Texas Republican Party at Crossroads
by Donna Garner
ACTION STEPS: As you read further, you will see that our Texas Republican Party is at a crucial crossroads. Either the will of the people will be done, or we will lose complete confidence in the leaders of the Texas Republican Party.
Please write to each of the members of the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) .
To make this very easy for you, I have created a group e-mail list posted at the very bottom of this article. All you have to do is to cut and copy the group e-mail addresses as a whole and then paste them into either the To: slot at the top of your e-mail. Then hit “Send,” and your e-mail will go to all members of the SREC in one e-mail.
Also to save you valuable time, I have provided you with these bullet points that you may want to include in the body of your e-mail, asking the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) to do the following:
· Send via e-mail to the entire base of the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) the legislative voting report. The RPT frequently sends e-mails to its base, and this method would ensure wide distribution while at the same time maintaining cost effectiveness.
· Include in the legislative voting report the voting record of the Texas House and Senate members, showing how well their votes aligned with the 46 Legislative Priorities listed in the 2010 Texas Republican Party Platform. Republicans place high priority on holding our elected Texas legislators accountable to these Legislative Priorities listed in the Platform.
· Make sure the legislative voting report is clear, concise, and timely. This report will help voters make informed decisions when they vote on March 6, 2012 in the Republican primaries.
*Elected officials tend to ignore the first few e-mails from the public on a particular issue; but when these officials receive hundreds and hundreds, the officials begin to pay attention and take action.
REP. WAYNE CHRISTIAN’S ABLE LEADERSHIP
As stated by long-time Republican activist Cindy Hyltin:
I, for one, am very grateful for Rep. Wayne Christian’s excellent leadership for conservative values while serving in the Texas Legislature and for his brilliance as Chairman of the Texas Republican Platform Committee in leading the state convention to adopt a platform that included the effective publishing of the voting records of elected officials in relation to how they supported key Platform principles.
Under Rep. Christian’s leadership at the 2010 Republican State Convention, the approximately 6,000 delegates overwhelmingly voted to adopt for the first time in our history a mechanism to provide the voting records of our elected officials, comparing their votes with how well they aligned with the 2010 Republican Platform.
LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES — PLANK FROM 2010 REPUBLICAN CONVENTION
This is what was passed at the 2010 Republican Convention which was offered as a separate amendment from the state convention floor independent of the Platform Committee:
The SREC, Chairmen of Republican Party, and Chair of most recent Platform Committee shall report the voting record of each state and federal elected official relative to these Legislative Priorities. The chair of the most recent Platform Committee shall present a draft of the report to the SREC no later than 180 days prior to each primary election. The SREC shall publish such report no less than 120 days prior to each primary election.
Final 2010 Republican Party Platform containing the 46 Legislative Priorities: http://s3.amazonaws.com/texasgop_pre/assets/original/2010RPTFinalPlatform.pdf
REP. WAYNE CHRISTIAN AND RPT CHAIR STEVE MUNISTERI
After the convention, Rep. Wayne Christian went to Steve Munisteri, the chair of the Republican Party of Texas (RPT), and suggested that Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) be the independent organization to prepare the legislative report that the delegates to the 2010 Convention had approved. The legislative report was not to be a scorecard with percentages because that would have been against the Platform By-Laws.
Rep. Christian concluded the meeting with Steve Munisteri and thought they had both agreed that the YCT would produce the legislative report and that it would be presented 180 days before the Texas primaries to be used by voters to hold elected officials accountable at the ballot box.
FLASH BACK TO 82ND LEGISLATIVE SESSION — SPRING/SUMMER 2011
Now let’s flash back to the 82nd Legislative Session. A contentious battle over the Speaker of the House broke out at the beginning of the Session. Because a conservative tsunami had occurred in the elections on Nov. 2, 2010, the grassroots voters of Texas believed they rightfully deserved a conservative Speaker of the House.
Instead, moderate Joe Straus was chosen by the legislators, many of whom had run as conservatives but had foolishly accepted campaign contributions from Straus in return for their pledge to vote for him as Speaker.
The 15 “Heroes of Texas” who chose not to vote for Straus as Speaker spent the rest of the legislative session battling to make their voices heard. Rep. Wayne Christian was one of them, and he and his fellow conservatives repeatedly found themselves and their bills bottled up in committee where most of their bills soon stalled and died.
