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Status  Report 4-4-20

Status Report 4-4-20

Good afternoon,

I hope this update finds you and your family in continued good health.

There are three matters about which I wanted to update you today:

  • Today’s Emergency SREC Meeting
  • Waiver Requests to the Republican National Committee
  • New Working Group to Study Potential Alternatives, if Necessary, for Senate and County Conventions

This morning the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) met electronically to address two key issues that directly affect our grassroots – the State Convention and National Convention delegate allocation:

  • The SREC voted this morning to move the State Convention in Houston from May 14-16 to July 16-18.
  • The SREC voted to allocate our 44 at-large delegates using the statewide allocation method under RPT Rules, so as not to jeopardize our delegation strength to the National Convention. With this change, all Texas delegates were secured for President Trump. 

Both of these votes will need to be ratified at an in-person meeting of the SREC as soon as it is feasible, but the SREC took the necessary steps to keep the business of the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) moving forward during this pandemic.  

It is an incredible feat that we have been able to move the dates of our State Convention – plans which began over three years ago – with no loss of space to hold our Convention and with no additional cost to RPT or the delegates. This is a major accomplishment and I applaud RPT Executive Director Kyle Whatley for his deft handling of the move with the George R. Brown Convention Center and our Convention hotels. They have proven to be good partners as RPT does our part to #stopthespread and flatten the curve of this virus.

Both the vote of the move of our Convention date and the vote for delegate allocation now puts the Republican Party of Texas in the position to request the necessary waivers from the Republican National Committee (RNC), so that our delegation to National Convention – the second largest delegation in the country – is not penalized because of the impact of Coronavirus on our Convention process.  

RPT General Counsel Wade Emmert has been working closely with the RNC legal team and is preparing the necessary waiver requests for submission early next week. We expect the waivers to be considered at the next RNC Executive Committee meeting.

But our work is not complete. I have appointed a working group to evaluate options and alternatives for our Senate District and County Conventions, with focus on suggested systems to use in place of in-person meetings – if that becomes necessary – and how those systems might scale to our State Convention as well. This group will be led by SREC Member for Senate District 30 and Chair of RPT Convention Arrangements Deon Starnes. Members include RPT Executive Director Kyle Whatley, RPT Parliamentarian Chris Howe, SREC Member for Senate District 7 Mark Ramsey and software developer Dave Gephart. We will keep you apprised of the group’s progress.

I close this update reflecting on another very productive day at RPT. My thanks to the SREC for a successful and historic electronic meeting today and for their leadership in this moment. My thanks to the wonderful team at RPT who never stop working for you, keeping our Party running smoothly as we navigate this challenging time. 

I will keep you updated as other important developments occur.

God bless you and your family and may God continue to richly bless our great state of Texas.

Sincerely,

James Dickey

Chairman, Republican Party of Texas

The post Status Report 4-4-20 appeared first on Republican Party of Texas.


Source: RPT Updates from Chairman

Status  Update 4-4-20

Status Update 4-4-20

Good afternoon,

I hope this update finds you and your family in continued good health.

There are three matters about which I wanted to update you today:

  • Today’s Emergency SREC Meeting
  • Waiver Requests to the Republican National Committee
  • New Working Group to Study Potential Alternatives, if Necessary, for Senate and County Conventions

This morning the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) met electronically to address two key issues that directly affect our grassroots – the State Convention and National Convention delegate allocation:

  • The SREC voted this morning to move the State Convention in Houston from May 14-16 to July 16-18.
  • The SREC voted to allocate our 44 at-large delegates using the statewide allocation method under RPT Rules, so as not to jeopardize our delegation strength to the National Convention. With this change, all Texas delegates were secured for President Trump. 

Both of these votes will need to be ratified at an in-person meeting of the SREC as soon as it is feasible, but the SREC took the necessary steps to keep the business of the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) moving forward during this pandemic.  

