The conservative Republican Party grassroots are calling for reforms to be implemented immediately by the current leadership of the Harris County Republican Party (HCRP). The aforementioned grassroots have accepted the dismal state of our county party for well over a decade. However, the extreme threats to our Nation and our State due to an indifference to the US Constitution, socialist policies, and crony capitalism have caused an awakening of the Republican grassroots in Harris County. Consequently, the state of affairs that exist in the HCRP will no longer be allowed to exist. The basis of grievance for the grassroots can be summarized as follows:
- The HCRP leadership has made insufficient outreach to recruit Republican Precinct Chairs to fill the approximately 51% of vacant voting precincts in Harris County. With only 430 of 885 precincts having Republican Party Chairs installed, the HCRP begins each election cycle at a logistical disadvantage to the Democratic Party which field well over 500+ precinct chairs. This problem will be greatly magnified as the result of the upcoming 2010 census due to an expected increase from 885 voting precincts to 1064.
- The HCRP leadership has laid bare a record of incompetence and mismanagement with respect to raising funds in the largest voting county in Texas (3rd largest in the nation) to adequately fund HCRP facilities and operations. The fact that all the smaller surrounding counties have much larger budgets and reserves than Harris County is a source of embarrassment. The HCRP leadership has become lazy and slothful with its fundraising activities. Preferring to exhort money from candidates for access to HCRP semi-endorsements (Republican Leadership Council logos) and speaking fees, instead of making the effort to gather traditional funding from the natural Republican constituencies in the business and political community. Houston is the Nation’s energy capital and is home to an ex-Republican President, cabinet members, and other notable public servants. It is a serious indictment that the HCRP cannot raise enough revenue to provide a stable yearly budget and a rainy day fund to cover unexpected expenses.
- The HCRP leadership has demonstrated a dismal record of fiscal management. Every HCRP-sponsored activity appears to be operating on a shoestring with sufficient funding coming only at the last minute or as a result of the event itself. This has been more than revealed with the HCRP Executive Committee banning the extortion of speaking fees from Republican Primary Candidates at the 2012 HCRP Senate District Convention. This scheme would have charged some primary candidates as much as $500 for as little as 30 seconds speaking time on the floor of the convention. This puts true Republican grassroots candidates at a huge disadvantage to incumbents and better funded candidates. The fact that the HCRP leadership had not planned for and gathered sufficient funds for a mandatory activity whose execution is required by the Texas Election Code is absolute grounds for citing mismanagement of HCRP finances.
- The HCRP leadership has refused to be transparent and open with respect to the county Party’s finances. The HCRP leadership has consistently refused an independent audit of the HCRP books. The leadership has stated that due to the fact they cannot adequately fund the party, they cannot pay for a third-party audit. However, at the April 2 Quarterly HCRP Executive Committee Meeting, a resolution calling for such an audit was blocked by parliamentary procedures even through it came with a offer to independently pay for the audit from outside sources. The conservative Republican grassroots have never been successful in petitioning the current leadership to open their books to an outside independent auditor.
- Finally, the HCRP leadership does not provide any assistance to Republican precinct chairs needed to execute a ground game and get-out-the-vote effort comparable to the Harris County Democratic and other national progressive organizations efforts. Any “help” provided by the HCRP only consists of recycled out-of-date precinct chair training and HCRP “Victory” Strategy meetings that usually serve as campaign stops for the Republican County Chairman, Jared Woodfill. The HCRP leadership does not solicit input from the precinct chairs regarding what is needed in field in terms of material, tools, training, and other resources to help them win elections for conservative Republican candidates.
Under the current HCRP leadership, the Republican Party in Harris County has been and will continue to be an ineffective Party organization that cannot organize and execute winning strategies in Harris County elections. The current leadership is content to win some contests and cede other to the democrats through the excuse of “demographics”. They depend on the natural conservatism of the average Texan and great conservative candidates to win the day. It is not through HCRP devices and actions that Republicans are able to win in Harris County.
Therefore, the conservative Republican grassroots of Harris County demand the following reforms:
- That an audit of the HCRP financial records be completed before the end of the 2012 calendar year. The completed audit report shall be made available, as a matter of public record, to HCRP precinct chairs, the Republican Party of Texas, the media, and the public at large. If the HCRP operates in a open, transparent fashion, it will avoid the appearance of corruption or cronyism and maintain the good faith of the Party.
- Should the audit of the HCRP financial records reveal any impropriety or criminal issues, it is the will of the conservative Republican grassroots that those affected or charged with the revealed misconduct to resign immediately from any HCRP office or elected position.
- Within 3 months of receipt of the public release of this letter, the HCRP Finance Committee develop an outreach plan to the Harris County business and political community for the purposes of adequately funding the HCRP. This outreach plan must include, as a minimum, a process to ensure transparency to party donors, a proposed annual 2013 budget, an implementation plan needed to ensure Republican victories at the National, State, and local levels in Harris County, and performance metrics ensuring that funding is being spent judiciously in achieving HCRP goals and initiatives.
- Following the example of the Republican Party of Texas, establish an HCRP Rainy Day Fund. Identify critical/ mandatory activities and outlays that must be performed and set adequate funds aside as a fall back should the need ever arise. Define the circumstances for which such a fund be utilized to prevent its operation as a “slush” fund for the HCRP leadership.
- Desist from all activities that result in better funded Republican candidates gaining an advantage over less-well funded grassroots candidates. For instance, sample Primary ballots on the HCRP website that show the Republican Leadership Council logo by candidates who can afford to pay the $1,000 fee. This gives the appearance of an “endorsement” for the public who may seek information from the website. Also desist from advertising in any “pay for play” voter guides and similar publications. The HCRP leadership should disavow any relationship and/or consulting arrangement with those who participate in this practice.
- Commensurate with funding levels, the HCRP leadership shall develop a robust outreach plan to fill a increasing percentage of Harris County Precinct Chairs (for example, 50%/2012; 65%/2013; 80%/2014…).
- Commensurate with funding levels, the HCRP leadership shall develop a modern training regime, provide GOTV materials, and make available technologies needed to reach the voters (e.g., call from home, Precinct Manager, etc.) to the Harris County Precinct Chairs in order to maximize their effectiveness.
- The HCRP shall look for ways to funnel resources to Republican candidates in general elections rather than drain them in order to fund HCRP operations.
If the current HCRP leadership is unable or unwilling to accept and enact these reforms, we ask that they step aside and let others start the hard work to build the HCRP into an effective and efficient Republican County organization that will rival State Party organizations both inside and outside Texas and will only be second to the Republican Party of Texas and the Republican National Party.
This is the vision and expectation of the conservative Republican grassroots of Harris County.
HCRP Pct. 0655
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