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Sample Constitution and Bylaws

Sample Constitution 

 

(scroll down for Bylaws)

 

Note: This sample Constitution for State Parties is designed for cut and paste in drafting a state party's Constitution. Each occurrence of <#SN> should be replaced with the state's name (such as Kansas). Each occurrence of IAP-<#SA> should be replaced with IAP- and the state's postal abbreviation (such as IAP-KS).

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Constitution of the
Independent American Party for <#SN>

(Established <date>)

 

ARTICLE I. NAME

The official name of this state political party is "Independent American Party of <#SN>" (herein "IAP-<#SA>" or "State Party"). The official name of each County Party shall be "Independent American Party of <county name> County, <#SN>" (herein "County Party"). The affiliate national party shall be the national Independent American Party (herein "National IAP").

 

ARTICLE II. OBJECT

The IAP-<#SA> Mission is to promote respect for life liberty and property; strong traditional families; patriotism; and individual, state and national sovereignty -- with a strong reliance on the Declaration of Independence and allegiance to the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of <#SN> -- by petition to God and by political and educational means.

ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

Membership in the IAP-<#SA> shall consist of general members, active members, and members in good standing. General membership shall be open to all residents of the State of <#SN>. Active members shall be those who participate at State or County Party meetings. Members in good standing shall be active members who support the ideals and goals of the State Party.

 

ARTICLE IV. CAUCUS ORGANIZATIONS

Active members residing in a Congressional District, State Senate District, State House of Representatives District, or Precinct District, may form a Congressional, Senate, Legislative or Precinct District Caucus, respectively, for the purpose of electing caucus officers, nominating candidates where applicable, and performing other functions authorized by the State Party.

 

ARTICLE V. COUNTY ORGANIZATIONS

Each county with active members in the State of <#SN> shall have a County Party within the State Party. The county structural organization shall consist of county Executive Officers, a county Executive Committee, special committees as needed, and the County Convention. The County Party may optionally establish a county Constitution and Bylaws, providing that they are in harmony with and subservient to this State Party Constitution and the State Party Bylaws.

 

ARTICLE VI. STATE ORGANIZATION

The State structural organization shall consist of four State Executive Officers, the state Executive Committee (consisting of the Executive Officers and Congressional District representatives), the state Central Committee (consisting of the Executive Committee and County representatives), and the State Convention. The auxiliary organization shall consist of state Standing Committees to be specified in the State Party Bylaws, any number of state Special Committees as needed, and auxiliary organizations as provided for in the State Party Bylaws. The State extended organization shall include all County and District organizations within the State Party.

 

ARTICLE VII. NATIONAL ORGANIZATION

The IAP-<#SA> shall elect Representatives and Alternates to the National Committee of the National IAP in the numbers authorized by the National IAP; and shall elect Delegates and Alternates to the National Convention of the National IAP at the times and in the numbers authorized by the National IAP.

 

ARTICLE VIII. SUPREMACY

This Constitution shall be the ruling document for the IAP-<#SA>. It is severable in that if any portion hereof be declared void, all other portions shall remain binding and effective. The state Central Committee shall be the supreme governing body of the State Party. The State Party shall establish state Bylaws which shall provide rules of conduct and organization for the State Party in accordance with, and subordinate to, this Constitution. The state Executive Committee shall assume the role of the state Central Committee if that body is not organized.

ARTICLE IX. AMENDMENTS

Amendments or revisions to this Constitution may be proposed by majority vote of the state Executive Committee or the State Convention. Proposed amendments or revisions to this Constitution may be ratified by two-thirds vote of the state Central Committee at a Regular meeting held any time after three months from the proposal date.

 

ARTICLE X. ADOPTION

This Constitution shall be established upon majority vote of the organizing body of the State Party. Contrary to the provisions of Article IX, this Constitution may be amended or revised by majority vote of the state Central Committee at any time within one year of the establishment of this Constitution.

 

Note: These sample Bylaws for State Parties are designed for cut and paste in drafting a state party's Bylaws. Each occurrence of <#SN> should be replaced with the state's name (such as Kansas). Each occurrence of IAP-<#SA> should be replaced with IAP- and the state's postal abbreviation (such as IAP-KS).