It is an incredible feat that we have been able to move the dates of our State Convention – plans which began over three years ago – with no loss of space to hold our Convention and with no additional cost to RPT or the delegates. This is a major accomplishment and I applaud RPT Executive Director Kyle Whatley for his deft handling of the move with the George R. Brown Convention Center and our Convention hotels. They have proven to be good partners as RPT does our part to #stopthespread and flatten the curve of this virus.

Both the vote of the move of our Convention date and the vote for delegate allocation now puts the Republican Party of Texas in the position to request the necessary waivers from the Republican National Committee (RNC), so that our delegation to National Convention – the second largest delegation in the country – is not penalized because of the impact of Coronavirus on our Convention process.  

RPT General Counsel Wade Emmert has been working closely with the RNC legal team and is preparing the necessary waiver requests for submission early next week. We expect the waivers to be considered at the next RNC Executive Committee meeting.

But our work is not complete. I have appointed a working group to evaluate options and alternatives for our Senate District and County Conventions, with focus on suggested systems to use in place of in-person meetings – if that becomes necessary – and how those systems might scale to our State Convention as well. This group will be led by SREC Member for Senate District 30 and Chair of RPT Convention Arrangements Deon Starnes. Members include RPT Executive Director Kyle Whatley, RPT Parliamentarian Chris Howe, SREC Member for Senate District 7 Mark Ramsey and software developer Dave Gephart. We will keep you apprised of the group’s progress.

I close this update reflecting on another very productive day at RPT. My thanks to the SREC for a successful and historic electronic meeting today and for their leadership in this moment. My thanks to the wonderful team at RPT who never stop working for you, keeping our Party running smoothly as we navigate this challenging time. 

I will keep you updated as other important developments occur.

God bless you and your family and may God continue to richly bless our great state of Texas.

Sincerely,

James Dickey

Chairman, Republican Party of Texas

The post Status Update 4-4-20 appeared first on Republican Party of Texas.


Source: RPT Updates from Chairman

Important RPT Update

Important RPT Update

My Fellow Texas Republican,

Throughout the coming weeks, I will remain in direct contact with important status reports to keep you connected with the latest information during this pandemic and its impact on the strategic operations and business of the Republican Party of Texas.

The main thing I want you to take away from this email and to know every day is this: we are working incredibly hard to keep our plans on track for Victory in November. The business of the Republican Party of Texas is working to elect and re-elect our Republicans from the White House to the courthouse. We are prepared and excited to continue to execute on the winning plan we mapped out and set in place over the last 18 months to deliver all of our electoral votes for President Trump and win big for Republicans across Texas on November 3. We will stay on course for Victory in November and we ask you to join us in that mission! 

A BRIEF RECAP

Last week, I shared my gratitude to Republican Leadership across our great state as they complied with their local emergency declarations and either held their Senate District or County Conventions safely because they were under the 10-person threshold, or adjourned their meetings for a later date so that they would take place after May 15 – outside the 8-week CDC suspension window. Leaders of nearly three hundred conventions ensured that an effort that could have come off the rails very easily instead worked smoothly and efficiently. Thank you all, very much, again.

This Saturday, April 4, the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) will meet electronically. This is our next step to finalize the details to officially move our State Convention from May 14-16 to July 16-18 in Houston.

CORONAVIRUS SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES EXTENDED TO APRIL 30

In his Sunday news conference, President Donald Trump extended his Coronavirus social distancing guidelines to April 30. Today, at his press conference, Governor Greg Abbott joined the President in extending those guidelines out to April 30 for the state of Texas. This specific extension does not affect the postponements of our Senate District and County Conventions, as RPT had already recommended moving those local Conventions well past May 15, and made provisions for them to be held as late as June 27. 

The Republican Party of Texas is 100% committed to the Coronavirus response plans that continue to be communicated by President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Governor Greg Abbott. We have a duty to the safety and the health of those who work at the Party and those who wish to become delegates to the State Convention. The President, Vice President and the Governor have given us the information we need to make the decisions we must in a time when we need it most. 

