Welcome to The Tea Party Network!
We are an organization of tea party, 9/12, and other conservative groups within the state of Florida. There are nine regions, each with a coordinator who communicates with the members groups in that region.
The mission of The Tea Party Network in Florida, a statewide network, is to facilitate communication and education between Tea Party, 9/12 and conservative groups across the state of Florida and currently has a membership of 80 groups, divided into nine regions throughout the state of Florida.
The Tea Party Network Corp By-Laws:
ARTICLE I – NAME AND LOGO
A. The name of this organization shall be “The Tea Party Network Corp” registered in the state of Florida (# N10000009905) commonly known as The Tea Party Network (hereafter referred to as “TTPN”).
B. The official Logo of TTPN may only be used as approved by the Majority vote of the Steering Committee (as defined in ARTICLE VI – STEERING COMMITTEE).
ARTICLE II – MISSION AND RESPONSIBILITIES
A. TTPN Mission:
1. To promote and support communication and cooperation among the groups with the objective of strengthening all our voices as a united front, speaking for conservative values and the Constitution of the United States and: to put on special events and get attention for the movement that we can’t do as individual groups;
2. To be active with elected leaders at the state and federal levels in a positive manner to ensure constitutionally-limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free market solutions;
3. To share information about upcoming elections and encourage members to get involved;
4. To share resources, speakers, and the truth about tea party news.
B. TTPN has major responsibilities defined as follows:
1. To provide Member Groups the access to communications between Member Groups and education on issues of concern to TTPN.
2. To maintain and operate the organization.
3. Meet with elected representatives at all levels of Government to share TTPN positions on issues, build relationships, and to enlist their support for TTPN positions.
4. To conduct meetings, legislative delegations, caucuses, rallies or protests as shall be necessary to support its mission.
5. Raise funds and disperse monies on behalf of TTPN.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP AND TERM OF OFFICE
A. A group consisting of ten (10) or more members, which has been approved through the Membership Committee (as defined in ARTICLE VII – COMMITTEES) application process, will be designated as a Joined Member Group, hereafter referred to as “Member Group”. The Designated Leader of the Member Group must be an approved Joined Member (herein after referred to as “Member”) via the Membership Vetting Process in order for the Member Group to be eligible to vote in any TTPN voting activities.
B. The voting members of TTPN shall be composed of one (1) duly elected representative from each Member Group (defined as the Leader on the Solicitation Form, or as designated in writing to the TTPN Chair and the Membership Committee Chair by said Leader) from each vetted Member Group. – Member Groups must ensure that their record on the TTPN Database is kept current.
C. When a Member Group’s Leader is no longer able to fulfill the role as Leader of the Member Group, the Member Group must notify the Membership Committee Chair of the newly elected replacement as soon as possible. If the Member Group has not filled the Leader position seven (7) business days prior to the next scheduled Steering Committee meeting, or by certification of the eligible Member Group voting list by the Steering Committee, the Member Group will not be allowed to participate in any nominating or voting proceedings.
D. The term of an Officer or Regional Coordinator (hereafter referred to as “RC”) shall begin immediately following their election and shall continue for one year or until his or her successor is elected and qualified, unless removed from membership by the Member Groups or Steering Committee, for inattention to duty, incompetency, or failure to support the Mission or Responsibilities of TTPN. The Steering Committee reserves the right to veto the acceptance of any person or group seeking membership into TTPN with a seventy-five percent (75%) vote of the Steering Committee. In addition, Member Groups or individuals can be removed by a seventy-five percent (75%) vote of the Steering Committee for failure to support the mission or responsibilities of TTPN.
E. TTPN reserves the right to limit access to TTPN information for any reason permitted by law. Any request for information about the Network should be sent to the Chair or Vice-Chair which must approve such request. If the request is financial in nature, it must also be approved by the Treasurer. A request that is sensitive in nature should be presented to the Steering Committee and must be approved by a sixty percent (60%) vote of the Steering Committee prior to release.
