Rep. Party of Texas Update on Convention / Delegate Rules with delayed Primary

From: Don Z.
Sent on: Sunday, February 26, 2012 10:42 AM

RPT Convention Update
                SREC and County Chairs Swing Into Action

    Last Wednesday's redistricting hearing in San Antonio [2]made it
   clear that there would not be a Texas Primary in time for precinct
    conventions to be held at the same time as the primary election.
    Therefore, this made it an impossibility that the Republican and
   Democratic Parties could proceed under the provisions of the Texas
   Election Code relative to hosting state conventions. Upon returning
   to Austin from the trial that afternoon, the RPT swung into action
   to propose a remedy to the Court as the Court had instructed us to
                                   do.

       [2012-02-officials.jpg] Immediately following the Wednesday
   hearing, Chairman Steve Munisteri met with RPT staff to discuss all
     possible options regarding the convention process, in order to
    present alternatives to the State Republican Executive Committee
   (SREC). Working with the staff, the Chairman was able to determine
   relatively quickly that there were only a few viable alternatives.
    The next day on Thursday, the Chairman commenced a meeting of the
    RPT Officials' Committee, comprised of seven members elected from
   the SREC (Russ Duerstine, Josh Flynn, Rex Lamb, Jean McIver, Jason
   Moore, Hal Talton & Rebecca Williamson), the National Committeeman
    Bill Crocker and National Committeewoman Borah Van Dormolen, the
   General Counsel Patrick O'Daniel and Assistant General Counsel Eric
      Opiela, the Treasurer Tom Mechler and Assistant Treasurer Tom
   Washington, the Secretary Mandy Tschoepe, the Parliamentarian Butch
   Davis and Vice-Chairwoman Melinda Fredricks. The Chairman met with
    them by teleconference and went over the recommendations from the
       staff. In general terms, the recommended process allows for
    delegates to be picked directly at either a county or senatorial
   district convention without the necessity of precinct conventions.
        However, under this option, the functions of the precinct
   conventions are preserved - that being to allow maximum grassroots
    participation, presentation of resolutions, and a fair allocation
                              of delegates.

     Once the outline of a consensus plan was reached, the Chairman
      scheduled a statewide teleconference with the entire SREC on
    Friday, February 17th. The Chairman set up two calls at different
     times of the day so that all SREC could participate and allowed
     every SREC member as much time as they wished to speak. The end
    result was that the plan developed from the Officials' Committee
     was modified further so as to allow each individual county the
   option of attempting to hold precinct conventions if they determine
   it is feasible and logistically possible. It was then decided that
    the attorneys would be given the task of drafting proposed rules
   changes and they did so over the next several days. In addition to
    counsel for the party drafting the rules, input was obtained from
     Rules Committee Chairman Dan Pickens and Rules Committee member
       Clint Moore (who had drafted the revised national delegate
     selection process in the past), along with input from National
           Committeeman and RNC General Counsel Bill Crocker.

     These rules were then distributed to every County Chairman via
     email on Tuesday evening, February 21st. Two separate statewide
    conference calls were setup on Wednesday, February 22nd, in order
    to obtain input from the county chairmen on the process. Based on
    these conference calls, along with feedback from other interested
     party leaders around the state, the proposed rules were tweaked
   further. An emergency SREC meeting has been set for next Wednesday,
    February 29th in Austin, to approve the proposed rules. We expect
   to have a draft of the proposed rules completed by early next week,
        and the Party will post them online via [3]TexasGOP.org.

   We have received a number of questions from around the state which
                 we would like to address in this email.

       Q: Why can't we simply have precinct conventions as normal?

    A: The Republican Party of Texas has approximately 5500 precincts
   where we have precinct chairmen, and thousands more where we don't.
      Normally, precinct conventions are held where the primary is
    conducted, thereby affording the opportunity for a meeting space
       that doesn't cost the county parties any additional funds.
   Moreover, voters can easily identify where the location is, and if
    there is no precinct chairman - Republicans can still show up at
    the conclusion of voting and obtain a precinct convention packet
      from the election judge and conduct the precinct convention.
   Without a primary, it will not be practical for many counties to be
   able to locate sites for all their precinct conventions, and/or to
     bear the expense - a task made even more difficult in precincts
     without chairmen. Therefore, under the rules, counties would be
        given the option of either attempting to conduct precinct
     conventions, or if they can't, to proceed directly to county or
              senatorial conventions (as the case may be).