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Bylaws


Independent American Party for <#SN>

 

(Established <date>)

 

SECTION 1. NAME

Pursuant to Article I of the Constitution of the Independent American Party of <#SN> (herein "IAP-<#SA> Constitution"):

 

A. State Name. (1) The official name of this state political party is "Independent American Party of <#SN>" (herein "IAP-<#SA>" or "State Party"). (2) It may also be known as <#SN> Independent American Party, Independent American Party, IAP-<#SA>, IAP of <#SN>, <#SN> IAP, or IAP.

 

B. County Names. (1) The official name of each County Party of the IAP-<#SA> shall be "Independent American Party of <county name> County, <#SN>" (herein "County Party"). (2) Each County Party may also be known as <county name> County <#SN> Independent American Party, IAP of <county name> County, or <county name> County IAP.

 

C. National Name. (1) The IAP-<#SA> shall be affiliated with the national Independent American Party (herein "National IAP"), subject to approval of the National Committee of the National IAP.

 

SECTION 2. OBJECT

 

Pursuant to Article II of the IAP-<#SA> Constitution:

 

A. IAP Candidates. (1) To further the IAP-<#SA> Mission, the State Party shall endeavor to find, nominate, assist and support candidates for federal, state and local offices, who are wise, moral and honest, and who will uphold and defend the Constitutions of the United States and the State of <#SN>. (2) These candidates shall also adhere to the Mission and Platform of the State Party. (3) The State Party shall also assist and support the presidential and vice presidential nominees of the National IAP.

 

B. Non-IAP Candidates. (1) The State Convention may choose to endorse and/or support non-party candidates for public office, who meet the ideals expected of State Party candidates, who are not in direct contest with any State Party or National IAP nominees for public office.

C. Party Assistance. (1) The State Party shall endeavor to assist County Parties and other State Party entities with organization, voter education, ballot qualification, recruiting, fund raising, public relations, and other services.

 

SECTION 3. MEMBERSHIP

 

Pursuant to Article III of the IAP-<#SA> Constitution:

 

A. General Members. (1) A "general member" of the IAP-<#SA> is any resident of the State of <#SN> who claims membership in the State Party, but who does not necessarily participate in State or County Party activities.

 

B. Active Members. (1) An "active member" of the State Party is one who is a registered voter in the State of <#SN>, and who attends, participates and votes at State or County Conventions or meetings of the State Party. (2) A member may be denied active participation in the State Party for reasonable cause by two-thirds vote of the state Central Committee.

 

C. Good Standing. (1) An active member in "good standing" is one who supports the State Party Mission and Platform, Constitution and Bylaws, and candidates for public office; and who is committed to building the State Party for the cause of freedom. (2) All State Party officers, delegates, and candidates for public office (except for president and vice president) are expected to be active members of the State Party in good standing.

 

SECTION 4. CAUCUS ORGANIZATIONS

 

Pursuant to Article IV of the IAP-<#SA> Constitution:

 

A. Congressional Caucus. (1) Each Congressional District with active members residing in the district, may have a Congressional District Caucus. (2) Such caucuses may meet at prescribed times during meetings of the State Convention, and at non-convention times as determined by the caucus members. (3) The caucus shall also elect members from the district as Congressional District Representatives to the state Executive Committee. (4) The caucus may nominate its candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

B. Senate Caucus. (1) Each state Senate District with active members residing in the district, may have a Senate District Caucus. (2) Such caucuses may meet at prescribed times during meetings of either the State or County Conventions for single-county senate districts, or during meetings of the State Convention for multi-county senate districts, and at non-convention times as determined by the caucus members. (3) The caucus may nominate its candidate for the State Senate seat.

 

C. Legislative Caucus. (1) Each state House of Representatives District with active members residing in the district, may have a Legislative District Caucus. (2) Such caucuses may meet at prescribed times during meetings of either the State or County Conventions for single-county house districts, or during meetings of the State Convention for multi-county house districts, and at non-convention times as determined by the caucus members. (3) The caucus may nominate its candidate for the State House of Representatives seat.

