Liberty for Massachusetts
Bylaws and Standing Rules
Article I. General
Section A. Name and Duration. This Organization is named 'Liberty for Massachusetts' (hereinafter, "LfM" or "the Organization"). Liberty for Massachusetts will cease to exist when it has no remaining Voting Members.
Section B. Objective. The Objective of Liberty for Massachusetts is to create political change in libertarian directions through lawful political actions.
Section C. Openness. The Membership List of Liberty for Massachusetts, including the name, minimal contact information, and at the option of the Voting Member other contact information for each Voting Member, is available to each Voting Member. The Membership list and other member information may only be used to further the objectives of Liberty for Massachusetts, including internal political activity, but not for commercial purposes.
Section D. Competitive Market of Ideas. In order to maintain open and honest competition in the marketplace of ideas, Liberty for Massachusetts may not be merged into another group.
Section E. Amendments. Article I of these Bylaws may be amended by a seven-eighths affirmative vote of the entire Voting Membership. The exact and final text of any proposed amendment to Article I shall be distributed to the entire Membership, without further changes, at least 30 but not more than 75 days prior to the aforementioned seven-eighths vote of the entire Voting Membership.
Section F. Suspension. The Mutual Aid Committee may not vote to suspend the By-Laws.
Article II. The Mutual Aid Committee
Section A. Purpose.
The purpose of the Mutual Aid Committee is to do work toward the organization's objective by providing an organizational structure that will
1. Recruit candidates and help libertarians to run for office;
2. Organize and support local and topical libertarian groups;
3. Perform non-electoral political acts, e.g., referenda, lobbying, and litigation;
4. Recruit members; helping them to do politics;
5. Educate the public on libertarian political directions;
6. Create circumstances favorable to attaining the Organization's Objective, as by creating politically-effective legally-independent PACs, 527 organizations, and nonprofit or for-profit organizations;
7. Raise and spend money to do its work; and
8. Perform needed internal operations.
Section B. Membership.
1. The Mutual Aid Committee is composed of Officers and Representatives. The Mutual Aid Committee's Officers are the Political Facilitator, Operations Facilitator, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Editor, and Chair. There shall be sixteen Regional Representatives and one Representative from each affiliated local and topical group.
2. Officers and Regional Representatives are elected via secret ballot sent to all Voting Members. Officers hold office for a term of one year. Regional Representatives hold office for a term of two years. All Officers and Representatives may be re-elected.
3. Each person who is an Officer or Representative has one vote on the Mutual Aid Committee.
4. A Staff Member is a person who is appointed by the Mutual Aid Committee to perform particular tasks. Staff Members are not, from the virtue of their positions, members of the Mutual Aid Committee, and may not vote or participate in the business of the Mutual Aid Committee.
Section C. Obligations. Each Officer and each Representative commits to working diligently for the Mutual Aid Committee. Each Officer and Representative as a condition of continued Committee membership agrees to be an active member of at least two Working Groups.
Section D. Restrictions.
1. Spending. Liberty for Massachusetts funds may only be spent after authorization by the Mutual Aid Committee. Authorizations are by majority vote of the Committee. The Mutual Aid Committee uses the calendar year as its fiscal year. Working Groups may raise their own money and spend it in support of their tasks, but they must tell donors in advance who they are and how their money will be spent, and may only spend the money for the purposes that were announced in advance.
2. Obligations. The Mutual Aid Committee may not make a contract that persists more than three months beyond the next State Convention. The Mutual Aid Committee may not borrow money.
3. Rules of Order. All Liberty for Massachusetts Meetings are run under Roberts' Rules of Order unless specifically otherwise provided.
4. Neutrality. Mutual Aid Committee funds and employees may not be used to support candidates for election to the Mutual Aid Committee.
5. Citizenship. Mutual Aid Committee Officers and Regional Representatives must be citizens of the United States of America.
6. Working Groups. The Mutual Aid Committee may create ad hoc Working Groups for specified purposes for a fixed term of not more than one year. The Mutual Aid Committee may direct a Working Group to make a report to the Mutual Aid Committee. A communication is sent to the Mutual Aid Committee when a copy is sent separately to each member of the Committee.
7. Employment. Mutual Aid Committee Members may not be paid for their work. They may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses if the Mutual Aid Committee approves funds for the purpose. Firms owned by Mutual Aid Committee Members may do business with the Mutual Aid Committee, but the Mutual Aid Committee or its designees shall demonstrate to the Membership that the Mutual Aid Committee is paying no more than normal commercial rates.
