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SAMPLE STATE BY-LAWS – 2011-2012
Bylaws and Rules of the
[State] Republican Liberty Caucus
Article I: Name
The name of this organization shall be the Republican Liberty Caucus of [STATE], hereinafter referred to as the “Charter”. The organization seeks recognition as a Chartered State Chapter of the national Republican Liberty Caucus, hereinafter referred to as “Caucus”. These Bylaws and Rules were adopted in Convention on [Day, Month, Year] and recognition of the Charter was granted by the Caucus Board of Directors on [Day, Month, Year].
Article II: Purpose
The Charter is a political action organization dedicated to promoting the ideals of individual rights, limited government and free enterprise within the Republican Party of the United States of America by:
A. Promoting these ideals among Party officials and its various organizations;
B. Identifying and supporting candidates sympathetic with these ideals;
C. Promoting Charter and Caucus membership among Party registrants, officials, officeholders and voters.
Article III: Membership
Section 1: There shall be three categories of membership: Regular, Associate, and Honorary.
A. Regular membership shall be limited to individuals who are affiliated with the Republican Party (as determined by the Charter Secretary), who have paid current minimum dues and who support the purposes of the Charter. Regular members are qualified to serve in any official capacity in the Charter, to act as delegates at any Convention and to enjoy all the privileges extended in these Bylaws.
B. Associate membership shall be open to individual, no matter their political affiliation, who have affirmatively indicated their support for the purposes of the Charter. Associate members shall receive such services and privileges as the Board of Directors may specify.
C. Honorary membership may be extended to any person designated by the Board of Directors of the Charter. Honorary members shall enjoy such rights, privileges or honors as may be explicitly conferred thereby, either individually or as a group.
Section 2: The Board of Directors shall set the minimum annual dues requirement for Regular membership in the Charter, which shall not exceed fifty dollars. Dues shall be current until the anniversary date of the member’s previous dues payment.
Section 3: Dues payments received by the Charter shall be shared with the national Caucus in a fixed amount, not to exceed twenty-five dollars, and disbursed to the Caucus on an agreed schedule, at least quarterly and at least thirty days before a Caucus Convention. Dues payments received by the Caucus shall be shared in the same fixed amount and disbursed to the Charter on the same agreed schedule. The Charter may offer premium membership rates or services, which shall be subject to the same fixed dues sharing amounts as Regular membership. No Regular membership shall be offered for a period in excess of two years.
Section 4: The Charter may waive its portion of dues for any special circumstance or condition approved by the Charter Board, but shall pay the fixed shared amount of dues to the Caucus, either from the exceptional membership dues payment or from general revenues. Either entity may offer periodic payments smaller than the Regular minimum dues, but shall disburse the shared portion before any other allocation of receipts.
Section 5: Contributions received by the Charter from contributors who are not Regular Members shall first be applied toward minimum annual dues and shared in the same fashion as other dues receipts, unless the contributor explicitly declines such membership. All other contributions or donations may be expended as specified by the Charter, but shall not be donated to any electoral campaign.
Section 6: Any membership may be suspended or revoked by a majority vote of the Board of Directors of the Caucus or the applicable Chartered State executive committee for just cause, which may include malfeasance in office, misappropriation of funds, misrepresenting the positions of the Caucus, or conduct which reflects poorly on the Caucus. Any member suspended or revoked by a State charter organization shall have the right to appeal to the National Board of Directors within 90 days, and the National Board of Directors shall render a decision within 90 days of appeal.
Article IV: Board of Directors
Section 1. The Board of Directors of the Charter, hereinafter “Board”, shall consist of the at least three Officers of the Charter. There shall be an additional five At-Large members and at least three Alternate members. Board members shall be Regular members of the Charter, elected for two-year terms by delegates at a Regular Convention of the Charter. Alternate members may be designated by the Chairman as voting members of the Board whenever regular members are absent from any meeting or fail to participate in any electronic ballot. Any member of the Board may be removed for just cause and vacancies may be filled by a majority vote of all Board members.
Section 2. The Board shall ensure the effective implementation of these Bylaws, adopt an annual or quarterly budget, provide for effective communications among members, the Charter and the general public, and make arrangements for Regular and Special Conventions of the Charter.
