As you surely know by now, the Republican Party of Texas’ State Republican Executive Committee members voted to censure outgoing Speaker Joe Straus. And the people rejoiced. Or, more specifically, a few activists in the party.
Others, not so much.
I think that Ms. Bingham has a pretty good handle on the issue.
One Harris County SREC member, Mark Ramsey, has waited a long time for this and was thrilled with the vote. And he came up with a way for people to show their support of the “Rule 44 Censure”. Here is his idea:
Sounds like a plan to me. Of course, past experience says that most keyboard warriors will not contribute but who knows? Maybe this will be wildly successful and tens of thousands of Republican primary voters will send in $44 to the state party. Of course, they will probably need another link to do so because the link Mark provided goes to their Federal account but the Party can fix that.
And it looks like the Party could sure use the money. I went in and took a look at the party’s finances under the last three chairmen, Steve Munisteri, Tom Mechler and of course, James Dickey, the current star of the show. Below are a few of the things I found.
First, total funds raised in the State accounts and the time each chair was (has been) in the office.
Munisteri was a fund raising machine. Mechler held his own. Dickey needs to up his game.
Here is what Cash on Hand looked like when the previous two chairs stepped down and at the end of the current chair’s last reporting period:
Note that I included the Federal account, which for Dickey is at the end of November. This makes the COH situation look much better than it really was at the end of the year. Notice that during Dickey’s near 7 months, the party’s COH at the state level has dropped by more than half.
These levels aren’t as dire as the time that the Harris County Republican Party’s doors were locked by the landlord but they are a cause for concern. Hence, all you Oust Straus warriors need to pony up and send in your $44, post haste.
Dickey has gone to great lengths to stress that his vote to censure the Speaker was done with a great deal of thought and was only done in the interest of party unity. No, seriously, that’s the line he is using. And have no fear, he is going to have the RPT staff hard at work on the “messaging” surrounding the censure.
I mean, what else does the staff have to do, right?
Now, you might believe that Mr. Dickey thought long and hard about his vote. You might accept his explanation that he voted the way he did for party unity and to put this matter to rest. You might. I don’t.
Remember, Mr. Dickey was not voted into his position by the delegates to the convention. He’ll get that opportunity at the next convention. For now, he is the appointed chair, appointed by the very same SREC members that he had to get support from to be appointed. No biggie, right? Well, maybe but I think if you look at the finances closely, some of you are going to agree with me that Mr. Dickey’s vote was secured from the start of this nonsense.
Even though he was appointed and not elected, it took money to convince the SREC members that the other guy is a RINO and Dickey is the true, pure conservative that the party needs. Let’s take a look at Dickey’s financial backers.
Okay, so he raised just under $30k to get the job. I suspect he’ll have to raise a fair bit more to retain it. Note James Skaggs’ contribution of $10k.
Do you remember a new political action committee named the New Leadership PAC? Their sole purpose in life is to Oust Straus and his “lieutenants”. Let’s take a look at their top donors:
Huh. There is Mr. James Skaggs with another $10k contribution. Okay, whatever, it’s a tie in but who cares? Right?
Well, let’s now take a look at the top donors to the RPT during Mr. Dickey’s short tenure.
Now, do you really, truly, way down deep in your heart think that Mr. Dickey ever for one second considered not voting to censure Speaker Straus? He wanted unity all right – with the people that are funding the party and the Oust Straus movement.
For more background on the personalities in the above lists, see Scott Braddock’s report over at QuorumReport.com.
And for you Oust Straus’rs, best click over to the RPT website and hit ’em with your $44. I’m looking forward to seeing the tens of thousands of $44 donations on the next campaign finance report!
Here is that financial document handed out at the Oust Straus meeting of the SREC: