I need to issue a correction for my November 13 article LNC Members Speak Out on Executive Session. One more LNC member had responded but I failed to include his responses. See below the responses from LNC Region 6 Alternate Jake Porter. My apologies to Mr Porter.
Here are the questions I asked of each participant.
I understand the limitations on the use of executive session are comprehensively defined in the LNC Policy Manual – is this correct, or are they also defined elsewhere? Is this [Aug 9 2005 version] the latest version, or is there a more recent one and, if so, may I have an electronic copy?
Do you think that LNC executive session is overused (i.e., used for topics not explicitly named for its use in the LNC Policy Manual)? or do you think the limitations are strictly observed?
In your opinion, are the restrictions in the LNC Policy Manual on LNC executive session too broad? just right? not broad enough?
Do you recommend any best practices, bylaws changes, modifications to the LNC Policy Manual or any other measures to ensure that LNC executive session is used properly?
Have you ever witnessed any votes being taken or official decisions being made in LNC executive session?
11. Jake Porter
Jake Porter is Region 6 Alternate Representative (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin) and can be reached at [email protected].
I will see about getting you an electronic copy of the latest Policy Manual.
This is my first time as an Alternate to the LNC so I do not yet feel comfortable to make a complete judgment on the use of executive sessions.
I believe it has possibly been overused. When I say overused I do not necessarily intend to say that it is being used for topics not explicitly named in the Policy Manual, but because it could be being used for issues of not that great importance.
I believe in open management whenever possible including LNC meetings. For example, I support a complete annual report being provided to each member of the party each year with details about how many candidates we elected, how many candidates we ran, increase or decrease in percentage of wins, membership totals, etc.
I think the restrictions are probably fine. It is the judgment of when executive sessions are necessary, what issues are most important to the LNC, and how much time we spend on each issue that should probably be looked into.
I think the best thing is for party members to look at the issues, read the official minutes, and make decisions on which LNC members they think properly use executive session, which members they believe overuse executive session, and which members bring up topics of importance to LNC meetings.
Most of the time I listen to the opinions, but try not to do much speaking until I hear from as many people as possible regarding the issue. Calvin Coolidge once said “No man ever listened himself out of a job.”
Executive sessions are occasionally necessary. I think this is why members need to educate themselves on their party Representatives as past decisions and votes likely indicate what future decisions and votes will be.
I would also like to say the LNC and party staff take a lot of criticism. Some of the criticism is necessary, but much of it is personal attacks instead of friendly debate. When people contact me in a polite manner, as you have, they are more likely to be taken seriously and responded to than if they call me names, type in all capital letters, and question my dedication to the party. I have thick skin and can take the criticism, but I receive hundreds of e-mails a day and don’t have the time to respond to unnecessary personal attacks and I am sure many on the LNC would agree with me on that.