Section 3. The Board shall have full power and authority to govern all the affairs of the Charter between conventions and shall have the sole, ultimate, final and exclusive control over all property, assets, liabilities and other resources of the Charter. The Board shall have the authority to hire, fire, contract and take such legal actions as will effect the will of the Board.
Section 4. The Board shall conduct its meetings in conformance with the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, in the absence of standard or special rules it may adopt that conform with these Bylaws and Rules. The Board may conduct meetings or ballots by telephone, email, or any other means it deems appropriate. Regular meetings of the Board shall occur at least quarterly, with at least one week’s notice. A special meeting of the Board shall occur immediately following any Convention. Other special, emergency, or informal meetings of the Board may be called at the written request of any three members, on three days notice to all Board members. Any Regular member may attend or obtain the minutes of any Board meeting, unless two-thirds of the Board members agree to a closed session, at which the Board may deliberate, but not adopt, exceptional motions.
Section 5. In any dispute between the Caucus and this Charter, the decision of the Caucus Board of Directors shall be final.
Article V: Officers
Section 1. The Officers of the Charter shall consist of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, who shall all be voting members of Board and subject to the provisions of the preceding Article. Candidates for Officer shall have been Regular members of the Charter for at last two years prior to their nomination. Candidates for Chairman and Vice-Chairman shall have been Regular members for at least three years and members of the Board of Directors for at least six months prior to their nomination.
Section 2. Elected Officers shall assume office at the close of the Convention at which they are elected. Any Officer may be dismissed for misconduct or malfeasance upon thirty days notice to the Officer and a majority vote of all members of the Board. Any Officer vacancy may be filled by a majority vote of all members of the Board. New Officers must qualify under the provisions of the previous Section and shall assume office immediately upon election by the Board. If Officer vacancies occur between Board meetings, the seceding officer listed in the preceding section, followed by At-Large Board members, shall serve as the acting Officer until the next meeting of the Board.
Section 3. The Officers shall perform such duties as are prescribed in these Bylaws.
A. The Chairman shall be the primary spokesman of the Charter; shall execute the resolutions of the Board of Directors; shall preside at meetings of the Board and official sessions of any Convention, unless absent or replaced by an Acting Chairman, and shall ensure the administration of all provisions of these Bylaws. The Chairman may appoint any Regular members as special project or liaison directors of such standing or special executive committees or projects as he deems appropriate for the performance of these duties.
B. The Vice-Chairman shall assume the duties and obligations of Chairman in his absence, assist the Chairman in his duties and serve as Director of the Local Chartering and Convention Committees.
C. The Secretary shall record and distribute the minutes of all Board meetings and Conventions, certify Delegates, conduct such ballots as the Board may direct, and act as Parliamentarian for all official business of the Charter. The Secretary shall serve as Director of the Communications and Public Relations Committee.
D. The Treasurer shall be the custodian of all Charter funds, shall propose annual and quarterly budgets, safeguard the financial resources of the Charter and make such periodic reports of finances as the Board may require. The Treasurer shall receive and disburse dues sharing payments in cooperation with the Treasurer of the Caucus. The Treasurer shall serve as Director of the Finance and Fundraising Committee.
Article VI: Conventions
Section 1. The Board shall call and hold a Regular Convention in every even-numbered year, at such place and time as the Board shall designate, for the purpose of adopting revisions to these Bylaws and Rules, electing members of the Board, adopting public policy statements, and conducting such other business as it deems appropriate.
Section 2. All members of the Charter shall be notified of the Regular Convention at least sixty days prior to the designated date of the Convention. Such notice shall include the location, calendar of events, official business to be conducted and such other information as would facilitate and encourage attendance by Charter members.
Section 3. All Regular members certified by the Treasurer as having paid current dues at least thirty days prior to the Convention shall be qualified to be voting Delegates for all official business conducted during the Convention. No Delegate shall be required to pay any fee for participation in official business, but may be required to register and pay for such events or services the Board deems beneficial to the Charter and attractive to the members.
Section 4. A quorum for Regular Convention business shall be a majority of the certified Delegates who have registered as being in attendance with the Secretary, or such Credentials Committee as the Secretary shall designate. The Convention shall be governed by the latest version of Robert’s Rules of Order which are consistent with these Bylaws and Rules, unless a majority of the registered Delegates adopt special rules for the duration of the Convention. There shall be no absentee or proxy voting on any official business.
