Standing Rules for Endorsement

STONEWALL DEMOCRATS OF SAN ANTONIO

STANDING RULES FOR ENDORSEMENT

(Revised and approved by the SDSA Board of Directors on 4 August 2011)

(Revised and approved by the SDSA Board of Directors on 14 March 2012, and approved by the membership on 19 March 2012)

1. These standing rules are promulgated by the Board of Directors of Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio (SDSA) and shall govern the process of endorsement of candidates for public office and ballot propositions.

2. SDSA endorsement of candidates for public office and positions on ballot propositions and other measures may be determined at any properly called meeting of the membership of SDSA, provided that there is a quorum present. A quorum is equal to or greater than ten percent (10%) of the SDSA members in good standing. Once a quorum is established, it remains in effect for the remainder of the endorsement meeting.

The Secretary shall provide notice of the endorsement meeting to all members in good standing no later than fifteen (15) days prior to the meeting. Notice may be by mail, e-mail, phone or fax and includes notification of the races, ballot propositions or other matters which are to be considered for endorsement.

To be eligible to vote for endorsement of a candidate or support of a ballot proposition or measure, a member must be a member in good standing as defined in Article IV, Section 1 of the SDSA Bylaws and have been a member for at least 30 days prior to the endorsement meeting or, in the case of a lapsed member, renewed their membership at the time of the endorsement meeting. For the purposes of these Standing Rules of Endorsement, a lapsed member is defined as one whose dues are less than a year in arrears. Proxy voting is not permitted. Candidates, their staff members and campaign volunteers, who are otherwise eligible to vote as SDSA members, are eligible to vote for endorsement of any and all candidates being considered.

3. The Board of Directors, based on the recommendation of the Endorsement Committee, determines the selection of races and propositions to be included on the slate.

4. In partisan elections, only Democratic candidates may be endorsed. This rule is not subject to suspension.

5. In non-partisan elections, the SDSA may endorse any candidate who has filed, irrespective of a candidate’s political party affiliation.

6. Candidates may only seek endorsement by SDSA within the context of a duly called endorsement meeting.

7. Voting on any endorsement or support of any ballot proposition or other measure shall be taken by a show of hands of members who are in good standing, unless a secret ballot is requested by any member eligible to vote and agreed to by a majority of members present. A member shall vote for only one candidate per race unless there is a runoff.

8.  The options of "Endorsed", "Candidate Failed to Respond," or "Recommendation to Vote Against," are permitted FOR EACH CANDIDATE. SDSA may rate any ballot proposition or other measure as "Support", "Oppose", or "No Position". An affirmative vote of greater than 50 percent (50%) of total SDSA members present, eligible to vote and voting shall be required to endorse a candidate or take a position on a ballot proposition or other measure.  ALL "AYE," "NAY," AND "ABSTAIN" VOTES ARE COUNTED IN DETERMINING WHETHER THERE IS A 50% + 1 MAJORITY.  In the event no candidate receives greater than 50% of the vote in a race where there are more than two (2) candidates, a runoff election must occur. IN THE EVENT NO CANDIDATE RECEIVES A 50% + 1 MAJORITY OF VOTES IN THE RUN OFF, SUCH CANDIDATES MAY BE GIVEN A RATING OF "FAVORABLE."  IN THE EVENT NO CANDIDATE IN A RACE IS ENDORSED OR GIVEN A "FAVORABLE" RATING, THAT RACE WILL BE RATED AS "NO ENDORSEMENT."

9. Only one candidate may be endorsed per seat. An endorsement implies that the SDSA recommends that people vote for that candidate rather than any other candidates for that seat. It does not imply that SDSA supports all of the candidate's positions.

10. For Friendly Incumbent Endorsements refer to Addendum II.

11. In order to be considered for SDSA endorsement, candidates, except for president, must complete and submit the SDSA candidate questionnaire. Candidates are encouraged to attend the appropriate endorsement meeting; or have a representative attend the appropriate endorsement meeting. Representative designation must be submitted in writing prior to the beginning of the meeting.

12. Candidate questionnaires shall be prepared by the Endorsement Committee and approved by the Board of Directors. Questionnaires shall be reviewed periodically (at least every two years) to ensure that current issues are adequately reflected. Completed questionnaires shall be reviewed and assessed by the Endorsement Committee prior to the membership endorsement meeting.

13. SDSA membership shall have the right to question any candidate or candidate’s representative seeking endorsement during an endorsement meeting, in accordance with Endorsement Meeting Guidelines (Addendum I). Members shall further have the right at any time prior to or during the candidate forum, but not during the endorsement meeting, to disseminate information in favor of or against any particular candidate(s) or ballot issue(s), provided such information is a matter of public record. No member, including members of the Endorsement Committee and Board of Directors, shall be barred from personally endorsing candidates prior to SDSA’s endorsement meeting provided that the member, in so doing, does not use SDSA’s name in that endorsement in any way.

