It seems like déjà vu all over again. The 2008 Republican State convention is here and the grassroots are restless yet again.
For the last few conventions a growing number of activists have been demanding compliance with the Texas Election Code in electing a permanent chair prior to official business being conducted.
This year, a coalition of activists led by Debra Medina, Mallory Miller, Dustan Costine, Chad Creighton, Richard Wyatt and Kay Fischer have asked RPT Chair Tina Benkiser to agree to comply.
Some ask, why is this important? Let me quote Mallory Miller:
"The harm flowing from non-compliance with TEC Sec. 174.094 includes the delaying of the seating of a challenged delegation until after all the significant business conducted in the Senatorial District caucuses has been completed without their participation in the process, disenfranchising those duly elected delegates, the reduction of the time available for the convention to conduct business on party rules and the party platform, and the disadvantaging of candidates for state chairman by the high profiling of the incumbent state chair serving as Temporary Convention Chair during the first general session and the convening of the second general session."
This matter has now moved to the courthouse where the Medina-Miller group has filed suit and obtained a restraining order. It's a pretty sad day when we have to go to court to resolve our GOP differences. By the way your editor is attorney for the Medina-Miller group.
SD 17: For Whom The Bell Tolls?
With the long coming (11 months since first anticipated) and finally arriving Kyle Janek resignation, it's time to assess the political scene.
This will be the fourth special election for the Texas legislature in the last year or so. In each race, a GOP candidate emerged from the jungle primary and the only Democratic candidate in each race also emerged and guess what? The Democrat won in each race. Why? Is there any pattern?
We lost all three due to a troubling pattern of: (1) multiple GOP candidates, (2) who go after each other, (3) a wounded GOP candidate then emerges only to, (4) lose the runoff because they were weakened or angered supporters of the other GOP candidates who refused to vote for them in the runoff.
What does this mean for SD17? The Republicans will have multiple candidates and at least one consultant has a pattern of attack politics in GOP primaries and the Democrats seem to have focused on former Congressman Chris Bell. The Houston Chronicle has released a recent poll that shows Bell up with 43% of the vote and the one GOP candidate tested, Austen Furse III, at 29%.
What are they keys to GOP victory? First, eliminate any potential weak candidates. Second, ensure that the GOP candidates in the first round follow Reagan's 11th commandment, "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican." Third, try to come together on the right candidate, understanding the top down business as usual approach won't work anymore.
The 2008 election in Texas will be the most challenging since 1990 for the GOP, with the Democrats energized and the GOP depressed. It will take the right candidate with the dynamics of the right campaign environment to derail a strong, moderate Democrat in November.
Based on the first two months of the unofficial campaign, observers have doubts about the announced GOP candidate and if we don't do better, the voters will seem ready to ring the bell in November or December.
Giant Loss In Houston: Michael S. Stevens
It's been a sad fortnight since the loss of a community giant and real estate player, Michael S. Stevens. Michael was active in both GOP and local politics and a prominent leader specializing in community service.
He was the go-to guy on so many important issues and is a major loss to Houston and Texas. RIP.
The Connection - Red, White & Blue, featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones. Now weekly on Fridays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. on PBS Houston Channel 8. Next broadcast after PBS Pledge Break on June 27, 2008: The War Horses, with former Secretary of State Jack Rains and former Mayor Fred Hofheinz.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who recently completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his tenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last six years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.