Coordinating Committee minutes, February 20th, 2012 (Executive Session)

The Coordinating Committee meeting of February 20th, 2012 was called on February 8th by Coordinating Committee Co-Coordinators Sanda Everette and Alex Shantz, as an Executive Session and as an emergency meeting, under the following party rules:

1) GPCA Bylaws

7-1.3. Meetings

Regular Coordinating Committee meetings shall be held at least once a month, in person or by teleconference. The Coordinating Committee may establish a regular monthly meeting date. Otherwise, date and location of the next regular meeting shall be determined at the close of each meeting or, failing this, be determined by the committee co-coordinators and announced with at least 20 days notice. A special (or emergency) meeting may be called with at least one week notice by the co-coordinators or a majority of the committee. All proposals considered at a special meeting shall have an 80% approval threshold for voting purposes. A quorum for all Coordinating Committee meetings shall be 50% + 1 of the currently seated members. Proxy votes are not allowed.

2) Coordinating Committee Internal Procedures:

Section 3-9 Executive Session

3-9.1 The Coordinating Committee may go into Executive Session only for personnel matters, sensitive legal and financial matters in which the Party itself is involved in actual or potential legal proceedings, sensitive conversations concerning Green candidates or elected officials, and when dealing with proprietary information of vendors and contractors. No other circumstances are appropriate for Executive Session. Only Coordinating Committee members and persons invited by the Coordinating Committee whose participation is necessary to address the agenda item are allowed to participate.

3-9.2 When an item proposed for Executive Session is called on the agenda, it shall first require consensus or a 2/3 vote to enter Executive Session. Once Executive Session has begun, if at least twenty percent of the Coordinating Committee members present believe that the discussion is entering areas that are inappropriate for Executive Session as per 3-9.1, they may ask for a vote and 2/3 is required to remain in Executive Session.

3-9.3 Agenda item for which Executive Session is denied or permission withdrawn as per 3-9.2 may be heard in open session, but only within the limits of what may be discussed outside of Executive Session, as per 3-9.1.

3-9.4 Minutes of all Executive Session shall include the time of entering and exiting Executive Session, those present and a general summary of topics discussed, without including specific information precluded under 3-9.1. Decisions made in Executive Session shall be reported in the Coordinating Committee minutes, subject to any legal limitations on disclosure.

1) Welcome and setup, roll call, quorum check

Coordinating Committee members present (14)Victoria Ashley (East Bay),  Marla Bernstein (at-large) joined at 7:57, Warner Bloomberg (Silicon Valley),  Maxine Daniel (at-large); Sanda Everette (at-large), Mike Feinstein (Los Angeles),  Barry Hermanson (San Francisco), Tim Laidman (at-large), Matt Leslie (Orange/Riverside/San Bernardino), Stevie Luther (at-large , Nancy Mancias (at-large), Alex Shantz (North Bay), Michael Rubin (at-large), Kate Tanaka (at-large)

Coordinating Committee members not present (3)Dave Heller (at-large), Lauren Sinott (at-large), Jeffrey Quackenbush  (San Diego/Imperial),

Coordinating Committee alternate present (1): June Brashares (North Bay)

Quorum: Owing to technical difficulties, the call did not start at 7pm as planned, but instead a new call-in number had to be used and call-ins began arriving around 7:15 and quorum was reaced at 7:27 with all participants other than Bernstein (who joined at 7:57) present. Given this delay, participants agreed to end the call at 9:30 instead of 9pm, to allow for the full two hours planned.

2) Roles

Facilitator: Alex Shantz  (approved by consensus)
Minutes taker: Mike Feinstein  (approved by consensus) 

3) Approval of Agenda 
There were no amendments to the agenda proposed.

4) General summary of topics discussed

The Coordinating Committee discussed the series of events leading to the appearance of Roseanne Barr on the California Secretary of State's February 6th list of approved candidates to appear on the GPCA's June 2012 Presidential Primary ballot, with a specific focus upon the practices of the GPUS Presidential Campaign Support Committee (PCSC) and whether GPUS rules regarding recognition of presidential candidates seeking the GPUS nomination were followed.

Two proposals to send letters were agendized - one to the GPUS and the PCSC co-chair, seeking answers to questions about this process; and one to the Barr for President campaign, also seeking answers to questions about this process. The draft proposed GPUS letter was considered and voted upon below as amended.  The draft proposed Barr for President campaign letter was not considered because of time considerations.

