Rules

RULES OF THE MISSOULA CITY AND COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE

Contents:

PREAMBLE

Rule 1: The Missoula County Democratic Central Committee
Rule 2: Central Committee Organization and Membership
Rule 3: Term of Office
Rule
4: Committee Vacancies
Rule 5: Nominations
Rule
6: Missoula County Democratic Central Committee Convention
Rule 7: County Delegate Convention
Rule
8: Meetings
Rule
9: Executive Committee
Rule
10: Chairperson
Rule
11: Vice-Chairperson
Rule
12: Recording Secretary
Rule
13: Communications Director
Rule
14: Treasurer
Rule
15: State and Congressional Committeewomen and Committeemen
Rule
16: Fundraising Director
Rule
17: Candidate and Platform Support
Rule
18: Officer Vacancies
Rule
19: Removal of Officer
Rule
20: Committees
Rule
21: Neutrality Before a Primary, Non-coordination
Rule 22: Quorum and Proxies
Rule
23: Voting
Rule
24: Secret Ballot
Rule
25: Rules of Order
Rule
26: Conflict
Rule
27: Notification
Rule
28: Amendment

Revision History Dated: January 1984

Revised: June 1998
Revised:
January 2003
Revised:
April 12, 2005 (new rule 27 inserted)
Revised: August 8, 2005 (typographical errors corrected) Revised: July 12, 2006 (typographical errors corrected)
Revised: April 14, 2009 (rule 6a amended)
Revised:
May 14, 2013 (typographical errors and amendments to rules 4, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 13, 15, 16, 19, 19, 20, and 21)
Revised: May 13, 2014 (rule 21a amended)
Revised: May 11, 2017 (rules 7, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 24 revised)
Revised: June 13, 2017 (rules 6, 23, and 28 revised)
Revised: July 11, 2018 (rules 2, 12, 16, 19, 22 revised, new rule 20 added)

 

PREAMBLE

A.  As a vehicle for informed political participation, the Missoula County Democratic Central Committee dedicates itself to strengthening the citizenry of Missoula County. With a commitment to fair and progressive public policy, the Central Committee pledges to support and advance the platform of the Montanan Democratic Party. Holding economic justice and human rights at the center of its philosophy, the Central Committee promises to seek out and help elect candidates for public office who will protect and promote the political rights and freedoms of all of Montana citizens. And, with a deep appreciation and respect for the area in which we live, the Central Committee commits itself to democratic activity that will enrich our lives as members of a community and as private citizens

B.  No test of membership in, nor any oath of loyalty to the Democratic Party of Montana or the Missoula County Democratic Central Committee shall be required or used that has the effect of requiring prospective or current members of the Central Committee to acquiesce to, condone, or support discrimination on the grounds of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, religion, ethnic identity, economic status, or philosophical persuasion.

C.  The Missoula County Democratic Central Committee supports the broadest possible political participation without consideration of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, religion, ethnic identity, economic status, or philosophical persuasion.

D.  All public meetings of the Missoula County Democratic Central Committee are open to all members of the Democratic Party regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, religion, ethnic identity, economic status, or philosophical persuasion. All members of the Democratic Party are encouraged to participate in Central Committee activities. All public meetings of the Central Committee shall be publicized to the fullest extent possible, and all meetings shall be held in places accessible to all citizens

Rule 1: The Missoula County Democratic Central Committee 

A.  In Missoula County, Montana, there is a Missoula County Democratic Central Committee which consists of the duly elected or appointed precinct committeewomen and committeemen of each precinct.

Rule 2: Central Committee Organization and Membership 

A.  The Missoula County Democratic Central Committee shall be organized and shall operate as provided in the election laws of the State of Montana and the rules of the Democratic Party of Montana.

B.  At each primary nominating election of even numbered years there shall be elected a committeeman and committeewoman from each election precinct in the county. Any elector may be placed in nomination for committeeman and committeewoman of any precinct by writing, so stating and signed by such elector and filed at the office of the County Clerk within the time provided by law.

C.  Qualified electors who have officially declared by filing an intention to run as a write-in candidate form in the time and manner prescribed by law will also be counted in the primary nominating election. Undeclared write-ins will not be counted but individuals may apply for vacant precinct committeewoman and committeeman positions, subject to the provisions of Rule 4B.

D.  Those committeewomen and committeemen who shall reside within the limits of any incorporated city or town shall constitute ex-officio the city central committee and shall have the same power and jurisdiction as the Democratic Party in such city affairs as the Missoula County Democratic Central Committee has in county-wide affairs, except to fill vacancies as provided for in these rules.

