SREC Updates & RPT Mistakenly Sent Out Wrong Information about Legislative Priorities Report
by David Bellow on October 19, 2011 at 4:51 PM
Hundreds of people (State Reps, SREC members, County Chairmen) have already taken the Poll about the Legislative Priorities Report. If you have not taken the poll yet then CLICK HERE to take the poll and let your voice be heard!
Incorrect Information Sent Out
In an email sent on 10/10/11 from the Republican Party of Texas titled “Scheduling reminder and Notes from last week's Leadership Call,” there was some incorrect information that was put out regarding the Legislative Priorities Report.
I am sure this was not intentional, but I believe it is important that the information be corrected so I am sending this out. This is not an official email from the RPT. This information is from David Bellow SREC SD3.
The email sent from the RPT stated that there is no debate that the Legislative Priorities Report violates the Rules and Bylaws.
That is incorrect. There is plenty of debate within the SREC and the RPT.
In fact, The SREC, at the last meeting, decided unanimously to have an ad hoc committee look into whether or not the Legislative Priorities Report would violate the bylaws or not.
The EXACT WORDING of what was passed unanimously by the SREC is “Recommend a special ad hoc committee be authorized to make a report to the Rules Committee on whether the relevant platform plank conflicts with the bylaws or other rules of the Republican Party of Texas” and then based on their findings they will make recommendations.
So why would the SREC UNANIMOUSLY approve a Committee to DETERMINE IF THE LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES REPORT WOULD VIOLATE AND BYLAWS if there is no debate about whether or not the Report violates the Bylaws?
Obviously there is plenty of debate about whether or not the report violates the bylaws and that is why we approved a committee to look into whether or not this report actually violates the bylaws.
Also, the RPT email referenced this Report as a “scorecard” and that is also incorrect.
The Texas Republican Platform never calls this Report a scorecard. It is NOT a scorecard. Scorecard makes it sound like this report will rank the legislators. That is incorrect. This report will not have any scores and will not judge any officials. The report will ONLY be a list of votes related to Republican Party Platform Values and how each Official voted. Each legislator’s constituents can make their own determinations of how their legislator is doing. By publishing this Report, the RPT is not getting involved in Intra-Party contests and the RPT is simply promoting the Republican Party Values and following the wishes of the Republicans in Texas (our constituents). That is what we on the SREC are elected to do.
Is some of the Opposition to the Report about Money?
At a State Republican Executive Committee meeting last year, the SREC was voting on a resolution that called for the Texas House Republicans to join together and vote for a Republican Speaker of the House instead of letting the Democrats decide who the next Speaker will be. Who in the Republican Party would be against a Resolution that calls for Republicans to pick the next Speaker instead of the Democrats?
Surprisingly, before we were going to vote, it was brought up that a State Legislator was threatening to take back $25,000 he had given to the Party if the Party voted in favor of this resolution. That incident really opened my eyes.
I suspect that is what is going on here with the legislative priorities report. The Republican Party of Texas does not get much money from Republicans in Texas and that has resulted in some in the RPT and on the SREC being too nice and non-controversial in order to make the big donors happy. It is true that the party should be focused on raising money for Republicans and Chairman Steve Munisteri has done a GREAT job of that. It is also good to cut back on controversy. BUT we should raise money because people believe in our values and we SHOULD NOT raise money from people who only want to give money with the demand that we change our values. We should never stop standing for Republican values just to get more money.
This problem could certainly be helped if Republicans in Texas donated money to the RPT so that the RPT did not rely on a few big donors. Republicans in Texas can help fund the RPT and donate easily to the Party by joining the Grassroots Club for only $8.25 per month. It is easy and will help the party not rely on big donors as much. We give so much to National political Races and we forget about our own Texas Base.
Also, don’t get me wrong, there are MANY big donors who do not have strings attached to their money and those donors have really helped the RPT and we appreciate those individuals.
SREC Members Against this Report are not Automatically RINOs or Moderates
Many Republicans are very angry with members of the SREC who are opposed to this Report. It is understandable that Republicans are angry over the RPT’s resistance to following the wishes of Texas Republicans as stated in the Republican Platform. I believe those SREC members are WRONG for opposing this Report, BUT they are not necessarily RINOs or moderates. Some of them are very conservative and they just don’t want the Republican Party to do the report for one strange reason or another. Some think it would just be too much work and others think it would just cause too much distraction. They are wrong for opposing the report and opposing the wishes of the Republican Delegates who elected them, but they are not necessarily RINO’s. Emails to SREC members should explain the importance of standing up for Republican values and explain that they will be going against their constituents if they vote against this Report. Emails that just call someone a RINO will just cause the email to be deleted without it being read. I am not mad at anyone and I have no problem working with anyone on the SREC. At the same time, I will always stand up for what I believe and I have no problem telling someone if I think they are wrong on a particular issue.
The bottom line is that SREC members will face our constituents at the next State Convention and will have to answer for the decisions they made on the SREC. I believe that all Republican Delegates (the boss) should tell the SREC (the employees) how they feel and what they think the SREC should do. Then, based on how the SREC members vote on the SREC, the Republican Delegates should vote for the same SREC member or for a new SREC member. We are not entitled to be on the SREC. We are elected to serve the people and if we are not doing that then the people should kick us out.
What is the Job of the State Republican Executive Committee?