Section 5. In the event of an emergency, the Board may, by a two-thirds vote, postpone a Regular Convention for no more than ninety days and shall notify members by the best means available.
Section 6. The Board may call a Special Convention at any time by a majority vote. Special Conventions may only conduct such official business as may be explicitly authorized by a two-thirds vote of the Board. If such official business is authorized, the preceding sections of this Bylaw relating to notice, Delegate status and proceedings shall apply to official sessions of the Special Convention. Special Conventions may include such events and services as the Board deems beneficial to the Charter and attractive to the members.
Article VII: Statements of Positions
Section 1. Statements of Position may be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the certified and registered Delegates at any Regular Convention, or the official sessions of any Special Convention which may be authorized by the Board under these Bylaws.
Section 2. Statements proposed by a majority vote of the Board or in a Petition signed by no less than twenty-five Regular members at least forty-five days prior to the Convention date may be submitted to the Delegates for adoption.
Section 3. All proposed Statements shall conform with the Caucus Statement of Positions or state and local applications of the Charter Purpose. Prior to Convention consideration, copies of the proposed Statements shall be submitted in writing to the Caucus Board at least ten days before the Convention for review, advice and consent.
Section 4. Notice of all proposed Statements shall be distributed to Regular members with the notice of Convention.
Article VIII: Local Chapters
Section 1. The Board shall encourage and certify the chartering of such local, county and regional chapters within the state which qualify under the provisions of these Bylaws and Rules. The Board may certify qualified State Charters by a majority vote at a regular meeting.
Section 2. The Board may set such minimum criteria for local chapter bylaws and require such verification of Regular membership as it deems appropriate for certification.
Section 3. In any dispute between the Charter and any chapter, the decision of the Charter Board of Directors shall be final.
Article IX: Amendment
Section 1. These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the certified and registered Delegates at any Regular Convention, or the official sessions of any Special Convention which may be authorized by the Board under these Bylaws. Amendments proposed by a majority vote of the Board or in a Petition signed by no less than twenty-five Regular members no less than forty-five days prior to a Convention may be submitted to the Delegates for adoption. Notice of proposed amendments shall be distributed to all Regular members with the notice of Convention.
Section 2. Amendments shall go into effect immediately, unless otherwise stated in the proposed Amendment.
Section 3. Charter Rules may be amended by a majority of the certified and registered Delegates, or by a two-thirds vote of the Board, after at least thirty days notice.
Rule 1. Standing Committees
A. The Membership Committee, under the direction of the Chairman, shall promote new memberships, encourage membership renewal, and ensure the maintenance of an accurate membership database. The Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer shall serve as members of the Membership Committee;
B. The Candidate Review Committee, under the direction of the Chairman, shall obtain, review and distribute information on candidates and recommend candidates for endorsement by the Board;
C. The Local Chapter Committee, under the direction of the Vice-Chairman, shall promote, assist and process Petitions for local, county and regional chapters;
D. The Convention Committee, under the direction of the Vice-Chairman, shall plan, arrange, promote and conduct all Regular and Special Conventions of the Charter. The Secretary and Treasurer shall serve on the Committee to facilitate Delegate certification;
E. The Communications and Public Relations Committee, under the direction of the Secretary, shall supervise, maintain, facilitate and conduct communications among the members, the Board, the media and the general public;
F. The Finance and Fund Raising Committee, under the direction of the Treasurer, shall arrange, facilitate and solicit financial contributions to the Charter.
Rule 2. Special Directors
Special Directors nominated by the Chairman and appointed by the Board shall include:
A. The Webmaster, who shall be responsible for the operation, maintenance and content of the Charter Internet services, as a member of the Communications and Public Relations Committee;
B. The Newsletter Editor, who shall be responsible for the preparation, production and distribution of printed or electronically published news of the Charter, as a member of the Communications and Public Relations Committee;
C. The Media Relations Director, who shall be responsible for the preparation, production and distribution of news releases and position statements of the Charter on public issues.