E.  The Committee may appoint alternate committeewomen and men for each precinct. The committee shall not limit the number of alternates for each precinct.  The voting rights and duties of alternates shall be prescribed by the Central Committee and shall not be in conflict with Democratic state party rules or the state laws of Montana.

Rule 3: Term of Office 

A. Each committeeman and committeewoman shall hold such position for the term of two years from the date of the first meeting of the County Central Committee following their election.

Rule 4: Committee Vacancies 

A.  In the case of a vacancy happening, on account of death, resignation, removal from the precinct, or otherwise, the remaining members of the County Committee may select a committeeman or committeewoman to fill the vacancy and he/she shall be a resident, and registered voter of the precinct in which the vacancy occurs. Determination of vacancy shall be made by the Executive Committee based on available evidence, except in cases where County Central Committee takes action.

B.  An applicant for a vacancy must either personally attend, submit an email application to the County Chair, or submit a written application to, the regular monthly meeting when such appointment to the vacancy is to be considered. The applicant must state or write his/her desire to be appointed and shall include their voting address, precinct and political party.

C.  Each appointed precinct committeeman or committeewoman shall hold such position from the date of the first meeting following their appointment.

Rule 5: Nominations 

A. The County Central Committee and the City Central Committee shall have the power to make nominations to fill vacancies occurring among the candidates nominated for County or City offices respectively by primary nominating election where such vacancy is caused by death, resignation or removal from the County or City, but not otherwise.

COUNTY CONVENTIONS 

Rule 6: Missoula County Democratic Central Committee Convention

A.  The County Central Committee shall meet in County Convention between April 15 and May 31 of each odd-numbered year and shall elect the following officers who need not be precinct committeemen or committeewomen.

1.  A County Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, one of whom shall be a woman and one shall be a man.

2.  A State Committeeman and State Committeewoman and their alternates. The alternates to these positions shall also act as alternate to the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson to State Central Committee meetings.

3.  A Congressional Committeeman and Congressional Committeewoman.

4.  A Record Secretary, a Communications Director, a Volunteer Coordinator, an Issues Director, and a Treasurer.

B.  The officers elected by the County conventions shall constitute the Executive Committee of the County Central Committee charged with the execution of County Party policies and programs between meeting of the full committee and they shall be entitled to full voting privileges at all meetings of the County Central Committee.

C.  The Chairperson of the County Central Committee shall call said County Convention not less than four (4) days before said convention, shall publish said call in a newspaper publisher in the City of Missoula and shall cause to be delivered a copy of said call ten (10) days in advance to each precinct committeeman and committeewoman.

D.  The County chairperson shall preside at the County Convention. No person other than a duly elected or appointed precinct committeeman or committeewoman, or officer of the committee shall be entitled to participate in the proceedings of the committee.

Rule 7: County Delegate Convention 

A.  A County Convention shall elect delegates and alternate delegates to attend State Democratic Conventions under the rules and regulations of the State Democratic Party.

B.  The Chairperson and Record Secretary of the County Convention shall issue and sign certificates of election of said delegates and alternates.

Rule 8: Meetings 

A.  The County Central Committee shall meet each month unless otherwise specified by Central Committee or Executive Board resolution.

B.  During a statewide and national political campaign and after headquarters are established, the County Central Committee shall meet as often as necessary.

C.  At the first monthly meeting following each statewide general election, a written financial report shall be given to committee members.

D.  Notice of regular meeting shall be sent to members not less than seven (7) and not more than ten (10) days prior to such meetings.

E.  Special meetings of the County Central Committee may be called by the Chairperson, by a quorum of the Executive Committee or by not less than ten (10) members of the Central Committee. Notice of the special meeting shall be sent to all members not less than seven (7) and not more than ten (10) days prior to such meetings. The reason for the special meeting shall be included in the notice.

Rule 9: Executive Committee 

A.  The County Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson, the State Committeeman and State Committeewoman and their alternates, the Congressional Committeeman and Congressional Committeewoman, the Record Secretary, the Communications Director, the Treasurer, the Volunteer Coordinator, the Issues Director, and the Technology Director shall constitute the Executive Committee of the Central Committee. The presidents of the following organizations, or their designates, shall also be ex- officio members only, without vote, of the Executive Committee: Montana Indian Democrats Council, Democratic Women’s Club, the Democratic Club, the University of Montana College Democrats, the Montana Progressive Democrats, and other Democratic Party Partner Organizations, and the immediate past Chairperson, of the Central Committee, who shall serve for six (6) months after his or her successor takes office.

B.  This Committee shall have charge of the Central Committee policies and programs between meetings of the full County Central Committee.