The Republican Party of Texas remains committed to doing all we can to flatten the curve and #slowthespread of Coronavirus. Please continue to stay up-to-date on the latest executive orders of President Trump and Governor Greg Abbott. We will continue to stay in touch with you about how news from our leaders affects the strategic operations and business of the Republican Party of Texas.

I echo the President’s message and that of our Governor – please stay safe and heed the guidelines that have been announced. Your health is of the utmost importance. RPT has gone to great lengths to do our part to keep you healthy and stop the spread of this awful illness. This virus is very contagious and not worth the risk of a careless outing. Let’s continue to pray for each other and keep up communication and visits online while we cannot be together in person.

RPT SERVES DURING THE PANDEMIC

RPT has reignited #RPTServes to connect those Texans who need help with those who can help. 

#RPTServes is once again calling for “all hands on deck”. Though we all must practice social distancing and take every precaution to prevent the spread of this virus, there is much that we as individuals and as a community can do to assist and affirm the most vulnerable during this pandemic. I kicked off #RPTServes by donating blood. You can catch the video here if you missed it.

We are asking all Texas Republicans to help out. Some of the ways you can do so include: checking in on your neighbors to see how they are doing, giving blood at a blood bank to support those at the hospitals and keep up the inventory, donating to a local food bank to help families in need, calling first responders or health care workers to see if you can support them with coffee or breakfast or offer to cover the cost for those items, or by creating a Facebook group to keep those in your neighborhood connected.

Today is Great American Takeout Tuesday! #RPTServes encourages support for our local restaurants by ordering takeout meals throughout the week or purchasing gift cards to celebrate special occasions or to support our first responders and healthcare workers.

We have posted these and other ideas at our RPT Serves Facebook group. Join that group today by clicking here!

NEWS ON STATE CONVENTION & CONVENTION HOTEL ARRANGEMENTS

The SREC will meet electronically this Saturday, April 4 to vote on the move of our State Convention from May 14-16 to July 16-18 in Houston at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The RPT Officials Committee recently cleared the path for RPT Executive Director, Kyle Whatley, to negotiate details of contract revisions with the George R. Brown Convention Center, the Marriott Marquis (our Convention hotel) and with other Convention vendors in preparation for the April 4 SREC Meeting.

RPT will be opening Convention registration and the first hotel room block after the Easter Holiday on April 15. Out of consideration for those who will be holding their County/SD conventions in May or even June, we will not be releasing the full block of rooms at the Marriott Marquis Hotel when registration opens on April 15. Instead we will be releasing the first block on April 15, when registration opens, then again in May and again in June. All the dates and times for releasing rooms will be posted well in advance. 

Grassroots Club members who sign up with an annual membership or monthly membership at $25 per month have first advance access to book convention hotel rooms ahead of each new room-block release! If you are not already a member, sign up for the Grassroots Club today

Because of pre-existing commitments at the Marriott Marquis for the new convention dates we will not have as large a room block as we had for May. We will, though, also have room blocks available at several hotels that are a short walk to the Convention Center and on a shuttle route that runs continuously between those hotels and the convention center Monday – Friday.

NOVEMBER IS COMING

I am grateful for the vision and foresight to begin our march to victory in 2020 immediately following the 2018 election. Had we not spent every day since that election preparing for victory this November, we would be in a very difficult position right now. But because we went to work immediately in November 2018 to prepare for November 2020, we are right on track to execute our plans despite the worst pandemic in a century. Because of the vision and foresight we had and the hard work we put in, the Republican Party of Texas ended 2019 with a record $4.4M on hand and we head into this second quarter of 2020 with a never-before-reached $4.7M on hand to defeat Democrats this November. 

We are making the necessary adjustments from in-person to phones and digital efforts for our field staff. Training is continuing online. We will continue to work tirelessly to hit our milestones as we continue to move forward to Victory in November. 

The Republican Party of Texas is going to stay on the right track to win in November for President Trump and our Republicans up and down the ballot!

