May 20, 2005

SC Call Notes — 20 May 2005

SC: Gwen, Jody, Jo, Steve, Peggy
Staff Brent McMillan, Emily Citkowski

Marc facilitating, Maya notes, Jake time

Abbreviations used:
AC = Accreditation Committee
ANM, ANMC = Annual National Meeting Committee
BAWG = Ballot Access Working Group
BRPP = Bylaws, Rules, Policies and Procedures Committee
BC = Black Caucus
CC = Coordinating Committee
CCC = Coordinated Campaign Committee
CG SC = Campus Greens Steering Committee
ComCom = Communications Committee
DC = Diversity Committee
DIA = Democracy in Action internet service
DRC = Dispute Resolution Committee
FC = Fundraising Committee
FEC = Federal Election Commission
GP = Green Party
IC = International Committee
LC = Lavender Caucus
NPWG = Nominating Process Working Group
NWC = National Women’s Caucus
PEC = Presidential Exploratory Committee
PCSC = Presidential Campaign Support Committee
SC = Steering Committee
SPWG = Strategic Plan Working Group
[Brackets denote editor’s suggested corrections. Some punctuation corrections done with no content change. -ed.]

Staff reports
Proposal to pay 2 interns $200 a month stipend for three months – consensus reached.
Office move: Jo proposed that states should be allowed to bid on sharing office space with GPUS if MD wants to do so. Jo proposed that Emily ask the landlord about the current office lease renewal; to find out about other commercial spaces within DC area; that the SC will research no office and working from home; and if we decide to share space with a state organization we will put it out to bids from all states. The proposal passed with 6 yes and one No vote.
GP card: we are looking into getting a photo of Elaine Brown with her GP card for the website.

BAWG is still waiting on a ballot access committee proposal from Ill.
CCC: Brent got GOTV manual posted online sans an offending palm card.
Strategic Plan WG: workshops at Tulsa are planned. Fundraising received over $6,000 in the first week of May from Direct Mail campaigns, the best so far this year.
Two Ohio prospect mailings are out – the one without Green Pages is generating more money. May mailing is at printer – prospect to Permaculture Activist magazine subscribers. WVA mailing (370 members) – we’ll see how it does.
Voting Queue:
ASGP to GPUS resolution is ready to vote on; Green Pages resolution is in voting, is now close to making quorum. Fin Com proposal for membership verification by NC begins voting on Monday.

Working Groups:
Presidential Nominating Process WG working on choosing a VP process, ballots, and other less knotty proposals. Want to improve communications process to members about Presidential candidates.

List serves:
Andy Parks is still on lists and posting despite our decision to restrict his access to observer status; Peggy was supposed to communicate with Media committee about one of them posting the news circulator instead of Andy but had trouble getting in touch with Scott.
Proposal: Jody will contact Andy to let him know that he does not have posting privileges to either list, and will mention this to the BRPP list for when they have co-chairs they may want to restore his privileges. She will also contact Steve Hamm and ask him to make Andy a read-only member or if that is not possible to remove him entirely from both national emails lists.

Legal counsel:
Maya will ask David Cobb about what he thinks a good job description for the position would be.

Executive Session:
A possible legal action against party because of harassing email list messages was discussed; the SC is going to authorize up to $500 for an initial legal consultation about this and will also convene a three person committee of non-NC members to investigate the complaints about the email list as well as to serve as a moderator panel for the two national email lists.

Delegate privacy policy:
Steve will work on developing a policy on this.
Marc will put Emily in touch with somebody else who may be able to help. She has been working with Code Weavers Network on this.

FL Lawsuit/CAFTA:
Jody reported that the GPUS SC decision to sign on to lawsuit was cast into doubt by FL members; lawyer then dropped us from lawsuit.
Proposal: to put out a clear statement in these cases where we are dealing with outside parties (in addition to the minutes) to interested parties about our decisions (national votes and disc list), along with a contact person (Secretary would be good choice.) Consensus on proposal.
[Note: There was a dissenting opinion on this item from Gary Hecker. His comments are in an addendum at the bottom of the minutes. No subsequent input was received from the SC.]

Portfolio review

Finance Portfolio
Asst. Fundraising Coordinator interviews are being scheduled. Annual National Meeting budget has been sent to SC for review – we will finalize on Thursday night call with ANM committee.
Marc raised question about funding for CCC workshops – Jody says this should come out of committee meetings, not ANM budget. Question is how much $$$ each committee wants; Jake: proposes sending out notice to committees to propose a budget for their workshops by Thursday night and a notice that it may have to come out of committee budget. Proposal is passed by consensus.
United for Peace and Justice: Consensus that GPUS will pay the $500 annual membership dues. Maya will send Jake the info to pay.