According to the SREC Bylaws, the job of SREC members is to establish general policy for the Party, subject to the direction of the biennial state convention, to be responsible for the general supervision and management of the Party, and to foster and encourage growth in the Party by promoting the principles as expressed in the platform.
That SREC job description makes it pretty clear that we should publish a report. The bylaws tell us that we are to follow the wishes of the last state convention and also promote Republican values in the Platform. The last biennial state convention asked us to publish a Legislative Priorities Report so that Legislators will be encouraged to vote for Republican Values Bills. The SREC should do our job and we should release a Legislative Priorities Report, or change the rules so that we can.
In My Opinion, the Legislative Priorities Report DOES NOT violate the Bylaws
Whether or not this report violates the Bylaws is based purely on OPINION and INTERPRETATION because the Bylaws are very vague and non-specific. My opinion, as well as many others, is that the Report does not violate the Bylaws.
The Bylaws say that the SREC will not use any party resources to directly or indirectly influence an election between republicans. That is VERY vague, but the intent of that bylaw was to prevent the RPT from intentionally doing things like giving money, phones, volunteers, etc. to one Republican and not another Republican in a Primary election. It was not meant to prevent the RPT from following the Platform by publishing a simple, non-biased list of votes relating to Republican values. If publishing this list is against the bylaws because it “could” be considered as getting involved in a primary election, then the RPT should just close its doors because EVERYTHING the RPT does could be considered as getting involved in Primary Contests. The RPT allows Republicans to use Voter Vault. Voter Vault is used by Republicans in primary races.
Should we stop Voter Vault? The RPT allows candidates to get name recognition and to speak at SREC meetings by sponsoring the meeting (giving a donation). That “could” be considered as giving an unfair advantage to one candidate over another candidate who might not have money to sponsor an SREC meeting.
The RPT supports the new maps in redistricting. This new map puts very conservative legislators in east Texas in the same district so that they have to run against each other. Does support for these new maps constitute approval of kicking out conservative legislators in East Texas? The list goes on and on, but my point is that if this Report is considered as the RPT getting involved in primary elections then, based on that same standard, pretty much anything the RPT does “could” be considered as getting involved in primary election.
Also, just because a legislator votes against something in the Republican Party Platform does not mean it will even be negative for that legislator. Chances are that if a legislator voted against something in the Platform, that legislator probably did it because they were following the wishes of their constituents on that particular issue and it will not hurt them in a re-election. But that is up to the constituents to decide. No Republican is perfect and not everyone agrees on everything 100% of the time. But still. Republicans should know how their representative votes in regard to the Republican values. Those constituents can ask questions and make their own judgments of the job that their legislator did.
We just need to publish a report this year and then at the next Convention we can correct and problems or issues regarding publishing a Legislative Priorities Report, or the delegates could even remove it from the Platform if they want to. They can decide next year what they want to do, but until then, we should follow the wishes of the last convention’s delegates and publish a report this year. Thank you Wayne Christian for trying to uphold the desire of the Republicans in Texas by giving the SREC a draft Report. You have taken a lot of criticism from people who do not want to the Report, but the fact is that the Republicans in Texas voted to have this report and it was not just you who wanted this Report in the platform. You even got YCT to do the Report so that people would not think you were being biased against any other legislators. You did what you could. Now it is up to the SREC to finish the Report and add/make changes to the Report. Then we need to publish it.
If it is Determined that the Report Violates the Bylaws, the Bylaws should be changed at the December 4th, 2011 SREC Meeting
The SREC is supposed to create policies subject to the direction of the State Convention. The Republicans at the State Convention voted overwhelmingly in support of this Legislative Priorities Report. If the Ad Hoc Committee determines that this Report violates the Bylaws (which I think they will) then the SREC should follow the direction of the State Convention and simply change policy to allow for the Legislative Priorities Report.
The Next SREC meeting is December 4th 2011. This meeting will be the meeting that we vote for or against changing the Bylaws to specifically allow us to publish a Legislative Priorities Report. We will finally get an up or down vote and be able to see how many SREC members are for the report and how many are against the report.
The Republican Party is about a set of values and people who prescribe to those values. Not the other way around. Numbers mean nothing if we do not stand for our values. I believe if we are honest to the people and stand for what we believe then the people will come. They will come because they believe in our conservative, family, moral values.
What Do You Think? Take the Survey!
HUNDREDS of people have taken this survey, including SREC members, County Chairmen, Tea Party Chairmen, and even State Representatives. So far, out of hundreds of responses, only 5 people have voted against publishing a report and only 10 people said that this report would violate the bylaws. This Survey was sent to all SREC members and all County Chairmen so it is fair to say that the survey is unbiased. In other words I did not just sent the survey to people for the Report. I sent the survey to everyone including anyone who might be against the Report. Take this Legislative Priorities Survey! The more responses and ideas the better! Also, Please PASS THIS SURVEY ON to all Republicans in Texas and I will email the results to the SREC and the Republican Party of Texas. This is not an official SREC survey. I am a member of the SREC and will be voting on this issue and debating the issue in the SREC. I want to make sure that the SREC knows what YOU think. So take the survey and pass it on!
You can also post this survey website link to TWITTER or FACEBOOK and forward this email, or at least forward this link to the survey We need to hear what all sides have to say on this issue. Whether or not you are for or against this report, take the survey and tell us what you think!