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Minutes of the America First National Committee

Tuesday, February 3, 2004

BE IT REMEMBERED that the America First National Committee met on Tuesday, February 3, 2004 at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, pursuant to the Resolution of the Operating Committee adopted on January 27, 2004.

Vice-Chairman Hill chaired the meeting. The National Committee meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Hey delivered the invocation.

The Secretary called the roll of National Committee members.

Present:

  • Dan Charles of Colorado
  • Tim Lohrmann of Idaho
  • Joe Hoffman of Illinois
  • Tom White of Massachusetts
  • Nancy Blankenship of Missouri
  • Romelle Winters of New Hampshire
  • Jim Arft and Bradley Maurer of New York
  • Sam Cross and David Thomas of Pennsylvania
  • Maureen McHugh of Illinois, National Treasurer
  • John Pittman Hey of Mississippi, National Secretary
  • Jon Hill of Massachusetts, National Vice-Chairman

Absent:

  • Frank Hackl of Wisconsin
  • Trey Golmon of Mississippi

Greg Roberts of Missouri, Larry Carroll of Colorado, and Ward Chorpenning of Ohio joined the meeting after the roll call had been taken.

Joe Spitzig of Ohio was present as a guest.

A Quorum being present, the Vice-Chairman called the meeting to order.

The Secretary reported receiving a written and signed resignation from Mr. Francis from his positions as Chairman and National Committee member.

Mr. Chorpenning moved the adoption of the Agenda. His motion was seconded by Mr. White.

Mr. Hey moved to amend the Agenda to add consideration of a Resolution to call a National Committee meeting for February 10, 2004 for the purpose of electing a Chairman and Treasurer. His amendment was seconded by Mr. White and adopted without objection.

The motion to adopt the Agenda as amended was accepted by unanimous vote.

The Secretary reminded the members that he had previously circulated draft minutes for the October 25, 2003 meeting of the National Committee. Mr. Hey moved the adoption of the minutes. His motion was seconded by Mr. Chorpenning and adopted by unanimous vote, Mrs. Blankenship abstaining.

The Secretary reminded the members that he had previously circulated draft minutes for the November 11, 2003 meeting of the National Committee. Mr. Hey moved the adoption of the minutes. His motion was seconded by Mr. White and adopted by unanimous vote, Mr. Arft abstaining.

The Secretary reminded the members that he had previously circulated draft minutes for the January 27, 2004 meeting of the National Committee. Mr. Hey moved the adoption of the minutes. His motion was seconded by Mr. Chorpenning and adopted by unanimous vote.

The Treasurer reported the filing of the year-end report to the Federal Election Commission. The current balance in the party's accounts is around $3500.

Mr. Charles moved the adoption of the Treasurer's report. His motion was seconded by Mr. Carroll.

A question by Mr. Arft prompted a brief discussion about the advantages of obtaining a Balance Sheet reflecting the assets and obligations of the party.

The motion to adopt the Treasurer's report was approved by unanimous vote.

Mr. Hill passed the gavel to Mr. Charles.

Mr. Hill presented the Finance Committee Report.

Mr. Hill moved the adoption of Resolution 1 of the Finance Committee Report. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. White.

Mr. Hill and Mr. Carroll proposed an amendment to add a new final paragraph to the Resolution. The amendment was accepted without objection.

The Resolution, as amended, reads as follows:

Finance Committee Resolution 1

Resolved,

That an expenditure of up to $2,500 be authorized for the production of 5,000 copies of the new quarterly newsletters; and

That the content of the newsletters be created by the Public Relations Committee and receive final approval by the Operating Committee.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. Hill moved the adoption of Resolution 2 of the Finance Committee Report. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. White.

Mr. White moved an amendment to increase the number of newsletters to be printed. After some discussion, the amendment was withdrawn.

The Resolution reads as follows:

Finance Committee Resolution 2

Resolved,

That an expenditure of up to $4,000 be authorized for the production of 12,000 generic newsletters, as soon as these funds become available.

The Resolution was adopted by overwhelming majority.