ARTICLE IV- OFFICERS AND DUTIES
A. TTPN shall elect the following officers for a period of one year using TTPN voting procedures outlined in ARTICLE XI – ANNUAL MEETING AND TTPN VOTING. Officer involvement in other organizations or political activities does not imply TTPN endorsement. These officers shall serve at the pleasure of TTPN and shall discharge the duties described below:
1. Chair of TTPN (herein referred to as the “Chair”) whose duties shall be to:
a) Preside at all meetings of the Steering Committee and TTPN Member Group meetings.
b) Make policy recommendations to Steering Committee.
c) Act as the administrative officer of TTPN.
d) Approve all expenditures made on behalf of TTPN with concurrency of the Treasurer.
e) Appoint if necessary, with the consent of Steering Committee, Legal Counsel who shall advise TTPN and act for TTPN in connection with all legal matters, and who shall serve at the pleasure of the Chair.
f) Confer with the Vice-Chair in connection with the duties of the Chair and Vice-Chair, and perform other duties as the Steering Committee may direct.
g) The Chair will also serve as President of TTPN Corporation and register as such with the State of Florida.
h) Appoint individuals, with the approval of the Steering Committee, to fill vacancies on the Steering Committee until the next election can be scheduled and held.
i) Appoint all Committee Chairs and Issue Leads with the approval of the Steering Committee.
2. Vice-Chair of TTPN whose duties shall be to:
a) Act in the absence of the Chair of TTPN with respect to the duties assigned to the Chair.
b) Coordinate all TTPN Committees as a standing member of each committee.
c) Confer with the Chair in connection with the duties of the Chair and Vice-Chair, and perform other duties as the Steering Committee may direct.
d) The Vice-Chair will also serve as the Vice-President of TTPN Corporation and register as such with the State of Florida.
3. Treasurer of TTPN whose duties shall be to:
a) Carry out the duties of the Treasurer as required by federal and state law, including the signing of all financial statements and preparation of necessary tax returns.
b) Provide oversight in the maintenance of adequate records of the financial transactions of TTPN and assure compliance with all federal and state laws.
c) Present current financial reports to meetings of TTPN.
d) Perform other duties as may be assigned by the Steering Committee.
e) The Treasurer shall also serve as the Treasurer of TTPN Corporation and register as such with the State of Florida.
f) The Treasurer will reimburse expenses based on sound accounting principles including but not limited to “no receipt, no check”. All disbursements must always have a minimum or two (2) written authorizations as defined in ARTICLE IX – PROPERTY, RECORDS, AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
4. Secretary of TTPN whose duties shall be to:
a) Supervise the taking of all minutes at meetings of TTPN.
b) Take minutes at all Steering Committee meetings of TTPN.
c) Present to the Steering Committee minutes of previous meetings of TTPN for review and approval by Steering Committee within five (5) business days of said meeting.
d) Maintain records of all TTPN committee meetings as made available by committee Chairs.
e) The Secretary will also serve as the Secretary of TTPN Corporation and register as such with the State of Florida.
f) Perform other duties as may be assigned by the Steering Committee.
B. The Chair, with the consent of the Steering Committee of TTPN, may designate individuals herein referred to as the (”Staff”) to assist the officers of TTPN in the following capacities:
1. An Assistant Treasurer of TTPN, whose duties shall be to:
a) Perform the duties of the Treasurer when he/she is not available and assist the Treasurer as may be required; particularly in the preparation of all financial statements and preparation of necessary tax returns.
b) Perform other duties as may be assigned by the Treasurer.
2. An Assistant Secretary of TTPN, whose duties shall be to:
a) Perform the duties of the Secretary when he/she is not available and assist the Secretary as may be required, particularly in the taking and preparation of minutes.
C. The Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary must all be from different Member Groups.
ARTICLE V – REGIONS
A. Regions will be established by the Steering Committee, to encompass the entire state of Florida. The purpose of these Regions will be to facilitate communications within a geographic area to allow Tea Party, 912, conservative, and Constitutional groups to share resources and support group events in each Region and statewide when desired. Once each Region has a minimum of three groups, the Member Groups in that region shall elect a RC who will become a member of The Steering Committee. The RC will be responsible for handling communications within the Region, between Regions, and with the entire TTPN and assist with the vetting of all prospective Member Groups in their Region. An Assistant RC may be appointed by the RC to assist with these tasks and represent the RC at Steering Committee meetings if the RC cannot attend.
B. Regions are defined as shown on the TTPN Leaders Website, and may be changed at any time in the Steering Committee’s sole discretion, with at least thirty (30) days notice to any affected Member Groups.
ARTICLE VI – STEERING COMMITTEE
A. The Steering Committee will be composed of all the elected officers of TTPN plus each of the RCs. TTPN Assistant RCs, Leaders of Issue Groups, and Standing Committee Chairs may be added or removed as members of the Steering Committee with the consent of a majority of the Steering Committee Officers and RCs in the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will be for the purpose of providing direction, setting goals, and conducting daily operations for TTPN. In addition, it will be responsible for the oversight of TTPN officers and the affairs of the corporation. The Steering Committee will meet at least once quarterly to review the operation of TTPN, discuss any policy issues that may arise, and approve a quarterly Treasurer’s report. Committees required for special events or tasks may be established by the Steering Committee. Each member of the Steering Committee (excluding the Chair) shall have one vote on issues brought before it. Approval by Steering Committee shall mean a “simple Majority Vote” unless specifically stated elsewhere in the Bylaws.
