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Proposal Details

Proposal ID244
ProposalFormation Of An Independent Investigative Committee Regarding the Affiliated GPU Amended
PresenterGreen Parties of California and Texas
Floor ManagerKatey Culver
Discussion09/04/2006 - 09/24/2006
Voting09/25/2006 - 10/01/2006
Presens Quorum32 0.6666
Consens Quorum49 A Majority of Yes and No Votes


In 2004, the GPUS-affiliated Green Party of Utah split into
two groups, each claiming a direct lineage from the original
party and each claiming to have the sole bylaws authority to
continue the party under the Green Party of Utah name. These
two groups have each attained ballot status since then, one
in August 2005 under the name of "Green Party of Utah," the
other in March 2006 under the name "Desert Greens." For
convenience' sake, this proposal will refer to the former
group as "the GPUT group" and the latter as "the Desert
Greens group" in order to distinguish them, although the
latter name was not used until 2006.

In court, the state of Utah found in favor of the GPUT
group, stating that the party's bylaws were not violated,
and that the GPUT co-coordinator at that time was the
recognized Liaison to the Secretary of State of Utah. The
Deserts Greens group, however, was granted the status of
affiliation with the national party and given both of Utah's
delegates and votes on the GPUS National Committee (NC).
This decision was made without consulting the GPUT group for
their side of the story and without consulting the NC for a
decision. Despite repeated questions regarding who in the
GPUS made this decision, how, and on what authority, the
events behind this decision have never been investigated or
reported to the NC.

During the July 2005 national meeting in Tulsa, the
California delegation formally requested an investigation
and report on what happened in Utah in 2004; yet a year
later, this investigation still had not occurred. At the
July 2006 national meeting in Tucson, a discussion item on
the Utah parties was added to the agenda by a majority of
the delegates present. California proposed the idea of
forming a formal investigative committee to research the
situation, publish a report for the NC, and propose a
solution. Both Utah parties expressed approval of the idea
of a formal investigation to bring forth the facts, and many
other delegates also expressed support for the idea.

This proposal involves more than the grievance of one
disenfranchised state party. The intent of this proposal, in
addition to helping resolve the conflict about Utah, is to
lay the groundwork for a general process for handling
instances where states have more than one Green Party or
irresolvable division among an affiliated party.

Note: The current version of this proposal includes
provisions of the Texas proposal regarding the investigation
of the Utah dispute, in cooperation with the presenter of
that proposal. The presenters are also working with the
Accreditation Committee (AC) to ensure that this
investigation proceeds in cooperation with the AC's efforts.


The GPUS shall investigate the history of the conflict in
the originally affiliated Green Party of Utah and draft
proposals for settlement of the contention in the following


A. Choosing the Investigator(s)
The GPUS shall choose a competent professional to conduct a
fact-finding investigation into the steps leading to the
recognition of one faction inside the originally affiliated
Green Party of Utah. Ideally this person will be retained on
a pro bono basis. This individual will meet the following

1. The investigator must be a person with professional
experience in law or investigation; for example, a licensed
attorney, retired judge, active or retired detective, or
professional mediator. An ideal first choice might be a
professor of Law in the state of Utah and the interns or
associates to whom the investigator might delegate work.

2. The investigator must not currently be serving as a
publicly-elected official, a volunteer or staff member of a
campaign for publicly-elected office, a member of a
political action committee, a hired counsel or legal adviser
for a political action committee or campaign for publicly
elected office, or a Green Party officer on the local, state
or national level. The investigator may not have had a past
political or professional relationship with any members of
either Utah party.

3. The special investigator must also have no current or
former close friends, relatives, or close personal
associates who are or who have ever been involved in the
dispute in the Green Party of Utah.

4. The investigator must be a person who has maintained
neutrality on the conflict in the Green Parties in Utah and
the related political divisions within the Green Party.
To safeguard neutrality, both parties in Utah will be given
a veto right over nominees for investigator. They must state
grounds for a veto and may not veto more than one nominee.
If more than one nominee for investigator meets these
criteria, the GPUS National Committee (NC) shall choose the
investigator through an IRV vote.

If no investigator who meets these criteria can be found
after a diligent search by the NC, nominations will be
accepted, of people considered neutral and competent, for a
3-person investigation team to be elected by single
transferable vote (STV) by the NC.

