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Minutes of the America First National Committee

Tuesday, August 3, 2004
Continued Tuesday, August 17, 2004

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

The Chairman led the National Committee meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mr. Hey delivered the Invocation.

The Secretary called the roll of National Committee members.

Present:

  • Dan Charles of Colorado
  • Larry Carroll of Colorado
  • Martin McClellan of Florida
  • Maureen McHugh of Illinois
  • Tim Lohrmann of Idaho
  • Tom White of Massachusetts
  • Trey Golmon of Mississippi
  • Greg Roberts of Missouri
  • Nancy Blankenship of Missouri
  • Romelle Winters of New Hampshire
  • Jim Arft of New York
  • Bradley Maurer of New York
  • David Thomas of Pennsylvania
  • Frank Hackl of Wisconsin
  • John Pittman Hey of Mississippi, National Secretary
  • Jon Hill of Massachusetts, National Vice-Chairman

Absent:

  • Joe Hoffman of Illinois
  • Ward Chorpenning of Ohio
  • Joe Spitzig of Ohio

Sam Cross of Pennsylvania joined the meeting after the roll call had been taken.

A Quorum being present, the Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:15 p.m. EDT.

The National Secretary delivered a Credentials Report. He reported receiving a signed resignation from the National Committee from Mr. Gaurav Ahuja of Florida. According to the Party Constitution, Mr. Ahuja's name has been removed from the Certified List of National Committee members.

Mrs. Winters moved the adoption of the Credentials Report. The motion was seconded by Mr. White and adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. McClellan moved the adoption of the Agenda. His motion was seconded by Mrs. McHugh. The Agenda was adopted by unanimous vote.

The Chairman delivered his report. He described receiving and engaging various requests regarding third party unification efforts. He reported on his meeting with Congressman Tancredo, and the problem of the Republican Party squeezing conservatives out of that party little by little. Many press releases have been issued since the last meeting, and the Chairman is attempting to line up various radio interviews. Finally, the Chairman has been working hard with the various standing committees to help move along party business.

The Secretary reminded the members that he had previously circulated draft minutes for the May 4, 2004 meeting of the National Committee. Mr. Hey moved the adoption of the minutes. His motion was seconded by Mrs. Winters and adopted by unanimous vote.

The Treasurer referred the Committee to the full Report that has been published on the Reflector and on the Agenda web page. The current account balance is $2110.77, and there are no outstanding obligations to be paid. The FEC report has been filed and may be reviewed on the FEC's web site.

The Treasurer moved the adoption of the Treasurer's Report. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Winters and adopted by unanimous vote.

A Resolution referred by the Finance Committee was moved by Mr. Hill. The Resolution was seconded by Mrs. McHugh and reads as follows:

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING FUNDING FOR THE PRODUCTION OF TRI-FOLD BROCHURES

Whereas, the party's tri-fold pamphlet is needed for partybuilding, and present on-hand stock is virtually exhausted,

Therefore, be it resolved by the America First National Committee:

That 10,000 tri-fold pamphlets, subject to the approval of the Public Relations Committee, be immediately purchased for no more than $300.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

A Resolution referred by the Finance Committee was moved by Mr. Hill. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. White and reads as follows:

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING FUNDING FOR THE PRODUCTION OF BUMPER STICKERS

Whereas, bumper stickers are needed for partybuilding and serving store orders, and the present on-hand stock is virtually exhausted,

Therefore, be it resolved by the America First National Committee:

That 1,000 bumper stickers, with the design subject to the approval of the Public Relations Committee, be immediately purchased for no more than $300.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

A Resolution referred by the Finance Committee was moved by Mr. Hill. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. Arft and reads as follows:

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING FUNDING FOR THE PRODUCTION OF NEWSLETTER INSERTS

Whereas, newsletter inserts, which are comprised of a return envelope and fundraising letter, and which are automatically stapled into the newsletter at the time of printing, are needed for raising of operating funds for the party,

Therefore, be it resolved, by the America First National Committee:

That 25,000 newsletter inserts, with the design subject to the approval of the Finance Committee, be purchased for no more than $1,500 as soon as funds become available after the purchase of 10,000 tri-fold pamphlets and 1,000 bumper stickers.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

A Resolution referred by the Finance Committee was moved by Mr. Hill. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. White and reads as follows:

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING FUNDING FOR THE PRODUCTION OF NEWSLETTERS

Whereas, the next quarterly newsletter is expected to be ready for printing shortly, and it is needed for raising operating funds for the party,

Therefore, be it resolved, by the America First National Committee:

That 5,000 quarterly newsletters be printed, with the content subject to the approval of the Public Relations Committee, for no more than $2,200, as soon as funds become available after the purchase of 10,000 tri-fold pamphlets, 1,000 bumper stickers, and the printing of 25,000 newsletter inserts.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

The Chairman passed the gavel to Mr. Hill.

A Resolution referred by the Rules Committee was moved by Mr. Charles. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. White.

Mr. Arft moved that the Resolution be tabled until the next meeting. His motion was seconded by Mr. Maurer.

Several members spoke for and against the motion to table. The motion to table failed.

A vigorous debate was held regarding the merits of the Resolution.

Mr. Lohrmann moved an amendment to strike the words "in person" from the Resolution. His amendment was seconded by Mr. Arft. After debate, the question was called, and the acting Chairman ruled the amendment failed.

Mr. Maurer asked for a roll call vote. The Secretary called the roll and recorded the following vote:

For the amendment: Mr. Lohrmann, Mr. Arft, and Mr. Maurer.

Against the amendment: Mr. McClellan, Mrs. McHugh, Mr. White, Mr. Golmon, Mr. Roberts, Mrs. Blankenship, Mrs. Winters, Mr. Thomas, Dr. Cross, Mr. Hackl, Mr. Hey, and Mr. Hill.

The amendment was rejected.

Mr. Arft moved an amendment to change the clause at the end of the first numbered section to read: "multiplied by 1 to 1.5 at the discretion of the Party Building Chairman". His amendment was seconded by Mr. Maurer.

After some discussion, the question was called on the amendment, and the acting chairman ruled the amendment failed.

Mr. Maurer asked for a roll call vote. The Secretary called the roll and recorded the following vote:

For the amendment: Mrs. McHugh, Mr. Lohrmann, Mr. Arft, Mr. Maurer, and Dr. Cross.

Against the amendment: Mr. McClellan, Mr. White, Mr. Golmon, Mr. Roberts, Mrs. Blankenship, Mrs. Winters, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Hey, and Mr. Hill.

The amendment was rejected.

The Resolution reads as follows:

RESOLUTION REGARDING THE PROCEDURE FOR ESTABLISHING AN ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

Whereas Article VIII, Section 8, states in part, "In any state for which there is no affiliated state party, the National Committee shall be empowered to establish an organizing committee, and to establish rules for the operation thereof"; and,

Whereas Article VII, Section 4, states in part, "The Party Building Committee shall be responsible for developing for National Committee approval and implementing strategies to build and maintain the party as a major national political party"; and,

Whereas Article VII, Section 2, states in part, "The Rules Committee shall be responsible for ... developing and proposing other procedural rules, including amendments thereto, for the conduct of the party; working with various affiliated State Parties in development and adoption of their state party rules;" and,

Whereas it is incumbent upon the America First National Committee to adopt rules and procedures to ensure an open, fair, and comprehensible process for creating organizing committees in those states where no state party exists;

Therefore be it Resolved by the America First National Committee:

That an Organizing Committee may only be established using procedures adopted by the America First National Committee; and,

That at no time shall there be more than one Organizing Committee in a given state; and,

That unless otherwise instructed by the America First National Committee, the Party Building Committee is granted sole authority to determine whether National Membership Organization members in a state have met the requirements for establishing an Organizing Committee in that state; and,

That the Party Building Committee shall work to establish Organizing Committees in states where the following minimum requirements have been met:

1) In states with 7 or more Congressional Districts, a minimum number of members of the National Membership Organization equal to or greater than the number of Congressional Districts multiplied by 1.5;

