State Republican Party Considering Giving Dickey a $150,000 Salary
by Kristin Christ on October 15, 2018 at 5:33 PM
The Republican Party of Texas (RPT) is considering giving Chairman James Dickey a $150,000 salary. The Officials Committee of the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) is meeting at 7 p.m. to discuss the RPT’s 2019 budget. Although the chairmanship of the state party has always been volunteer, the budget under discussion includes an additional $150,000 salary, plus benefits, for the Party Chairman, James Dickey. The proposed 2019 RPT budget has an increase of $355,461.
When seeking re-election this past summer, Dickey indicated that he would not need a salary in order to fulfill the duties of RPT Chairman. Regarding the plan for Dickey to receive a salary, past RPT Chair, Tom Mechler, stated online:
I have been told that Mr. Dickey has brought me into the discourse as one of the justifications for his request. When I could no longer fulfill the demands of the office due to the strain it was putting on my business and marriage, I stepped aside and let someone else step up to serve. If Mr. Dickey can no longer handle the demands of the position, I suggest he take a similar course. The State Convention Delegates are the highest authority within the grassroots of our party. Since he was the incumbent, he obviously knew of the sacrifices that are required to hold the position. After telling the delegates he would be a volunteer Chair, why has he now tried to circumvent the will of State Convention Delegates and go to the SREC to ask to be paid? If Mr. Dickey had intentions of trying to seek financial compensation, he should have made that clear when he was campaigning. Many people believe to campaign for a volunteer position, and then try to turn it into a paid one after taking office, is dishonest and unethical.
In response to the proposed salary for Dickey, another Republican leader remarked:
Wow. This is extreme. $150k plus approximately 25 percent for benefits-things like insurance, vacation etc... In my 25 years of association with the RPT we have not had a Chairman who requested a salary. Chairman Dickey campaigned on being a cost-conscious Chairman- even stating that he would piggy-back his travel expense on his own business travel. But yet that has not happened and he even expenses ice cream from Dairy Queen. So now we will have to pay all the Chairman’s expenses, including his ice cream AND pay an additional $200k ??? I urge you to contact your SREC representatives and elected officials and urge them to lobby against this request. We are Conservatives and this is hardly conservative!
Chairman Dickey has been at the center of a debate in Montgomery County when, in mid-September, he and the SREC Officials Committee voted that Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Dr. Wilkerson is a “Disgrace to the Party”. They did so based on an 8(k) complaint brought to them by SREC Committeewoman Allison Winters, Committeeman Walter West, and 44 precinct chairs. Those lodging the complaint included four new precinct chairs: Quentin Smith (9), Sandra Grossman (81), Marcus Wooldridge (91) and Mary Lewis (94), all of whom were elected to their posts on August 28. Although the complaint arrived at RPT on August 24, Dr. Wilkerson first learned of it from Chairman Dickey via phone call on September 19, less that 48 hours before the first hearing on the complaints took place. Further, Dickey violated RPT Rule 8(n) which requires that a complaint be sent to the accused via registered mail on the day the complaint is posted. Throughout the complaint process, Dr. Wilkerson’s due process rights were repeatedly denied by Dickey and the Officials Committee.
Under Dr. Wilkerson’s tenure, the political landscape of Montgomery County was greatly altered. When Wilkerson took office, there were no Republican elected officials in the county. Dr. Wilkerson led the charge that completely reversed that status. Today, no Democrat elected officials remain, nor have they been in office since the early 90’s.
The 8(k) complaint against Wilkerson caused an angry sea of emails from Montgomery County voters, outraged at the mistreatment of Dr. Wilkerson. The Officials Committee members gave little attention to the support for Dr. Wilkerson, nor to the corrections to the numerous false complaints made against him. Instead, the Committee commented that the response of the voters had no bearing on their decision.
Chairman Dickey, and the RPT Officials Committee, both of which are not elected by Montgomery County voters, formally charged the Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman, Dr. Wilkerson, with “disgracing the Republican Party”. Dr. Wilkerson was elected as County Chair by Republican Montgomery County voters in March 2018, with 23,454 votes.
Call in information for tonight’s public meeting regarding this topic is:
605-472-5491--access code is 451010