Section E. Suspensions. The Mutual Aid Committee may by 2/3 secret ballot vote suspend an Officer or Representative from the Mutual Aid Committee, the person’s voting privileges being suspended for the period. Notice of the suspension shall be published in the Newsletter. Within 90 days the full membership must by majority vote transmitted through the newsletter using the rules for elections sustain the suspension, or the officer is restored. Such removal does not disqualify the person removed from re-election. The Mutual Aid Committee may by 2/3 secret ballot vote expel a person from membership in Liberty for Massachusetts; an expelled person must receive a 2/3 secret ballot favorable vote from the Mutual Aid Committee to rejoin.
Article III. Officers.
Section A. Officers. The Mutual Aid Committee's Officers are the Political Facilitator, Operations Facilitator, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Editor, and Chair.
Section B. Political Facilitator. The task of the Political Facilitator is to assist and inspire Liberty for Massachusetts, including its Members, Mutual Aid Committee, Working Groups, and Local and Topical Organizations, to work to achieve the Organization's Objective. The Political Facilitator belongs ex officio to the Working Groups on Local Organization, Elections, Political Action, Membership, Outreach, and Fundraising. The Political Facilitator reports monthly to the Mutual Aid Committee on his actions and on activities of his ex officio Working Groups.
Section C. Operations Facilitator. The Operations Facilitator oversees and supports the non-political activities of the Mutual Aid Committee. The Operations Facilitator belongs ex officio to the Working Groups on Fundraising, Budget and Finance, Conventions, Rules, Audit and Compensation, and Nominations. The Operations Facilitator reports monthly to the Mutual Aid Committee on his actions and on activities of his ex officio Working Groups.
Section D. Treasurer. The Treasurer is custodian of the Mutual Aid Committee's funds, and maintains required financial records. The Treasurer serves as Comptroller, ensuring that funds are received, spent, and reported in compliance with Law, Party By-Laws, and Mutual Aid Committee directives. The Treasurer reports monthly to the Members through the LfM website, with a summary in the Newsletter, the Organization's income, expenditures, liabilities, and obligations. At each regular meeting of the Mutual Aid Committee, the Treasurer provides a full financial report, including all income, spending, assets, liabilities, and obligations of the Mutual Aid Committee.
Section E. Membership Secretary. The Membership Secretary maintains the Membership Records of Liberty for Massachusetts. Membership records include but are not limited to records of current and past members, people who contacted LfM, donors, and volunteers, including names, addresses, other contact information, and volunteer’s tasks. All Voting Members are entitled to a listing of the names and addresses of all Liberty for Massachusetts Voting Members, but other contact information on a Voting Member is only released if the member has given permission. The Membership Secretary reports monthly to the Mutual Aid Committee.
Section F. Editor. The Editor edits and publishes the monthly Liberty for Massachusetts Newsletter, including print or electronic editions. The Editor may recruit assistants. The Mutual Aid Committee may direct that certain content be carried or not be carried in the Newsletter.
Section G. Chair. The Chair recruits and incites Party Members to become activists, candidates, and donors. The Chair or his designee represents the Party to the Press. The Chair represents the Mutual Aid Committee to Liberty for Massachusetts Members, as by statements in the Party Newsletter. The Chair proposes the agenda for Mutual Aid Committee meetings. The Chair presides at Mutual Aid Committee meetings and Liberty for Massachusetts Conventions. The Chair leads the Liberty for Massachusetts delegation to national meetings of Affiliated Liberty Organizations, and represents Liberty for Massachusetts at meetings of other groups. With permission of the Mutual Aid Committee, the Chair may delegate any of his responsibilities to another individual.
Section H. Vacancies. If an Office becomes vacant, the Chair appoints an acting officer to serve until the next meeting of the Mutual Aid Committee. The Mutual Aid Committee then elects an acting officer to fill out the remainder of the original Officer's term. If the Chair becomes vacant, the Political Facilitator serves as Chair until the next meeting of the Mutual Aid Committee.
Section I. Appointed Officers. The Mutual Aid Committee shall appoint a Recording Secretary and a Webmaster, and may appoint a parliamentarian or counsel. The Mutual Aid Committee may appoint representatives to appear and represent Liberty for Massachusetts and its positions. An appointment may include an appropriate title or honorific. In appointing a Staff Member, the Mutual Aid Committee must specify what the Staff Member is supposed to do, and may restrict or mandate how the Staff Member's tasks are to be performed. Staff Members are appointed for renewable terms of no more than one year.