2) In states with 6 or fewer Congressional Districts, a minimum number of members of the National Membership Organization equal to or greater than 10;

3) Among the members, a demonstrated commitment and activism through successful and continuing participation in the Activist Program by bringing in new members and contacts, raising funds for the national party, and demonstrating an ability to lead in public; and,

That the Founding Meeting of an Organizing Committee shall be called by resolution of the Party Building Committee; and,

That the National Membership Organization members and known prospects for a given state shall be sent a notice of the Founding Meeting of an Organizing Committee by the National Secretary by mail and, where appropriate, e-mail at least 30 days prior to the meeting; and,

That the Founding Meeting of an Organizing Committee shall be conducted in-person and may not be conducted via teleconference or other electronic means; and,

That the Founding Meeting of an Organizing Committee shall follow an agenda adopted by the America First National Committee and shall elect officers, a representative observer to the America First National Committee, a Party Building Committee Chair, and shall adopt the Rules of Operation and any resolutions required by the America First National Committee; and,

That the Founding Meeting of an Organizing Committee shall not be considered valid unless attended by at least six members of the National Membership Organization who have been members for at least 30 days; and,

That only members of the National Membership Organization may participate in the Founding Meeting of an Organizing Committee; and,

That a resolution granting recognition of an Organizing Committee shall require approval by a majority of the entire membership of the America First National Committee; and,

That such resolution shall only originate from a formal recommendation adopted by the Party Building Committee; and,

That recognition of an Organizing Committee may be revoked by the America First National Committee by resolution adopted by a simple majority of those present and voting at a meeting of that body; and,

That recognition of an Organizing Committee shall otherwise automatically expire upon the seating of National Committee members from that state.

The Resolution was adopted by overwhelming majority vote.

A Resolution referred by the Rules Committee was moved by Mr. Charles. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. White. Several members argued for and against the Resolution.

Mr. Maurer moved to recess the meeting until Tuesday, August 17, 2004, at 9 p.m. EDT. The motion was seconded by Mr. Arft.

The acting chairman asked that a roll call be taken. The Secretary called the roll and recorded the following vote:

For the motion to recess: Mrs. Blankenship, Mr. Arft, Mr. Maurer, and Dr. Cross.

Against the motion to recess: Mrs. McHugh, Mr. White, Mr. Golmon, Mrs. Winters, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Hey, and Mr. Hill.

Abstaining from the vote: Mr. McClellan, Mr. Roberts, and Mr. Hackl.

The motion to recess failed.

The Resolution reads as follows:

RESOLUTION ENCOURAGING ACCEPTANCE OF THE NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP FORM

Whereas the Membership Form for the America First Party National Membership Organization appears on the website of the America First Party; and,

Whereas on occasion a person wanting to join the party who lives in a state with an Affiliated State Party may download, print, fill-out, and mail in that form, mistakenly believing that they have joined the America First Party; and,

Whereas it is in the interest of the America First Party not to discourage persons who act with such good faith and initiative;

Now therefore be it resolved by the America First National Committee that the following recommendation is made to the Affiliated State Parties:

That this recommendation applies only to states where membership is governed solely by the rules of the Affiliated State Party and it requires the submission of a membership application or form to the state party; and,

That the Affiliated State Parties adjust their By-Laws and Rules to permit the submission of a National Membership Form in substitution of a state specific membership form when such form is submitted in good faith.

The question being called, the acting chairman ruled the Resolution was adopted.

Mr. Maurer asked for a roll call vote. The Secretary called the roll and recorded the following vote:

For the Resolution: Mr. McClellan, Mrs. McHugh, Mr. White, Mr. Golmon, Mr. Roberts, Mrs. Blankenship, Mrs. Winters, Mr. Thomas, Dr. Cross, Mr. Hackl, Mr. Hey, and Mr. Hill.

Against the Resolution: Mr. Arft and Mr. Maurer.

The Resolution was adopted.

