People, Planet & Peace
The Massachusetts Affiliate of the Green Party of the United States
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Bold Action Plan reading

To: State Committee
From: John Andrews (AdCom) and David Spanagel (CDLC)
Subject: State Convention Proposal for GRP Slate Working Group

As required by the Bold Action Plan approved by StateCom,  the GRP State Convention must vote on a proposal to establish an exploratory committee to consider a slate of candidates to run for statewide office in 2014.  It was not clear who would write the proposal.  Because time is short, AdCom stepped forward to work with CDLC to draft the text of the proposal.  The draft is pasted below along with some explanatory notes.  This text can be amended on the floor of the convention to add names of persons to be appointed or to modify certain details.
At the StateCom meeting on October 20, there will be an agenda item for discussing  this proposal.  At that time we hope to determine if any revisions are needed so that we can prepare properly worded amendments prior to the convention.
We also want to begin to identify people who are willing to serve on the Slate Working Group that would be established by passage of this proposal.  If you would like to volunteer, send your name to co-chairs@green-rainbow.org.
Thanks to everyone for their attention to this matter.

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DRAFT STATE CONVENTION PROPOSAL

To be voted upon at the November 9 state convention.

Editors: John Andrews and David Spanagel

Approved by AdCom on 10/10/13

[[Comments in double square brackets like this are not part of the text of the proposal but are provided for background.]]

 

Proposal for Green-Rainbow Party State Convention:  GRP Slate Working Group

 

The State Convention of the Green-Rainbow Party adopts the following proposal:

 

1) StateCom hereby establishes a working group to be known as the GRP Slate Working Group (SWG).  AdCom shall serve as the parent committee of this working group and shall designate one of its two co-chairs.  The Candidate Development and Legal Committee (CDLC) is asked to fully participate in the work of the group, and at least one co-chair shall be designated by CDLC. [[Note: We did not use the term "Exploratory Committee" since this is structurally a "working group" and StateCom may wish to keep it in existence as a support group for the slate or as the entity that organizes the signature collection effort.]]

 

2) The GRP Slate Working Group shall hold an initial meeting no later than November 20, 2013.  It shall make frequent progress reports to AdCom and CDLC.  It shall make its own determination of the extent to which its meetings and deliberations shall be open to the public, but shall comply with any explicit guidance from AdCom in this regard.

[[Note: The SWG has to discuss non-public information regarding candidates and needs to be able to frankly discuss personal issues, such as the readiness of a particular candidate to run or personal issues that could prevent them from campaigning.  Some such things should not be made public.  In addition, certain electoral strategy discussions should not be made available to electoral opponents or unfriendly media.  As parent of the working group, AdCom will help settle any disagreements regarding whether something should be public or private.  ]]

 

3) The GRP Slate Working Group shall identify GRP members interested in running in 2014 for any of the following offices: U.S. Senator, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary, Treasurer, State Auditor.

 

4) The GRP Slate Working Group shall assess the readiness to run of each potential candidate including their ability and willingness to make public appearances, raise funds, recruit volunteers, present a positive image of the Green-Rainbow Party, and increase the diversity of the slate. 

 

5) The GRP Slate Working Group shall define any special agreements or commitments that shall be asked of each potential slate candidate and will determine the willingness of each candidate to make those commitments.

[[Note: The application form for endorsements/nominations asks six questions of candidates.  The SWG may wish to ask that each candidate fill out the form and commit to a "yes" answer to those or similar questions. Additional commitments could be added. ]]

 

6) The GRP Slate Working Group shall assess the resources required for the signature collection effort is needed to place on the ballot either a complete slate of candidates or a partial slate consisting of offices other than Governor/Lt. Governor.  Resources to be considered are volunteer hours as well as money.

 

7) The GRP Slate Working Group will poll GRP members to estimate the resources that members are willing to pledge to the slate effort, including willingness to circulate nominating petitions and willingness to donate money.

[[Note: This would probably be done using an online pledge form.  It is understood that early commitments may represent only a fraction of the commitments that can be expected when the effort gets up to speed, but they do provide an indication of support.  ]]

 

8) The Convention hereby appoints the following persons to the GRP Slate Working Group: XXX.  The GRP Slate Working Group may add additional members by a vote of 2/3 of its existing membership.  Members may be removed upon their request or with upon concurrence of both party co-chairs and the chair of CDLC.

[[Note: Names will be provided by amending this paragraph on the floor of the convention.   The members must include the co-chair appointees from AdCom and CDLC.]

 

9) The GRP Slate Working Group shall present its findings for approval at the Winter 2014 meeting of the State Committee.  These findings shall include the following:

a) which individuals, if any, are recommended for nomination for each office as part of the GRP slate for 2014;

b) any agreements or commitments that should be required of the candidates;

c) a preliminary plan for collecting nominating signatures, including resource requirements and calendar;

d) any suggestions to StateCom or CDLC regarding the continuing slate effort.

[[Note: The SWG could recommend two persons for a single office, and let StateCom choose between them.]]

 

10) StateCom shall then decide whether to proceed with the nominations or to call for a separate nominating convention to be held at a specified date.  Should StateCom decide to proceed, they then take a vote on the SWG proposals, including whom shall be nominated for each office.  The individuals recommended by the SWG shall be automatically considered, either individually or as a group as StateCom sees fit.  Other persons may be considered providing they submit a petition signed by any five StateCom members.  In all cases, victory of a "none of the others" option for any position will result in that slate position remaining unfilled.

[[Note: This is where the decision will be made regarding how many offices will be included on the slate.  If "none of the others" wins, then that office will not be included.]]