 

D. Precinct Caucus. (1) Each Precinct District with active members residing in the district, may have a Precinct Caucus. (2) Such caucuses may meet at any time as determined by the caucus members.

E. Caucus Officers. (1) Each district caucus may elect officers such as Chair and Vice Chair, as the caucus members see fit. (2) Elections shall normally be held on an annual basis during the first caucus meeting of each year.

 

SECTION 5. COUNTY ORGANIZATIONS

 

Pursuant to Article V of the IAP-<#SA> Constitution:

 

A. Executive Officers. (1) The county Executive Officers shall consist of a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. (2) Any two officer positions may be combined as one. (3) The officers shall be elected for a two-year term by the County Convention held in odd-numbered years; and by the county Executive Committee whenever needed to fill an officer vacancy. (4) The officers shall be members of and preside over the County Executive Committee and the County Convention. (5) The order of succession in case of absence or vacancy of the Chair shall be the Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer. (6) Officers may be removed at any time for reasonable cause by two-thirds vote of the county Executive Committee. (7) The officers shall meet at least quarterly either in person or by suitable electronic means. (8) Their duties shall be comparable to those of their corresponding State Party Executive Officers, but limited in scope to the county level.

 

B. Executive Committee. (1) The county Executive Committee shall consist of the county Executive Officers and a limited number of other individuals, as determined by the County Convention. (2) The non-Officer Executive Committee members shall be elected for a one-year term by the County Convention at its annual meeting; and by existing members of the Executive Committee to fill committee member vacancies. (3) The Executive Committee shall meet at least quarterly in person or by suitable electronic means to (a) set County Party policy; (b) conduct the affairs of the County Party organization; (c) approve or reject any actions of the county Executive Officers; (d) select individuals to fill vacancies for any position within the County Party jurisdiction; (e) perform other functions as specified in the IAP-<#SA> Constitution and these Bylaws; and (f) conduct other appropriate business. (4) The county Executive Officers may assume the role of the county Executive Committee if that body has not been organized.

 

C. County Convention. (1) The County Convention shall consist of the county Executive Officers, all county Executive Committee members, and all active members that reside in the county. (2) New party members may be seated as delegates to the County Convention at the discretion of the already seated delegates. (3) The County Convention shall (a) meet at least annually in person or by suitable electronic means, and elect non-Officer county Executive Committee members for a one-year-term; (b) in odd-numbered years elect county Executive Officers for a two-year term; (c) in even-numbered years nominate candidates for public office to county offices and single-county state senate and house districts within the county, as needed; and (d) conduct other appropriate business as specified by the county Executive Committee, in the IAP-<#SA> Constitution and elsewhere in these Bylaws. (4) The county Executive Committee may assume the role of the County Convention if that body has not been organized.

 

D. Special Committees. (1) County Special Committees may be created by the county Executive Committee for specific County Party purposes and limited periods of time; and may be dissolved at any time by the county Executive Committee. (2) Committee chairs and members shall be determined by the county Executive Committee. (3) Each special committee may create subcommittees that are limited to the scope, function and time confines of the parent committee.

 

SECTION 6. STATE ORGANIZATION

 

Pursuant to Article VI of the IAP-<#SA> Constitution:

 

A. Executive Officers. (1) The state Executive Officers shall consist of a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. (2) The officers shall be elected for a two-year term by the State Convention held in odd-numbered years; and by the state Executive Committee whenever needed to fill an officer vacancy. (3) The officers shall be members of and preside over the state Executive Committee, state Central Committee, and the State Convention. (4) The order of succession in case of absence or vacancy of the Chair shall be the Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer. (5) Officers may be removed at any time for reasonable cause by two-thirds vote of the state Central Committee. (6) The officers shall meet at least quarterly either in person or by suitable electronic means.