Join us on this critical mission to see Victory in November! One way you can help keep up our momentum and do so at a safe distance — sign up for our 10K for 10R program to help register voters. We have our RPT VEP team on the phones now and they are getting new voters registered in Texas! You can be a part of it, too! Volunteers like you are the lifeblood that will keep our momentum strong! Sign up today and an RPT VEP staff member will call you to get you going!

This is an unprecedented time, and we face unprecedented challenges. But this is a time – and these are challenges – that we will conquer as long as we are united. I will continue to be in communication with you as we navigate this unique time for our Party.

As President Trump says, we are all in this together. Let’s keep working together to WIN TOGETHER in November 2020!

For Victory,

Image

James Dickey
Chairman, Republican Party of Texas

The post Important RPT Update appeared first on Republican Party of Texas.


Source: RPT Updates from Chairman

#RPTServes Reignites to Help Texans During Coronavirus Emergency

#RPTServes Reignites to Help Texans During Coronavirus Emergency

Dear Fellow Texas Republican,
It is in times like these that our Texas spirit of community soars in helping Texans pull through a challenging moment.

The Republican Party of Texas is doing its part to keep Texans safe, and we will do our part to help our fellow Texans through this trying time.

To do just that, we are excited to announce that the Republican Party of Texas has reignited #RPTServes.

Chairman James Dickey Kicks Off #RPTServes by Donating Blood!

You may recall in August of 2017 – when thousands of our fellow Texans faced utter devastation in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. All of us watched friends and neighbors lose their homes, loved ones, and property. We were heartbroken, but we weren’t helpless. Determined not to let Texans lose hope, we felt the call to stand up and serve in any way that we could. The very next day, we activated our #RPTServes initiative to make a difference in the lives of those affected by the storm. 

Who would have thought that less than three years later, Texas and our nation would find themselves in the unprecedented situation we are in today? Once again, we feel the tug on our hearts to “do the something” that we can do.

#RPTServes is once again calling for “all hands on deck” — this time to come to the assistance of Texans in need and those who are most at risk from the COVID-19 virus. For those who are unable to venture out for needed food and supplies, the days and weeks ahead are full of uncertainty and worry.

Though we all must practice social distancing and take every precaution to prevent the spread of this virus, there is much that we as a community can do to assist and affirm the most vulnerable during this pandemic. 

#RPTServes is announcing four key strategic initiatives as follow to once again come to the aid of our neighbors in this difficult time:

  1. Bridge the gap between the needs of our most vulnerable Texans and the resources they need by utilizing our RPT grassroots network to garner and deliver aid where it is needed most to include recommendations of food to local food banks.
  2. Support our community medical professionals and first responders by working with local groups and organizations to offer both tangible and moral support to those on the front lines of this battle. 
  3. Foster the support of local small businesses who are struggling during this unprecedented time.
  4. Improve life for Texas seniors during this difficult time by inspiring a movement of people of all ages to communicate and connect with those who are isolated and alone. 

Thankfully, there are many ways you can practice social distancing but still help your community RIGHT NOW:

Support those in the frontlines of fighting the virus

Call ahead to your local first responder stations/clinics/hospitals and ask them about donating food or coffee. Coordinate with them about best drop-off locations and times. 

Donate Blood

There is a rising need for blood and plasma donations during these next few weeks. A blood donation right now is critical. If you are a healthy and eligible blood donor, you can go to http://www.aabb.org/tm/donation/Pages/Blood-Bank-Locator.aspx to find a blood bank in your community, or visit https://www.redcross.org/give-blood.html to find blood drives scheduled in your area. It’s easy, can be done at a safe distance from others and can save a life!

Adopt a Food Bank

Encourage your local County Party to adopt a food bank! There are thousands of Texans depending on food distribution centers to meet the needs of their families in this difficult time. You can help. If each of our County Parties adopts a local food bank, together we could help replenish the shelves and meet one of the most critical needs in Texas. You can also make your own individual contribution.

