The Lynne Stewart Proxy Issue

Faction operative Nia Bediako has been bringing this motion to the LSB for months now. It's illegal, but she brings it anyway in an attempt to undermine the functioning of the LSB. Here's her motion.


Whereas, the WBAI Local Station Board recognizes that incarceration on the basis of defendants' political speech and conduct happens in the courts of the United States of America; and

Whereas, the imprisonment of Lynne Stewart, who spent years as an attorney defending the rights of the politically persecuted and the disenfranchised, represents one such occurrence; and

Whereas, the conviction and sentencing of Lynne Stewart were strongly opposed as unjust by many leaders and advocates for human rights and civil liberties, as well as by many defense attorneys who recognized the dangerous chilling effect on their profession; and

Whereas, Lynne Stewart is a duly elected member of this body and entitled to participate in discussions and decisions of importance to WBAI; and

Whereas, her absence from our association is involuntary and completely against her will, in order to accommodate her,

Resolved, that until Lynne Stewart is again able to attend LSB meetings, on each motion debated by the LSB that would have long-range impact on the station, as determined by a majority vote:

1. No vote will be taken until said motion, any seconded amendments, and any written points desired to be included by any LSB member, have been:
a) sent by email or regular mail to Lynne Stewart (according to her preference and access); and
b) put on a public LSB listserv, access to which shall not require pre-registration of any kind and to which all LSB members may post.

Such mailings and postings shall be done by the LSB Secretary within a week of the LSB meeting at which the motions are offered.

2. Votes on such motions and amendments will be conducted at the following LSB meeting, and will include any votes that Lynne Stewart chooses to cast via email or regular mail. Lynne Stewart shall also have the right to include written comments along with her votes. Any such comments shall be read out loud at the next meeting during the final debate before the vote proceeds.

Besides being illegal under the Pacifica bylaws this arrangement would also allow the faction to raise debate and force a vote on every motion brought to the LSB to determine if it “would have long-range impact on the station.”

Here are some citations showing why this motion should always be ruled out of order. Click here to read the Pacifica bylaws posted on line.

“All actions taken by LSB members shall be taken personally. The powers of Delegates and associate station representatives may not be exercised by alternates, by proxy or the like.”

“The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, as amended from time to time, shall govern the Foundation in all cases where they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws or any special rules of order which the Foundation may adopt.”

Robert's Rules of Order, 10th edition, page 408, lines 31 to 35, continued on page 409, lines 1 and 2.
“Absentee Voting. It is a fundamental principle of parliamentary law that the right to vote is limited to the members of an organization who are actually present at the time the vote is taken at a legal meeting, although it should be noted that a member need not be present when the question is put. Exceptions to this rule must be expressly stated in the bylaws.” [RONR (10th Ed.) p. 408 l. 31-35, p. 409 l. 1-2.]

Robert's Rules of Order, 10th edition, page 414, lines 15 to 21.
“Proxy voting. A proxy is a power of attorney given by one person to another to vote in his stead; the term also designates the person who holds the power of attorney. Proxy voting is not permitted in ordinary deliberative assemblies unless the laws of the state in which the society is incorporated require it or the charter or bylaws of the organization provide for it.” [RONR (10th Ed.) p. 414 l. 15-21.]

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