Mr. Hey moved to recess the meeting until Tuesday, August 17, 2004, at 9 p.m. EDT. The motion was seconded by Mr. White and adopted by overwhelming majority vote.

Therefore, the meeting was recessed until Tuesday, August 17, 2004 at 9 p.m.

The National Committee resumed its meeting on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 at 9 p.m.

The Chairman led the National Committee meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mr. Hey delivered the Invocation.

The Secretary called the roll of National Committee members.

Present:

  • Dan Charles of Colorado
  • Maureen McHugh of Illinois
  • Tom White of Massachusetts
  • Trey Golmon of Mississippi
  • Greg Roberts of Missouri
  • Romelle Winters of New Hampshire
  • Bradley Maurer of New York
  • Ward Chorpenning of Ohio
  • Joe Spitzig of Ohio
  • David Thomas of Pennsylvania
  • Sam Cross of Pennsylvania
  • John Pittman Hey of Mississippi, National Secretary
  • Jon Hill of Massachusetts, National Vice-Chairman

Absent:

  • Larry Carroll of Colorado
  • Martin McClellan of Florida
  • Joe Hoffman of Illinois
  • Tim Lohrmann of Idaho
  • Nancy Blankenship of Missouri
  • Jim Arft of New York
  • Frank Hackl of Wisconsin

Mr. Hey moved that the Committee return to the regular order of the Agenda. His motion was seconded by Mr. White and adopted by unanimous vote.

The Chairman passed the gavel to Mr. Hill.

A Resolution referred by the Rules Committee was moved by Mr. Charles. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. Maurer.

The members debated the merits of the resolution. The Resolution reads as follows:

RESOLUTION GOVERNING AN ENDORSEMENT OF A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

Whereas, the Constitution of the America First Party is silent on the issue of endorsement of candidates for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States of America, but does provide methods for both the America First National Committee and the National Convention of the America First Party to nominate candidates for those offices; and,

Whereas, Article III, Sections 18 and 19 permit the America First National Committee to overrule the nomination decisions of the National Convention; and,

Whereas, Article III, Section 1 makes it clear that the America First National Committee is "the final governing authority of the party"; and,

Whereas, it is consistent with the plans of the America First Party since the Party's founding in 2002, that the America First Party will not nominate a candidate for President of the United States of America in 2004; and,

Whereas, the America First National Committee has a responsibility to our members and the general public to provide guidance regarding a vote for the office of President of the United States;

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

That the proper body of the America First Party to endorse a candidate for President of the United States of America is the America First National Committee; and,

That the running mate of an endorsed candidate for President of the United States of America shall automatically received the endorsement of the party for Vice- President of the United States of America; and,

That this resolution shall expire following the close of the polls in the western time zone on Election Day; and,

That once this procedure is followed and should no candidate receive the endorsement of the America First National Committee, or should an endorsement be rescinded, or should no candidate qualify for endorsement in accordance with this resolution, nothing in this resolution shall prevent the America First National Committee from adopting a resolution of support for a candidate which is less than an endorsement; and,

That the following rules be adopted governing the endorsement of a candidate for President of the United States of America:

RULES GOVERNING THE ENDORSEMENT OF A CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

I. Candidate Qualifications

a. The Candidate must certify in writing his or her complete agreement with the Principles and Platform of the America First Party except as described in an attached detailed written statement which states and explains every point of disagreement with the Principles and Platform.

b. Either the candidate or the party expected to nominate the candidate must be expected to appear on the ballot of at least 15 states and must appear on the ballot of at least 75% of the states represented by affiliated state parties of the America First Party at the time the endorsement is voted upon.

c. The Candidate must be constitutionally qualified to hold office.

d. The Candidate must state in advance, in writing, a desire to accept the endorsement.

e. The Candidate must attend a meeting of the National Committee and respond to questions.

II. Method of Nomination

a. Candidates must be nominated by a petition of nomination by 25% of the America First National Committee and submitted by fax or postal mail to the National Secretary who shall provide prompt notice to the membership of the America First National Committee.

b. A petition of nomination shall be substantially of the form, "I, ____, of the state _____ nominate ______ to receive the endorsement of the America First Party for President of the United States of America". Such statement shall be signed and dated.

c. The deadline for receipt of petitions of nomination for endorsement shall be September 15, 2004.

