The following is posted with the permission of its author, George Phillies.
To correct certain misleading statements about Massachusetts and region formation, I offer the following, taken in fair part from my report to my State Committee about what happened (hence, referring to me in third person):
Under LNC By-Laws, states may freely and voluntarily group themselves into regions. If your region has 10% or more of the national membership, it is entitled to one regional representative for every 10% of the membership it has. In mid April, Phillies contacted the other state chairs in the New England, New York, New Jersey and region, proposing arrangements. After a month, there had been no responses. Noting that OR, WA, and ID had severed from the CA region, and that local State Chairs were not interested in talking about region formation, the State Committee advised Phillies that we were interested in a region including New England if it also included the western states. We now advance to the National Convention.
New England, NJ, NY and WV tentatively formed a region. We were invited to join, but we had a small delegation on-scene, it appeared the deal had already been made, and the new region had sufficient people that we had no leverage: They had 10% of the membership. Several plausible Regional Representatives were felt by State Comm members on-scene familiar with the background to be inauspicious choices. (Phillies: Actually, one delegate threatened to strangle me if we joined a region that had either of two specified people as regional representative. On reflection, I realized that I would choose to help.) State Committee members on-scene agreed to decline the invitation. Among other things, there are real drawbacks to belonging to a region whose state chairs are not interested in it. Phillies was instructed by State Committee members on-scene that we could join a region, but the region (i) could not be simply the old NE, NJ, NY states, and (ii) could not include Texas.
Negotiations with OR and WA were somewhat complex. At one point OR was incorrectly led to believe, or so we were told, that we had joined the New England Region, so we drifted out of contact. The southeast states had a double region with two elected Regional Reps, Flood and Barr, but prior to the deadline Florida withdrew, leaving the previously double region with one allowed regional representative. Flood had received more votes than Barr, and Barr withdrew. Florida joined with OR, WA, ID, and HI to form a new region 7. We would have been happy to join this region, and apparently had an invitation to do so, but we learned about the region too late.
We were then told (i) WV joined a different region so NE, NY, NJ needed us in order to form a region, and then separately (ii) New England and points south had formed a double region, so we were not needed, but were invited to join. The Region caucus was simultaneous with Presidential candidates turning in their chits to get into the debate. After learning about (ii), McMahon and Phillies stepped out to find the other state committee members on scene to seek a decision. As soon as we left, the region people were incorrectly told that we had rejected the proposal; they promptly elected a regional representative. At this point Phillies, with the emphatic support of everyone on the MA delegation who knew the out-of-state personalities involved, emphatically declined further invitations to join that region.
For the next two years, we are not a part of any region. Phillies was then asked if he wanted to be elected Regional Alternate for the new Region 7, in which he does not live; he said he was available but that takers in that region should be preferred, and one was chosen.
We are therefore a free independent state, not subservient to any region. While we do not have our own regional representative on the LNC, our legitimate interests are still represented by the At-Large members and the Officers, probably better than in the past.