Become a Senior Sidekick

There’s no better way to make a difference for the most vulnerable in your neighborhood than to extend them a visit at a safe distance or, at minimum, make a phone call to check in. Call ahead for the best times, then offer to take them regular meals or to do a grocery run for them. Remind them to check the supply of critical items and needed medications—it can take much longer to refill and restock these items than they are used to. 

Porch Visits

Schedule time with those homebound in your community and visit them through their front door or a window. Bring photos or music to brighten their day. Even if you have to stay on the sidewalk or porch steps, your smile will go a long way to making a day!

Help support small businesses in your community

Purchase gift cards or certificates now that can be used at a later time. Our local businesses need our help today. Support local restaurants by purchasing take-out meals and delivering them to seniors or others in need/clinics/first responders, etc. (Always call first.) Some restaurants are now offering to sell their food in bulk thanks to a recent executive order from Governor Abbott. Consider purchasing that food and then donating it to a local food bank – a win-win!

Get young people involved

Have your kids write letters or draw pictures for quarantined residents of nursing homes or veterans homes. Bring them along to your “porch visits” or have them work with nursing homes to set up Zoom or FaceTime calls with residents. Ask them if they would be willing to contact their teachers and offer their help as online tutors for kids who are struggling. 

Yesterday we shared the relaunch of #RPTServes with our Republican Leadership across the state, and some folks have already sent photos of how they are coming together to help fellow Texans! Please send us your photos at rptserves@texasgop.org and we will share them on RPT’s online platforms! 

These are just a few ways that you can help those who need it today. Please invite others to get involved and join our Facebook group – RPT Serves – where we will be posting daily tips and information. Additionally, you can contact us directly at rptserves@texasgop.org if you know of a group/church/business with specific needs. We can broadcast the information and the ways to help those who have joined the Facebook group – RPT Serves.

Finally, I want to ask you to join me in fervent prayer today and in the coming days for our state and our nation during this pandemic. Please pray for the medical professionals, first responders, and all those putting themselves daily in harm’s way to prevent the spread of the disease and care for those infected. Pray for all those impacted by this virus, and those who are caring for them.


As the weeks go by, you will see more information filter through the RPT social media and through the new Facebook group – RPT Serves. We are calling on you to like and share these vital ways to help with others in your network. Working together, we can help connect those of us who have the ability to help with those who are in most need of assistance… and of hope. Thank you for your willingness to “do the something” that you can do for our fellow Texans in need.

Sincerely,

James Dickey

Chairman, Republican Party of Texas

Follow-Up Information from Last Night’s Town Hall Call

Follow-Up Information from Last Night’s Town Hall Call

My Fellow Texas Republicans,

We are facing unprecedented challenges in our country, our state, and our communities as we respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Last night, after connecting with our SREC Members, Republican County Chairs, and Senate District Convention Chairs yesterday afternoon for a leadership briefing, I held a statewide conference call to update Texas Republicans on the continuing threat of Coronavirus and its impact on our Senate and District Conventions scheduled for March 21 and our biennial State Convention. 

Thank you to Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick for updating us last night on President Trump’s work to combat Coronavirus nationally and the steps he and Governor Greg Abbott are taking to protect Texas communities. We are keeping them, and all Texans, in our thoughts and prayers.

I want to share a recap of last night’s call and reiterate our plan of action and offer guidance.

There are three immediate ways to receive critical updates going forward about your local Conventions and about our State Convention:
1. You can receive text message updates by texting the word “CONVENTION” right now to 72000;
2. You can receive email updates by emailing convention@texasgop.org; or,
3. You can visit our website at texasgop.org and submit your information on the home page.

As a refresher, the purpose of our biennial State Convention is to elect delegates to our National Convention, elect national and state officers, and adopt our platform, priorities, and rules.  The senate district and county conventions play a key role in that process, proposing platform planks and selecting delegates to represent them at the state convention. Obviously, their work must be completed prior to the state convention. 

