Republican Liberty Caucus
Official Bylaws and Rules
As amended on 5/27/2017
Article I: Name
The name of this organization shall be the Republican Liberty Caucus, hereinafter referred to as the “Caucus”.
Article II: Purpose
The Caucus 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:
A. Promoting these ideals among Party officials and its various organizations;
B. Identifying and supporting candidates sympathetic with these ideals;
C. Developing Caucus membership among Party registrants, officials, and officeholders.
Article III: Membership
Section 1: There shall be four categories of membership: Regular, Student, Associate and Honorary.
A. Regular membership shall be limited to individuals who affiliate with the Republican Party, who have paid current minimum dues and who support the purposes of the Caucus, as defined by the Statement of Principles. Regular members are qualified to serve in any official capacity in the Caucus (assuming they also meet any other specific qualifications for the position), to act as delegates at any Convention and to enjoy all the privileges extended in these Bylaws. If a question of eligibility for Regular membership is raised with the Board, the Board shall hear evidence presented by the Secretary and make a final determination by a simple majority vote.
B. Student membership shall be limited to individuals who are currently enrolled as a student in an educational institution, and shall confer the same privileges as regular membership above. If a question of eligibility as a student is raised with the Board, the Board shall hear evidence presented by the Secretary and make a final determination by a simple majority vote.
C. Associate membership shall be open to individuals, no matter their political affiliation, who have affirmatively indicated their support for the purposes of the Caucus. Associate members shall receive such services and privileges as the Board of Directors may specify.
D. Honorary membership may be extended to any person designated by the Board of Directors or chartered State Executive Committees. 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 Caucus.
Section 3: Any membership may be suspended or revoked by a majority vote of the Board of Directors of the Caucus or the applicable Chartered State executive committee for just cause, which may include malfeasance in office, misappropriation of funds, misrepresenting the positions of the Caucus, or conduct which reflects poorly on the Caucus. Any member suspended or revoked by a State charter organization shall have the right to appeal to the National Board of Directors within 90 days, and the National Board of Directors shall render a decision within 90 days of appeal.
Article IV: Board of Directors
Section 1: The Board of Directors of the Caucus, hereinafter ‘Board’, shall consist of the four Officers of the Caucus, three At-Large members, eight Regional members, and at least three Alternate members. At-Large and Alternate Board members shall be Regular members of the Caucus, elected for two-year terms by delegates at a Regular Convention of the Caucus. Regional Directors shall be elected from among their members by the officers of Chartered states in each of the Regions within thirty days of a Regular Convention. Alternate members may be designated by the Chairman as voting members of the Board whenever Directors are absent from any meeting or fail to participate in any electronic ballot.
Section 2: The Board shall ensure the effective implementation of these Bylaws, adopt an annual or quarterly budget, provide for effective communications among members, Chartered State organizations and the general public, and make arrangements for Regular and Special Conventions of the Caucus.
Section 3: The Board shall have full power and authority to govern all the affairs of the Caucus between conventions and shall have the sole, ultimate, final and exclusive control over all
property, assets, liabilities and other resources of the Caucus. The Board shall have the authority to hire, fire, contract and take such legal actions as will effect 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 of the Board shall occur at least quarterly, with at least one week’s notice. A special meeting of the Board shall occur immediately following any Convention. Other special, emergency, or informal meetings of the Board may be called at the written request of any three members, on three days notice to all Board members. Any Regular member may attend 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.
Article V: Officers
Section 1: The Officers of the Caucus shall consist of a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, who shall all be voting members of Board and subject to the provisions of the preceding Article. Candidates for Officer shall have been Regular members of the Caucus for at least one year prior to their nomination. Candidates for Chairman and Vice-Chairman shall have been Regular members for at least two years and a voting or alternate member of the Board of Directors for at least six 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 the Board. 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.
A. The Chairman shall be the primary spokesman of the Caucus; 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 Chairs of standing committees, and special project or liaison
directors of special executive committees or projects as he deems appropriate for the performance of these duties.
B. The Vice-Chairman shall assume the duties and obligations of Chairman in his absence, and assist the Chairman in his duties.
C. 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 Caucus.
D. The Treasurer shall be the custodian of all Caucus funds, shall propose annual and quarterly budgets, safeguard the financial resources of the Caucus and make such periodic reports of finances as the Board may require.
Article VI: Conventions
Section 1: The Board shall call and hold a Regular Convention in every even numbered year1, at such place and time as the 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 Caucus shall be notified of the Regular Convention at least sixty days prior to the designated 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 Caucus members.
Section 3: Each chartered state shall be entitled to be represented at the national RLC convention by a number of delegates based on the number of Regular Members who reside in that state.