5) Proposal (Feinstein): That the Coordinating Committee approve the following letter:

Dear GPUS Steering Committee and Tom Yager,
Access to the GPCA’s presidential primary ballot is determined by a process that involves the California Election’s code, GPCA Rules and Procedures and GPUS Rules and Procedures.
To the degree that the GPCA willingly accedes part of the discretion over who appears on its presidential primary election ballot to the GPUS, it does so based upon the belief that the GPUS will follow its own rules in exercising that discretion.
In this case, that discretion was not exercised in concert with GPUS rules, and every indication is that those rules were violated intentionally and deliberately in a Kafkaesque manner in order to arrive at a pre-arranged result with the Barr campaign that would not have occurred at the time it did, if at all, had those rules been followed. These violations took place despite repeated opportunities for honesty and transparency within the PCSC, and despite repeated requests by GPCA members on the PCSC to provide information withheld from the committee.
We don’t make this statement lightly. But in light of the PCSC’s actions during January and February of this year, we must request answers to the following questions.
We specifically request an answer to GPCA Coordinating Committee co-coordinators by signed affidavit from Tom Yager by midnight West Coast time on Sunday, February 27th, after which we will decide upon what further courses of action we will take to ensure the integrity of our presidential primary ballot line and our relationship with the GPUS:
- Why did PCSC co-chair Tom Yager declare on January 25th, 2012 that Barr’s candidacy had met the GPUS requirements for presidential candidate recognition when he did not have documentation to support that assertion?
- In making that declaration of January 25th, why and under what authority did Yager declare that an 11:50pm East Coast deadline on February 1st would apply to the period during which Barr’s recognition could be challenged, when (1) it is standard GPUS practice for all voting periods to begin at midnight East Coast time and end at 11:59pm West Coast time a week later;  when (2) an 11:59pm deadline was applied to Kent Mesplay but not to Barr; and (3) when this 11:50pm East Coast deadline meant that the period during which Barr’s recognition could have been challenged ended before one could have determined whether her campaign had met the requirements for recognition itself?
- In making that declaration on January 25th, why and under what authority did Yager declare that an 11:50pm East Coast deadline on February 1st would apply to the period during which Barr’s recognition could be challenged, so that it created a a ten minute window of recognition for her campaign from 11:50 pm East Coast time through 11:59pm East Coast time so that Barr’s campaign did not have to provide evidence of raising $5,000 as of February 1st, as required by Article X of GPUS Rules and Procedures?
- Why and under what authority did Yager declare a PCSC conference call for January 31st, 2012 with less than a weeks notice as required under PCSC rules and procedures approved by the GPUS National Committee, when as the co-chair he should’ve known these rules and when the need for the January 31st meeting date could’ve been foreseen far in advance given the need for the committee to address compliance issues as of February 1st?
- Why did Yager not mention this ten minute window of recognition in which Barr could avoid the $5,000 requirement on the PCSC call on January 31st, during which a majority part of the PCSC’s discussion was centered upon methods of verifying whether as of February 1st whether Barr’s campaign had raised the $5,000?
- After agreeing upon the January 31st PCSC conference call to require an affidavit from the Barr campaign stating (1) the name of the campaign account, and the bank in which it exists, (2) that the campaign had raised at least $5K that did not include self-financing by the candidate, and (3) a list of all major donors during this period that would otherwise ultimately end up in a future FEC report, as a way of validating post-facto, the veracity of whether the $5K came from others than the candidate or not, why did Yager not ever produce such a document and  report it to the PCSC and why did he declare on February 2nd to the PCSC and to Barr and Weinrib that Barr’s campaign had achieved GPUS recognition that required this very withheld validation?
- Does Yager know the identify of Barr’s major donors, but chose not to disclose them? If so, has he told any other members of the PCSC or GPUS Steering Committee?
Sanda Everette, Alex Shantz
Co-coordinators, Coordinating Committee
Green Party of California


Yes (10): Ashley, Bernstein, Bloomberg, Everette, Feinstein, Mancias, Laidman, Leslie, Luther, Shantz
No (4): Daniel, Hermanson, Rubin, Tanaka
Abstain (0):

The proposal did not pass, because it received 71.4% and the approval threshold under GPCA Bylaws for special/emergency Coordinating Committee meetings is 80%