C.  A majority shall constitute a quorum of the Executive Committee.

D.  No meeting of the Executive Committee shall be official unless all members have had notice thereof.

E.  The Executive Committee shall meet at least monthly.

OFFICERS 

 

Rule 10: Chairperson

A.  The duties of the chairperson shall be to issue a call for the County Convention and to preside at all meetings of the County and City Central Committee and of the Executive Committee.

B.  The Chairperson shall act as a liaison between the Central Committee and political campaigns in this County with the advice of the Executive Committee, The County Central Committee, and the State Central Committee.

C.  The Chairperson shall appoint the members of the committees prescribed by these rules and of such other committees as he/she or the Executive Committee deem necessary.

D.  The Chairperson shall perform such other duties as designated by the State Central Committee, County Central Committee, or prescribed by these rules.

E.  The Chairperson shall be responsible for recruiting members of the Missoula County Central Committee.

F.  The Chairperson may arrange coalitions with other organizations to pool resources or share responsibility for events or actions that both the Missoula County Democrats and said organization have the same goal. This applies only to organizations that are Party affiliated or issue affiliation.

Rule 11: Vice-Chairperson 

A.  The Vice-Chairperson shall preside at meetings in the temporary absence, of the Chairperson. In the case of resignation, death, permanent disability or removal from the County of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall become the Chairperson and shall serve until the election of the Chairperson in accordance with Rule 18.

B.  He/She shall have such other powers and duties as may be granted him/her from time to time by the County Central Committee.

C.  In the event of a vacancy in the Chairpersonship, if there be no Vice-Chairperson, the Recording Secretary shall immediately call a special meeting of the County Central Committee to fill the vacancies.

Rule 12: Record Secretary 

A.  The Record Secretary shall keep full minutes of the County Convention, the County Central Committee, regular and special meetings and meetings of the Executive Committee and furnish the Chairperson a copy of the minutes for approval at the next meeting. The Record Secretary shall record all meetings of the County Central Committee and Executive Committee in order to ensure an accurate record.

B.  The Record Secretary shall sign all certificates of election of delegates and alternates to State Democratic Conventions.

C.  The Record Secretary shall have custody of all books, records, and papers of the County Central Committee and the Executive Committee, except such as shall be in the custody of the Treasurer or Corresponding Secretary.

D.  The Record Secretary shall perform such other duties as may be delegated by the Chairperson or assigned by the Executive Committee.

E.  The Record Secretary shall provide a copy of these rules to all members. All members shall be provided a Central Committee membership list.

Rule 13: Communications Director 

A. The Communications Director shall be in charge of writing letters and any other duties assigned by the Chairperson or Central Committee. The Communications Director will be responsible for the newsletter, and, in concert with the Technology Director, for website management and earned and social media.

Rule 14: Treasurer 

A.  The Treasurer shall collect and have custody of all monies belonging to the County Central Committee.

B.  The Treasurer shall keep books of account.

C.  The Treasurer shall make financial reports at each regular meeting of the Central Committee and to the Executive Committee when requested by it.

D.  The Treasurer shall comply with the Montana election code.

Rule 15: State and Congressional Committeewomen and Committeemen 

A.  Programming for the Missoula County Central Committee shall be done by the State and Congressional Committeemen, as well as their alternates, in consultation with the Issues Director.

B.  Along with the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, the State Committeemen and Committeewomen, or their alternates, shall represent the Missoula County Democratic Central Committee at state Central Committee meetings and conventions.  The Congressional Committeewoman and Congressional Committeeman shall be second alternates to State Central Committee meetings and conventions.

Rule 16: Additional Officers 

A.  Issues Director.  The Issues Director shall chair the Issues Committee, and shall consult with the Executive Committee concerning the program for regular meetings of the Central Committee, and such special issue forums as the Executive Committee might approve.

B.  Technology Director.  The Technology Director shall oversee the operation of the Missoula County Democrats’ website, as well as its official social media pages, and other technology.  The Technology Director shall make recommendations to the Executive Committee concerning modifications of existing technology or acquisition of new technology.

C.  Volunteer Coordinator.  The Volunteer Coordinator will assist the state party, and Democratic and endorsed non-partisan candidates, as requested, in recruiting volunteers for campaigns for elective office or endorsed ballot initiatives.  The Volunteer Coordinator shall be a point of contact for candidates, campaigns, and for persons hoping to volunteer.

Rule 17: Candidate and Platform Support 

A.  It shall be the duty of all officers to support the platform of the Montana Democratic Party and the Democratic candidates nominated in the primary election who support the Democratic Platform.

