NAME AND PURPOSE
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be “The America First Party of Massachusetts” hereafter referred to as the “Party”.
Section 2. The America First Party of Massachusetts is affiliated with the America First National Committee, formed in Boulder, Colorado April 25, 2002. All references to the “national party” in the Bylaws refer to the “America First National Committee”.
Section 3. Object of the of the Party. The purpose of the Party is to develop a statewide political organization in order to support the principles, goals, and platform of the party by:
- functioning as a political entity separate and distinct from all other political parties or movements;
- endorsing and nominating candidates for political office in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;
- participating in the endorsement and nomination of the national party candidates for President and Vice President of the United States; and,
- entering into political information activities
Section 4. These Bylaws shall govern the organization, operation, and functions of the Party.
MEMBERSHIP AND QUALIFICATIONS
Section 1: Membership in the Party shall consist of all persons who have officially, under Massachusetts Law, made their political designation “America First Party”, who:
a. support the Founding Principles of the America First Party, and every aspect of the Platform of the America First Party which relates to the Founding Principles;
b. obey the rules of the Party;
c. have executed a membership agreement specifying compliance with subsections a and b of this section by signing such membership agreement as is required by the Party’s State Committee, and by filing such application with the State Secretary or State Chairman of the Party;
d. provide a signed membership renewal form within thirty days (30) after the annual call for a membership renewal by the State Committee, such call being issued to all members in good standing at the beginning of the new year.
Section 2: Each Party member is entitled to participate as a full voting member in the official organization and activities of the Party to the extent provided by these Bylaws. No one shall have any participatory rights within the organization without membership.
Section 3. Membership terminates automatically for any of the following reasons:
a. affirmatively changing one’s Massachusetts voter registration so as to no longer have a political designation associated with the Party; or
b. no longer being a resident of Massachusetts; or
c. suspension of membership, with cause, by a three-fifths vote of the State Committee, in which case the suspended member will be notified by mail at the member's last known address. The suspended members shall have thirty (30) days after the date of the mailing to file a written appeal with the State Chairman or State Secretary; or
d. failure to submit the annual membership form to the State Committee as required in section 1d.
Section 4. Upon timely appeal, in accordance with section 4c, by the suspended member, the State Committee shall hold a hearing concerning the suspension, and shall rule either to terminate the membership or to revoke the suspension, thereby reinstating the member’s full rights of participation. Should the committee fail to rule within ninety (90) days of the date from which written notice of the appeal is filed, the membership will be automatically reinstated.
Section 1. There shall be a State Convention of Party members.
Section 2. The Convention is to be called into session by the State Committee at its discretion, for the purpose of electing a State Committee, and in even numbered years for the nomination of candidates for public office, subject to the provisions of Article VIII, Section 2.
Section 3. The Convention shall be responsible for the governance of the Party, and for providing for the fulfillment of the Object of the Party.
Section 4. Qualifications for a person to be eligible to be a Delegate shall be such that each Delegate shall:
a. be a member of the America First Party;
b. be a resident of Massachusetts;
c. affirmative support of the National Party endorsed candidates for President and Vice- President of the United States shall be a condition of continuing service as a Delegate;
d. be credentialled in accordance with all the provisions of these Bylaws.
Section 5. The State Committee shall give fifteen (15) days notice of the Convention by authorizing the State Chairman to issue a Call to be published in a newspaper having a general circulation in the State of Massachusetts, and by authorizing the Chairman to mail a Call at least fifteen (15) days prior to the Convention to each member of the State Committee and to each Party member.
Section 6. Delegates to the State Convention shall be selected in the manner provided by these Bylaws, and the officers of the State Committee shall be the officers of the Convention.
Section 7. The State Secretary shall act as the Convention Credentials Chairman. The State chairman may appoint a replacement Credentials Chairman in the event of the resignation, absence, or incapacity of the State Secretary. The Credentials Chairman shall be provided with and use the Party membership list for the credentialling of Delegates.
Section 8. Any Party member may observe the State Convention. Any Party member wishing to participate as a Delegate to such Convention shall register his intention with the Credentials Chairman, and upon the determination by the Credentials Chairman that he is a member of the Party, such member shall be credentialled as a Delegate to the Convention, provided, however, that no person shall be a Delegate at the State Convention who was not a member in good standing at the time of the issuance of the Call to Convention.
Section 9. If a Delegate declines to serve, or withdraws his name from consideration as a Delegate, the Credentials Chairman shall replace him with a qualified Party Member from the same Congressional District, if such person is in attendance and is willing to serve as a Delegate.
