Photos · Reports From Your SREC - Blog

Bexar CEC Meeting June 28, 2021 Video

The County Executive Committee meeting chaired by John Austin was held at the Firefighters Hall in San Antonio, and was livestreamed by Karen Marshall on her personal facebook page. The video is split into three parts, in order to leave out most of the party’s financial and budget information, as naturally that does not need to be posted on the world wide web. Commentary provided in the video is her own and not approved by SREC Committeeman Mark Dorazio.

Highlights of the meeting included a visit from Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judges Mary Lou Keel, Scott Walker and Jesse F. McClure III, and Judge Lori Valenzuela swearing in the crop of new precinct chairs. The meeting got heated at times when new business was brought up. Here are the livestreams:

CEC Meeting Part 1

CEC Meeting Part 2

CEC Meeting Part 3

Photos · Reports From Your SREC - Blog

RPT Chairman Candidates Forum

Texas National Committeewoman Toni Anne Dashiell hosted a forum by Zoom on Friday, June 25th featuring all four of the candidates running to be the new chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.

These candidates are Matt Rinaldi, David Covey, Chad Wilbanks and Bill Burch. One of these four will be elected by the members of the State Republican Executive Committee on July 11th at the special meeting in Lewisville, Texas.

This election meeting will be livestreamed on the TXSD25 facebook page, and is scheduled to start at 2:00 PM CST.

If you have a strong preference for which candidate you would like to see elected, you should contact your SREC Committeeman and Committeewoman to let them know who you would like them to vote for. If you live in Senate District 25 (Donna Campbell’s district), then Mark Dorazio and Krissy Coons are your SRECs.

The new chairman will serve until the next state convention, in 2022.

Here is the link to watch the one-hour forum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAFgsF04Kb8

Reports From Your SREC - Blog

School Choice Gets the House’s Back Door Treatment

Thursday, April 22, 2021 – Budget Day in the Texas House of Representatives

Near 5:00 PM, Rep. Herrero introduced Amendment 84 with Rep. Huberty standing close behind him. He thanked “Dr. VanDeaver and all those that support public education…..Stand with our public school teachers.”

The amendment reads, “Prohibition on Use of Appropriated Money for School Choice Programs. Money appropriated by this Act may not be used to pay for or support a school voucher, education savings account, or tax credit scholarship program or similar program through which a child may use state money for nonpublic primary or secondary education.

Rep. Steve Toth, whose district is in Montgomery County near Houston, spoke against the amendment, saying,

“Members, not all of us have choice. I have choice. If I lived in a district that didn’t adequately and effectively provide a good education to my child, I have choice, I can move to a different district. Parents desire choice. Parents desire to make that decision as to whether or not the educational experience their child is receiving is effective or not. Every parent deserves that choice.

This is a poll that was done by the Mason-Dixon Polling Strategy Company. It’s a nonpartisan organization.  They do polling for Republicans, Democrats, on all sorts of different issues. I’m kind of a polling nerd. I used to work for the Harris poll.

They went out to 625 registered Texas voters, margin of error of plus or minus 4%, with a 95% probability rate. And here’s what it says,

If you live in East Texas, 79% of Texans desire parental choice.

If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, 76% of parents desire School Choice.

Houston Metro, parental choice, 79%,

Central Texas, 76%

West Texas, 71%

And if you’re in a 50/50 district, here’s the most key thing of all, if you’re in a 50/50 district, independent voters, overwhelmingly, 74% believe in parental choice.

Let’s give underserved children the same choice that every single member of this Texas House and Senate has. And I ask for you to reject this amendment.”

Then Rep. Huberty, of the Public Education Committee, spoke for the amendment:

“Members, we’ve had this discussion in this body for years about this. The reality of the situation is we have plenty of options of choice within our public schools. That’s just false narrative. We’ve had the ability to send, when we talk about special needs kids as an example, we have the ability to put them in private placement, we have the ability to let them do that. We’ve expanded the options for parents through the pandemic, of creating opportunities. We’re talking about virtual schools now. We talking about all these wonderful options that we have there. So I respectfully ask you to vote for the amendment.”

Rep. Herrero said in closing: “Join all the members that are here in support of this amendment (indicating the members standing behind him) and stand with our public school teachers and support this amendment. I move for the adoption.”

Rep. Biedermann raised a point of order against further consideration of Amendment 84 under Rule 8, Section 4, of the House Rules on the grounds that the amendment changes general law through an appropriations bill. The point of order was withdrawn.

A record vote requested by Rep. Toth.

Final vote tally:  115 Yeas to 29 Nays, 2 present but not voting.