B. Should there be a tie vote the Chair shall cast the tie breaking vote. The Chair shall not have a vote otherwise.
ARTICLE VII – COMMITTEES
A. The Chair, with the approval of the Steering Committee, shall appoint a Chair for each of the committees established by this Article. Unless otherwise provided herein, the membership of each of the committees shall consist of at least one member of the Steering Committee plus the Vice-Chair. Additionally, Legal Counsel and the Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer may be appointed to such committees as determined by the Chair, with the approval of the Steering Committee. Additional Committee members may be from any TTPN Member Group.
B. To facilitate consideration of the business and management of TTPN, Standing Committees are established as hereinafter set forth. Any matters appropriate for consideration by a Standing Committee shall be referred to them upon approval by the Steering Committee.
C. Unless specifically delegated, authority to act on all matters is reserved to the Steering Committee. It is the duty of each Committee to communicate, by report, its activities to the Steering Committee at the Quarterly Meeting. Any Committee actions representing TTPN must seek guidance on the issue from the Vice-Chair.
D. The several Standing Committees are charged specifically with the immediate care and supervision of the subject matters respectively indicated by and properly relating to their titles. The following shall be Standing Committees of TTPN:
1. Membership Committee- shall plan, organize and execute activities related to growing the membership of TTPN. The Membership Committee will also be responsible for assisting in the development of new organizations to become members. The Membership Committee will be responsible for vetting members and groups seeking membership in TTPN. Each new Member Group must be approved by the Membership Committee and the RC for the group’s geographic region or the Steering Committee. If any member group fails to support the mission, goals and objectives of TTPN, the Membership Committee will also be responsible to present this information to the Steering Committee for consideration. The Membership Committee, with the approval of the Steering Committee, shall develop appropriate information on each prospective member and group in order to complete the database information required to assist the Steering Committee and other Members to properly identify and vet said members and groups. Such information as may be required shall be formulated by the Membership Committee and presented to the Steering Committee for approval as a key part of the Vetting Process. The vetting process shall be documented and provided to the Steering Committee for approval no later than the date of the Annual Meeting.
2. Audit Committee- will consist of 3 Member Group Members appointed by the Steering Committee who are not the Treasurer or the Assistant Treasurer. The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer will cooperate with the Audit Committee and will supply the Audit Committee with any and all records needed to conduct an annual audit. The annual audit shall be conducted prior to the filing of annual tax returns, but in no case later than March 15th of the following year. The Audit Committee will report results, including any discrepancies, to the Steering Committee upon completion of the audit.
3. Events Committee- shall be charged with the planning and organizing of TTPN meetings and other group activities, maintaining an events calendar and disseminating best practices to member organizations on event planning and execution.
4. Bylaws Committee- shall be charged with developing, maintaining and revising the Bylaws, in accordance with Article X – AMEMDMENTS TO BYLAWS.
5. Communications Committee- shall be charged with the responsibility to advise and recommend policy matters concerning communication vehicles including printed publications, on-line versions of information, and information delivered via current and future emerging technological methods. The communication committee will be responsible for providing guidelines for TTPN Daily News, Action Alerts and TTPN Forum.
6. Public Relations Committee- shall develop and execute all communications and public relations efforts to support the mission of TTPN and its various events, educational and group outreach and membership development. The committee will also be charged with the task of communications with media outlets as to the activities of TTPN. This committee will be a sub-committee of the Communications Committee and will report to the Communications Committee Chair.
7. Legislative Action Committee- shall be charged with the responsibility to facilitate meetings with members of government at the state and national levels and where advisable influence legislation that positively/negatively impacts the mission, goals and objectives of TTPN. The Committee will work to identify and encourage individuals with like-minded views of TTPN to run for office. TTPN will support local legislative activities if requested and deemed appropriate.
8. IT Committee- shall be charged with maintaining TTPN websites. This would include both public and private (Leaders) TTPN websites. Functionality of these sites should include Member Group and member record keeping, storage of historical information, and sharing of information to member organizations using email, forums, daily newsletters, or other digital methodology.