A. 90 days prior to the national convention, the Secretary shall determine the number of delegates assigned to each state by dividing the total number of Regular Members in that state by 4, rounding up. Each Charter shall also be entitled to any number of alternate delegates who may serve in place of absent delegates from their state.
B. These Delegates and Alternate Delegates shall be elected by their respective Charters, according to whatever rules the Charter may adopt for that purpose, and certified as Delegates by the chairs of their Charters. In addition, each officer, regional director, and at-large director of the Caucus; the chair of each Charter or his or her
designee; and the coordinator of each non-chartered state may serve as an ex officio Delegate; these ex officio Delegates shall not be counted against the number of delegates to which each Charter is entitled. Any Regular member certified by the Treasurer as having paid current dues at least thirty days prior to the Convention shall be qualified to be appointed as Delegates or Alternate Delegates.
C. At the National RLC Convention each state Charter shall vote its full delegate strength, even if fewer than the full number of delegates to which that state is entitled are present at the convention. The full strength for each Charter includes both the number of Delegates which it is authorized to elect based on its state membership and also any ex officio Delegates who are members of that Charter.
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 these Bylaws 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: The Board may authorize Regular Convention attendance at multiple locations, provided that immediate electronic communications of discussion and balloting is available and members at all locations are properly certified as delegates.
Section 6: 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 7: 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 Caucus and attractive to the members.
Article VII: Statements of Principles and Positions
Section 1: Statements of Principles and Positions 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-five Regular members at least forty-five days prior to the Convention date may be submitted to the Delegates for adoption.
Section 3: Notice of all proposed Statements shall be distributed to Regular members with the notice of Convention.
Article VIII: State Charters
Section 1: The Board shall encourage and certify the Chartering of state Caucus organizations in the United States of America which qualify under the provisions of these Bylaws and Rules. A State Charter may be granted to any group of ten or more Regular members who are residents of the subject state and who have signed a Petition for Charter and submit it in writing to the Board of Directors. The Board may certify qualified State Charters by a majority vote at its next regular meeting. Charters for the District of Columbia or any United States territory or possession may be approved by the Board and granted the same status as State Charters.
Section 2: The Board may set such minimum criteria for State Charter Bylaws and require such verification of Regular membership as it deems appropriate for certification.
Section 3: The Board may suspend or revoke a State Charter by a 3/4 vote whenever a Charter is shown to be in violation of its own, or National, Bylaws and Rules.
Section 4: The Board may appoint Coordinators for any unchartered state or territory of the United States for the purpose of facilitating the development of a local Caucus organization.
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. Notice of proposed amendments shall be distributed to all Regular members with the notice of Convention.
Section 2: Amendments shall go into effect immediately, unless otherwise stated in the proposed Amendment.
Section 3: Caucus 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.
1 By a 2/3 vote at the 2006 Convention, delegates authorized the Board of Directors to call conventions in either even or odd numbered years.
2 Changed to add Student Membership at Convention 2017
3 Changed to clarify RLC officer roles.
[Bylaws and Rules Revisions Adopted in Convention 08/10/2002; Amendments 05/22/2004, 09/16/2006, 03/28/2009, 02/12/2011, 5/11/2013 and 5/27/2017]
Rule 1. Standing Committees
Standing committees include:
A. The Membership Committee, under the direction of the Chairman, 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;
B. The Candidate Review Committee, under the direction of the Chairman, shall obtain, review and distribute information on candidates and recommend candidates for endorsement by the Board;
C. The State Chartering Committee, under the direction of the Vice Chairman, shall promote, assist and process Petitions for State Charters;
D. The Convention Committee, under the direction of the Vice Chairman, shall plan, arrange, promote and conduct all Regular and Special Conventions of the Caucus. The Secretary and Treasurer shall serve on the Committee to facilitate Delegate certification;
E. The Communications and Public Relations Committee, under the direction of the Secretary, shall supervise, maintain, facilitate and conduct communications among the members, the Board, the media and the general public;
F. The Finance and Fundraising Committee, under the direction of the Treasurer, shall arrange, facilitate and solicit financial contributions to the Caucus.
Rule 2. Special Directors
Special Directors nominated by the Chairman and appointed by the Board shall include:
A. The Webmaster, who shall be responsible for the operation, maintenance and content of the Caucus Internet services, as a member of the Communications and Public Relations Committee;
B. The Newsletter Editor, who shall be responsible for the preparation, production and distribution of printed or electronically published news of the Caucus, as a member of the Communications and Public Relations Committee;
C. The Media Relations Director, who shall be responsible for the preparation, production and distribution of news releases and position statements of the Caucus on public issues.