14. Prior to voting on a candidate race, an SDSA member nominates a candidate in a specified race. In order to be considered, the nomination must be followed by a second from another member.

15. Only the candidate’s answers on the questionnaire, answers at the candidate forum and their public record may be considered during discussion and debate. Extraneous matters raised by any member regarding any candidate shall be ruled out of order by the presiding officer at the Endorsement Meeting.

16. No candidates or their designated representatives, including candidates and designated representatives who are also SDSA members, may be present for debate on the office for which that candidate is contending. However, a candidate or designated representative who is also an SDSA member may return to the meeting to vote after debate has concluded.

17. All candidates considered for endorsement shall be notified of the results.

18. SDSA shall prepare and disseminate its list of endorsements no later than ten (10) days prior to the commencement of the early voting period of the election for which the candidates are contending. This rule is not subject to suspension.

19. In the event of a runoff election, the Endorsement Committee shall recommend to the Board of Directors whether an additional endorsement meeting may be appropriate

20. SDSA funds may only be contributed to the campaigns of those candidates endorsed by SDSA and those ballot propositions earning a rating of “Support”. The Endorsement Committee, subject to SDSA board approval, may designate certain races/issues as “priority campaigns” to indicate that those campaigns should be given priority in terms of funding or SDSA-coordinated efforts.

21. Except where prohibited in these rules, a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting may suspend these rules at an endorsement meeting provided that a quorum is present. Such suspension is valid for that meeting only.

22. These rules may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting at any properly called SDSA Board meeting, provided that a quorum is present and that notice of the proposed amendments was included with the notice of the meeting. This must be ratified by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at any duly called membership meeting at which a quorum is present with notice of the proposed amendments having been given in the call of the meeting.


Addendum I: ENDORSEMENT MEETING GUIDELINES

 

A. Candidate’s Opening Comments

Should be limited to 1-2 minutes per candidate, depending upon number of candidates and time constraints. Endorsement Committee shall set exact time limits after assessing total number of candidates planning to appear at endorsement meeting.

B. Question-And-Answer Period

Depending on the number of candidates, exact time limits to be determined by Endorsement Committee prior to the endorsement meeting.

C. Candidate’s Closing Comments

Should be limited to 1-2 minutes per candidate, depending on number of candidates. Exact time limit to be determined by Endorsement Committee prior to the endorsement meeting.

D. Discussion by the Membership for Candidate Support

  1. Open floor to nominations
  2. Member nominates a candidate
  3. Second to nomination by another member, repeat steps 2 and 3 until nominations are closed.
  4. Discussion shall follow with a maximum of six (6) speakers, 3 for and/or 3 against, for each candidate, with a 2 minute limit for each speaker.
  5. Presiding officer asks members whether more discussion is necessary.

E. Discussion by the Membership for Proposition Support

  1. Open floor for motion to support
  2. Member makes a motion to support or reject a proposition
  3. Second to motion by another member
  4. Discussion shall follow with a maximum of three (3) speakers for each side and a 2 minute limit for each speaker.
  5. Presiding officer asks members whether more discussion is necessary.

F. Voting

Pursuant to current bylaws/standing rules.


Addendum II: FRIENDLY INCUMBENT ENDORSEMENT GUIDELINES

A. Friendly incumbent endorsements may be considered for all incumbents who have a supportive voting record on appropriate issues, as determined by the Endorsements Committee subject to approval by the Board of Directors. The friendly incumbent endorsement is intended to reward incumbents for their support and shall be completed early so that the candidate has a greater opportunity to use the SDSA endorsement to discourage challengers.

B. The Board of Directors, upon recommendation by the Endorsements Committee, may determine eligibility for a Friendly Incumbent Endorsement for an incumbent who has no voting record by virtue of holding an administrative, executive, judicial or other non-legislative office.

C. A friendly incumbent endorsement does not require the completion of a candidate questionnaire or attendance at an endorsement meeting; however, such candidates will be invited to attend the endorsement meeting and make a brief statement, if they so choose.

D. Friendly incumbent endorsements may be included and approved in a calendar of recommendations listed for a single vote of consent at any properly called SDSA membership meeting. Upon the request of any member, a candidate shall be removed from the consent calendar for separate consideration if agreed to by a majority of the members present and voting.

E. When an incumbent does not receive a Friendly Incumbent Endorsement, the office will be treated as open. All candidates for that office, which shall include the incumbent, will then be required to follow the standard endorsement procedure.

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