December was a very busy month for our Party Organizations and our Republican Women’s Clubs. So many parties and not enough time…I hope everyone had a wonderful time and enjoyed Christmas with friends and family.
The 4th quarterly meeting of the Republican Party met on December 4th and 5th in Austin. As is normal procedure, Committee Meetings were held on Friday and the regular Party meeting on Saturday. The following is a lengthy recap but there didn’t seem to be a way to shorten it and still give you some details.
As you know, I am serving on the Party’s Redistricting Committee. The hearings have been held, but there is still much to do. We have scheduled a meeting in Austin on January 19 to meet with Representative Todd Hunter. He has graciously offered to keep us informed. We still anticipate four new congressional seats and most should be allocated to the North Texas area. Each redistricting cycle when the work is complete, the lawsuits begin. The Party is named in many of those suits so we are trying to be prepared. Estimates are that it will take over $1 million to defend ourselves. As a result, Chairman, Steve Munisteri, has decided to be proactive in fundraising. He will be visiting Washington in January and plans to meet with some of the Texas Congressmen to discuss how they can help the Party in this effort.
Here are some highlights from some of the other meetings – and thanks go to Paige McAleer (Dallas), Jean McIver (Denton) and Tom Washington (Denton) my peers on the SREC for sharing their notes.
Auxiliaries and Coalitions Committee (ACC). The following Auxiliaries were voted on and approved for renewal status in Committee and at the official SREC meeting: Texas Federation of Republican Women, Texas Republican County Chairman’s Association, Texas College Republicans, Texas Young Republican Federation, Texas Federation for Republican Outreach, Republican National Hispanic Assembly, Latino National Republican Coalition. The Texas Republican Assembly did not submit the minutes from their last meeting and therefore have their status “Pending”.
Party Organization Committee: This Committee consists of three subcommittees: Ballot Integrity, Voter Registration, and County Chair Support. The Committee produced the Ballot Integrity 2010 Manual, which was sent electronically to all county chairmen. Plans are in the works to produce training videos in 2011 to train election workers on Ballot Integrity processes.
Convention Planning: Several subcommittees are handling advance 2012 RPT Convention planning tasks. The Logistics Team toured the Fort Worth Convention Center and six hotels earlier in the week. The full committee will be touring the Convention Center and hotels in early January. Hotel selections will hopefully be made in March. This is the first time RPT has had an advance SREC team planning the Convention, and since both 2012 and 2014 Conventions will be held in Fort Worth. Because of our proximity to Fort Worth, please plan to be part of the volunteer army that we will need to make these events successful. The convention planners will also have a contest to name the “Theme” of the convention. Details will be on the Party website.
The Party meeting on Saturday was one of much “good” news. First, of course, were the election results. I mailed copies to County Chairs and Club Presidents and you can also view it on the party’s website.
For the first time in 18 years The Republican Party of Texas is DEBT-FREE. We are very well-positioned to influence the 2012 campaign year with conservative Republican dominance. Keep up the good work. Remember, if we all joined the “Grassroots Club” we would not have to worry about finances. To make things easier for those who do not like auto deductions, Steve indicated you can send a lump sum check and your name will be removed from the calling/mailing list.
The SREC unanimously approved Chairman Munisteri’s proposed base budget for next year, along with his “Wish List” to be fulfilled when/if the party has the money available. The list includes items that will enhance our presence in the 2012 election cycle. The Texas Republican Party currently functions with a staff of 7 full-time and 2 part-time employees. States much smaller than Texas operate with two and three times the staff.
National Committeeman Bill Crocker and National Committeewoman Borah Van Dormolen reported on the upcoming election cycle and the RNC. Plans are underway for the next Republican National Committee meeting to elect a Chairman on January 14. There are several names surfacing as candidates. Bill, Borah and Steve (who is also a voting member of the RNC) all stated they will be voting for an RNC Chairman who can manage finances better than the current one. The RNC receives about $21 Million in donations from the State of Texas residents. You may want to think about which organization is a better steward of you money.
NOTE: National Committeeman, Bill Crocker, also shared his perspective on the 2012 TX Primary. Tom Washington took the following notes:
“Bill is advocating holding our Primary Election on the uniform election date in May, which I believe is the second Saturday in May, 2012. Bill is advocating leaving our Primary as a “winner take all” delegate contest.
Any date after April 1, 2012 would satisfy the REC that we were not trying to become too relevant as a large state in the 2012 Presidential selection process. The new RNC rule was aimed at making sure the small states
in the Northeast US and upper Midwest US remain early and relevant to the selection process. South Carolina was selected as the single Southern state allowed to go early.
Providing a state is willing to use a proportional delegate selection process, any state can schedule a primary election after March 1, 2012 but before April 1, 2012.
Bill’s bet is that most states will go in March with a proportional delegate scheme in an attempt to be relevant to the selection process. He calculates that if this happens, no one can clinch the race prior to the Texas “winner take all” primary in May. This would allow us to select the Presidential nominee, in Bill’s opinion.
District and State Conventions:
Currently, our district conventions are held in April and our State Convention in early June. This schedule will not work if we move the primary date backward. Our State Convention would probably have to be scheduled in early August, barely in front of the National Convention.
Partisan and Non-Partisan Elections:
The Democrats would have to follow the same primary election dates as us. This would put major partisan elections taking place on the same day as non-partisan City and School Board elections. Not sure what the effects on these elections would be, good or bad. For sure turnouts would be up.
Thumb our nose at the RNC:
Another idea, not Bill’s, is to “thumb our nose” at the RNC and move up our “winner take all” primary to January, 2012 and dare the RNC to cut our delegates. Another is to change nothing and leave our date in March with a “winner take all” process and dare the RNC to cut our delegates.
Another idea is to move our primary later as discussed above, but organize a regional multi-state Presidential non-binding straw poll in January competing with Iowa and New Hampshire. The straw poll would be held in Texas with all candidates invited. It would be run as a fundraiser with vote buying permitted.”
The next SREC meeting (1st Quarterly meeting of 2011) will be taking place March 25-26, 2011.