 

11) If, at a later date, StateCom approves an application for a nomination to an empty position on the slate, that individual shall automatically be included as a full member of the slate, subject to all privileges and responsibilities.  Similarly, if StateCom withdraws a nomination, that person shall be removed from the slate.

[[Note: This just accepts actions taken after the Winter 2014 meeting.]]

 

12) At the Winter 2014 meeting, StateCom shall also consider budget measures needed to adequately support the slate effort.  StateCom may vote to defer some decisions to a later date if they deem it necessary.

[[Note: StateCom might wish to provide funds to hire a paid field director for the signature collection effort.]]

 

13)  The GRP Slate Working Group shall cease to exist on March 1, 2014, unless StateCom authorizes its continuance at the Winter StateComm meeting.  StateCom may alter the charter of the SWG by a two-thirds vote.

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Showing 2 reactions


commented 2013-10-19 18:15:22 -0400 · Flag
Below are not only my comments, but also John Andrews’ responses (in brackets). Meanwhile, as I’ve already posted, I revised my suggested name of the Working Group to be Electoral Strategy Working Group.

My concern about calling it a slate working group remain. I believe it is prejudicial.

Merelice

May I respectfully suggest changing the name of the Working Group? To call it the Slate Working Group implies a foregone conclusion that there will be a slate of candidates. I suggest it be called instead the Electoral Working Group.

I believe this is more than just semantics. Until a definite conclusion or recommendation is reached after discussion and analysis, all opinions should be welcomed without preconceived expectations.

[[ The name called for by the Bold Action Plan was “Exploratory Committee”. David and I suggested “Slate Working Group” as a more appropriate name because it is structurally a working group, not a working committee. And if a slate is nominated, it might continue past the exploratory phase. The group deals only with the slate, not with electoral work in general, so putting “slate” in the name seems to add clarity. I don’t think the name preconceives anything that isn’t in the Bold Action Plan. But the name can be changed. Why don’t we take a straw poll on Sunday to see if StateCom has a clear opinion on this? ]]

Obviously this working group needs to complete its task by the January StateCom meeting if any candidacy is to be valid in 2014. Therefore, its members need to be available and prepared to work during a busy year-end season — and to recruit potential candidates in a tight timeframe.

[[Yes, the Bold Action Plan calls for creating the group at the state convention, which means there is no time to waste if State Convention passes the proposal. ]]

There is a reference to a 2/3rds vote of the working group (to add additional members to the group). But nowhere is there an indication of what size the group might be in the first place. It begs the question, 2/3rds of what?

[[The size is not specified – its up to State Convention to name initial members, but other members can be added by the defined process. It’s important to have people who will go out and do the work and not people who just sit in the seats. If new workers show up, we thought it would be appropriate to seat them rather than tell them that all seats are filled. ]]

I’m assuming that so much authority is being placed in the hands of the State Committee instead of holding a state nominating convention (especially since the party doesn’t have official ballot status). But in an electoral activity, where the ultimate choice rests with the voters, is it really appropriate for so much authority to rest with the State Committee? For example, if there really are two potential candidates for the same position and they are both willing to try to get enough signatures, is it appropriate for the State Committee (or the party) to prevent that? On the other hand, since GRP candidates will not be running against each other in a primary, could the final election have two candidates on one party line? Anyway, my point relates to how stringent the party should be in the unlikely event of a glut of candidates.

[[ This gets to the question of whether we want to put together a slate effort through a deliberate process or just want to let things happen. The Bold Action Plan assumes that having a slate is a good idea. That means recruiting people to fill the slots. It also means nominating one person per slot and then having everyone work together to get the signatures needed to put the slate on the ballot. Personally, I think it would be terrible if we had candidates running their own signature collection efforts independently of the slate. We just don’t have enough volunteers to be able to split our forces. If two people want to run for the same office, the Slate Working Group should try to determine who would make the best candidate and may be able to convince one of the candidates to run for another office on the slate. My understanding of election law is that only one candidate is allowed to run in the general election with the “Green-Rainbow Party” designation. This prevents someone from sabotaging a party by putting multiple party members on the general election ballot, thus splitting the party vote. The Party can confer the right to use its name by almost any process it wants to use. (This flexibility is given because we are a political designation, not a political party.) If two GRP members independently collected the required number of signatures, it’s possible that one could run as an independent and the other as GRP. I think we should try to avoid that. ]]

[[ Under paragraph 10, StateCom could decide to call for a nominating convention rather than going ahead and nominating a slate. Although that is an option that is permitted, there are some arguments against it. First, it means that several weeks slip by before the slate is known which loses critical organizing time. Second, it involves a lot of work that would be more wisely put into organizing the signature collection effort. Third, if we only have one candidate for each office, the nominating convention may have no competitions to be decided. Fourth, in practice, a nominating convention is not necessarily more democratic than State Committee. It depends on who turns out and what transpires. A convention can be hijacked to produce a non-democratic result. ]]

[[I’m suggesting that we hold off publishing the state committee proposal until Monday, at which point we could tweak it to reflect any clear guidance from StateCom. Since the Convention Committee has not given us any deadline for submitting the proposal, we might as well wait until Monday.]]
commented 2013-10-19 18:05:24 -0400 · Flag
May I respectfully suggest changing the name of the Working Group? To call it the Slate Working Group implies a foregone conclusion that there will be a slate of candidates. I suggest it be called instead the Electoral Strategy Working Group.

I believe this is more than just semantics. Until a definite conclusion or recommendation is reached after discussion and analysis, all opinions should be welcomed without preconceived expectations.