Mr. Hill moved the adoption of Resolution 3 of the Finance Committee Report. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. Hey. The Resolution reads as follows:

Finance Committee Resolution 3

Resolved:

That an expenditure of up to $1,200 be authorized for the printing of 50,000 "push-cards", as soon as these funds become available following production of the generic newsletters; and,

That the content of the "push-cards" be created by the Public Relations Committee, and receive final approval by the Operating Committee.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. Hill moved the adoption of Resolution 4 of the Finance Committee Report. The Resolution was seconded by Mrs. McHugh. The Resolution reads as follows:

Finance Committee Resolution 4

Whereas on September 28, 2002 the America First National Committee did unanimously adopt resolutions which grant the Finance Committee authority to create gifts in exchange for donation premium programs and to set the price of such gifts; and,

Whereas on February 25, 2003 the America First National Committee did adopt a resolution titled, "Resolution Regarding the Distribution of Pamphlets in Exchange for Donations" which limited the availability of pamphlets at cost to Affiliated State Parties and Organizing Committees and setting a much higher price for rank and file party members and non-members; and,

Whereas that resolution of February 25, 2003 set prices based on the ability of the Party Building Committee to recognize organizing committees, and that authority is now retained solely by the National Committee; and,

Whereas the America First National Committee and the American people have an interest in wide distribution of these promotional materials; and,

Whereas, the America First National Committee has an interest in retaining flexibility in the pricing of all premium items; and,

Whereas, the Finance Committee of the America First National Committee has adopted the following resolution:

Resolved by the Finance Committee of the America First National Committee:

That pamphlets produced by the America First National Committee be offered in exchange for donations from the Affiliated State Parties or the Organizing Committees recognized by the America First National Committee in lots of 500 at a rate equal to the per unit cost of production, rounded up to the nearest whole five dollar increment, plus postage; and,

That pamphlets produced by the America First National Committee be offered in exchange for donations from individual members of either the Affiliated State Parties or the National Membership Organization in lots of 100 at a rate equal to the per unit cost of production, rounded up to the nearest whole five dollar increment, plus postage; and,

That the per unit cost of production shall be computed by the Finance Chairman and distributed on the Party's Leaders reflector whenever availability of pamphlets is announced or upon request by a member of the America First National Committee; and,

That the cost of postage or delivery of the pamphlets to the Affiliated State Parties shall be born by the purchaser and shall be as worked out with the National Secretary; and,

That pamphlets produced by the America First National Committee be offered in exchange for donations to the general public in lots of 50 at a cost of $10, including standard first class postage; and,

That this resolution shall take effect upon the rescinding of a resolution titled "Resolution Regarding the Distribution of Pamphlets in Exchange for Donations", passed by the America First National Committee on February 25, 2003."

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the America First National Committee:

That the resolution entitled "Resolution Regarding the Distribution of Pamphlets in Exchange for Donations", passed by the America First National Committee on February 25, 2003, be rescinded.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. Charles passed the gavel back to Mr. Hill.

Mr. Charles presented the Rules Committee Report.

Mr. Charles moved the adoption of Resolution 1 of the Rules Committee Report. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. White. The Resolution reads as follows:

1) RESOLUTION TO VOID EXISTING REFLECTOR RULES AND ADOPT NEW REFLECTOR RULES

Whereas the National Party Constitution has been changed; and,

Whereas a membership program has been created for persons who live in states without Affiliated State Parties; and,

Whereas these changes impact on the operation of reflectors and require substantial amendment to the existing rules regarding reflectors;

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the America First National Committee:

That the existing rules governing reflectors be repealed and declared null and void; and,

That the following be adopted as the rules governing reflectors and outbound only e-mail lists of the America First National Committee:

Rules for Reflectors

1. Discussion Reflectors or Outbound Only e-Mail Lists may be created by resolution of the National Committee. Such authorizing resolution shall state the purpose, membership qualifications, and any rules specific to the operation of that reflector.

2. Each Discussion Reflector will have a Moderator elected by the National Committee or as designated by the authorizing resolution.

3. The membership of Outbound Only e-Mail Lists will be managed by the National Secretary as provided in the authorizing resolution.

4. An elected Moderator may be removed by majority vote of the National Committee.

5. Between meetings of the National Committee, the Operating Committee may by unanimous consent appoint moderators to fill vacancies, but such appointments shall last only until the next meeting of the National Committee.

6. No person shall be permitted to serve as Moderator of more than three Discussion Reflectors.

7. The National Secretary shall be responsible for membership management, in accordance with the direction of the National Committee and the Moderator of a given reflector. The Moderator shall be responsible for enforcement of these rules and ensuring that the National Secretary has a full and complete list of the members of the reflector.