    Q: Will the elimination of precinct conventions reduce grassroots
                              involvement?

    A: Under the proposed rules, we believe that there is a chance to
     actually increase grassroots involvement. This is because every
   registered voter who takes an oath of affiliation to the Republican
       Party will be allowed to attend their district conventions.
    Arguably, this allows more grassroots participation because under
      the existing system which starts with precinct conventions, a
       certain percentage of precinct convention attendees are not
    eligible to participate in a county / district convention. Under
       the proposed rules, everyone would be able to participate.

    Q: Will people be able to propose resolutions as they normally do
                        at a precinct convention?

    A: Everyone will be able to have the same opportunity to propose
   any resolution at the district convention, that they normally would
                        at a precinct convention.

           Q: Why can't RPT simply move the State Convention?

   A: There are many reasons. First, if we move the State Convention -
     to what date would we move it? As it is, there is no guarantee
   Texas would have a primary in time to allow precinct conventions on
   any date that we pick for the State Convention. The reason for this
   is that we have to have our State Convention in time to submit our
      delegate lists to the National Convention, 35 days before the
      National Convention starts. This means that we would have to
   conclude a State Convention no later than July 23. If, for example,
    Texas has a June 26th primary, there would not be enough time to
   follow the Election Code (which prescribes for precinct conventions
    and district conventions three weeks later) and then have enough
       time to process all the delegates. Consequently, under some
   scenarios, even moving the State Convention could not preserve the
   existing process. Second, where would the State Convention be held
    if moved? There are only four convention sites in Texas that can
      accommodate the number of participants that we expect at this
    year's event. Moreover, it is necessary to block out thousands of
   hotel rooms in order to accommodate the vast majority of delegates
    and alternates who come in from out of town. These facilities and
    hotels have to be reserved and contracted for well in advance of
    the convention. For example, this year's convention site in Fort
    Worth was decided upon 6 years ago, and we signed hotel contracts
   last year. Finally, there would be significant financial penalties
      to both parties if the conventions are moved. With all these
     considerations in mind, both political parties testified to the
     Court that it is simply not feasible to move State Conventions.

     We hope that this email has provided you with not only a status
   report on where we are relative to the convention process, but also
    answers some questions about why the RPT is proceeding in the way
    that we are. If any of you have any additional questions, please
   feel free to email them to us via the [4]TexasGOP.org website, and
                we'll get back to you as best as we can.


                        [5][bco.png] [6][bvs.png]
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References

   1. http://clicks.electionemail.com/trkr/?c=3672&g=1497&u=c40b00eee6e93ef7b44f3e5ca66f4614&p=bef939e361a05e953649b9b686415feb&t=2
   2. http://clicks.electionemail.com/trkr/?c=3672&g=1497&u=c40b00eee6e93ef7b44f3e5ca66f4614&p=bef939e361a05e953649b9b686415feb&t=2posts/236-urgent-redistricting-update-x-primary-moved-again
   3. http://clicks.electionemail.com/trkr/?c=3672&g=1497&u=c40b00eee6e93ef7b44f3e5ca66f4614&p=bef939e361a05e953649b9b686415feb&t=2
   4. http://clicks.electionemail.com/trkr/?c=3672&g=1497&u=c40b00eee6e93ef7b44f3e5ca66f4614&p=bef939e361a05e953649b9b686415feb&t=2contacts/new
   5. http://clicks.electionemail.com/trkr/?c=3672&g=1497&u=c40b00eee6e93ef7b44f3e5ca66f4614&p=bef939e361a05e953649b9b686415feb&t=2contribute
   6. http://clicks.electionemail.com/trkr/?c=3672&g=1497&u=c40b00eee6e93ef7b44f3e5ca66f4614&p=bef939e361a05e953649b9b686415feb&t=2join
   7. http://clicks.electionemail.com/trkr/?c=3672&g=1497&u=b21cd9000d98b6e76e568c892c20e72f&p=bef939e361a05e953649b9b686415feb&t=2
   8. http://clicks.electionemail.com/trkr/?c=3672&g=1497&u=4607c11524cf8a8c7f9979f664fd7735&p=bef939e361a05e953649b9b686415feb&t=2!/RepPartyofTexas
   9. http://clicks.electionemail.com/trkr/?c=3672&g=1497&u=501d519868d87a46d8c8b187a031ad7c&p=bef939e361a05e953649b9b686415feb&t=2

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                                        Austin, TX 78701

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