Section J. Recording Secretary. The Secretary keeps the Minutes of Mutual Aid Committee meetings. The Secretary promptly forwards draft minutes to Committee members, makes corrections, seeks approval at or before the next meeting, and ensures that approved minutes appear on the LfM Web Pages, accessible to all LfM Members. The Secretary maintains a master calendar, electronically accessible to all LfM Members, showing all scheduled future meetings of the Mutual Aid Committee and of each Working Group.
Section K. Webmaster. The Webmaster is responsible for maintaining a complete record of passwords and other access data for Liberty for Massachusetts web pages, wiki pages, domains registry accounts, and other electronic outreach aids. A copy of this record is supplied to each Liberty for Massachusetts Officer and other persons as designated by the Mutual Aid Committee on a monthly basis. The Webmaster is responsible for causing the Organization's web site, wiki pages, and/or other electronic outreach aids to be maintained and serve as effective outreach and support tools.
Section L. Titles. No Staff Member shall be given a title "Executive Director", or any like title or set of broad-ranging responsibilities.
Article IV. Working Groups
Section A. Purpose and Structure
1. Working Groups. Working Groups exist to do work for Liberty for Massachusetts.
2. Permanent Working Groups. The permanent Working Groups, other than Audit and Compensation, are specified in the Standing Rules. Except as otherwise specified, membership in each Working Group includes ex officio members, Mutual Aid Committee Members elected or volunteering to serve, and any other libertarians who volunteer and contribute in a positive way. Except as otherwise specified, the Facilitator of each Working Group is elected by the Mutual Aid Committee.
3. Facilitators. Each Working Group has a Facilitator. The Facilitator seeks to ensure that her or his Working Group performs its duties. Facilitators chair meetings of their Working Groups; they report monthly to the Mutual Aid Committee on Working Group activities. Facilitators have no executive decision-making authority independent from their working group.
4. Working Groups are expected to perform many activities without staging formal meetings under parliamentary procedure. Working Group meetings are called by the Group Facilitator or 25% of the Working Group's membership. The call to the meeting, which is to be sent except in emergencies at least two weeks in advance, includes the meeting location, time, date, identification of the principal agenda items, and supporting documents. Each Working Group chooses a Clerk to minute its discussion and decisions. The Minutes are forwarded as appropriate electronically to the remainder of the Working Group, the Mutual Aid Committee, and Liberty for Massachusetts Members.
5. The Mutual Aid Committee may by majority vote remove a person as a member, officer, or Facilitator of a Working Group.
6. Audit and Compensation.
a. The Audit and Compensation Working Group annually and in addition on request of the Mutual Aid Committee reviews the Mutual Aid Committee's financial records, and the financial records of the Working Groups, to ensure that they are complete, accurate, and properly reported to the Membership. It determines if moneys have been received and spent in accord with Liberty for Massachusetts By-Laws, Mutual Aid Committee actions, legal requirements, and fundamental ethical standards. It reports to the Membership and the Mutual Aid Committee on irregularities, deficiencies, and deviations, and their causes, and recommends corrective measures.
b. The Audit and Compensation Working Group receives and reviews all proposals for paying persons and personal corporations as employees, consultants, or independent contractors. It receives and reviews all competitive bids from potential vendors. It recommends to the Mutual Aid Committee affirmatively or negatively on each proposal or bid before the Mutual Aid Committee or its designees act.
c. The Audit and Compensation Working Group is elected by and from the Mutual Aid Committee. No Officer of the Mutual Aid Committee may be a member of Audit and Compensation Working Group.
Article V. Local and Topical Groups
Section A. Purpose. Local and Topical Groups are the foundation on which Liberty for Massachusetts will attain its objective. The Mutual Aid Committee supports local and topical libertarian organizations in Massachusetts.
Section B. Affiliation
1. Affiliates. The Mutual Aid Committee will offer affiliation to local and topical libertarian groups in Massachusetts. A local group is an organization that supports libertarian political activities in a geographic region of Massachusetts. A topical group is an organization that supports libertarian activities centered on some issue or cluster of issues.
2. Eligibility. To be eligible for affiliation, a libertarian group must be working to move Massachusetts in the libertarian political direction, must not support anti-libertarian candidates for political office, and must not be a potential embarrassment if identified as an affiliate of Liberty for Massachusetts. When offered affiliation, a local group is for the purposes of affiliation identified with a specific geographic area, but is not required to limit itself to that area. A topical group must for the purposes of affiliation be identified with a specified list of topics, but may also deal with other topics. An area or topic may be identified with more than one local or topical group.
3. Approval. Affiliation is offered and approved by majority vote of the Mutual Aid Committee. The Mutual Aid Committee may by majority vote revoke an affiliation, but before the vote is final the Affiliate shall be offered reasonable due process to defend or alter its actions or circumstances. Affiliates must send notice that they have accepted affiliation; they may revoke affiliation by sending written or electronic notice to the Liberty for Massachusetts Chair.
4. Mutual Aid Representation. Each Affiliate is entitled to send to the Mutual Aid Committee one Affiliate Representative, who must be elected, for a term of at least six months. Affiliate Representatives must be Liberty for Massachusetts Voting Members. Affiliate Representatives vote on the Mutual Aid Committee and are subject to the Obligations of Article II.C of these Bylaws, but are not counted for the purpose of determining if a quorum of the Mutual Aid Committee is present.
Article VI. Membership.
Section A. Membership Classes.
1. Membership. Members of Liberty for Massachusetts shall have three classes, namely Voting Members, Associate Members, and Subscribing Members. Associate Members and Subscribing Members are not Voting Members. Voting Members and Associate Members must be legal residents of Massachusetts.
2. Voting Members. Voting Members are persons who have applied to join, are found to be eligible to join, have paid their dues, and who have provided Liberty for Massachusetts with Minimal Contact Information, with the explicit understanding that the Minimal Contact Information will be supplied to every other Voting Member of Liberty for Massachusetts. Minimal Contact Information consists of the member's name, a legitimate voting address, and a valid mailing address, if different from the voting address. At the Voting Member's option, the contact information may include email address, telephone, fax, or other contact information or numbers. Voting Members receive the Liberty for Massachusetts newsletter and all other membership benefits, and are eligible to vote in Liberty for Massachusetts elections and to hold office within Liberty for Massachusetts.
3. Associate Members. Associate Members are persons who have applied to join, are found to be eligible to join, and paid their dues, but who have directed that their names and Contact Information are not to be made uniformly available to Liberty for Massachusetts Voting Members. Associate Members receive the Liberty for Massachusetts newsletter and all other membership benefits, but are not eligible to vote in Liberty for Massachusetts elections and are not eligible to hold office within Liberty for Massachusetts.
4. Subscribing Members. Subscribing Members are persons interested in Liberty for Massachusetts activities who do not live in Massachusetts. On paying the membership fee as a correspondent, Subscribing Members receive a subscription to the monthly newsletter and such other privileges as the Mutual Aid Committee may choose. Subscribing Members are not eligible to vote in Liberty for Massachusetts elections and are not eligible to hold office within Liberty for Massachusetts.
Section B. Dues.
Membership dues are set by majority vote of the Mutual Aid Committee.
Article VII: Conventions.
Section A. State Conventions. Liberty for Massachusetts shall hold at least one yearly convention for the transaction of the Organization's Business.
Section B. Notification. The Mutual Aid Committee shall announce to all Liberty for Massachusetts Members that a State Convention is being held, distributing the announcement of date, time, and place via: Publication in the monthly Newsletter, Posting on the Liberty for Massachusetts Web Site, transmission to all libertarian open electronic mailing lists in the Commonwealth and appropriate electronic Groups and electronic mailing lists, and email to all Mutual Aid Committee Members and Libertarian Office Holders having known email addresses. Notice shall be sent at least two months in advance of the Convention.
Section C. Purpose. The primary purpose of the State Convention is to conduct the Organization's business.
Section D. Nominations. The first order of business at the Liberty for Massachusetts yearly convention is the nomination of candidates for Liberty for Massachusetts office. The Chair will first read the names of all candidates whose names have been received, including the office, the name and town of the nominee, and the name and town of the nominator. The Chair will then open the floor for nominations. For each nomination, the office, the name and town of the nominee, and the name and town of the nominator are to be announced. When no further nominations are in evidence, the Chair will remind the Members that Nominations are in order until the Convention is adjourned.
Article VIII. Mutual Aid Committee Meetings.
Section A. Scheduled Meetings. The Mutual Aid Committee will have face-to-face meetings at least every other month, on a regular schedule that it sets before the start of each year. At least ten days before each meeting, the Chair will mail a meeting notice to every Mutual Aid Committee member, and to the membership at large through the newsletter and the announcements list. The notice will include a substantive proposed agenda. The quorum for a Scheduled Meeting is 1/3 of the Officers and Regional Representatives.
Section B. Special Meetings. Special Meetings are called by the Chair or by petition of 25% of the Members of the Mutual Aid Committee. Special meetings must be held within four weeks of the day on which they are called. At least fifteen days before the day of each special meeting, the Chair will send a notice of each meeting to each Mutual Aid Committee Member. The notice shall include issues for which the meeting was called, which shall be the first items on the agenda. The quorum for special meetings of the Mutual Aid Committee is a simple majority of the total membership, excluding from the count of total membership those members who did not attend a meeting in the past six months or who are known to be incapacitated.
Section C. Exhaustion. In the event that all Mutual Aid Committee positions become vacant, the former Mutual Aid Committee Members who most recently served on the Mutual Aid Committee and who are willing and qualified to be Members of the Mutual Aid Committee shall constitute themselves as the Interim Mutual Aid Committee. They shall promptly act as described in this Article to fill positions on the Mutual Aid Committee. Until it is replaced via Elections, the Interim Mutual Aid Committee shall have all powers and bear all responsibilities of the regular Mutual Aid Committee.
Article IX. Elections.
Section A. Eligibility
1. Officers of the Mutual Aid Committee. All Liberty for Massachusetts Voting Members are eligible to be elected as Officers of the Mutual Aid Committee. To place a candidate's name on the ballot, the candidate must be nominated by a Liberty for Massachusetts Voting Member. Self-nominations are permitted.
2. Regional Representatives. Only Liberty for Massachusetts Voting Members who live in a Region are eligible to be elected as Regional Representatives from that Region. To place a candidate's name on the ballot, the candidate must be nominated by a Liberty for Massachusetts Voting Member who lives in the Region to be represented. Self-nominations are permitted.
3. Associate Members and Subscribing Members may not nominate candidates for office and may not vote in Liberty for Massachusetts elections.
4. Regions. For the election of Regional Representatives, Massachusetts is divided into eight Regions holding approximately equal numbers of registered voters. At least every six years, the Mutual Aid Committee shall recommend to the Voting Members an amendment to the By-laws that accommodates to the movement of population, with the proposed District that is the most populous in number of Registered voters having fewer than ten percent more registered voters than the least populous in number of registered voters of said districts. The Districts are:
a. Region One: Adams, Agawam, Alford, Amherst, Ashfield, Becket, Belchertown, Bernardston, Blandford, Buckland, Charlemont, Cheshire, Chester, Chesterfield, Chicopee, Clarksburg, Colrain, Conway, Cummington, Dalton, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Egremont, Erving, Florida, Gill, Goshen, Granby, Granville, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hadley, Hampden, Hancock, Hatfield, Hawley, Heath, Hinsdale, Holyoke, Huntington, Lanesborough, Lee, Lenox, Leverett, Leyden, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Middlefield, Monroe, Montague, Monterey, Montgomery, Mount Washington, New Ashford, New Marlborough, New Salem, North Adams, Northampton, Northfield, Orange, Otis, Pelham, Peru, Pittsfield, Plainfield, Richmond, Rowe, Russell, Sandisfield, Savoy, Sheffield, Shelburne, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Southampton, Southwick, Springfield, Stockbridge, Sunderland, Tolland, Tyringham, Ware, Warwick, Washington, Wendell, West Springfield, West Stockbridge, Westfield, Westhampton, Whately, Wilbraham, Williamsburg, Williamstown, Windsor, and Worthington.
b. Region Two: Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Auburn, Barre, Bellingham, Berlin, Blackstone, Boylston, Brimfield, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Fitchburg, Gardner, Grafton, Hardwick, Holden, Holland, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Leicester, Leominster, Lunenburg, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Monson, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Northbridge, Oakham, Oxford, Palmer, Paxton, Petersham, Phillipston, Princeton, Royalston, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sutton, Templeton, Townsend, Upton, Uxbridge, Wales, Warren, Webster, West Boylston, West Brookfield, Westborough, Westminster, Winchendon, and Worcester.
c. Region Three: Acushnet, Aquinnah, Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Carver, Chatham, Chilmark, Dartmouth, Dennis, Eastham, Edgartown, Fairhaven, Fall River, Falmouth, Freetown, Gosnold, Harwich, Kingston, Lakeville, Marion, Mashpee, Mattapoisett, Nantucket, New Bedford, Oak Bluffs, Orleans, Plymouth, Plympton, Provincetown, Rochester, Sandwich, Somerset, Swansea, Tisbury, Truro, Wareham, Wellfleet, West Tisbury, Westport, and Yarmouth.
d. Region Four: Amesbury, Andover, Beverly, Boxford, Danvers, Dracut, Essex, Georgetown, Gloucester, Groveland, Hamilton, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lawrence, Lynn, Lynnfield, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Marblehead, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Nahant, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, North Reading, Peabody, Reading, Rockport, Rowley, Salem, Salisbury Saugus, Swampscott, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Wenham, West Newbury, and Wilmington.
e. Region Five: Abington, Attleboro, Avon, Berkley, Braintree, Bridgewater, Brockton, Canton, Cohasset, Dighton, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Easton, Foxborough, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Holbrook, Hull, Mansfield, Marshfield, Medfield, Middleborough, Milton, Norton, Norwell, Pembroke, Quincy, Randolph, Raynham, Rehoboth, Rockland, Scituate, Seekonk, Sharon, Stoughton, Taunton, Walpole, West Bridgewater, Weymouth, and Whitman.
f. Region Six: Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Billerica, Burlington, Cambridge, Everett, Lexington, Lincoln, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Needham, Newton, Somerville, Stoneham, Wakefield, Waltham, Watertown, Wellesley, Weston, Winchester, and Woburn.
g. Region Seven: Acton, Ashland, Ayer, Boxborough, Bolton, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Dover, Dunstable, Framingham, Franklin, Groton, Harvard, Holliston, Hudson, Littleton, Lowell, Marlborough, Maynard, Medway, Millis, Natick, Norfolk, North Attleborough, Pepperell, Plainville, Sherborn, Shirley, Southborough, Stow, Sudbury, Tyngsborough, Wayland, Westford, and Wrentham.
h. Region Eight: Brookline, Boston, Chelsea, Dedham, Norwood, Revere, Westwood, and Winthrop.
5. Regional Representatives are elected for two-year staggered terms, so in each year each Region elects one Regional Representative and fills any vacancies for the remainder of the term.
B. Nominations. Nominations may be made from the floor during the Business Meeting of the State Convention, and may be made by communications received by the Chair at least two days before the convention. The call for nominations for Regional Representatives shall appear in the Newsletter, shall be posted to the Liberty for Massachusetts Web Page, and shall be broadcast electronically to known open Massachusetts Libertarian email lists in Massachusetts. The call, specifying that nominations must be made on the floor of the convention or received by the Chair two days before the date of the next State Convention, shall be made at least sixty days before the date of the convention.
Section C. Ballots.
1. Ballot. A Ballot for all elections shall appear in the first issue of the Liberty for Massachusetts Newsletter to be prepared and mailed after the State Convention.
2. Voting, Counting. Voting Members will have at least three weeks from the date of mailing to return their Ballot, in a signed envelope bearing the voter’s signature or return address, to the Membership Secretary, who in the presence of such other Mutual Aid Committee members as wish to attend shall confirm that each voter is a Voting Member, and eligible to vote, and then remove the ballot from the envelope. Ballots are placed in a ballot box. When all envelopes have been opened, the Chair and such other persons as wish to watch will open the ballot box, count all ballots, and announce the outcomes. The Membership Secretary and Chair may appoint assistants to help them with their tasks. The list of Voting Members who voted shall be published in a place readily accessible to all Voting Members.
3. Outcomes. Elections for Officers and Regional Representatives are conducted by Instant Run-Off Voting. Officers are elected by a vote of all LfM members. Regional Representatives are selected by a vote of LfM Members whose legal residence is in the same Region. Write-in votes for persons who would have been eligible to be on the ballot, if they had been nominated, are allowed.
4. Ties, etc. If a tie in the final round, or other ambiguous outcome occurs, a fresh election is held, using the original ballot.
5. All Other Membership votes are conducted by the processes described in Parts 1-4 of this section.
Section D. Vacancies. If a Regional Representative position becomes vacant, the Mutual Aid Committee will appoint a Member from the Region to serve as Regional Representative until the next election.
Section E. Assent. No person shall be said to have been elected, or allowed to take office, until he or she publicly states that he or she accepts the office.
Article X: Amendments, Distribution, External Relations.
Section A. Amendments.
1. Article I of these Bylaws may be amended by a seven-eighths affirmative vote of the entire Voting Membership, as specified in Article I, Section E.