8. Use of the reflectors is encouraged for the following purposes:

a. Positive news about the America First Party.

b. Constructive ideas for building the party and promoting its platform.

c. Information about how the Republican and Democrat establishment are destroying America.

d. Announcements of general interest to America Firsters.

e. Success stories from state party organizations and candidates.

f. Reports of America First Party member grassroots activism.

g. Discussion and debate on the merits of ideas.

9. The following activities are not permitted:

a. Posting false information about anybody, but especially other America Firsters.

b. Sniping and clever retorts whose purpose is to hurt feelings and "get goats".

c. Personal attacks or name calling or attacks based on race, religion, or gender.

d. Discussions that are not relevant to the America First Party or the purpose of the reflector.

e. Conduct that is disruptive to the purpose of the reflector.

f. Addressing messages to more than one reflector at a time or to others or the forwarding of messages from any reflector, unless the authorizing resolution for that reflector expressly permits forwarding.

g. Failure of a poster to identify him or her self in any post, by including their full name and state.

10. Misuse of the reflectors by any member of any affiliated state party shall carry the following ever increasing penalties:

a. The Moderator will issue a public warning to the user.

b. The Moderator will issue a second public warning to the user.

c. Following a third public warning, all postings by the user will be reviewed by the Moderator for 2 weeks, and impermissible messages will be rejected. The moderator will provide the poster with a private explanation as to why his or her post was rejected. The moderator will retain original posts and all subsequent correspondence with the poster for possible later review.

d. Following a fourth Public Warning, the user will be removed from the reflector for 1 month.

e. Following a fifth warning, the user will be permanently removed.

11. Persons who are not members of an Affiliated State Party are members of the reflector at the pleasure of the Moderator and the America First National Committee and may be removed from the reflector without warning or cause.

12. Each reflector shall be configured so that:

a. Only members of the reflector with posting privileges may post to the reflector.

b. There can be at most one addressee.

c. Archives shall require a password for access.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. Charles moved the adoption of Resolution 2 of the Rules Committee Report. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. Roberts. The Resolution reads as follows:

2) RESOLUTION TO VOID PRIOR RESOLUTIONS AUTHORIZING REFLECTORS

Whereas the Rules governing reflectors have been changed; and,

Whereas these changes impact on the requirements of the authorizing resolutions, making those currently in effect insufficient to meet the requirements of amended rules; and,

Whereas it will be easier to void all prior resolutions and reauthorize the reflectors under new resolutions than to amend the various existing resolutions;

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the America First National Committee:

That all prior resolutions authorizing the creation and operation of party reflectors are void and no longer in effect; and,

That the National Secretary shall take care to ensure that the membership lists of those reflectors are not destroyed, and shall take care to carry them over to any new reflector of the same name, and shall review them to ensure that each member listed meets the membership requirements of the reflector.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. Charles moved the adoption of Resolution 3 of the Rules Committee Report. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. White.

Mr. Arft moved an amendment to expand the membership of the Leaders reflector to include all members of the standing and special committees. His amendment was seconded by Mr. Maurer. After some debate, the amendment was not agreed to.

The Resolution reads as follows:

3) RESOLUTION TO CREATE A LEADERS REFLECTOR

Resolved by the America First National Committee:

That a reflector be created called the "Leaders" reflector with the posting address "leaders@americafirstparty.org"; and,

That the purpose of this reflector will be the discussion of official national party business and the exchange of ideas and information related to the operation of the party; and,

That the membership of this reflector shall be restricted to members of the National Committee, the Chairs of the Standing and Special Committees, members of the executive committees of the Affiliated State Parties, and the elected representative of each organizing committee recognized by the America First National Committee; and,

That the membership shall not post news articles or editorials from external sources or forward e-mails from external sources without a substantial explanation as to how the item relates to the purpose of the reflector; and,

That the Moderator of the Leaders reflector shall be elected from among the membership of the America First National Committee; and,

That when enforcing Section 10 of the rules on members of the National Committee, the term "removed" shall be interpreted to mean that the member shall not be permitted to post messages but shall continue to receive messages from the Leaders reflector.

The Resolution was adopted by overwhelming majority, Mr. Thomas abstaining.

Mr. Charles moved the adoption of Resolution 4 of the Rules Committee Report. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. White.