Hall of Courage – January 2011
House and Senate redistricting maps were redrawn, and many of the conservatives found themselves being punished. For instance, Wayne Christian lost about 80% of his entire district which is a loss higher than any other Texas legislators lost from their district territories.
BACK TO THE PRESENT
Now in October 2011 with the primaries looming on March 6, 2012, it seems that the SREC (State Republican Executive Committee) is creating barriers to keep the legislative voting report from being disseminated to its vast RPT e-mail list.
This action would be in direct violation of the will of the people as distinctly expressed at the 2010 Republican Convention by the delegates. Evidently the moderate Republican legislators are worried they might be embarrassed that their voting records may not be in alignment with key Republican platform principles.
Rep. Wayne Christian has done as he was instructed by the Convention delegates to do: He has taken the draft of the legislative voting report which includes the voting records (not based on “scorecard” percentages) of both the Texas House and Senate members and has given it to Munisteri who presented it to the SREC at their regular quarterly meeting held on Oct. 1, 2011.
(Rep. Christian openly admitted that he had been unable to locate any group to analyze the Congressional voting records but gave the legislative voting report to Munisteri in plenty of time for the SREC to make decisions concerning the addition of the Congressional voting records to the report if they so choose.)
REP. CHRISTIAN NOT INVITED TO SREC MEETING — OCT. 1, 2011
When the SREC had its meeting on 10.1.11, they did not even invite Rep. Wayne Christian (“the chair of the most recent platform committee”) to attend. He is the one who could have clearly informed the SREC that at the 2010 Republican Convention a careful distinction had been made that a legislative voting report was to be prepared and not a “legislative scorecard with percentages” which is clearly against the RPT’s bylaws.
Had Rep. Christian been invited to the SREC meeting, he also would have told them that during the 2010 Republican Convention, he sought rigorous scrutiny of the legislative record proposal by the Committee’s furnished Parliamentarian and Legal Counsel before the proposal was adopted.
INVOLVEMENT OF YOUNG CONSERVATIVES OF TEXAS (YCT)
Rep. Christian would have shared with the SREC the important steps through which the legislative voting report had passed and would have explained the process followed by YCT in the preparation of the draft document.
Explanation provided by Rep. Wayne Christian explaining how the legislative voting report was developed:
It was a slow process, but by mid August we [YCT] had gone through all of the Journals for both the House and Senate and found every record vote that fit a priority on the RPT platform.
Because we could not stray from the enumerated priorities on the list, the bills we could select from were quite limited but in the end we were able to find 23 House record votes and 20 Senate record votes. Unfortunately, many of the priorities on the list were never addressed and others never got out of a committee or failed to get a record vote. Whatever did get a vote, however, we made sure to include.
After we established which votes fit the criteria and could be included in the report, we went through the process of entering in all the names and bills into a spreadsheet, each of us checking it twice so that we ensured no mistakes were made. We then created a second document, explaining the use of each vote and how it fit in with the legislative priorities on the platform.
CONFUSION AND DISHARMONY AMONG TEXAS REPUBLICANS
Because Rep. Christian was not invited to attend the SREC meeting, confusion caused by miscommunication is occurring across the state.
What the SREC should have done is to commend Rep. Christian for doing exactly what the delegates to the 2010 Republican Convention told him to do. Instead it almost seems as if someone in the SREC is trying to make Rep. Christian look like the bad guy when in reality, he is a very strong and capable conservative leader who has sought to do the will of the delegates of the 2010 Republican Convention and to strengthen the Texas Republican Party.
SREC MEMBER CANDY NOBLE’S MISSTATEMENTS
Regrettably, SREC Member Candy Noble on 10.3.11 distributed widely her minutes from the 10.1.11 SREC meeting; and they were filled with misstatements. Rep. Wayne Christian then submitted his corrections to her misunderstandings.
One of the most innocuous pieces of misinformation in Noble’s minutes is the accusation that YCT (and in essence Rep. Wayne Christian) should be faulted for only including the voting records on 14 of the 46 Legislative Priorities tied to the 2010 Republican Platform.
The reason the legislative voting report only covered the voting records of 14 of the 46stated Legislative Priorities was because the House leadership never allowed floor votes on 32 of the Legislative Priorities contained in the Republican Platform!
I believe this is a terrible record for the 82nd Legislative Session, Speaker Joe Straus, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst – only 14 out of 46 Legislative Priorities that were tied to the 2010 Republican Platform were ever brought to the floor for a vote!
