While James Dickey, the current Republican Party of Texas (RPT) State Chair, has recently been dealing with questions surrounding his former problems with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), information has come to light about whether he purposely misled the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) to get elected RPT State Chair on 6/3/2017. At the Friday State Chair candidate forum on the day before he was elected, a question was posed to both candidates by the forum moderator, Patrick O’Daniel who also was serving at the time as the RPT General Counsel, related to retaining the RPT party officers. The video of the forum question can be found here (Dickey’s response begins at 1:00): https://youtu.be/18FUngPuNME
Here’s the question and Dickey’s response:
O’Daniel: “Will you keep the current party officers and committee chairs in place and if not, who will you replace?”
Dickey: “As both Patrick (referring to the RPT General Counsel who asked the question) and Tom (referring to the RPT Treasurer, Tom Washington) can confirm, I had conversations with both, asking if they were willing to stay on if I win election tomorrow.
There’s a very logical process for making change. You figure out the goal, you figure out the talents and skill needed, and match the people with the talents and skills needed. Until I’ve got an indication that we’re not going to meet the goal or that we don’t have the necessary talents and skills, my bias is to leave things alone. And that’s exactly what I’ll do and that’s why I extended those invitations to Patrick and Tom.”
O’Daniel: “And just to make it clear on my own part, I did say I’d accept for either one (meaning Dickey or his opponent Rick Figueroa). So, just to be clear.”
The next morning after Dickey was elected by a margin of one vote, he fired all of the officers except the Sargent-at-Arms and the Finance Chair. When he was confronted at lunch by Melinda Fredricks, former RPT Vice-Chair and current SREC member, she asked him why he lied to the SREC. His response was “I didn’t lie, I chose my words carefully and never said I would keep the officers, I said I asked them if they were willing to stay, not saying I would have them stay.” Melinda then asked him “why did you mislead us?” He replied “I had to or I would have lost the race because 2 votes would be determined based on my response.”
Judge for yourself as to the above transcript (or go online and watch the video) but most would argue he made it clear he would keep the officers by saying he “extended those invitations to Patrick and Tom”.
Delegates will have to decide whether Dickey deserves to be trusted with our great party and should he be elected State Chair at the June 14-16 State Convention in San Antonio based on other character questions that have been raised about him and because of his previous action to purposely mislead the SREC concerning the party officers to get elected.