 

B. Officer Duties. (1) The state Chair shall (a) preside over the Executive Officers and all State Party meetings; (b) be the sole spokesman for the State Party; and (c) oversee and coordinate the activities of all State Party organizations within the state. (2) The state Vice Chair shall (a) assist the state Chair in his duties; (b) and perform other duties assigned by the state Chair. (3) The state Secretary shall (a) notify all appropriate members of scheduled state meetings; (b) keep minutes and records for all such meetings; (c) report meetings of minutes when appropriate;

(d) maintain a database of all active members within the state; and (e) file any State Party non-financial reports required by law. (4) The state Treasurer shall (a) maintain all State Party financial records; (b) report on State Party finances when appropriate; (c) make deposits and expenditures as directed by the state Executive Committee; and (d) file any financial reports required by law. (5) The several officers shall also (a) perform duties specified elsewhere in these Bylaws and in the IAP-<#SA> Constitution; and (b) perform other functions related to their respective positions.

 

C. Executive Committee. (1) The state Executive Committee shall consist of the state Executive Officers and three elected or appointed representatives from each organized Congressional District Caucus. (2) The Executive Committee shall meet at least quarterly in person or by suitable electronic means to (a) set State Party policy; (b) conduct the affairs of the State Party organization; (c) determine the maximum number of State Convention delegates allowed for each county (based roughly on population); (d) approve or reject any actions of the state Executive Officers; (e) select individuals to fill vacancies for state, county, caucus or committee positions that have not been filled by other appropriate means; (f) perform all other functions specified in the IAP-<#SA> Constitution and these Bylaws; (g) and conduct other appropriate business. (3) The state Executive Officers may assume the role of the state Executive Committee if that body has not been organized; and may act temporarily for the Executive Committee in urgent matters until the Executive Committee can be convened.

 

D. Central Committee. (1) The state Central Committee shall consist of the state Executive Officers, all non-Officer members of the state Executive Committee, and the County Chairs (or their representatives) from each organized County Party. (2) The Central Committee shall meet at least annually in person or by suitable electronic means to (a) approve or reject any actions by the state Executive Officers or the state Executive Committee; (b) perform other functions as specified in the IAP-<#SA> Constitution and these Bylaws; and (c) conduct other appropriate business. (3) The state Executive Committee may assume the role of the state Central Committee if that body has not been organized.

 

E. State Convention. (1) The State Convention shall consist of the state Executive Officers (as delegates-at-large), and all state delegates elected at the several County Conventions. (2) Other State Party members may be seated as delegates to the State Convention at the discretion of the already seated delegates. (3) The State Convention shall meet at least annually in person or by suitable electronic means to (a) elect non-Officer state Executive Committee members for a one-year term; (b) in odd-numbered years elect state Executive Officers for a two-year term; (c) in even-numbered years nominate candidates for public office for federal, state and multi-county offices, and for local offices not voted on by a County Convention, as needed; and (d) conduct other appropriate business as specified by the state Executive Committee, in the IAP-<#SA> Constitution and elsewhere in these Bylaws. (4) The State Convention, for reasonable cause and by two-thirds vote, may overturn the nomination of candidates for public office by a County Party or District Caucus election, and elect new nominees. (5) The state Central Committee may assume the role of the State Convention if that body has not been organized.

 

F. Standing Committees. (1) The state Standing Committees shall consist of the Rules, Events, Membership, Issues and Media Committees. (2) The Rules Committee shall draft procedural rules for meetings, and advise on proposed changes to the IAP-<#SA> Constitution and these Bylaws. (3) The Events Committee shall plan and coordinate State Party activities. (4) The Membership Committee shall plan and coordinate recruiting efforts. (5) The Issues Committee shall oversee Platform development and assist candidates with campaign issues. (6) The Media Committee shall conduct public relations, prepare campaign materials, and maintain the State Party web site. (7) These committees may perform other related functions as determined by the state Executive Committee.

 

G. Special Committees. (1) State special committees may be created by the state Executive Committee for specific purposes and limited periods of time, and may be dissolved at any time by the state Executive Committee. (2) Committee chairs and members shall be determined by the state Executive Committee. (3) Each special committee may create subcommittees that are limited to the scope, function and time confines of the parent committee.

 

SECTION 7. NATIONAL ORGANIZATION

 

Pursuant to Article VII of the IAP-<#SA> Constitution:

 

A. National Committee. (1) The State Convention at its annual meeting shall elect Representatives and Alternates to the National Committee of the National IAP for a one-year term. (2) Alternates shall be numbered as 1st, 2nd, etc.