9. Watchdog Committee- shall be charged with keeping up to date on legislation that affects the State of Florida and the United States of America that are in keeping with TTPN’s mission of getting our State and Country back to a limited Constitutional Government, lower taxes, lower spending and promoting the Free Enterprise system. This Committee shall work with the Communications and IT Committees to send alerts to TTPN membership and to post items of interest on TTPN website which then may be fed to member organization’s websites. This committee also shall organize efforts to affect changes in legislation.
10. Temporary Committees & Policy Councils. The Chair may appoint such Temporary Committees and Councils as deemed necessary, including those to setup and manage events. The membership of these committees & Policy Councils shall be determined by the Chair, with approval of the Steering Committee. Such Temporary Committees shall in no event remain in existence for more than one (1) year from the date of their formation without subsequent annual approval of the Steering Committee.
11. Regional Coordinator Committee. The Chair, with the approval of the RCs, shall appoint a Regional Coordinator Committee Chair to coordinate the activities of the RCs. This would include review of duties, training, promoting communications, resolution of conflicts between RCs, and any other matters as may be necessary and approved by the RCs. This shall be a coordination role and not a directive role.
ARTICLE VIII – STEERING COMMITTEE MEETINGS
A. Steering Committee meetings of TTPN may be convened via e-mail notice by:
The Chair of TTPN or
The Vice-Chair of TTPN or
Any four (4) Steering Committee members of TTPN.
B. Notices of non-emergency meetings shall be e-mailed at least five (5) days in advance of the scheduled date of the meeting to each Steering Committee member of TTPN. Meetings shall be called at least quarterly during each calendar year.
C. A written agenda outlining the subjects to be covered in the proposed meeting shall be included with the notice and emailed to each Steering Committee member of TTPN. Any Steering Committee member or Member Group may request items to be included on the proposed agenda by emailing the request to the Chair or Vice-Chair no less than two (2) days prior to the called meeting. Emergency meetings may be called as necessary with eight (8) hours notice to deal with time-sensitive issues affecting TTPN.
D. A quorum for the conduct of business shall consist of more than fifty (50) percent of the Steering Committee members of TTPN.
E. Meetings shall be conducted using Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
F. Written and signed proxy votes on specific agenda items are to be allowed if a Steering Committee member is not able to attend a Steering Committee meeting.
G. All meetings of The Steering Committee will be open to members but shall not be open to the public. Meetings consisting of the partial membership of Steering Committee members may be held at any time to discuss issues at hand providing the minutes of said partial meetings are made available to TTPN Secretary and all Steering Committee members, including those not present at the partial membership meeting, within five (5) business days of said meeting. Voting may only be done if there is a quorum of Steering Committee members as defined in subparagraph D above.
H. Meetings of The Steering Committee may be conducted in person or by teleconference, Skype, or webinar.
ARTICLE IX – PROPERTY, RECORDS, AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
A. All records and property purchased or acquired by TTPN or any of its Members in connection with the conduct of the affairs of TTPN shall be the property of TTPN. Records of said properties shall be maintained by the Treasurer and available to all TTPN group leaders.
1. Contracts – Checks – Loans – Deposits
a) Contracts: The Steering Committee may authorize any officer or officer’s agent or agents to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of TTPN, provided such procurement, contract or agreement will not result in the expenditure of $1000 or more during the entire term of the contract or agreement. Any procurement, contract or agreement which will result in the expenditure of $1,000 or more during the entire term of the contract or agreement requires the signatures of the Chair and the Treasurer or Vice –Chair after approval by the Steering Committee.
b) Loans: No loans shall be contracted on behalf of TTPN and no evidence of indebtedness shall be issued in its name unless authorized by a resolution of the Steering Committee.
c) Checks, Drafts, etc.: All checks, drafts or other orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidence of indebtedness issued in the name of TTPN shall be signed by such officer or officers, agent or agents of TTPN and in such manner as may be determined by resolution of The Steering Committee. All checks, drafts, or other orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidence of indebtedness issued in the name of TTPN shall be signed by the Treasurer or the Assistant Treasurer, if need be, with, the written consent of the Chair, Vice-Chair, or other authorized representative designated by the Steering Committee. All disbursements must always have a minimum or two (2) written authorizations.
d) Deposits: All funds under control of TTPN shall be deposited to the credit of TTPN in such bank, trust companies, savings and loan institutions, or other depositories as the Steering Committee may select.
B. No member of TTPN shall be liable personally for any obligations of TTPN except that each individual is responsible personally for the prompt transmittal of funds collected by the Member to the Treasurer, and for the accurate accounting as to funds and property in the Member’s custody and on behalf of TTPN.