It is easy to see why the moderate House members may be pressuring the SREC to try to obfuscate and delay the distribution of the legislative voting report. The moderates may be afraid we grassroots citizens will learn the truth about why 32 bills based upon the Republican platform principles never made it to the floor of the House and Senate for a vote.
WHAT THE SREC SHOULD DO
The SREC members should do the admirable thing by demonstrating they believe in transparency, in the 2010 Republican Platform, and in the accountability of their elected officials.
The SREC should show that they will follow the plank as passed by the delegates at the 2010 Republican Convention who wanted to make sure that Legislators were held publicly accountable to follow the 46 Legislative Priorities.
The SREC should distribute the legislative voting report via the RPT e-mail base just as RPT sends out other important messages by e-mail.
The 6,000+ delegates to the 2010 Republican Convention clearly expressed their wishes that Texas legislators need to be held accountable to the people. The rules under which the RPT operates should meet the needs of the people and should not be manipulated to fit the desires of a few Republican leaders.
CANDY NOBLES’ MISINFORMATION – REP. WAYNE CHRISTIAN’S CORRECTIONS
Below, I have first posted Candy Noble’s misinformation and then Rep. Christian’s corrections. To read Noble’s complete set of her minutes, please go to http://www.candacenoble.com and click “SREC Latest News.”
Excerpts from Candy Noble’s 10.3.11 report on SREC meeting held on 10.1.11
Issue: Legislative Scorecard
…The Platform Committee at the last State Convention added the stipulation that the Texas GOP House, Senate and those serving Texas in the US Congress and Senate as well as other State-wide office holders with influence on votes (Governor and Lt. Governor) would be scored on 46 Legislative Priorities. This report would be submitted by the Platform Committee Chair [Rep. Wayne Christian] and approved by the State GOP Chair [Steve Munisteri] before being made available to Republican voters.
Instead of doing the “scorecard” himself, the Platform Chair [Rep. Wayne Christian] asked the Young Conservatives to do this evaluation for him. What they submitted to the State Chairman [Steve Munisteri] only covered 14 of the Legislative Priorities, and only concerned the Texas House. As a result, the report is far from complete.
CORRECTIONS BY REP. WAYNE CHRISTIAN
I met with the Party Chairman [Steve Munisteri] in January and mentioned I did not feel I should personally judge my fellow legislators and suggested YCT, who the Chairman had helped organize did such reports and might be a good third party for such duty.
While receiving no definite confirmation, I did leave, perhaps at my false judgment, that he trusted YCT and felt they were a legitimate consideration to do the report. Thus having a third party doing the work, I felt was agreed.
That I did not personally (by my own hand) write and research the report does not make me feel I did not deliver my responsibility to deliver a draft of such report, which I did on Sept. 10th by email, regular postage, and overnight carrier. The draft presented to SREC, while not by my hand, I do take full responsibility for, “the buck does stop here.”
The fact is very true that less than ½ of the bills requested by the vote of the Republican Party delegates were in the report. Why, because the Republican Super Majority and Senate DID NOT PROVIDE SUCH TO THE FLOOR OF EITHER CHAMBER FOR A VOTE.
Thus, the Republican legislature did not follow the mandates of its Party’s platform. NOT that I did not report all the votes the platform asked. I did report ALL the relevant votes allowed. Isn’t the real question revealed, “Why were more of our Platform bills not accomplished or voted on?”
Link to Mark Ramsey’s “Shot Through the Heart in Texas” – 9.28.11 -
E-MAIL ADDRESSES OF SREC MEMBERS
State Republican Executive Committee
Senate District 1
Senate District 2
Senate District 3
Senate District 4
Senate District 5
Senate District 6
Senate District 7
Senate District 8
Senate District 9
Senate District 10
Senate District 11
Senate District 12
Senate District 13
Senate District 14
Senate District 15
Senate District 16
Senate District 17
Senate District 18
Senate District 19
Senate District 20
Senate District 21
Senate District 22
Senate District 23
Senate District 24
Senate District 25
Senate District 26
Senate District 27
Senate District 28
Senate District 29
Senate District 30
Senate District 31
POSITION CURRENTLY VACANT
GROUP E-MAIL LIST OF RPT CONTACTS
*Posted on public website
GROUP E-MAIL LIST OF SREC MEMBERS
*Posted on public website