Summary of the Fifth Bylaws Committee Conference Call

We held our fifth Texas Liberty Campaign bylaws conference call tonight. (Here’s the drafting subcommittee’s report from which we’re drawing.)

The first business of the night was to consider Article VII on parliamentary authority, which we unanimously adopted as written.

The second motion was to adopt Article IX Section I, concerning ratification, as adopted. The question was whether the bylaws approved at the upcoming state convention should be ratified on an up-down vote by senate districts or should SDs be permitted to conditionally ratify. We OK’d an amendment explicitly limiting ratification to a yes-or-no vote. There was talk of default ratification if a senate district did not take any action, but some felt that set a bad precedent. Then, there was talk of delaying ratification until after the first regular state convention. There was not action taken on this.

The main motion to adopt the section as amended was then approved without objection.
The next section concerned amendments. It was moved to strike absentee electronic voting from the amendment process. Some feared electronic voting would be uninformed if voters hadn’t heard the debate, analogous to congressman voting on bills they haven’t read. The amendment passed.

We added some incidental clarifications to the second paragraph of the amendment section. We approved a motion to say that all state conventions shall be held within 100 miles of Austin. It was meant to protect the executive board from purposefully calling a special convention that would be dominated by any one region. Austin was seen as the most equally burdensome for regions throughout the state.We deliberated on a time span to hold the regular state conventions. We settled that the convention shall begin no earlier than Jan. 15 and no later than March 7 of each odd-numbered year. Based on a roll call vote, we agreed that conventions will also have to be called on a weekend. The argument against went that the quorum rule would prevent a rouge convention.

Next, we lowered the requirement for calling a special convention to 10 percent of the TxLC membership, provided that no more than a quarter of which is called from a single county. If more than 30 percent of the state membership make the request, then there is no additional requirement. The intention is to prevent a single large county from calling a special convention. An unsuccessful amendment was moved that no more than eight percent of the calling members can hail from a single county if the 30 percent exception is not met.

After a clerical amendment, we then adopted the first paragraph under Convention Committees under Article V. In the same article, we adopted the quorum and roll call sections as written. The roll call could later be amended if we are able to streamline an electronic voting system for the convention.

We discussed the cumbersome nature of the open meeting requirement and some of the concerns on exactly what constituted a meeting.

A few minutes after 10:00, we adjourned until tomorrow evening at 7:00, when we will take up the meeting requirements again.