ARTICLE X – AMENDMENTS TO BYLAWS
These Bylaws shall be strictly adhered to and may be amended only by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of Member Groups attending the Annual Meeting, the method of which is as designated in Article XI – ANNUAL MEETING AND TTPN VOTING. Written notice of the proposed amendment and a full copy thereof shall be forwarded to the Member Groups of TTPN at least ten (10) days before voting is scheduled to occur.
ARTICLE XI – ANNUAL MEETING AND TTPN VOTING
A. An Annual Meeting will be held the first quarter of each year at a generally convenient location to be determined by the Steering Committee. Annual elections for TTPN Officers, RCs, and Bylaw changes will take place at, or no later than ten (10) business days prior to, the Annual Meeting
B. Each vetted Member Group Leader shall have one vote as a Member of TTPN. A Member may not vote as the Leader of more than one (1) Member Group.
C. The Nomination and Voting Process Schedule of events:
Two (2) week Nomination Period
Two (2) week Campaigning Period
Voting Period as determined below
Forty-eight (48) hours Vote certification Period
Two (2) days for notification to the Steering Committee for acceptance and distribution of voting results to Member Groups
D. Nomination Process
1. Prior to beginning of nominations a list of eligible Member Group voters must be certified by the Membership Committee in conjunction with the IT Committee. If the leader of the Member Group is not available to vote, a voting representative may be designated in a written request to the Membership or IT Committee Chair by the Member Group Leader. The Eligible Voter List must be submitted to and approved by the Steering Committee. Any Member Groups or Members added after the Eligible Voter List has been certified will not be allowed to participate in the currently scheduled nomination or voting process.
2. There will be a two (2) week nomination period starting at midnight four (4) weeks prior to the announced election voting date. TTPN members may be nominated by sending or emailing the nominations to the Membership or IT Committee Chair. This will be open to all TTPN group members. Nominations will close at midnight two (2) weeks prior to the election voting date. Any candidate nominated must have been a member of a Tea Party movement group for at least six (6) months. It is the responsibility of the Member Group from which the nominee originates to certify the eligibility of the nominee, with said eligibility to be enclosed with the nominee’s written acceptance of the nomination. Nominees must accept the nomination in writing should they want to be considered for the position by notice to the TTPN Chair and the Membership Committee Chair.
3. Once nominations are closed, an email of candidates nominated for each office with the name of the person nominating them, will be sent by the Membership Committee to each Member on the certified eligible voter list.
E. Voting Process: Voting may be accomplished in either of two methods: in person or by proxy at the Annual Meeting or electronically on the Leaders’ website. The method will be determined by the Steering Committee at least thirty (30) days prior to the beginning of the nomination process.
1. Meeting Voting Process:
a) If the Steering Committee decides to hold elections at the Annual Meeting, a proxy form containing the Candidate List shall be sent out to each Member of the certified eligible voter list. The proxy form can be returned via US mail or email to the TTPN or Membership Committee Chair.
b) At the Annual Meeting, votes may be cast in person, via available technology where the voter can be visually identified, or by proxy sent by the Member Group eligible voter via email to the Membership or IT Committee at least two (2) days prior to said meeting. Voting via proxy, the Member Group eligible voter may cast votes for / against specific candidates and issues, or may also assign another officer of their Member Group to represent them and vote for them at the annual meeting.
c) If no one receives a majority of the votes cast for any office on the first ballot, the nominees with the two highest vote counts will be voted on in a second ballot.
2. Electronic Voting Process:
a) Voting will take place beginning at 12:00 AM EST (or EDT as appropriate) on the Saturday following the end of the campaign period and ending the following Monday at 12:00 AM EST(or EDT as appropriate) using TTPN Leaders website.
b) For the online election, a vote for each officer and issue on the ballot will be cast by the Member Group eligible voter. The Member Group eligible voter may be able to cast votes for / against specific candidates and issues. In the event the Member Group eligible voter is unable to vote after the Eligible Voter List is certified, the Member Group Leader may request an alternate from their group be allowed to vote by making application to TTPN Chair a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours prior to the start of voting.
c) If no one receives a majority of the votes cast for any office, the nominees with the two highest vote counts will be decided by a runoff election to be held within five (5) days.
ARTICLE XII – NON INTERFERENCE POLICY
No officer, committee member or delegate shall involve themselves nor TTPN in the decisions made by a Member Group about the Member Group’s operation, election, issues or business matters unless as permitted by individual membership in that local group. TTPN policy is to assist if requested with information on organizational structure and with events put on by local group members but only with the authorization to assist as requested by the leadership of that Member Group.