Mr. Arft and Mr. Maurer moved to table the Resolution. After some discussion, the motion to table was withdrawn.

The Resolution reads as follows:

4) RESOLUTION TO CREATE REFLECTORS FOR THE VARIOUS COMMITTEES

Resolved by the America First National Committee:

That a reflector be created for the Operating Committee and each of the Standing and Special Committees and subcommittees thereof, whose name and address shall be assigned by the National Secretary; and,

That the qualifications for membership of each reflector shall be membership on the relevant committee as determined by the National Party Constitution and all relevant resolutions of the America First National Committee; and,

That Section 10 of the "Rules for Reflectors" shall not apply to the reflector for the Operating Committee; and,

That the Chair of each committee shall be the Moderator of that committee's reflector.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. Charles moved the adoption of Resolution 5 of the Rules Committee Report. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. White.

Mr. Arft and Mr. Maurer moved an amendment to adjust the paragraphs relating to the authorized posters for this reflector. After some discussion, a friendly amendment was adopted by unanimous vote.

The Resolution as amended reads as follows:

5) RESOLUTION TO CREATE THE INFORMER MAILING LIST

Resolved by the America First National Committee:

That an Outbound Only e-Mail List be created called "Informer" whose e-mail address shall be "informer@americafirstparty.org"; and,

That the purpose of this list shall be to publish party news and party business related announcements of interest to the general public; and,

That the qualifications for membership shall be a stated interest in receiving this content; and,

That the Operating Committee shall take care to assure that persons who have expressed an interest in the party are invited to join this reflector on at least a quarterly basis; and,

That only the National Chair, National Vice-Chairman, National Secretary, and National Press Secretary shall be permitted to post to this list, but others may submit posts to any of the above persons for inclusion at their discretion; and,

That the National Chair, National Vice-Chairman, National Secretary, and National Press Secretary shall coordinate their posting activities; and,

That the content of this reflector may be forwarded by recipients.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. Charles moved the adoption of Resolution 6 of the Rules Committee Report. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. White.

Mr. Arft and Mr. Hey moved an amendment to modify the authorized posters for this reflector. The amendment was adopted by unanimous vote.

The Resolution as amended reads as follows:

6) RESOLUTION TO CREATE THE MEDIA RELEASE MAILING LIST

Resolved by the America First National Committee:

That an Outbound Only e-Mail List shall be created called "Media Release" whose e-mail address shall be "mediarelease@americafirstparty.org"; and,

That the purpose of this list shall be to publish party news and party business related announcements of interest to members of the press and media; and,

That the membership shall be determined by the Public Relations Committee; and,

That only the National Chair, National Vice-Chairman, National Secretary, and National Press Secretary shall be permitted to post to this list, but others may submit posts to any of the above persons for inclusion at their discretion; and,

That the National Chair, National Vice-Chairman, National Secretary, and National Press Secretary shall coordinate their posting activities; and,

That the content of this reflector may be forwarded by recipients.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. Lohrmann and Mr. Chorpenning moved to adjourn. After brief comment by others, the motion was withdrawn.

Mr. Charles moved the adoption of Resolution 7 of the Rules Committee Report. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. Hey. The Resolution reads as follows:

7) RESOLUTION TO CREATE THE CHAT REFLECTOR

Resolved by the America First National Committee:

That a reflector be created called the "Chat" reflector with the posting address "chat@americafirstparty.org"; and,

That the purpose of this reflector will be the general discussion of issues of interest to the members of the party; and,

That the Moderator shall be elected by the National Committee; and,

That the membership of this reflector shall be restricted to members of the Affiliated State Parties, members of the America First Party Membership Organization, and interested guests at the discretion of the Moderator.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. Charles moved to table the remaining Resolutions reported by the Rules Committee. Mr. Arft seconded the motion, which was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. Hey moved the adoption of a Resolution to call a meeting of the National Committee. His Resolution was seconded by Mr. White. The Resolution reads as follows:

Resolved, that the National Committee meet on February 10, 2004 at 9 p.m. EST by teleconference for the purpose of conducting elections for the positions of Chairman and Treasurer, and for any other business that may be brought forward.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. Charles moved that the National Committee adjourn. The motion was seconded by Mr. White and adopted by unanimous vote. The Vice-Chairman declared the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
______________________
John Pittman Hey
National Secretary
America First National Committee

 
 
   
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