2. Articles II to VIII of these By-Laws may be amended by a valid two-thirds vote of the Mutual Aid Committee. The exact and final text of the proposed amendment shall be distributed to the Mutual Aid Committee and the membership at least sixty days before the Mutual Aid Committee meeting at which the vote on the proposed By-Laws amendment is taken. No parliamentary move having the effect of reducing the two-thirds vote requirement is valid.
3. All Articles other than Article I of these Bylaws may be amended by a valid two-thirds vote of those Members voting ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the amendment. Amendments may be proposed from the floor at the State Convention or by petition signed by at least 2% of the Organization’s Members and delivered to the Chair. In the second issue of the LfM newsletter to be published and mailed after the amendment is proposed, a ballot shall appear identifying the amendment and asking the Voting Members to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The ballots shall be mailed to the Membership Secretary, who shall validate that the voters are Voting Members. At a public location announced 30 days in advance, the Membership Secretary or assistants will open the envelopes and count the votes. The list of Voting Members who voted shall be published in a place readily accessible to all Voting Members.
4. The Standing Rules may be amended by a majority vote of the Mutual Aid Committee. The Objective of the Standing Rules is to put into effect the intent of these By-Laws.
5. Challenges to the validity of a By-Laws Amendment, either on substantial or procedural grounds, may be made for up to six months after the Amendment was nominally adopted.
6. If an amendment to these By-laws is proposed, that has the effect of changing the requirements for amending an Article, then the requirements for amending that Article must be met in order to amend.
7. An amendment takes effect when the vote passing it has been counted.
Section B. Distribution. In all cases in which these By-Laws require that a particular notice is to be distributed by a particular means, if the means is unavailable the By-Laws shall be taken to have been satisfied. For example, a requirement for distribution via the LfM Web Site is deemed to have been satisfied if Liberty for Massachusetts does not have an operational web site. However, in any case distribution in a timely way by at least one path must be made for the distribution requirement to be satisfied.
Section C. External Relations. Liberty for Massachusetts may accept or exchange affiliation with like-minded pro-Liberty groups outside Massachusetts. Liberty for Massachusetts may send representatives to organizations or associations of like-minded organizations outside Massachusetts. Liberty for Massachusetts may form, participate in forming, or participate in national associations of like-minded organizations from other states.
Section D. Membership Information. Liberty for Massachusetts will not share address or other membership information with other organizations without the explicit affirmative permission of the individual and a majority vote of the Mutual Aid Committee. Voting Members may not transfer the names or addresses of LfM Voting Members to people who are not voting members or to organizations that are not LfM affiliates.
Standing Rules of Liberty for Massachusetts
A. The libertarian directions include smaller government, lower taxes, less intrusive laws and regulations, increased individual freedom, and equality before the law.
B. The Permanent Working Groups specified in the Standing Rules are:
1. Local Organization. The Local Organization Working Group helps local and topical libertarian organizations. It encourages libertarians to act as local organizers, helps them to organize and topical local groups, and supplies them with information on potential group members. It supports, assists, and publicizes local and topical groups and advises them on possible activities. It develops resources to benefit local and topical groups. The Local Organization Working Group elects its own Facilitator.
2. Elections. The Elections Working Group helps libertarians win elections. It recruits and trains candidates and volunteers, supports ballot access drives, assists candidates with publications, fundraising, and Get Out The Vote efforts, and collects and distributes useful information to candidates. It works to maintain the honesty of the election process.
3. Political Action. The Political Action Working Group supports substantive political activities, other than electioneering for elective office. It assists with Referenda and Public Policy Questions, and aids rallies, demonstrations, protests, letter writing campaigns, litigation, and peaceful petitions for redress of grievances. The Political Action Working Group elects its own Facilitator.
4. Outreach. The Outreach Working Group helps the Editor edit and publish the Newsletter. It operates or supports Liberty for Massachusetts Web and Wiki Pages. It operates Mutual Aid Committee email lists, including a periodical announcements list, a moderated Activists list, and an unmoderated General list. Moderation of the Activist list shall not be used to forward the internal political agenda of the moderator. Whenever a message other than obvious commercial spam is rejected for the Activist List, the rejected message and the reason for the rejection shall be sent to the message's author and to the Mutual Aid Committee. The Outreach Working Group strives to inform the public about the libertarian direction. It develops and supports publicity and advertising drives, prepares press releases, responds to press inquiries, assists members with letter-writing drives, and produces and distributes outreach material. The Outreach Working Group includes ex officio the Editor and the Webmaster. It elects its own Facilitator.