Portfolio reassignment: Steve will take over Gray’s electoral portfolio (with Jo) and help on Communications Committee.

Electoral Portfolio
CCC: Jo reports that nominations are open and many are not running again, so we should try to recruit state party members to run.

Policy Portfolio
Gwen noticed that the IC rules say that they are the ultimate authority to decide on issues, not the NC – Gwen will ask Greg to send a reminder about the fact that the NC is the highest decision making body in the party, and committees are not outside of the NC’s authority, to the IC.

Outreach Portfolio
Campus Greens still have not decided what to do about their relationship with us – with summer going on they might not make much progress on this until fall. They may ask for $ to go to the Tulsa meeting.
Mike Molloy: Marc contacted, Mike asked for GP info and a list of speakers for his show. Marc will get the Georgia GP in touch with him, and send out a response by email copied to the SC list.

Internal portfolio
Maya: Personnel Committee has a new member who should be helpful, and Steve is going to help go over manual. Dispute Resolution asked for time on the NC agenda in Tulsa.
Jody: AC: Brent White reports he will not share info with SC to preserve confidentiality. Marc: the SC should resolve the issue since we need to know what’s going on. Jody will ask Brent for confidentiality clause language so we can see what the AC wants the SC to agree to.
Communications: Jo had an item about a server for the GPUS but has to leave; Jody will telephone her and ask for an email report.

[Gary’s comments are in boldface.]
I have objections to this section of the minutes, and ask that the following response be attached to the official record:

“FL Lawsuit/CAFTA: Jody reported that the GPUS SC decision to sign on to lawsuit was cast into doubt by FL members; lawyer then dropped us from lawsuit. Proposal: to put out a clear statement in these cases where we are dealing with outside parties (in addition to the minutes) to interested parties about our decisions (national votes and disc list), along with a contact person (Secretary would be good choice.) Consensus on proposal.”

The reason the GPUS was removed as a plaintiff was that the GPUS was not prepared to move forward. Had I not called Jody Haug on May 17th, the GPUS would have been totally unprepared to even discuss the suit.

Mr. Ross, the lead local attorney, sent an e-mail on 17 May, explaining why the GPUS was dropped, part of which is reproduced here (with his permission):

” . . . Thereafter, Green members inquired as to whether a final opportunity might be available to become involved with the case. After another week of internal discussion, and voting, et cetera, I received an e-mail from Ms. Emily Citkowski on May 3, 2005, the GPUS Operations Director (copy attached to accompanying e-mail), reflecting that a final affirmative decision had been made by a national Green Party committee, so that the GPUS would serve as a party plaintiff in the litigation.

[May 17th] “… I received a call from Ms. Jody Haug , from Seattle, indicating that some unnamed member(s) of the GPUS National Committee had “concerns” about possible financial exposure on the part of the GPUS. I advised Ms. Haug that all of these issues had been explored in April with various Green Party officials, at multiple levels, and with at least two attorneys who work with the Green Party, and that I was not willing to re-open an entire new dialogue on the issue, because time was running out to file the Complaint. Yesterday evening, Ms. Steiner indicated to me that she was hesitant to execute a retainer agreement (which provided that all legal services and costs would be provided to the plaintiffs without charge) on behalf of the GPUS without a “green light” from the national party.”

GH: I believe the following e-mail is the source of the “concerns”.

HI Everyone
Scott- The SC has not decided at this point to sign on to this lawsuit we are still discussing it. As I have stated to the SC I need a lot more information on the financial liabilities to GPUS in the event this case is lost before I would approve it.

My thoughts

Jake Schneider

GH: I have several concerns with what occurred on this issue.

First, I think the SC took a rather cavalier attitude towards a Federal lawsuit. Who kept track of what was going on? Who took responsibility for legal counsel? Did the SC consult counsel?

Second, to blame FL for the failure of the GPUS to be prepared to proceed is unfair and unwarranted. I believe the GPF, and Broward in particular went out of our way to help the GPUS. If not for us, the GPUS would have been completely oblivious to the filing of the suit.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I am particularly concerned that no GPF or Broward rep was invited to any conference call where the suit was discussed. Why not? The SC has a huge task, and to continually operate from an information vacuum does a disservice to them and us.

I do want to thank Scott McLarty and the Media Committee for prompt action and assistance to us. They did a nice job.

Gary Hecker
Co-Chair, GPF
Minimally edited and HTML formatted by Charlie Green