B.  In non-partisan elections, the Central Committee may choose to endorse candidates.

Rule 18: Officer Vacancies 

A.  In case of vacancy occurring in the office of Chairperson by reason of resignation, death, removal from the county, or otherwise, the Vice-Chairperson shall become acting Chairperson and shall act until the County Central Committee has elected a Chairperson to fill the vacancy or until the next County Convention, whichever occurs first.

B.  In case of a vacancy occurring in any of the other offices of the Central Committee or in the elective membership of the Executive Committee, such vacancy shall be filled by a vote of the Central Committee, at its next regular meeting or at a special meeting called as provided in these rules.

Rule 19: Removal of Officer or Suspension of Officers and Committee Members

A.  Party officers may be removed from office for cause by a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the total membership of the County Central Committee present at a special meeting called on fifteen (15) days notice by mail. The notice shall contain the charges preferred and signed by not less than ten (10) per cent of the members of the committee. The special meeting shall take place to grant a full hearing of the charges prior to the vote, with the officer against whom complaints were made present, if he or she so wishes.

B.  Committee members who are elected in contested elections may be removed pursuant to state law regarding recall elections.  Committee members who are appointed or elected by acclamation may be removed by the above procedure to remove an officer for good cause, including, physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of these Rules, official misconduct, or conviction of a felony offense.

C.  In the event are presented against an Officer of the Executive Committee, the Central Committee may vote, by majority vote, to suspend an officer from position on the Executive Committee.  Any such motion must include provision for temporary replacement of the suspended officer’s dut

Rule 20: Rules of Conduct 

This Rule governs conduct of members and guests at all meetings of the Central Committee (Members) and the Executive Committee (Officers), and at programs sponsored by the Central Committee.  It also applies, as indicated to the conduct of Members and Officers of the Central Committee in other public settings including social media. 

A.  Discussion at meetings should proceed in an orderly fashion, as directed by the presiding officer. Neither Members, Officers, nor guests should interrupt a speaker recognized by the presiding officer, and shall seek recognition of the presiding officer if they wish to speak during discussion. Members, officers, and guests shall refrain from questioning the motives of other participants during discussion of an issue, and shall restrict themselves to the content of the issue under discussion.

B.  Members and Officers shall not disparage each other, or other Democrats, at meetings or otherwise in public. The following provisions apply to Officers but not to Members:

1.  Officers are obligated to support nominees of the party: communications disparaging party nominees or Democratic Party organizations may be grounds for removal as an Officer.

2.  Officers shall not disparage candidates for nomination in public. Officers may debate the merits of particular candidates, but shall refrain from public communication which, if repeated after the primary, would constitute a violation of paragraph 1.

C.  Members shall not disparage, defame or threaten other members directly, indirectly, or by implication, at meetings, in public, on social media or in private communication. This prohibition includes but is not limited to the following:

1.  Members and Officers shall strive to use dispute resolution methods pursuant to these Rules. Any Member or Officer who is the victim of a crime may report the matter to the appropriate entity.

2.  Members and Officers shall not contact or threaten to contact another Member or Officer’s employer, or the officers or members of another organization, to complain about the conduct of another Member or Officer at meetings, in public, on social media, or at sponsored programs.

D. Conduct that violates the provisions of this Rule may be remedied as follows:

1.  If the conduct occurs during a meeting, the presiding officer may rule a member out of order and, in an egregious case, may expel the Member, Officer, or guest from the meeting pursuant to Robert’s Rules of Order. Expulsion may be appealed to the body, and overturned by majority vote.

2.  If the conduct occurs outside of a formal meeting, the following procedures shall be applied:

a.  An aggrieved party may make a complaint concerning a violation of this Rule to the Chair, Vice-Chair, Record Secretary, or Treasurer. The officer to whom a complaint is made (the Convening Officer) shall ascertain whether any of the other officers are implicated in the violation.

b.  The Convening Officer shall appoint a committee of two officers and two members of the central committee to assist the Convening Officer in investigating the complaint. None of the appointees may be implicated in the complaint. The person complained about shall be given notice of the complaint, and of the appointment of the investigatory committee. The complaining party, or the person complained about, may make a prompt objection to the Convening Officer to the appointment of any members of the investigation committee.

c.  The committee shall speak to the parties involved, and to such witnesses as are identified by the parties involved, and shall review written communications that are directly relevant to the complaint.

d.  At the completion of its investigation, the Convening Officer shall convey the investigative committee’s recommendation to the Executive Board. Both parties involved may attend the Executive Board meeting that considers the recommendations. Recommended actions may include:

i.    No action.

ii.   Direction of one party to provide a remedy to the aggrieved party, including potentially the direction to apologize to another.

iii.  Censure

iv.  Suspension of a person for a period not more than 6 months from meetings; or

v.   Removal of an Officer from the Executive Board.

e.  The Executive Board shall discuss the recommendation of the investigative committee, and may take action different from that recommended by the investigative committee. In reaching its decision the Executive Board may consider mitigating and aggravating factors. Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 19, if the investigative committee recommends removal, and the Executive Board approves the recommendation, then the Central Committee may remove the officer at its next scheduled meeting by a majority vote.  The quorum for a Central Committee meeting considering an Executive Board recommendation of removal based on a violation of these rules shall be the same as for a normal Central Committee meeting.