The 29 Republican representatives who voted in favor of School Choice by voting against this amendment to defund any form of it were:

Biedermann, Bonnen, Cain, Capriglione, Cason, Craddick, Frank, Gates, Hefner, Hull, Jetton, Klick, Krause, Leach, Metcalf, Middleton, Murphy, Noble, Oliverson, Parker, Patterson, Paul, Sanford, Schafer, Shaheen, Swanson, Tinderholt, Toth, Wilson.

Statements of vote:

Button was out of the chamber, but would have voted “no.”

Leach said he was shown voting no, but intended to vote Yes.

Leman was shown voting Yes, but intended to vote No.

Metcalf was shown voting no, but intended to vote Yes.

Shaheen was shown voting No, but intended to vote Yes.

(So apparently statements of vote changes afterwards are documented in the journal, but the tally does not change. Their votes stay as recorded. I crossed through the names who indicated they meant to vote for the defund amendment.) All the representatives not named above voted for the defund amendment.

This was a back door move to eliminate any chance of any kind of School Choice getting through, because while activists attentively watch the progress of bills, which all had to be filed by March 12, no one outside the back offices of the Capitol could have seen this amendment coming, and it was only filed the day of the Budget vote. And the great majority of Republican Representatives and all the Democrats voted in favor.

Reports From Your SREC - Blog

Let Our Children Go!

There is ONE approved bill for achieving the School Choice for All Legislative Priority, and it desperately needs action right now.

Senator Bettencourt’s SB 1968 and its identical companion bill, Representative Middleton’s HB 4537, establishing the Family Educational Relief Program, are stalled.

SB 1968 was assigned to the Senate Education Committee, HB 4537 was assigned to the House Public Education Committee, and neither has been seen or heard since.

These bills MUST be given hearings by the first week in May, or they are high and dry.

Republican voters have been requesting School Choice for decades now, for the benefit of all Texan children. Polls demonstrate that in every region of Texas, over 70% of the population wants choice in schools. School Choice has been placed on the ballots of multiple Republican Primary Elections as Propositions, and each time has passed statewide by wide margins.

More than this, School Choice is one of the ten enduring Principles of the Republican Party of Texas, ahead of all the planks in the Platform. To that end, it has once again been voted by the thousands of state convention delegates as one of their priorities for the Texas legislators.

But unless legislators are swiftly shown that constituents’ will is forcefully behind this cause, this issue and these bills will be allowed to quietly lapse for the 13th legislative session in a row. Other issues have become more prominent this year and garnered much of peoples’ attention. Perennially, influential unions and associations, superintendents and school districts who think of families being allowed to choose as a threat to “Our Money” and “Our Students,” lobby powerfully to see that such legislation gets quashed at the outset and never sees the light of day.

But an enduring issue such as School Choice, with effects greater than can be measured, what with the quality of educations and success of children growing up now at stake, should not be disregarded any longer.

If you believe children should not be consigned to the school the district has assigned, then please contact legislators NOW to support SB 1968 and HB 4537.

To learn more about how the Family Educational Relief Program would work, see these articles:

PARKER: Is Texas Legislature Closer to Passing More School Choice Than Ever Before?
https://www.texasinsider.org/articles/parker-is-texas-loser-than-ever-to-more-school-choice

Is Texas About to Change How Parents Choose Their Children’s School?
http://texasinsider.org/articles/is-texas-about-to-change-how-parents-choose-their-children-s-school

Reports From Your SREC - Blog

Republicans, Rally at the Capitol!

The delegates of the 2020 Texas Republican Convention passed Legislative Priorities that we as a party will advocate during the 87th Texas Legislative Session which is starting now.

Come out to show your legislators that their constituents are paying attention and want them to pass legislation accomplishing these priorities!

Our Legislative Priorities:

  • Election Integrity
  • Religious Freedom
  • Abolish Child Gender Modification
  • Abolition of Abortion
  • Constitutional Carry
  • Monument Protection
  • School Choice for All
  • Ban Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying

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How We Got our 2020 Platform

Here’s what happened to reach the Republican Party of Texas Platform we have today, now that the vote on the planks has concluded:

1. People submitted resolutions at their precinct conventions on March 3rd. 

2. The State Party Chairman appointed Mark Dorazio as the Chairman of the Temporary Platform Committee.

3. County and Senatorial District Conventions formed Resolutions Committees to process the resolutions from precinct conventions and any new resolutions submitted directly to their conventions.

4. Pandemic delayed the May 23rd County/SD Conventions until up to as late as June 27th.

5. The State Convention in Houston was postponed until July 16-18.

6. Almost all resolutions were submitted to the RPT by June 27th.

7. Volunteers and staff diligently entered the thousands of resolutions from the 248 County and SD Conventions which took place into one document for the Platform Committee, either by copying and pasting or retyping them, sorting them into the 9 categories of the Platform while doing so, by the week before convention.

