committee.

Blue Lodge Committee

1. The Chairman and 1st Vice Chairman are ex officio members of the Blue Lodge Committee.

Scorecard Committee

1. The Secretary is an ex officio member of the Scorecard Committee

2. Scorecard Committee score or endorsements must receive 3/5th vote within the Scorecard Committee to be brought to a vote before the Caucus.

3. Any proposed score or endorsement having earned at least 3/5th of the vote within the Scorecard Committee must be brought to a vote before the Caucus at the next scheduled Regular Caucus Meeting and earn at least 3/5th of the vote from voting Members in attendance in order to become an Official Scoring or Endorsement of the Caucus.


Convention Committee

1. The Holy Bible must be present and open on the 3rd Degree, or Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 during all National Conventions and during official in-person Caucus business meetings.

External Links