Houston GLBT Political Caucus PAC
Standing Rules of Endorsement
1. Screening Committee
2. Eligibility for Endorsement
3. Screening Questionnaires
4. Screening Interviews
6. Obligations of Endorsed Candidates
7. Revocation of Endorsement
1. SCREENING COMMITTEE
1.01. The Screening Committee shall consist of a Screening Chairman, appointed by the President of the Caucus, and members who have volunteered to serve on panels tasked with conducting screening interviews with candidates.
1.02. Screening Committee members will be comprised of volunteers from among the Caucus membership. A member must be in good standing in order to serve on the Screening Committee.
2. ELIGIBILITY FOR ENDORSEMENT
2.01. A candidate shall be eligible for endorsement only if he or she has completed all of the following:
a. Filed a Treasurer Appointment with the appropriate filing authority that specifically identifies the office the candidate is seeking.
b. Properly completed and submitted a candidate questionnaire within the parameters set forth by the Screening Committee.
c. Appeared in person for a screening interview with a screening panel. In the case of statewide candidates, a candidate may appear by teleconference or video conference.
3. SCREENING QUESTIONNAIRES
3.01 For each election cycle, the Screening Chairman, President, or Board shall promulgate screening questionnaires to be distributed to candidates. Efforts should be taken to make questionnaires as reasonably specific as possible to the office being sought.
3.02 Questionnaires shall be written in a manner expected to reasonably evaluate the candidates’ qualifications, knowledge of the office sought, electoral viability and support and understanding of GLBT issues.
3.03 Whenever possible, current campaign finance reports should be requested as part of the questionnaire to verify financial viability.
3.04 Questionnaires are not to be accepted beyond the deadline imposed when they are issued to candidates, and a statement to that effect must appear conspicuously on the first page of the questionnaire. Any exception to the deadline must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board.
3.05 Return of completed questionnaires must be made in a format that will allow the information to be easily converted to a spreadsheet format. Questionnaire responses for all candidates in a particular race shall be compiled into a master spreadsheet that allows for review of multiple candidate responses simultaneously.
4. SCREENING INTERVIEWS
4.01. The Screening Chairman shall promulgate a schedule of available screening times and assign members of the Committee to serve on screening panels.
4.02. No person who is an employee, contractor or volunteer for any candidate will be permitted to serve on any screening panel for the same office as that being sought by said candidate, nor will any member who has expressed support for or endorsement of any particular candidate during the current election cycle. Support may include, but is not limited to: public statements of support, monetary or in-kind contributions, volunteerism, and posting of yard signs, handbills, bumper stickers or other political materials that would give the appearance of support.
4.03. Screener assignments will be made by the Screening Chairman or his/her designee. Screeners will not be permitted to request assignment to the screening of specific candidates or races.
4.04. A member of the screening panel must be present to screen all candidates seeking endorsement in a single race. All candidate screening scores rendered by any screener who fails to do so will be discarded.
4.05. All candidates in a particular race will be allotted an equal amount of time during which to be interviewed.
4.06. Candidates will be permitted to be accompanied during the screening interview by no more than one (1) campaign staff member. Campaign staff will not be permitted to participate in the screening, except to directly advise the candidate on campaign matters. Screening panel members will not directly address campaign staff.
4.07. At the conclusion of each candidate interview, screeners shall complete a scoring sheet for the candidate that evaluates the candidate’s questionnaire responses and overall interview performance. Once all candidates have been screened in a particular race, the screening panel will determine which candidate shall be recommended for endorsement, and will rank the entire slate of candidates from most to least favorable for endorsement.
4.08. The Caucus President may participate in screening interviews, but shall not complete a scoring sheet for any candidate.
5.01. The Houston GLBT Caucus PAC shall not be obligated to endorse in any race.
5.02. Endorsements may only be made at regular meeting of the Caucus PAC, or at a special meeting called with a minimum twenty-eight (28) days prior notice.
5.03. Only members in good standing who have been members for a minimum of thirty (30) days will be authorized to vote for endorsements. Each eligible voter shall be given an approved credential to be displayed upon casting a vote.
5.04. The endorsement meeting shall be conducted in a manner consistent with Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised and these Standing Rules. In such instances wherein conflict exists between Robert’s Rules and the Standing Rules, the Standing Rules shall prevail.
5.06. Out of respect and appreciation for the contributions and efforts of the volunteer Screening Committee, upon a vote to endorse in a particular race, a majority vote will be taken to affirm the recommendation of the Screening Committee as the endorsed candidate. Should the recommended candidate fail to be affirmed for endorsement, nominations will be taken from the floor for endorsement and subject to a majority vote.
5.07. Candidates shall not be permitted to be present during discussion and voting in their particular race. In the event a candidate is recommended or otherwise nominated for endorsement and is a member in good standing and eligible to vote, a single vote will be added on their behalf to the tally in their favor.
5.08. Candidates may designate an individual to monitor the counting of votes for endorsements in their race.
5.09. In the event no eligible nominated candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for a particular race, the Caucus will not endorse in that race.
5.10. The Caucus President shall not cast a vote except to break a tie.
5.11. For any race in which there is no endorsement, the Caucus shall host a public candidate forum for the benefit of its members and the public.
6. OBLIGATIONS OF ENDORSED CANDIDATES
6.01. Candidates receiving the endorsement of the Caucus PAC must agree to publicly acknowledge the endorsement by listing it in printed campaign literature that substantially promotes endorsements by other community or political organizations and on any web page that lists other organizations’ endorsements.
7. REVOCATION OF ENDORSEMENT
7.01. Any candidate who violates the obligations of endorsed candidates as set forth in Section 6 of these Standing Rules shall be subject to revocation of endorsement by a majority vote of the Caucus.
7.02. If an endorsed candidate files for a place on the ballot for an office different than that for which he or she was endorsed, the endorsement shall become immediately null and void.
7.03. Any candidate found to have knowingly or willingly presented false or intentionally misleading information on the questionnaire or during the screening interview shall be subject to revocation of endorsement by a majority vote of the Caucus.
7.04. The Caucus reserves the right to endorse a different candidate in any race for which the previous endorsement has been rescinded.
7.05. After the organization has endorsed a candidate, the organization may not rescind or anul said endorsement during the course of the election, except for cause. Cause is defined as any action or public statement on the part of the candidate or her campaign that reflects dishonesty with the organization, and may include:
a. Willingly, knowingly or recklessly failing to disclose information that would have likely been a serious factor in the organization’s decision during the screening process or prior to the endorsement meeting;
b. Willingly, knowingly or recklessly acting in a manner that violates any term with the organization to which the candidate agreed upon accepting the endorsement;
c. Making any public statement or taking any action that reflects discriminatory intent against people of any sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or any other immutable quality; or
d. Publicly disavowing the endorsement of the organization.
e. In the event that a candidate engages in an action described by Subsection (d), the Executive Board may vote to rescind the endorsement.