8. State Republican Executive Committee members from the 31 districts each nominated one volunteer to serve on the Temporary Platform Committee. Chairman Mark Dorazio then appointed 9 subcommittee chairmen from among these 31 committee members.

9. Volunteer platform committee secretaries/editors were recruited. These people served every hour of every day that the committee and subcommittees met, and worked long after the meetings concluded.

10. Thursday, July 9th, the mayor of Houston announced he was reneging on the city’s contract to host the RPT Convention at the Houston Convention Center.

11. As scheduled, for the full day of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 13, 14 and 15, the Temporary Platform Committee met in Houston, but not at the Convention Center. At the hotel across the street from the Convention Center they met in 9 subcommittees, and then as a committee of the whole. They considered every plank from the previous platform, considered the new submitted resolutions, and heard testimony from delegates who showed up to speak to the committee on particular resolutions or planks. The committee concluded business at 11:54 PM on Wednesday.

12. During the virtual convention general assembly on Sunday, July 19th the delegates approved a motion which included postponing voting on the party Rules and Platform Reports until some other time in the future, by a method to be recommended by a Committee of 10 which was then elected.

13. The Committee of 10 recommended voting on the Platform and Rules via a “Survey Monkey-style” survey to delegates and alternates by electronic mail, with a minimum of three (3) days allowed for them complete the survey. Each Platform plank from the Permanent Platform and Resolutions Committee shall be voted on individually by each delegate, and the Minority Reports from both that Committee and the Rules Committee shall be included for separate votes.
The electronic mail notification on the voting platform shall include a paragraph from the person designated to present the Minority Report, as well as the proposed language from the Committee, pursuant to RPT Rule 24. Sufficient identifying information shall be included to allow for seating of alternates and SD identification for weighted voting purposes. The results of the Survey Monkey-style voting shall be ratified at the next regular SREC meeting but announced as soon as available by RPT staff.

14. Mark Ramsey, chairman of the Legislative Priorities Committee, and Karen Marshall, an editor of the Platform Committees, set about creating a method for delegates to vote which met these criteria and included backup methods to handle the kind of problems encountered during the July virtual convention. An enormous amount of effort went into crafting the ballot so that it met all party rules and parliamentary requirements, as well as be as user-friendly as possible.

15. SREC Members served as their districts’ delegates’ support through the four day voting process, and provided access to the ballot and a unique passcode to any delegate who notified them during that time they had not received their ballot.

16. After Platform and Rules voting concluded after four days, the volunteer team went through and eliminated any duplicate votes, corrected the counties of the voters who answered “Texas” on that question, and sorted the votes by district. Then the votes were weighted according to each district’s delegate strength. After a few sets of eyes double-checked the data and the math, the results were published. Both Minority Reports, Rules and Platform, passed, as well as all proposed planks, by well over 60% each.


Thank you, everyone who participated as delegates in the virtual state convention in July, and who then voted on the recent Platform and Rules ballot.

Now that you know the process by which our Platform develops, even in unprecedented circumstances, I hope you will know how to craft your future resolutions and advocate for them effectively.


Tips:

  • Submit your resolutions by email, so they don’t need to be retyped. (Don’t scan or Xerox copy a document. The text should be selectable, able to be copied and pasted.)
  • Be sure to give each resolution a short title/subject, and identify under which of the 9 Platform categories each belongs.
  • Email a copy of your new resolution(s) to your Senate District’s member of the Temporary Platform Committee before the committee meets. Members are posted on the RPT website before state convention.
  • Show up in person on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of convention week to testify to the Platform Committee on your resolution(s).
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RPT Platform & Rules 2020

The final business of the state convention is for delegates and seated alternates to vote on the Platform and Rules. Voting will begin on Friday, October 2nd. Each platform plank must receive at least 60% of the votes to be included in the party platform. There is one Minority Report to the Platform Report and one Minority Report to the Rules Report also on which to vote.

A team of dedicated volunteers has worked very long and hard to develop the best possible Platform and Rules for our party, and then to provide the best possible process for delegates to vote, adapting along the way to this year’s unprecedented obstacles.

Click here to see the Platform Committee Report of the 2020 RPT Convention

Click here to see the Rules Committee Report of the 2020 RPT Convention

Reports From Your SREC - Blog · Uncategorized

2020 RPT Platform Minority Report

2020 Platform Committee Minority Report

SCOPE:  We the members of the Platform and Resolutions Committee who have signed the Minority Report below propose that the the version of Plank #54, as passed in the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2018, be restored to its original form.  This request is based on the announcement of the intent to file a minority report prior to adjournment of the Permanent Platform Committee meeting, though the announcement was not accepted. 