Rule 3. Dues Sharing
Charter membership dues may be collected by either the Caucus or this Charter organization, provided that:
A. The amount collected for Regular membership shall not be less than $15, which shall be transferred to the other entity as the dues share for that member;
B. The standard dues collected for Regular membership shall be $45 for both Caucus and Charter membership, of which $15 shall be transferred to the other entity as the dues share for that member;
C. Either entity may collect smaller periodic dues payments toward membership, but shall allocate the first receipts to dues sharing with the other entity;
D. No dues transfer shall be required for members making dues payments to the Charter who are residents of unchartered states or territories;
E. The Caucus or Charter organizations my offer such premium membership rates or services as may be designated by their executive committees, subject to the same fixed dues sharing amounts as Regular membership;
F. Honorary memberships may be offered by either the Caucus or Charter organizations, but if they grant any of the rights of Regular members, the granting entity shall pay the other entity the dues share for that member;
G. Contributions or donations made by non-members shall be subject to dues sharing unless the contributor or donor declines Regular membership privileges;
H. All contact and payment information received by either entity shall be communicated to the other entity, at least as often as shared funds are disbursed under the Bylaws;
I. Membership shall expire upon the Anniversary date of the last payment made by an Regular member.
Rule 4. Candidate Endorsements
Any candidate endorsement by the Charter shall comply with the following:
A. The endorsement of candidate for federal office may be proposed by a majority vote of either the executive committee of the Caucus or the Charter state where a candidate is to be elected. No proposal for endorsement shall be official or made public until it has been confirmed by a majority vote of the other executive committee.
B. No candidate contesting an election against any Republican Party nominee may be proposed for endorsement by the Caucus;
C. The Charter Board may endorse candidates for any state legislative seat or state cabinet-level positions, but endorsements of candidates for state executive offices shall require the same Caucus confirmation as candidates for federal offices;
D. A primary candidate for President of the United States may not be endorsed by the Charter or the Caucus in the absence of a majority vote of the Caucus Board and each Chartered State’s executive committee;
E. Preference shall be granted to any candidate who has signed the “Liberty Compact” of the Caucus or who has been rated as “libertarian” in the “Liberty Index” of the Caucus;
F. Endorsements may be withdrawn for good and sufficient reasons upon the majority vote of both the proposing and confirming executive committees;
Rule 5. Public Policy Statements
The executive committees of the Caucus or Charter States may adopt and issue public policy statements which do not conflict with the Statements of Positions specified in these Bylaws:
A. Public positions related to federal legislation may only be adopted by a majority vote of the Caucus Board after at least two days notice;
B. Public positions related to state legislation may only be adopted by a majority vote of the Charter Board, but shall not conflict with any prior policy position adopted by the Caucus;
C. No resources of the Charter shall be used to promote any commercial enterprise without the advance contractual approval of the Board.
Rule 6. Political Action Committees
The Charter Board may establish a political action committee, hereinafter “PAC”, under the applicable state statutes, for the purpose of contributing to state or local candidates for public office, provided:
A. The PAC shall be designated with the proper state authorities as a membership committee of the Charter;
B. The Board of Directors of such PAC shall include all of the Officers of the executive committees of the Charter;
C. The PAC shall be constituted with such bylaws and rules as are consistent with Charter Bylaws and Rules;
D. The PAC shall not contribute to any candidate who has not received a public endorsement by the Charter in compliance with the applicable Rules;
E. The PAC shall not contribute to any federal candidate and shall forward any donations designated for federal candidates to the designated Caucus PAC;
F. All PAC donations and contributions, as well as all contact information obtained by the PAC, shall be disclosed promptly to the Caucus and the Caucus PAC.
Rule 7. Electronic Voting
Votes of the Board may be taken by electronic ballot via either eMail or eGroup tabulations conducted by the Secretary under the following rules:
A. Electronic ballots shall be issued to all Board members on any resolution submitted by at least three Board members to the Secretary;
B. The Secretary shall issue an electronic ballot within two days and shall receive and tabulate all ballots received within seven days of issue;
C. If any Officer or At-Large Board member fails to cast a ballot, the Secretary shall record them as absent and substitute the ballots of Alternate members in the chronological sequence in which they were received;
D. The Secretary shall inform members of ballots cast and provide members who have not cast a ballot with a two day reminder of the ballot deadline;
E. In the event that fewer than five ballots are cast prior to the deadline, the resolution will fail for lack of a quorum.
F. The results of the balloting shall be reported to Board members immediately after the deadline and recorded in the minutes of the next Board meeting.
[Bylaws and Rules Adopted in Convention MM/DD/YYYY]
© Republican Liberty Caucus of [State] Charter and Republican Liberty Caucus