90 Days until November 8. 90 Days left to make a world of difference.
The State Republican Executive Committee and the Republican County Chairs from around the state met in Austin for training this weekend and here’s the latest news and opportunities:
By 2019 the state of Texas is projected to be a Minority Majority Voter-aged state. A good bit of our work in the days ahead will be reaching out to voters of all types, races and ages.
Chairman Tom Mechler met with many pastors from Houston’s Fifth Ward this past week. He reported that even though the meeting started out with most, if not all of them being Democrats, that by the end they were really listening and seemed open to the Republican vision and shared values. This sort of outreach and dialogue will be vital to a vibrant and growing party, and we should all be looking for opportunities to do the same.
The Texas State Convention cost $1.4 million this year. One new major added expense was the Plank-by-Plank voting by each Delegate on the Platform. A survey of Convention Delegates showed that this Platform approval process was an overwhelming success. Here’s the good news: The convention broke even. This is in spite of the Dallas Convention Center charging us for things like each individual electrical plug per day (this amounted to quite a large expense). There is a committee looking for our 2018 Convention location and expect a report, and perhaps a recommendation, to come before the SREC at the September meeting.
We heard from Joshua Jones, the Texas State Director for the Trump campaign. By the way, did you know that each state has a Trump Campaign director? This hasn’t been done by Presidential Campaigns in the past, and it will be interesting to see how it works. We had more Republican voters in the Primary than we’ve ever had before (by far!), and many of those are new Republican Voters. We have an opportunity to get those new voters plugged in and back to the booth in November. He also gave us good news: Trump yard signs are coming, and the local County parties do not have to pay for them this election cycle. It’s been a long time since this has been done, and a big advantage for the County Parties. The past several elections our County Parties have had to have our Presidential Candidate signs printed and shipped at their own expense and hope that those that wanted the signs would pitch in and help pay for that expense.
Joshua Jones also said that the Trump campaign is focusing on 17 true battleground states. Texas is sending volunteers to help out in many of them. If you have not yet signed up to be a Mighty Texas Strike Force member, today is a good day to do it: www.texasgop.org/strikeforce Strike Force members will be traveling to 15 states and around Texas. There are even opportunities to do strike force work from home by calling and mailing.
By the way, Donald Trump will be looking for 270 of the 538 Electoral College votes needed to win the Presidency. As a member of the Electoral College this time, I sure do want to be one of those that gets to cast my vote for Trump! But first we need to win Texas, since all our Electoral College votes go to the winner of our November 8 state-wide vote.
We also heard from Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush who is serving as our Texas Victory 2016 Chairman. I noticed that what he said at our meeting made national news since he encouraged everyone to vote for Trump. There are 14 staff members around the state working to organize and mobilize our volunteer and voters. The goal of Victory 2016 is to win our Republican ticket from President all the way down the ballot and to protect the Congressional and eight key Texas House races that have been targeted by the opposition. One of the major races that we are focused on is the Congressman Will Hurd race. This district is huge, reaching all the way from El Paso to the San Antonio area. Republican turnout is key to winning any race, but especially in this tight swing district.
During our training we heard about all the mechanics of the State Party, the intricacies and regulations in dealing with Party finances and the duties of the various Committees within the SREC. I won’t bore you with those details, but I will tell you that the Chairman has asked me to serve as the Chair of the Resolutions Committee for this term. Committee assignments were presented, but approval was postponed until our September meeting pending some adjustments to the lists.
Now to some disappointing news. Our Texas Voter ID law was stuck down and an agreement was reached in the lower court (A Federal Court with a Judge that is an Obama Appointee) in Corpus Christi. According to Republican Party of Texas Associate General Counsel, the interim ID rules are worse than they were before our Legislature took action on them. The new rules may not be altered, even if our Legislature has a remedy, without that specific Judge’s approval. Persons listed on the voter rolls may use a Utility bill, birth certificate, paycheck, and even and ID that has been expired up to 4 years, as their ID to vote a Regular (not Provisional) ballot. For those that work Elections, be watching for those new rules as we train for November.
There is still a plan by the Attorney General to appeal the Texas Voter ID case to the Supreme Court. This is just another reason we need to elect Trump to be our next President. The integrity of our elections is at risk by Courts that do not uphold the laws. By the way, the difference in turnout in Harris County with and without Voter ID laws was 50,000 voters. I am concerned that if someone stole my mail, that they might use it to early vote in my place. Once a regular ballot is cast, there is no way to pull it out from all the other ballots. I’m planning on voting early in the Early Voting cycle to prevent this from happening, and encourage others to do the same.
The Candidate Resource Committee met all day on Friday and considered funding many down-ballot candidates from around the state. They have $126,000 to disperse, plus some outstanding pledges they hope will come in to fund more down-ballot candidates. These County-level candidates are some of the most important races around Texas and even a small amount can make a big difference to assure victory.
Vice Chairman Amy Clark shared some fun news. A surprise, but a blessing, is heading for their family in December—they are expecting a little boy. (Amy and her husband already have two daughters). Amy did a presentation about sharing our message and vision in a clear and positive manner. We want voters to long for the outcome that our Principles and Platform promise as they go to the polls. Getting sidetracked by the media is non-productive. Stay on message, and keep it positive. Arguments can be destructive, but constructive debate is healthy. She challenged us to figure out on a personal level why it is important to bother to vote, and look clearly at what happens if we don’t. Communicate that passion to others. What will America look like as you imagine the future? Will our borders be safe and secure? Will our men and women in the military be supported and provided with the needed training, equipment and manpower? What will happen with States Rights? What will happen on the Supreme Court? It is up to us to motivate others to vote for our Freedom-loving Candidates.
There will be at least 20 “Unite to Win” trainings around the state. I’d like to invite you to come to the Saturday, September 10 training at the Richardson Civic Center, 411 West Arapaho Rd, Richardson, 10am-3pm.
The next official meeting of the SREC will be in Austin on September 9-10. Any Republican is welcome to come sit in, or you may watch the Saturday session on live-streaming from the comfort of your own home.
As always, it is an honor to serve you. Let’s pray for our country, our state and our local elected officials and candidates. Then let’s get out there and work like crazy.