Bylaws and Rules of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida
Article I: Name
The name of this organization shall be the Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, 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 May 15, 2004 and recognition of the Charter was granted by the Caucus Board of Directors on May 31, 2004.
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:
- Promoting these ideals among Party officials and its various organizations.
- Identifying and supporting candidates sympathetic with these ideals.
- 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.
- 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.
- Associate membership shall be open to individuals, regardless of political affiliation, who have affirmatively indicated their support for the purposes of the Charter, and who have paid the current minimum dues required for membership. Associate members shall receive such services and privileges as the Board of Directors may specify.
- 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. The Board of Directors shall set the anniversary dates for membership dues in conjunction with National RLC guidelines.
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 Charter Board of Directors for just cause.
Article IV: Board of Directors
Section 1. The Board of Directors of the Charter, hereinafter “Board”, shall consist of the four Officers of the Charter(Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer) and a maximum of eleven Regular Directors, including three At-Large and a maximum of eight Regional Directors. A maximum of eleven Alternate Directors may be selected but shallequal the number of Regular Directors. Each of the eight Regional Directors and eight of the Alternate Directors shallbe elected or appointed during regional caucus meetings taking place in conjunction with the Charter’s state convention. At Large Board members shall be Regular members of the Charter, elected for two-year terms by delegatesat a Regular Convention of the Charter. All Board members and Alternate Board members shall be Regular members of the Charter. Alternate Directors may be designated by the Chairman as voting members of the Board whenever regularmembers are absent from any meeting or fail to participate in any electronic ballot. When possible, Alternates from thesame region as absent Regional Directors shall be given preference. Any vacancy occurring between RegularConventions may be filled by a majority vote of the Board. The immediate past chairman shall be an ex-officio non-voting member of the board provided they are a member in good standing but shall be considered an alternate directorand eligible to vote in the absence of a voting member. Any member of the Board may be removed for just cause by atwo- third majority vote of the board. Vacancies may be filled by a two-thirds majority vote of the board.
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 arrangementsfor 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 ofthe Charter. The Board shall have the authority to hire, fire, contract and take such legal actions as will affect 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 ofthe Board shall occur at least quarterly, with at least one week’s notice. A special meeting of the Board shall occurimmediately following any Convention. Other special, emergency, or informal meetings of the Board may be called atthe written request of any three members, on three days notice to all Board members. Any Regular member mayattend 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 befinal.
Article V: Officers
Section 1. The Officers of the Charter shall consist of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, who shallall be voting members of Board and subject to the provisions of the preceding Article. Candidates for Officer shall havebeen Regular members of the Charter for at least three months prior to their nomination. Candidates for Chairman andVice-Chairman shall have been Regular members for at least one year and members of the Board of Directors for at least three 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 theBoard. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 odd numbered year, at such place and time asthe 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 thedesignated 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 theConvention shall be qualified to be voting Delegates for all official business conducted during the Convention. NoDelegate 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 theseBylaws 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 Position
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-fiveRegular 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 localapplications 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.
Article VIII: Local Chapters
Section 1. The Board shall encourage and certify the chartering of such area and county Chapters within the state which qualify under the provisions of these Bylaws and Rules. The Board may certify qualified Chapters 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. Any state or national membership dues, donations or receipts collected shall be immediately forwarded to the RLCFL treasurer. (Pending legal review prior to convention).
Section 4. Chapters which engage in public outreach or communications shall use standard authorized RLC or RLCFL materials, including but not limited to printed and online publications, unless they submit any new materials or representations of the RLC to the RLCFL Board of Directors for advance approval.
Section 5. 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.
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
- Membership in the standing committees of the charter shall be open to any fully qualified, dues paid member of the charter. A chairman for each of the standing committees shall be nominated by the chairman of the charter and appointed by majority vote of the charter board of directors.
- The Membership Committee 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.
- The Candidate Review Committee shall obtain, review, and distribute information on candidates and recommend candidates for endorsement by the Board.
- The Convention Committee 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.