 

B. National Convention. (1) The State Convention at the times specified by the National IAP shall elect Delegates and Alternates to the National Convention of the National IAP for a term through the end of the presidential election year. (2) Alternates shall be numbered as 1st, 2nd, etc.

 

C. Vacancies. (1) The state Executive Committee if in session, or else the state Chair or his representative, may temporarily appoint individuals to fill vacancies in the IAP-<#SA> delegations to the National Committee or National Convention.

 

SECTION 8. GENERAL

 

A. C&BL. (1) These Bylaws shall be in harmony with, and subservient to, the IAP-<#SA> Constitution. (2) These Bylaws are severable in that if any portion hereof be declared void, all other portions shall remain binding and effective. (3) All provisions of the IAP-<#SA> Constitution shall be considered a prime part of these Bylaws. (4) All State and County Party officers, candidates, organizations and members shall adhere to the IAP-<#SA> Constitution and these Bylaws.

 

B. Crossovers. (1) Vacancies in County Chair positions may be filled temporarily by a member outside of that county when there are no members in the county available to fill the position. (2) Vacancies in non-Officer state Executive Committee positions for a Congressional District may be filled temporarily by a member outside of the Congressional District when there are no district members available to fill the position.

 

C. Notices. (1) All notices for Regular and Special meetings of the State and County Parties shall be sent to all applicable members via post or by suitable electronic means between 30 and 45 days prior to the scheduled meeting. (2) The notices shall include the date, time, location, proposed agenda, and purpose for which the meeting is called. (3) Emergency meetings for a bonafide emergency may be called with minimal but adequate notice. (4) For Special and Emergency meetings, only the business proposed in the notice agenda may considered or acted upon at the meeting.

 

D. Quorums. (1) The quorum for a meeting of the State or County Conventions shall be whoever is in attendance. (2) A quorum for all other State or County Party meetings shall consist of at least one-half of the Committee Members. (3) If there is lack of quorum, business may still be conducted, but all votes of an enduring nature must be submitted to all vote-entitled Committee Members either by post, courier or suitable electronic means for ratification by the same voting percentage that would have been required for the original vote.

 

E. Voting. (1) All questions or issues before State and County Party meetings shall require a majority vote of those voting, except where specified otherwise in the IAP-<#SA> Constitution or these Bylaws. (2) No individual shall have more than one vote. (3) There shall be no proxy voting.

 

F. Elections. (1) Whenever there are two or more State or County Party candidates seeking the same officer position or nomination for public office, voting shall be done by secret ballot. (2) A choice of "none of the above" shall also be a valid choice. (3) If there is a plurality winner among candidates, then one or more run-off elections of the highest vote getters shall be immediately held until there is a majority winner. (4) In case of an election tie, lots shall be drawn by the candidates who are tied to determine the winner.

 

G. Parliamentary Rule. (1) Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised, when not in contradiction to the IAP-<#SA> Constitution and Bylaws, shall be followed at all State and County Party meetings, unless suspended for the meeting by two-thirds vote of the voting Members present.

 

SECTION 9. AMENDMENTS

 

A. Proposing. (1) Amendments or revisions to these Bylaws may be proposed by majority vote of the state Executive Committee or the State Convention. (2) Such amendments or revisions must be in harmony with the IAP-<#SA> Constitution.

 

B. Ratification. (1) Proposed amendments or revisions to these Bylaws may be ratified by a three-fifths vote of the state Central Committee at a Regular meeting held any time after three months from the proposal date.

 

C. Waiver. (1) Any provision of these Bylaws may be waived by three-fourths vote of the state Central Committee at any Regular or Special meeting for a period not to exceed six months or until the next meeting of the Central Committee.

 

SECTION X. ADOPTION

 

A. Establishment. (1) These Bylaws shall be established upon majority vote of the organizing body of the State Party.

 

B. Interim Provision. (1) Contrary to the provisions of Section 9, these Bylaws may be amended or revised by majority vote of the state Central Committee at any time within one year of the establishment of these Bylaws.