E.  Violations of this Rule are not excused by a prior violation (or alleged violation) by another party.

F.  Complaints about violations made in bad faith or over de minimis violations may be themselves considered to be violations, and may be the subject of a complaint by the person complained about.

Rule 21: Committees 

A.  There shall be a nominating committee of five (5) members: two (2) to be appointed by the Executive Committee, three (3) to be selected by the Central Committee at a meeting not less than two (2) months prior to the County Convention. The nominating committee shall nominate the members of the Executive Committee. Further nominations may be made from the floor at the Convention.

B.  The Chairperson may appoint the following committees:

1.  Finance

2.  Rules and Credentials

3.  Audit

4.  Such special committees as may be necessary from time to time or requested by the Executive or Central Committee.

C.  There shall be a standing Issues Committee of five (5) members selected by the Central Committee for one (1) year plus the Issues Director, who shall chair the committee, the County Chairperson and the State Committeeman and State Committeewoman, and their alternates, as ex officio members. The duties of this committee shall be to consider issues, including recommendations from the Central Committee, and to present resolutions on issues to the Central Committee.

Rule 22: Neutrality Before a Primary, Non-coordination 

A.  No funds of the County Central Committee or the City Central Committee shall be expended during the primary on behalf of one or more Democratic candidates against any other Democratic candidates unless:  upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Central Committee members present when evidence exists that a candidate(s) does not exhibit a persuasive history of support for the Party platform and issues.  Candidates shall be eligible for endorsements in non-partisan races.

B.  During decisions regarding expenditures of funds or use of resources, candidates for office that may be affected by expenditures shall not participate to avoid coordinating inappropriately with the Central Committee.

C.  Absent Montana Democratic State Party Executive Board support of a proven statewide or federal incumbent of Missoula Democratic Central Committee support for a candidate under rule 22 Section A, the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson shall maintain neutrality throughout any contested Democratic primary.

D.  The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Missoula County Democrats shall resign these positions if they file to run for elective office in a contested primary.

Rule 23: Quorum and Proxies 

A.  At a County Convention, a quorum shall consist of 25% of those precinct committeemen and precinct committeewomen authorized by state rule to vote.

B.  At any regular or special meeting of the County Central Committee, 20% of elected precinct committeemen and committeewomen shall constitute a quorum, except at a meeting called for the removal of an officer, when 50% shall constitute a quorum.

C.  No proxies shall be allowed at any regular or special meeting of the Central Committee.

Rule 24: Voting 

A.  Precinct committeemen and committeewomen are entitled to vote at all meetings of the Central Committee.

B.  Executive Committee members who are not precinct committeemen or women may vote at all meetings of the Central Committee.

C.  Voting rights are subject to limitations as specified by Democratic state party rules and the state laws of Montana.

D.  Voting rights are subject to limitations as specified by Democratic state party rules and the state laws of Montana.

Rule 25: Open Elections 

A. No elections shall be conducted by secret ballot.

Rule 26: Rules of Order 

A. "Roberts Rules of Order", insofar as not in conflict with law of Montana or rules of the Montana Democratic Party, shall govern all proceedings of all meetings existing under these rules.

Rule 27: Conflict 

A. Any rule or sub-section thereof herein contained which may be found in conflict with the laws of Montana or the rules of the Montana Democratic Party shall be of no further force and effect upon determination of such conflict.

Rule 28: Notification 

A. Notification shall be by mail, email, phone, or in person.

Rule 29: Amendment 

These rules may be amended or repealed and additional rules adopted at any regular or special meeting of the Democratic County Central Committee by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present, provided, however, that no rule may be amended or repealed or any additional rules adopted unless copy of such proposed amendment, repeal or new rules be delivered by email, except to member that have specifically requested delivery by mail, not less than seven (7) days nor more than ten (10) days prior to the next regular or special meeting of the County Central Committee called on notice give pursuant to these rules to each member of the County Central Committee.  Amendment are effective upon approval.