- The Communications and Public Relations Committee shall supervise, maintain, facilitate, and conduct communications among the members, the Board, the media and the general public.
- The Finance and Fund-Raising Committee shall arrange, facilitate and solicit financial contributions to the Charter.
- The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) Overwatch Committee, consisting of no fewer than a Chairman and 4 additional members fully educated on the bylaws, procedures and processes of the RPOF, shall monitor the activities, programs, policies and campaigns of the RPOF and its affiliate County RECs (Republican Executive Committees). The committee will work to foster a positive relationship between the Charter and the RPOF, and also between the Charter chapters and county RECs. The committee will also assist the Charter Board in fulfilling its responsibility as the conscience of the Republican Party by recommending, for adoption by the Charter Board, resolutions and position statements opposing decisions or activities of the RPOF that the committee finds objectionable.
Rule 2. Special Directors
Special Directors nominated by the Chairman and appointed by the Board shall include:
- 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.
- The Legislative Affairs Director, who shall chair the Legislative Affairs Committee and work with the Charter Chairman to ensure the implementation of the Legislative Session Action Plan contained within the Legislative Affairs Strategy of the Charter.
- The Media Relations Director who shall be responsible for the preparation, production and distribution of news releases and position statements of the Charter and shall manage the preparation and distribution of the Charter newsletter on at least a quarterly basis.
Rule 3. Dues Sharing
Charter membership dues may be collected by either the Caucus or this Charter organization, provided that:
- 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.
- The standard dues collected for Regular membership shall be $30 for both Caucus and Charter membership, of which $15 shall be transferred to the other entity as the dues share for that member.
- Either entity may collect smaller periodic dues payments toward membership but shall allocate the first receipts to dues sharing with the other entity.
- No dues transfer shall be required for members making dues payments to the Charter who are residents of unchartered states or territories. Caucus or Charter organizations may 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.
- 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.
- Contributions or donations made by non-members shall be subject to dues sharing unless the contributor or donor declines Regular membership privileges.
- 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.
- Membership shall expire upon the Anniversary date of the last payment made by a Regular member.
Rule 4. Candidate Endorsements
Any candidate endorsement by the Charter shall comply with the following:
- The endorsement of candidate for federal office may be proposed by a majority vote of the RLCFL executive committee. No Proposal for endorsement shall be official or made public until it has been confirmed by a majority vote of the National RLC Executive Committee.
- No candidate contesting an election against any Republican Party nominee may be proposed for endorsement by the RLCFL; this section does not apply to party elections.
- The RLCFL Board may endorse candidates for any state legislative seat or state cabinet-level positions.
- A primary candidate for President of the United States may not be endorsed by the RLCFL Board without the express written consent of the National RLC; however, by a Majority Vote of the RLCFL Board a recommendation may be forwarded to the National RLC for consideration;
- Endorsements may be withdrawn for good and sufficient reasons upon the majority vote of both the proposing and confirming executive committees.
Rule 5. Legislative Affairs Strategy
I. Candidate Vetting and Endorsement
- Candidate executes Liberty Compact.
- Candidate completes online questionnaire.
- Candidate Vetting Committee reviews questionnaire to determine qualification for interview.
- If Qualified, Vetting Committee Chair schedules phone interview with candidate and committee and invites impacted regional directors and chapter chairs to participate.
- Interview participants decide whether to recommend endorsement to the RLCFL Board.
- RLCFL Board votes the endorsement up or down.
- If endorsed, the Board decides whether to support the candidate financially, social media strategy is implemented, and candidate is notified and provided with endorsement graphic.
II. Legislative Session Action Plan
- Legislative Affairs Committee reviews proposed bills to determine whether to include in online bill tracker and whether to support or oppose.
- Bills are selected as priorities to include in the official RLCFL Legislative Agenda for the session.
- Local chapters are encouraged to attend and speak at county legislative delegation meetings and meet with legislators in their district offices to promote our priorities.
- Legislative Affairs Committee members testify in committee hearings as priority bills are scheduled.
- Legislative Action Alerts are sent to the subscriber list as bills are scheduled for committee hearings and floor votes.