B. Investigation
The investigator(s) shall thoroughly research the history of
the conflict in Utah, and collect oral and/or written
testimony and evidential documentation from both parties, in
order to publish a report on their findings for the NC. The
investigator may delegate work to interns and staff.

The investigator shall be empowered and given approval to
request documentation from all involved parties, including
but not limited to: the GPUT group, the Desert Greens
group, current and former GPUS staff and NC Secretaries,
current and former members of the Accreditation Committee
(AC) and Steering Committee (SC), the State of Utah, Utah
courts of law, and individual Greens.

The GPUS strongly urges Green Party individuals and groups,
from whom testimony or evidence is requested by the special
investigator during the course of the fact-finding
investigation, to respond in a thorough and timely fashion.

The special investigator will conduct her or his
investigation in accordance with all applicable local, state
and national laws and all applicable rules of legal ethics.

The fact-finding investigation will be conducted during a
period of time not to exceed four months.

C. Report
Within 30 days of the conclusion of the fact-finding
investigation, the investigator(s) shall release a full
report to the NC of their findings on the history and facts
of the Utah dispute. The report must include all submitted
evidence and documentation, a statement from each party and
any other point of view considered significant, a timeline
of the events, and, where facts are contested, a description
of the nature of these discrepancies.

The GPUS shall form a Settlement Committee to carefully
review the investigative report, consider the history and
relevant issues and bring a proposal to the NC within three
months to settle how to handle the two parties in Utah.

If the Settlement Committee members deem it possible, the
committee is further requested to propose, separately, a
formal policy for handling splits in state parties on an
ongoing basis. If the committee members choose to do this,
they may work beyond the 3-month timeline on the general
policy proposal, with the recommendation that they consult
and work with the AC on any proposed solutions before
proposing them to the NC.

The Settlement Committee shall consist of eight persons,
including one representative from each party (the GPUT group
and the Desert Greens group), one member appointed by the
AC, and five members elected at large by STV by the NC. Any
member of a GPUS-affiliated Green Party, except members of
either of the Utah parties, may run for the five at-large
seats. Candidates may send in their statement of candidacy
through any NC delegate.

The committee shall elect two co-chairs by STV, shall hold
regular teleconferences in addition to online
communications, and shall give regular reports on their
progress. Teleconferences shall be scheduled to allow as
many members to attend as possible, with sufficient notice
to all members and rotation of times to accommodate those
who could not attend a previous call. General business
decisions of the committee shall be by consensus-seeking
process with a simple majority backup vote. Decisions on the
content of the final proposal(s) shall be by
consensus-seeking process with a 2/3 majority backup vote.
The final proposal(s) presented to the NC must have
two-thirds support of the entire committee, with consensus

The settlement proposal shall go before the NC for a simple
majority vote. Any proposed amendments to GPUS bylaws shall
be proposed separately, requiring a 2/3 majority from the NC
in order to pass, as specified in Article 5 of the GPUS

It is the expectation that through examination of this
specific case the National Committee can become yet more
effective at generally encouraging Green candidacies and
participation within the electoral process.


Kent Mesplay (CA) 858-752-9918,
Cat Woods (CA) 415-897-6989,
Bill Holloway (TX) 512-744-7487,
Doug Reber (TX) 512-669-2654,

TIMELINE: Upon passage of this proposal, commencement of the
nomination process for investigator. If no candidates
meeting the criteria A-1 through A-4 can be found within 5
weeks, then the nomination process for a 3-member
investigative team of neutral persons should commence. Prior
to the conclusion of the 4-month investigative phase,
announcement of the Settlement Committee, invitation to the
2 Utah parties and the AC to appoint their committee member,
and announcement of the nomination process for the 5
at-large seats. Nominations shall remain open for 3 weeks.
As soon as possible thereafter, an election shall be held
for the at-large Settlement Committee members. The
three-month timeline for the Settlement Committee shall
commence upon the posting of the results of the election.

RESOURCES: At the NC's discretion, it may choose to pay a
professional, if no one is available to do the investigative
work pro bono, or it can choose to convene a neutral
3-person investigative team without cost. Possible listserv
for Settlement Committee members.



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