Rule 3. State Charters
Petitions for a State Charter shall include the following:
A. Charter Bylaws adopted by two-thirds of the Petition signers which include all the provisions of these Bylaws and Rules related to Charters;
B. Certification of the election of Charter officers;
C. Such additional documentation as may be specified by the State Chartering Committee.
Rule 4. Dues Sharing
Caucus membership dues may be collected by either the Caucus or its Chartered State organizations, provided:
A. National and state Treasurers shall reconcile their records of sharing amounts and arrange for the transfer of any balance amounts due.
B. The amount collected for Regular membership shall not be less than $10, which shall be transferred to the other entity as the dues share for that member;
C. The standard dues collected for Regular membership shall be $45 for both Caucus and Chartered State membership, of which $15 shall be transferred to the other entity as the dues share for that member;
D. Either entity may collect smaller periodic dues payments toward membership, but shall allocate the first receipts to dues sharing with the other entity;
E. No dues transfer shall be required for members making dues payments to the Caucus who are residents of unchartered states or territories;
F. The Caucus or Chartered State organizations my 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;
G. Honorary memberships may be offered by either the Caucus or Chartered State 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;
H. Contributions or donations made by non-members shall be subject to dues sharing unless the contributor or donor declines Regular membership privileges
I. 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;
J. Membership shall expire upon the Anniversary date of the last payment made by any Regular member.
Rule 5. Candidate Endorsements
Any candidate endorsement by the Caucus shall comply with the following:
A. The endorsement of candidates for U.S. Congress may be proposed by a majority vote of either the executive committee of the Caucus or the Chartered State where a candidate is to be elected. No proposal for endorsement shall be official or made public until it has been confirmed by a majority vote of the other executive committee.
B. No candidate contesting an election against any Republican Party nominee may be proposed for endorsement by the Caucus;
C. Chartered State executive committees, or such body as the Charter State Bylaws specify, may endorse candidates for any state legislative seat or state positions.
D. A candidate for President of the United States may be endorsed by the Caucus by a 2/3 vote of the active and voting Chartered state’s executive committees. The national Secretary shall notify all Chartered states of a favorable national board proposal for endorsement and state executive officers shall inform the Secretary of the approval or denial by their executive committee within 60 days.
E. Preference shall be granted to any candidate who has signed the “Liberty Compact” of the Caucus or who has been rated as “libertarian” in the “Liberty Index” of the Caucus;
F. Endorsements may be withdrawn for good and sufficient reasons upon the majority vote of both the proposing and confirming executive committees.
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 Principles and Positions specified in these Bylaws:
A. Public positions related to federal legislation may only be adopted by a majority vote of the Board after at least two days notice;
B. Public positions related to state legislation may only be adopted by a majority vote of the executive committees of a Chartered State, or by such body as may be designated in the Charter Bylaws, but shall not conflict with any prior policy position adopted by the Board;
C. In the absence of a Chartered State, the Board may adopt public positions on state legislation recommended by a state Coordinator or at least three Regular members of a state;
D. No resources of the Caucus shall be used to promote any commercial enterprise without the advance contractual approval of the Board.
Rule 7. Political Action Committees
The executive committees of the Caucus or Charter States may establish a political action committee, hereinafter “PAC”, under the applicable federal or state statutes, for the purpose of contributing to candidates for public office, provided:
A. The PAC shall be designated with the proper authorities as a membership committee of the Caucus or Chartered State;
B. The Board of Directors of such PAC shall include all of the Officers of the executive committees of the Caucus or Chartered State;
C. The PAC shall be constituted with such bylaws and rules as are consistent with corresponding Caucus and Chartered State Bylaws and Rules;
D. The PAC shall not contribute to any candidate who has not received a public endorsement by the Caucus in compliance with the applicable Rules;
E. All PAC donations and contributions, as well as all contact information obtained by the PAC, shall be disclosed promptly to the Caucus or Chartered State;
Rule 8. Electronic Voting
Votes of the Board may be taken by electronic ballot via either eMail or eGroup tabulations conducted by the Secretary under the following rules:
A. Electronic ballots shall be issued to all Board members on any resolution submitted by at least three Board members to the Secretary;
B. The Secretary shall issue an electronic ballot within two days and shall receive and tabulate all ballots received within seven days of issue;
C. 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;
D. 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;
E. In the event that fewer than five ballots are cast prior to the deadline, the resolution will fail for lack of a quorum.
F. 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. RLC National Regions
The eight regions are composed of the following states and districts:
A. North East: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
B. Atlantic: Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia
C. South East: Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida
D. Central: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois
E. Great Plains: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, Wyoming
F. South Central: Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico
G. North West: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska
H. South West: California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii
1 Regions were expanded from 4 to 8 regions by proposal of the State Chartering Committee and vote of the RLC Executive Committee 5/22/2013
[Bylaws and Rules Revisions Adopted in Convention 08/10/2002; Amendments 05/22/2004, 09/16/2006, 03/28/2009, 02/12/2011, and 5/11/2013]