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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

PlatCom Evicted From Vegas Meeting Space

The Platform and Bylaws Committees had been scheduled to meet on Friday Feb 15 in Las Vegas in rooms arranged by the Libertarian State Leadership Alliance in conjunction with its Saturday conference -- whose bloc of hotel rooms are already sold out. Nevada LP Chair and conference organizer Jim Duensing says he was promised that the committees would not meet on that Saturday during the LSLA events, but the most anybody else seems to remember is that the lack of available space made the issue moot. Duensing could find nobody who remembered the "commitment" he says was made, and cited no authority by which anybody could have bound the PlatCom in the first place.

The PlatCom has been worried that it won't be able to finish its work in one day, since it will be debating and voting on
(If instead of recommending the 3P draft the PlatCom tried to restore the 40 planks deleted in Portland, that would be just as many separate recommendations to debate and vote on.) Space was available on that Sunday, but several PlatCom members wouldn't be in town that long, and a quorum might not be available. PlatCom Chair Alicia Mattson found some Saturday meeting space independent of the LSLA conference and reserved it using pledged donations from several PlatCom members. Duensing reacted by threatening to take away the PlatCom's Friday meeting space unless the committee voted to promise not to meet Saturday. I proposed the following motion:
A Motion expressing the sense of the Platform Committee: The Platform Committee intends to meet in Las Vegas on Friday Feb 15. We will endeavor to finish our weekend's work that day, or at least finish enough of it to be confident that the rest can be finished given the likelihood of a quorum and available space on Sunday Feb 17. However, if at the end of that Friday we don't have that confidence, then we may decide to meet on Saturday Feb 16 for just long enough to ensure that we will by the end of that Sunday have completed the work for which so many of us are enduring considerable expense and inconvenience. We will do our best to make sure that our meeting does not conflict with the 2pm - 6pm LSLA Platform Debates, and indeed hope to be finished with our weekend's work by then so that it can be discussed there. We have no desire to draw attendees away from LSLA events on Saturday, and indeed many of us hope to attend as many of the events as we can. If the LSLA organizer is unwilling to guarantee us the space that had been arranged for us on that Friday and Sunday, then our current Chair should do whatever is reasonable and prudent to ensure we will have space available for all these dates.
Duensing indicated that this would not avert his threat, and in any event only a handful of PlatCom members dignified this manufactured crisis by bothering to vote on the motion (all of them in favor). Thus, with the PlatCom having taken no action whatsoever, Duensing followed through on his threat and announced: "The Platform Committee has turned down the LSLA's room offer." No member or alternate of the PlatCom defended Duensing's decision. He will now be using the room to carry out the important LP work of screening 9/11 conspiracy movies.

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