- The Annual Liberty Lobby Days event is scheduled and executed with participation of RLC members from all over Florida attending.
- At conclusion of session the RLCFL Legislative Scorecard which evaluates and grades every Republican legislator based on their voting record on 20 key liberty bills is prepared and published.
III. Financial Campaign – “Liberty First 2024 … Restoring the Republic”
- At the conclusion of each election cycle the “Liberty First” campaign is updated for the ensuing election cycle. Liberty First 2024 becomes 2026, becomes 2028, etc.
- Contributions are solicited statewide through presentations at regularly scheduled meetings of local RLC chapters and other like-minded organizations, special events and individual appointments with potential major donors.
- Contributions are made payable to the Liberty Catalyst Fund, our Florida Political Committee which can accept unlimited contributions from individuals, businesses, trade organizations and other political committees.
- Funds will be used in support of endorsed candidates and against opposed candidates either through direct contributions or through independent 3rd party media on behalf of our endorsed candidates.
Rule 6. 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:
- Public positions related to federal legislation may only be adopted by a majority vote of the Caucus Board after at least two days notice.
- 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.
- No resources of the Charter shall be used to promote any commercial enterprise without the advance contractual approval of the Board.
Rule 7. Political Action Committee
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:
- The PAC shall be designated with the proper state authorities as a membership committee of the Charter.
- The Board of Directors of such PAC shall include all of the Officers of the executive committees of the Charter.
- The PAC shall be constituted with such bylaws and rules as are consistent with Charter Bylaws and Rules.
- The PAC shall not contribute to any candidate who has not received a public endorsement by the Charter in compliance with the applicable Rules.
- The PAC shall not contribute to any federal candidate and shall forward any donations designated for federal candidates to the designated Caucus PAC.
- 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 8. Electronic Voting
Votes of the Board may be taken by electronic ballot via either email or egroup tabulations conducted by the Secretaryunder the following rules:
- Electronic ballots shall be issued to all Board members on any resolution submitted by at least three Board members to the Secretary.
- The Secretary shall issue an electronic ballot within two days and shall receive and tabulate all ballots received within seven days of issue.
- 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.
- 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.
- In the event that fewer than five ballots are cast prior to the deadline, the resolution will fail for lack of a quorum.
- 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.
Rule 9. Area and County Chapters
The RLC Florida Charter shall be divided into eight Regions:
|Escambia, Santa Rosa,Okaloosa, Walton,Holmes, Washington,Bay, Jackson, and Calhoun counties.
|Gadsen, Liberty, Gulf, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla,Jefferson, Madison, andTaylor counties.
|Hamilton, Suwannee, Columbia, Baker, Union, Bradford, Alachua, Lafayette, Gilchrist, Dixie, and Levy counties.
|Nassau, Duval, Clay, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler,and Volusia Counties.
|Lake, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Brevard, and Indian River Counties.
Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Sumter, and Marion Counties.
|Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte,Lee, Collier, Hardy, Highlands, Desoto, Glades, and Hendry Counties.
Okeechobee, St Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe Counties.
Rule 10. Local Chapter Certification Requirements
Area or County Chapter approval may be granted at the discretion of the RLCFL Board of Directors, when the following conditions have been met:
- A required number of current dues paid RLCFL members residing in the county or area, based on the population of the given county or area, have signed, or at least given verifiable assent to, a petition requesting Chapter recognition.
- The petition shall include a slate of initial Chapter Officers, including at least a Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer, and a set of Chapter rules which specify officer terms, the frequency of elections and formal membership meetings, as well as an acknowledgement that the Chapter will comply with all RLCFL Bylaws and that the RLCFL Board of Directors shall be the final arbiter in any disputes.
- Provide such additional documents as may be specified by the Chapter Certification Committee of the RLCFL.
- The number of dues paid members required for charter approval based on county population figures is established as follows:
Under 25,000 – 2 members
25,000 to 99,999 – 4 members
100,000 to 224,999 – 6 members
225,000 to 499,999 – 8 members
500,000 and above – 10 members