Section 10. The Credentials Chairman shall present a report listing the names and Congressional Districts of all credentialled Delegates to the State Convention. Only the Delegates listed and credentialled in the credentialling report, as initially reported or amended, may entertain challenges to said credentialling report and, by a majority vote, may amend such report. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, these amendments may include the seating of additional Delegates beyond the number described above, so long as the additional persons seated are members of the Party.
Section 11. No other business shall be transacted by the State Convention until such credentials report, as amended, be finally approved by majority vote. The adopted credentials report shall establish the duly credentialled Delegates of the State Convention and the number thereof.
Section 12. A majority of the credentialled Delegates shall constitute a quorum.
Section 1. the State Committee will be made up of:
a. US Congressional District Chairs
b. Officers of the Party
Section 2. The purpose of the State Committee is to be a governing board.
Section 3. The State Committee will be charged with the formation of any other necessary committees.
Section 4. Each State Committee member shall have one vote. Votes shall be in person or teleconference. Votes of the State Committee may be made by proxy.
Section 5. Any action required or permitted to be taken by the Committee may be taken without a meeting, if a majority of the members of the Committee shall individually or collectively consent in writing to such action. Action by written consent has the same force and effect as a vote of the Committee.
Section 6. In order to officially take office, a member-elect of the State Committee must publicly take the following pledge in the presence of a majority of the State Committee or a majority of Delegates of the State Convention:
I pledge that I will stand for faith, freedom, and the United States Constitution. I pledge to support the Platform of the America First Party, and if my words or actions contradict that Platform, I will be willing to resign from the Party or accept expulsion therefrom. I will endeavor to be ever mindful of the unity of the Party over personal ambition. So help me God.
Section 7. Affirmative support of the Party Object, the Party endorsed candidates for President and Vice -President of the United States, the Party endorsed candidates for State and Statewide office, the Party platform and the Party Statement of Principles shall be a condition of continuing service on the State Committee.
Section 8. The removal of State Committee members shall be for cause and shall be such that:
a. any State Committee member may be removed by two-thirds roll-call vote of the State Committee. The seat of a Committee member so removed shall automatically and immediately become vacant upon such removal.
b. the filling of State Committee member vacancies shall be the responsibility of the individual Congressional District by election. If an election is not possible an appointment of CD Chair is to be made by State Committee.
Section 1. The officers of the America First Party of Massachusetts shall be: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer. All of these officers shall be elected by a Convention of the Party, shall take office immediately upon the close of the Convention and shall serve thereafter the longer of either: 1) a two year term; or 2) until the final adjournment of the next Convention at which the State Committee is elected.
No person shall serve as an officer who is not a member of the Party.
Section 2. Each State Officer shall be elected by a majority vote of the registered District Chairs at the State Convention. Each State Officer shall be elected by a written ballot. Nominations shall be accepted from the floor when made by any registered Delegate. State Officer elections shall be held in each odd numbered year.
Section 3. No State Officer shall serve in the same State Office for more than three consecutive terms. No person shall serve as a State Officer for more than six consecutive terms.
Section 4. No offices shall be combined.
Section 5. The officers shall be full voting members of the State Committee.
Section 6. State Chair: The State Chair shall be the chief executive officer and spokesperson of the Party and shall be responsible for the supervision of the business and activities of the Party, subject to the general direction of the State Committee. The Chair shall preside over the State Convention and all meetings of the State Committee. The Chair shall carry into effect, or cause to be carried into effect, instructions and orders of the State Committee.
Section 7. Vice-Chair: The Vice-Chair is an assistant to the State Chair and shall perform all the duties of the State Chair in the State Chair’s absence or disability. In the event of the resignation or removal from office of the State Chair, the Vice-Chair shall become Chair and a new Vice -Chair shall be elected by the State Committee. The Vice-Chair is also responsible for organizing the operations of the Party.
Section 8. Secretary: The Secretary shall be the recording officer of the Party and shall perform such duties as are assigned by the Chair or the State Committee. The Secretary shall attend all meetings of the State Committee and all Party Conventions and shall act as Secretary thereof, keeping such minutes and records as necessary. The Secretary shall make an annual report to the National Committee containing all information required by the Committee. The Secretary shall turn over at the end of the term of office all records and documents associated with the Office of Secretary to the State Committee.
Section 9. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall receive, expend and account for the funds of the Party under the supervision and direction of the Chair and the State Committee. The Treasurer shall prepare and deliver at each State Committee meeting a report on the financial affairs of the Party, and shall turn over at the end of the term of office all records and documents associated with the Office of Treasurer to the State Committee.
