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TX GOP platform madness- AgendaWise.com

More great work from Daniel Greer with AgendaWise.com

The following is a tough truth: the Texas Republican Party treats the Texas Republican platform more like a mascot than a manifesto.

In 2009 conservative members of the State Republican Executive Committee tried to create a scorecard that would grade GOP lawmakers on adherence to the party’s platform. The move was killed by SREC moderates. Now the party is fighting another effort to hold GOP officials accountable to the party platform.

The original call for a scorecard was offered by SREC member Jason Moore of Odessa and quickly tabled by a former SREC member and Chairwoman Tina Benkiser.

Texas Speaker Showdown January 2011

At the 2010 GOP convention solid conservative Representative Wayne Christian, a member of the Platform Committee, reintroduced the idea of having legislators scored on sticking to the platform. His motion was loudly cheered and passed with a large measure of support. It was not cheered by moderates who have to hide in the shadows of process.

Christians amendment is simple:

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. Those priorities are 46 in number and represent a cross section of the platform.

Currently the SREC is poised to break the instructions of GOP delegates. Right now the party is trying to get conservatives to swallow the premise that a party bylaw makes following delegates instructions impossible. We do not accept the premise.

Is the party succumbing to money pressure? When Steve Munisteri took the helm of the party in 2010 powerful moderates donated freely to get the party out of debt. Blocking transparency would be a big help to those people.

The session provides many examples of failing the platform. Speaker Joe Straus appointees worked to undermine one of the party’s planks and priorities by not “opposing any effort to expand gambling.”

This was decidedly not followed in the Texas House were committee chairs appointed by Speaker Joe Straus including Mike Hamilton and Harvey Hilderbran advanced legislation that leads to expanded gambling. Not only was increased gambling pursued in 2011 moderate House leaders have started to beat the drum in anticipation of 2013.

Voters deserve to know how lawmakers perform based on the criteria they are given and asked to meet. Even if someone does not agree with everything in the platform, at least the platform provides a starting point for examination.

If the Republican Party won’t help them in that effort third party groups will continue to be invaluable.

Related posts:

  1. TX GOP controversy
  2. Platform stragglers
  3. Conservatives Being Played?
  4. Who’s wants more gambling in Texas?
  5. The consultant says a lot about the candidate


Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is Executive Director of AgendaWise. Previously, Daniel worked for Empower Texans, a non-profit direct advocacy group focused on fiscal policy in Texas. He holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin. A native Texan, Daniel is a member of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, played baseball at St. Edwards University, and lives in Austin with his wife Karen and their two dogs. You can reach him at dgreer@agendawise.com. 


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