III. Method and Benefits of Endorsement

a. Endorsement is not nomination, and state parties are not required to place the endorsee on the ballot.

b. At the next national committee meeting following September 15, 2004, an election procedure, with run-offs and the option to vote for "None of the Above", shall be used whereby a possible endorsee will be selected, requiring the nominee receives a majority vote.

c. Once a possible endorsee has been selected by majority vote, a resolution of endorsement must be proffered. Endorsement by the America First Party requires the adoption of the resolution of endorsement by two-thirds vote of the entire membership of the America First National Committee.

d. Any endorsement granted under these rules may be rescinded by a majority vote of the entire membership of the America First National Committee.

The Resolution was adopted by overwhelming vote of the National Committee.

A Resolution referred by the Rules Committee was moved by Mr. Charles. The Resolution was seconded by Mrs. Winters.

A friendly amendment was moved by Mr. Hey to insert the American Party into the list of recommended parties. His amendment was seconded by Mrs. McHugh and accepted without objection.

Mr. Roberts proposed an amendment to allow the endorsement of certain Republican candidates who are supported by PACs friendly to our Party. After some debate, Mr. Roberts withdrew his amendment.

The Resolution reads as follows:

RESOLUTION GOVERNING PUBLICIZING OF LOCAL, STATE, AND CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES ENDORSED BY STATE PARTIES

Whereas the nomination and endorsement of candidates for public office at the local, state, and congressional levels is the purview of the Affiliated State Parties; and,

Whereas Affiliated State Parties may desire to have their nominations and endorsements publicized on the National Party website;

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

That nothing in this resolution shall prevent or prohibit Affiliated State Parties from acting in accordance with the wishes of their membership and in accordance with the By-Laws, Rules, or Constitution of their State Party; and,

That all candidates for public office nominated or endorsed by an Affiliated State Party shall be eligible to appear on the Candidates page of the website of the America First Party upon submission of a completed candidate questionnaire prepared and approved by the Operating Committee of the America First National Committee and in accordance with the terms of this resolution of the America First National Committee; and,

That all candidates for public office who:

a) Appear on the ballot;

b) Are members of an Affiliated State Party; and,

c) Are nominated in accordance with the By-Laws and Rules of that Affiliated State Party;

shall appear on the Candidates page of the website of the America First Party in a "Candidates" section, grouped by state; and,

That all candidates for public office who:

a) Appear on the ballot;

b) Are endorsed in accordance with the By-Laws and Rules of that Affiliated State Party; and,

c) Do not appear on the ballot line of either the Republican or Democrat parties;

shall appear on the Candidates page of the website of the America First Party in an "Endorsements" section, grouped by state; and,

That write-in candidates shall not be eligible to appear on the Candidates page of the website of the America First Party; and,

That by a resolution of the America First National Committee adopted by a majority of the entire membership of the America First National Committee a candidate nominated or endorsed by an Affiliated State Party may be removed from the Candidates page of the website of the America First Party; and,

That the America First National Committee encourages its Affiliated State Parties to consider endorsement of candidates of the Constitution Party, Independent American Party, American Party, and other like minded parties, when no America First Party candidate is running for that office; and,

That the America First National Committee encourages its Affiliated State Parties to offer membership to independent candidates who are in agreement with the Mission, Principles, and Platform of the America First Party; and,

That the America First National Committee encourages its Affiliated State Parties to require its endorsees to sign a pledge of fidelity to the Principles and Platform of the America First Party.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Messrs. Hey and Charles and Mrs. McHugh delivered reports about the Indianapolis meeting between third parties. A general time of discussion took place.

There being no further business, Mrs. Winters moved that the National Committee adjourn. The motion was seconded by Mr. Maurer and adopted by unanimous vote. The Chairman declared the meeting adjourned at 10:55 p.m. EDT.

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

 
 
   
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