5. Membership. The Membership Working Group recruits and retains Liberty for Membership Members. It contacts new members to welcome them. It contacts inquirers and invites them to join. It encourages social events, public lectures, and other activities for prospective and current Members. It contacts persons who have ceased to be LfM Members to determine why they left and to invite them to renew. The Membership Secretary is an ex officio Member of the Membership Committee.
6. Fund Raising. The Fund Raising Working Group raises money for the Mutual Aid Committee and its Working Groups, PACs, and 527 and other organizations. It cultivates individual donors, and conducts periodic large scale fund raising campaigns It is scrupulous in promising donors how their money will be spent, and prompt and accurate in reporting to them and to the membership on how their money was actually spent. The Working Group reports to the Mutual Aid Committee and to Liberty for Massachusetts Members on cases in which money was raised within the Commonwealth, ostensibly for libertarian purposes, but was not spent as implied by the fund raisers. The Fund Raising Working Group has as ex officio members the Political Facilitator, Operations Facilitator, and Treasurer.
7. Budget and Finance. The Budget and Finance Working Group prepares the draft budget and financial plan for the Mutual Aid Committee. It reports the draft and final budget and financial plan to all LfM Members. It monitors Mutual Aid Committee spending for deviations from the budget and financial plan, and reports deviations to the Mutual Aid Committee. The Budget and Finance Working Group includes ex officio the Treasurer, and other persons elected to it by the Mutual Aid Committee.
8. Nominations. The Nominations Working Group recruits Liberty for Massachusetts Members to serve on the Mutual Aid Committee and the Working Groups. It takes note of volunteers for Liberty for Massachusetts service, and seeks opportunities for volunteers to serve. Once one or more candidates exist for a position, the Nomination Working Group plays no further role in recruiting candidates for election to a post. The Nominations Working Group has the Chair as Facilitator, and includes such other persons as the Mutual Aid Committee elects to it.
C. Order of Business for the State Convention.
1. The first order of business at the Liberty for Massachusetts yearly convention is the nomination of candidates for Liberty for Massachusetts office. The Chair will first read the names of all candidates whose names have been received, including the office, the name and town of the nominee, and the name and town of the nominator. The Chair will then open the floor for nominations. For each nomination, the office, the name and town of the nominee, and the name and town of the nominator are to be announced. When no further nominations are in evidence, the Chair will remind the Voting Members that Nominations are in order until the Convention is adjourned.
2. The second order of business at the yearly convention are the reports of the officers and working groups, in the order they first appear in the By-Laws and Standing Rules, followed by reports of Ad Hoc Working Groups.
3. The third order of business at the yearly convention is the introduction of Liberty for Massachusetts members who hold public office or who ran for public office.
4. The fourth order of business is the presentation of motions amending the Organization By-Laws.
5. The fifth order of business, lasting at least one hour unless debate is first exhausted, is the discussion and attendant motions related to approaches for conducting practical politics. Following this, each candidate for Mutual Aid Committee Officer and Regional Representative is allowed up to five minutes for presentation of plans. Within the five minutes, questions are allowed if the candidate agrees. The Convention may caucus by Region so that each candidate for Regional Representative only addresses his own constituents.
6. The sixth order of business is discussion and attendant resolutions on issues of public interest.
7. The secondary purpose of the Convention may include speakers on the conduct of practical politics, organizational sessions, regional and local caucuses, reports on political approaches being attempted elsewhere, fundraising events, meals, and other events.
D. Call For Nominations. In the call for nominations, the Chair shall remind Voting Members that the Bylaws require that Officers and Representatives be citizens of the United States.
E. Membership Dues. Dues may include distinct rates for students, the elderly, others of limited ability to pay, persons receiving the newsletter in paper or electronic format, and memberships of different durations.
Final Section. Prior to the election of a Mutual Aid Committee, there shall be an Organizing Committee, which shall cease to exist when the Mutual Aid Committee is elected. The Organizing Committee shall adopt By-Laws for Liberty for Massachusetts. While it exists, the Organizing Committee shall have the authority assigned to the Mutual Aid Committee, and shall have the authority to take those steps consistent with the spirit and intent of the By-Laws as needed to bring Liberty for Massachusetts into existence. For example, it may grant affiliations, expand its membership, select officers, recruit members, activate working groups, and conduct the elections that will replace it.