Dear Fellow Precinct Chairs,
I am writing to you to express my displeasure and deepest concern with some of the events that transpired at the Executive Committee meeting last evening. For those of you not in attendance, here is a brief recap of the events that are relevant to this e-mail:
- Precinct Chairman Sharon Roberts gives a “legislative update” lasting approximately 40 minutes. This “update” consisted primarily of attacks on numerous members of the Texas Republican leadership and misrepresentations of events during the legislative session. Additionally, Senator Joan Huffman sat in attendance for the entire meeting but was not afforded an opportunity to speak (no candidates or elected officials were allowed speaking time). Senator Huffman would have been far more qualified to present a legislative update to the body. I am sure that Senator Huffman, who has long been supportive of our local Party, would have been more than happy to give us an informative and accurate presentation about the legislative session that would not have resorted to the divisive tone that permeated Ms. Roberts’ presentation.
- After Ms. Roberts’ legislative update, another precinct chairman gave a presentation and handed out a printed packet that included two posts from Ms. Roberts’ blog. These blog posts again consisted primarily of attacks on Republican elected officials, as well as an attack on an unnamed Houston area TEA Party leader.
- Regular Party business resumed after these presentations. After Party business and public comments had been concluded, Chairman Miller stated that he would be making an announcement immediately after adjourning the meeting. Chairman Miller then announced that he would be resigning as Chairman of the Fort Bend County Republican Party to explore other opportunities. He subsequently announced his support of Sharon Roberts as his successor from the podium.
While Rick and I have had disagreements, nobody can argue that he has worked very hard during his nearly 4 year tenure as County Chairman for our Party. Serving as a County Chairman is a very difficult task that requires an extraordinary commitment of time and energy. I have tremendous respect for anybody that offers himself for this service and Rick is deserving of our thanks for the countless hours he has committed to our Party.
However, I can not remain silent as I witness a power play that involves the outgoing Chairman seeking to provide every institutional advantage possible to his handpicked successor. When I represented Senate District 18 on the State Republican Executive Committee in 2009, we faced a similar situation involving the resignation of the State Chairman and the need for the committee to elect somebody to fill the unexpired term.
The experience of the Republican Party of Texas in 2009 should have been used as model for handling the vacancy we now have. The outgoing State Chairman gave ample notice of her resignation to allow potential candidates to explore the possibility of a candidacy and to organize support. The outgoing Chairman also remained neutral and there were no visible signs that there were any efforts underway by the leadership to influence the outcome of the election to fill the vacancy and the election was conducted without any political gamesmanship. Unfortunately, in our case, the outgoing Chairman chose to give his handpicked successor significant speaking time at our meeting (to bash other Republicans, no less) before publicly announcing his endorsement of her. Further, the outgoing Chairman timed his resignation such that we will be electing his successor on August 16th, a mere two weeks from the time his resignation was announced. This leaves very little time for potential candidates to explore a candidacy and organize a campaign.
We are a Party that prides itself on openness and transparency. The actions of the outgoing Chairman to promote the candidacy of his handpicked successor at the expense of other potential candidates are anything but open and transparent. As the outgoing Chairman noted in his closing remarks, he had been contemplating his resignation for some time. This decision was not sudden, nor was it prompted by some sort of personal emergency. There is absolutely no reason why these events have transpired as they have except to provide the maximum political advantage possible for his handpicked successor. These sorts of actions are detrimental to the health of our Party and will only create divisions among us when we need to be focused solely on victory in November, 2012.
Like many of you, I become disgusted when members of the GOP leadership try to game the system in favor of “their” candidate over our preferred choice instead of allowing for a truly fair and open election. Just as many of us rightfully condemn when this happens at the national level, we should condemn it when it happens in our local Party.
I do not know Ms. Roberts, but she appears to be very concerned about the direction our State and Nation have headed and sincere in her beliefs. I appreciate her involvement in the Party, as I do the involvement of anybody who is committed to working to ensure a Republican victory next November. However, I simply cannot condone or endorse the manner in which her candidacy for County Chairman has come about and is being promoted. Regardless of the outcome of this election, it is my most profound desire that our new Chairman work in good faith with ALL Fort Bend County Republicans so that we are united in bringing the fight to the Democrats and not our fellow Republicans.
(the meeting referenced was held Tuesday, August 2nd)
(note: if you would like to send in a letter to the editor email it to [email protected])