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CHAIRS
Section 1. Each US Congressional District shall form a District Committee and shall elect officers and form committees as shall best suit the needs of the District.
Section 2. District Chair: Each US Congressional District shall elect one District Chair who shall be the chief executive officer of the District and shall be responsible for the supervision of the business and activities of the party in that District, subject to the general direction of the District Committee. The District Chair shall preside over all meetings of the District Committee. The District Chair shall carry into effect, or cause to be carried into effect , instructions and orders of the State Committee and District Committee. Where instructions of the State and District Committees conflict, the instructions of the State Committee shall prevail.
Section 3. District Chairs are to be the Delegates to the National Party Convention and represent their District. An alternate may be chosen by the District Chair or by such other means as the District determines.
Section 4. The District Chair shall be elected at the Convention of the Party and shall serve thereafter the longer of either: 1) a two year term; or 2) until the final adjournment of the next Convention at which the State Committee is elected. No District Chair may serve for more than three consecutive terms.
Section 1. National Committee Members are three at-large Party members who represent the America First party of Massachusetts’s interests in the National Committee meetings of the National Party. These are to be the State Chair and two members to be voted upon by the State Convention.
Section 2. In the event of a vacancy in a National Committee position prior to the State Convention, the State Committee may appoint an at-large Party member to fill the vacancy.
PARTY PLATFORM AND CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENT
Section 1. The State Committee shall adopt rules and regulations for approving the Party Platform, which shall ensure that members have the opportunity to participate in the Platform approval process.
Section 2. At the State Nominating Convention, which shall be held biannually in even numbered years, the Party shall endorse candidates seeking elective office in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The State Committee shall ensure that members have the opportunity to participate in the candidate endorsement process. The State Committee may dispense with the necessity of the nominating convention if all candidates are unopposed within the Party.
Section 3. The “Founding Principles of the America First Party”, a copy of which is attached hereto and incorporated by reference herein, shall be the principles of the America First Party of Massachusetts.
Section 4. When speaking on behalf of the Party, the State Officers, US Congressional District Chairs, and Chairs of any other committees, subcommittees, and elected and appointed spokesmen for the Party must support the Party Platform. The Party Platform shall consist of the national party Platform, as supplemented by the America First Party of Massachusetts.
Section 5. The State Committee has the authority to provide support or opposition to policy issues, on behalf of the America First Party of Massachusetts, by a two-thirds vote. The State Committee, before voting on such positions, shall receive any supporting materials from the sponsor no less than ten(10) business days before votes are cast. No statement shall be made which is in direct contravention to the policies of the national party.
SELECTION OF PRESIDENTIAL AND VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES AND THEIR ELECTORS
Section 1. In each year of the statewide general election at which electors of the State of Massachusetts are elected to cast electoral votes for the office of President and Vice-President of the United States, the State Committee shall appoint the required number of Party members to serve as presidential electors, nominees and alternates in accordance with Massachusetts law.
Section 2. The Chairman shall prepare and transmit to the Massachusetts Secretary of State by September 1st of a presidential election year, a list of electors and alternate electors.
Section 3. No United States Senator or Representative of Congress, nor any person holding an office of trust or profit of the United States may serve as a presidential elector.
AMENDMENTS TO BYLAWS
Section 1. These Bylaws may be amended by a three-quarters vote of the State Committee.
Section 2. Any amendment considered by the State Committee must be submitted in writing to the Chairman at least twenty (20) days prior to the meeting of the State Committee at which the amendment will be considered. The Chairman shall submit the amendment to the Secretary, who shall notify all State Committee members of the proposed amendment at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting at which the amendment is to be considered.
Section 3. These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the State Convention.
Section 4. Any amendment considered by the State Convention must be submitted in writing to the Chairman at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the State Convention. The Chairman shall submit the amendment to the Secretary, who shall notify all State Committee members of the proposed amendment at least ten (10) days prior to the State Convention.
Section 1. The State Committee shall adopt rules of parliamentary procedure for the conduct of State Committee meetings.
Section 2. In the absence of written parliamentary procedures for the conduct of State Committee meetings, Robert’s Rules of Order shall prevail.
Section 1. Should any of the foregoing provisions or any part thereof be declared invalid by the State of Massachusetts for any reason, such invalidity shall not affect any other term or provision hereof; and this Constitution and Bylaws shall be interpreted and construed as if such provision or part thereof had never been contained herein.
Section 2. The State Committee shall have the authority to take such action it deems necessary to comply with the laws and regulations of the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The foregoing Bylaws for the America First Party of Massachusetts were adopted at its inaugural State Committee Meeting on August 24th, Anno Domini 2003.