In other words, there is a logical order to our local and state convention process — a process that has been made more difficult given the rapidly escalating restrictions on public gatherings.

The situation has been evolving quickly, as you are well aware, and we have been working hard to provide you with real-time information and communicate a plan of action that will allow us to fulfill our duties and obligations to our party, our delegates, our President, and ultimately, our nation. Especially at moments like these, communication is critical.

The Republican Party of Texas faces an unprecedented challenge in simultaneously accomplishing two conflicting missions:

1. Do our best to protect the health and safety of our people, their families and friends, and our communities.
2. Comply with Texas Election Code, RPT Rules, and the Rules of the Republican National Committee while safeguarding our delegates’ rights to be fully represented within our Party and at the Republican National Convention.

RPT respects and appreciates that our convention process exists to protect the four basic rights of delegates, which are as follows:

1. Every delegate has the right to attend the convention;
2. Every delegate has the right to make motions;
3. Every delegate has the right to speak in debate; 
4. Every delegate has the right to cast votes.

Sunday evening, the Centers for Disease Control issued an official recommendation to postpone or cancel meetings with 50 people or more for the next 8 weeks. Assuming it is not extended, this 8-week period ends during the timeframe of our biennial State Convention scheduled for May 11th – 16th. 

We took immediate action Sunday night, spoke with President Trump’s team in Texas, our statewide elected officials’ team, our RNC leaders in Texas and Washington and began the process in earnest to move the RPT Convention from May to July.

We are pleased to announce that we have confirmed the George R. Brown Convention Center will host our State Convention from July 13th – 18th. Hotel accommodations will also be available in much the same capacity as they were for May. 

It is important to understand the Republican Party of Texas and its rules are intentionally designed to be bottom-up. We are a Party of the grassroots — not a party of top-down authority.  While it is our intent to hold the State Convention July 13th -18th in Houston, a vote on these revised dates must take place at the April 4th State Republican Executive Committee Meeting. We anticipate being able to follow that meeting with official communications about hotel bookings and other logistical details. 

I know that Coronavirus is affecting different areas of Texas differently. Our urban areas seem to be more affected than some of our rural areas. Nevertheless, the recommendation from the CDC on Sunday and the advice from President Trump yesterday afternoon to limit groups to 10 or less for the next 15 days, directly impact the execution of the Senate District Conventions and County Conventions for March 21st. As a result, we gave our strongest recommendation to our Republican leaders yesterday to adjourn March 21st meetings to convene at another time and place outside the 8-week suspension period. We know some Senate Districts and Counties have been looking at dates in April, which is now within the 8-week suspension period. We strongly encouraged our leaders to look for dates outside the 8-week window.

If you are in an area that is holding a Senate District Convention, please contact your Senate District Convention Chairman for an update on your Convention. If you attend a County Convention, please contact your County Chair. If you live in a large urban area such as the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Harris County, or Bexar County, you can contact your County Party Chair for information about your Senate District Convention. 

Contact information for your County Chair can be found at this link on the RPT website: https://www.texasgop.org/county_chairs/

You can also email convention@texasgop.org or text the word “CONVENTION” to 72000 to request information about the contact for your county or Senate District Convention and to receive convention update notices.

The RPT and I will continue to provide updates as current events and these historic circumstances demand.

To recap key pieces of information:

  • The Republican Party of Texas has a clear plan to handle unprecedented challenges to our Convention process and is working extremely hard to ensure as smooth of a path forward as possible amidst a quickly evolving landscape.
  • It is our intent to move the State Convention from May 11th-16th to July 13th-18th in Houston, with the approval from the SREC on April 4th.
  • We strongly recommend to County Chairs and Temporary Senate District Convention Chairs that they adjourn the March 21st meetings to a date outside the 8-week CDC suspension window.
  • Please text ‘CONVENTION’ TO 72000 to stay up-to-date via text, email convention@texasgop.org to be added to our convention update email list or visit texasgop.org to submit your information for updates.
  • We will continue communicating with you as details emerge and circumstances require.  

