by Jean McIver
Due to ethical issues that have recently arisen concerning past behavior of James Dickey, current Republican Party of Texas (RPT) State Chair, many have begun asking questions about his handling of the party’s finances and the validity of his claims surrounding RPT fundraising. The ethical issues previously addressed include the SEC complaint against Dickey for defrauding investors (James Dickey’s SEC Problems) and Dickey misleading the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) members to win election (James Dickey Dismissal of Republican Party of Texas Officers ).
Below are enumerated several more integrity concerns about Dickey:
At the recent Harris County Candidate Forum in Houston, Dickey made claims of the RPT having on-hand $1.2 million for ongoing operations (reported by Quorum Report). The numbers he gave at the Houston forum are a misrepresentation of the current situation, a misrepresentation that Mr. Dickey has been called out on more than once. Here’s the rub: Over $560,000 of the $1.2 million belongs to TAXPAYERS to pay for the Primary Elections, and another almost $162,000 is restricted funds raised by others for other purposes, leaving actual RPT funds somewhere around $550,000 (not his reported $1.2 million) for RPT ongoing operations [http://alethos.com/jbm/042018_RPT_Qtrly_mtg_cash_report.pdf]
At a recent Bexar County Candidate Forum in San Antonio, Dickey claimed to have raised more money that his predecessor. A review of FEC and TEC records shows this is also untrue, since under his predecessor’s leadership the RPT raised $7.9 million, while during Dickey’s tenure it raised $1.7 million [http://alethos.com/jbm/RPT_donation_summary_comparison_public.pdf]
In the area of using RPT resources for intraparty races, the SREC Bylaws say “…No Party funds or resources shall be used, either directly or indirectly, to influence intraparty contests…” and “Staff members shall remain neutral in intraparty contests for both public and Party offices.” After Dickey announced his campaign, he hired one of the RPT contract staff members who now works at the RPT and for his campaign simultaneously (he calls her a consultant) [http://alethos.com/jbm/Bylaw_abt_RPT_employ_neutral.pdf]
Furthermore, in the RPT employee handbook modified under Dickey, it includes this statement: “… every dollar the party has comes from donors. Donors who are trusting us to use their funds as wisely and effectively as possible. This is a trust we hold dear and must all consider carefully every time we spend any money.” In reality, Dickey used Grassroots Club donations for numerous personal meals (something not done by either of the two previous state chairmen) including personal meals at La Madeleine’s, Buc-cees’, and Bohanan’s (a prime steak and seafood restaurant in San Antonio). He also claimed reimbursement for mileage to/from his personal residence to the RPT headquarters (neither of his two predecessors sought mileage reimbursement from their local residences to the headquarters while serving) and in January claimed mileage to a Dallas doctor’s office and called it “outreach.” [http://alethos.com/jbm/Dickey_travel_exp.pdf]
Many party regulars have become dismayed at Dickey’s total lack of transparency and honesty, especially in the area of the party’s finances. And many are now saying that his SEC problems truly were a window into substantial character issues that, unfortunately, continue to this day. In their eyes, they have gained a greater appreciation for the investors defrauded by Dickey and his partner over 14 years ago when he told them, as he is now telling Republicans, that there is much more money available than there really is. This time there won’t be an SEC investigation into his conduct. The State Convention delegates will decide if he deserves to be elected.
Jean McIver is a lifelong Republican having served the RPT for eight years as a SREC member from Frisco and in various other party leadership roles.