Shot through the heart in Texas
by Mark Ramsey on September 28, 2011 at 1:50 PM
Background: Background: Over the past dozen or more years, both fiscal and social conservatives within the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) have called for having candidates pledge support to the Texas GOP Platform planks and provisions. This has been called for by both grassroots and some elected members who were (and are) sick and tired of the elected politicians—usually of the RINO subspecies—ignoring the Platform entirely. Historically the RINOs have fought against this fiercely, usually by invoking various obscure rules that essentially forbid requiring a pledge by a candidate, or by taking advantage of the near-impotence the RPT has in reining in rogue Republican legislators.
Great idea: This past year, however, the Platform Committee at the Texas state GOP convention, led ably by conservative champion Wayne Christian, came up with an idea that in the halls of politics borders on brilliance. Rather than fight the RINOs over rules and teeth (or lack thereof) in the rules, the “sunshine is the best disinfectant” approach would be used. Under this idea, the voting records of the Texas legislators would be reported directly to the people on key “Legislative Priorities”. No pledges or arm twisting. No political weasel-words. Just the facts. You will know them by their fruits votes.
The Platform Committee, made up of a representative for each of the 31 State Senate Districts (SDs) in the state, nearly unanimously thought this was a great idea. The initial “straw man” list of Platform planks and principles that were deemed even more important than usual was thoroughly vetted, changed, added to, and overwhelmingly approved by the Platform Committee. When representatives presented the idea to their SD caucuses, the result was again overwhelming approval of the plan. In the information/internet age, this plan for publicizing legislators’ votes was the best approach.
When the Platform went to the full floor vote, the approval by the roughly 6000 delegates from around the state was overwhelming. When Chairman Wayne Christian spoke about the Legislative Priority section, there was thunderous applause. Pursuant to that convention approval, Chairman Christian has submitted a draft report on those voting records.
RINOs in our midst: The draft report is ready. The draft report is well done. RINOs are objecting to its publication. They want it canned. Why? Will any of their formal reasons be more important than getting a good (even if imperfect) report in front of We the People?
The question is, in essence, will RINOs in the RPT be successful in preventing the RPT from issuing the report as the grassroots and the party activists clearly instructed them to do last summer? The real question becomes, will it be done under the auspices of the RPT, or will the RINOs rule the day and cause it to be issued by another group or perhaps not at all. The party activists and grassroots of Texas—some of the most enthusiastic, creative, and courageous in the country, will see that the report goes out. In our instant-news-anywhere-in-the-world i-culture, the very idea of keeping the already-produced report out of the hands of GOP and independent voters—including the newly energized Tea Parties across the state, borders on complete insanity. Censor a report on public voting records of members of the legislature to protect RINOs? Who are they kidding?
Please immediately—now or at least today at your next break—let your county chairmen, your SREC members, and even the RPT itself in Austin know that you think the Platform Committee’s idea for publicizing the actual voting records on key Legislative Priorities is a good idea. Please don’t delay—the SREC vote is this Saturday. Thank you.
Phones and email:
RPT Executive Committee (SREC): http://www.texasgop.org/state-republican-executive-committee. RPT Officers: http://www.texasgop.org/party-officers Other RPT officials: http://www.texasgop.org/leadership-directory .
RPT Austin office: Phone: 512.477.9821 or Fax: 512.480.0709 and http://www.texasgop.org/rpt-staff.
[editor’s note: Mr. Ramsey was a member of the 2010 RPT platform committee, representing SD7 (Sen. Dan Patrick’s district)]