MINORITY MEMBERS:

  • SD 6     Marga Matthews
  • SD 7     Tom Nobis
  • SD 8     Paul Chabot
  • SD 18   Caleb Pillado
  • SD 19   Stuart Knowlton
  • SD 24   Matt Long
  • SD 26   David Westbrook

The 2018 RPT Platform plank reads:

54.  Article V Convention of States: We reaffirm our support for our Texas State Legislators’ call for a limited Article V Convention of States for the specific purpose of reducing the power of the federal government, including fiscal responsibility, balanced budget, and term limits. Any proposed amendments must be ratified by three-fourths of the states.

2018 Platform plank #54, supporting an Article V Convention of States (above), garnered the second-highest number of votes to be designated as a top RPT Legislative Priority during our 2016 Convention (90% of delegates), and, subsequently, the 85th legislative session in 2017 passed it with resounding Republican legislative support.  Since it is a resolution still pending in Congress until acted on by additional states, it cannot be said to have been “passed” in any meaningful way.

In conclusion, we believe that the original language of Plank #54, as passed in convention in 2018, overwhelmingly represents and advances the core values of the Republican Party.

As a remedy, the Minority hereby tenders a motion to restore Plank #54, which the Majority Report has removed, with the original language passed in the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2018, which reads as follows:

54.  Article V Convention of States: We reaffirm our support for our Texas State Legislators’ call for a limited Article V Convention of States for the specific purpose of reducing the power of the federal government, including fiscal responsibility, balanced budget, and term limits. Any proposed amendments must be ratified by three-fourths of the states.

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Houston Convention Update

July 10, 2020

Dear SD 25 Delegates and Alternates,

Four years ago, it was decided and voted on that we would hold the 2020 State Convention in Houston. My attention was focused on an in-person convention ever since. I had no reason to suspect any changes otherwise. COVID struck and we had to use some creative ways to hold our SD conventions across the state and we were successful. Now we are being faced with rapidly changing threats to our Republican State Convention.  Three weeks ago, the mayor of Houston stated he was going to allow the convention to proceed.  He then changed his tune and requested us to withdraw our convention.  The SREC, through a zoom meeting, decided to proceed with the convention as planned. If the RPT would have canceled, it would have cost our party $500,000+. Yesterday, July 8th, as you have probably already heard, the Mayor of Houston after several threats, has decided to cancel the 2020 RPT convention.   A lawsuit was filed today in return by the Republican Party of Texas in the District Court in Houston for breach of contract. Here is the link to the current press release.
A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) has been filed, and a hearing is taking place right now at 4:30 pm. in an attempt to restrain the mayor from canceling the event. If we do not prevail, we expect an appeal to be filed to the next higher court. We are intending to continue to hold this convention as planned as we feel it is in the best interest of our party, and the process that we go through at our convention.  A few different options are being considered, and a virtual convention could be a possibility.  If you could be patient for a while longer, we will soon learn how we will need to proceed and notify you once those decisions are made.

[Update: The Supreme Court of Texas will hold a hearing on the RPT’s suit against Houston on Saturday, July 11th at 5:00 PM. The SREC will hold an Emergency Meeting after the hearing has concluded. You may watch the SREC Zoom meeting on the livestream on the RPT facebook page or via the RPT’s Youtube channel.]

I appreciate your prayers for all these things.

Most Sincerely,
Mark Dorazio
SREC SD25

Events · Reports From Your SREC - Blog

2020 Primary Runoff Election Dates Are Extended

Early voting will begin June 29th instead of July 6th.
This extension, which doubles the period for early voting, was set by Governor Abbott.
Monday, June 29, 2020 – first day to vote early
Friday, July 3rd and Saturday, July 4th – no polls will be open for voting (holiday)
Friday, July 10, 2020 – last day to vote early
July 14th, Runoff Primary Election Day:  Polls will be open 7:00 AM CST to 7:00 PM CST

NOTE: An early voting mail ballot that is not received by 7:00 pm on election day may not be counted unless the ballot may be counted late under 86.007(d), which applies to ballots mailed from outside the United State (Sec. 86.007(d)), late domestic ballots (Sec. 86.007(a)(2)), and ballots from members of the armed forces and merchant marine of the United States, their spouses and dependents (Sec. 101.057). See entry for Wednesday, July 15, 2020, and entry for Monday, July 20, 2020.

Source:  Texas Secretary of State’s office, https://www.sos.texas.gov/elections/laws/advisory-2020-13.shtml#Jul14

Source: Texas Tribune, https://www.texastribune.org/2020/05/11/texas-2020-july-primary-runoffs-coronavirus-early-voting/