I want to thank RPT Staff, our RPT Parliamentarian, Chris Howe, and our RPT General Counsel, Wade Emmert, who have been working around-the-clock to provide solutions for our Republican grassroots leaders throughout Texas and to ensure our Conventions at all levels are held with as much engagement and transparency as possible for our delegates. 

I want to thank our Republican leaders – our RNC National Committeeman Dr. Robin Armstrong, our RNC National Committeewoman Toni Anne Dashiell, RPT Vice Chair Alma Jackson, our county chairs, Temporary Senate District Convention Chairs, precinct chairs, and the many dedicated volunteers across our great state – who are working tirelessly to see your rights as delegates come to full fruition at the state and national level with transparency, with adherence to our RPT and RNC rules and, most importantly, in the safest manner possible.

In this time of challenge, we cannot afford to give anything less than the best of ourselves. As President Trump often says, we are in this together. And, as Texans, we know we will persevere together. So let us encourage one another, pray for each other, and take care of each other. Let’s faithfully exercise our rights and execute the business and obligations of our Republican Party. Let us continue to prepare for victory in November. Let us pray for God to grant our leaders wisdom, and us patience and fortitude during this historic time.

God bless you, and may God continue to bless our great state of Texas. 

Sincerely,

James Dickey, Chairman, Republican Party of Texas

The post Follow-Up Information from Last Night’s Town Hall Call appeared first on Republican Party of Texas.


Source: RPT Updates from Chairman

Follow-Up Information from Last Night’s Town Hall Call

My Fellow Texas Republicans,

We are facing unprecedented challenges in our country, our state, and our communities as we respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Last night, after connecting with our SREC Members, Republican County Chairs, and Senate District Convention Chairs yesterday afternoon for a leadership briefing, I held a statewide conference call to update Texas Republicans on the continuing threat of Coronavirus and its impact on our Senate and District Conventions scheduled for March 21 and our biennial State Convention. 

Thank you to Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick for updating us last night on President Trump’s work to combat Coronavirus nationally and the steps he and Governor Greg Abbott are taking to protect Texas communities. We are keeping them, and all Texans, in our thoughts and prayers.

I want to share a recap of last night’s call and reiterate our plan of action and offer guidance.

There are three immediate ways to receive critical updates going forward about your local Conventions and about our State Convention:
1. You can receive text message updates by texting the word “CONVENTION” right now to 72000;
2. You can receive email updates by emailing convention@texasgop.org; or,
3. You can visit our website at texasgop.org and submit your information on the home page.

As a refresher, the purpose of our biennial State Convention is to elect delegates to our National Convention, elect national and state officers, and adopt our platform, priorities, and rules.  The senate district and county conventions play a key role in that process, proposing platform planks and selecting delegates to represent them at the state convention. Obviously, their work must be completed prior to the state convention. 

In other words, there is a logical order to our local and state convention process — a process that has been made more difficult given the rapidly escalating restrictions on public gatherings.

The situation has been evolving quickly, as you are well aware, and we have been working hard to provide you with real-time information and communicate a plan of action that will allow us to fulfill our duties and obligations to our party, our delegates, our President, and ultimately, our nation. Especially at moments like these, communication is critical.

The Republican Party of Texas faces an unprecedented challenge in simultaneously accomplishing two conflicting missions:

1. Do our best to protect the health and safety of our people, their families and friends, and our communities.
2. Comply with Texas Election Code, RPT Rules, and the Rules of the Republican National Committee while safeguarding our delegates’ rights to be fully represented within our Party and at the Republican National Convention.

RPT respects and appreciates that our convention process exists to protect the four basic rights of delegates, which are as follows:

1. Every delegate has the right to attend the convention;
2. Every delegate has the right to make motions;
3. Every delegate has the right to speak in debate; 
4. Every delegate has the right to cast votes.

Sunday evening, the Centers for Disease Control issued an official recommendation to postpone or cancel meetings with 50 people or more for the next 8 weeks. Assuming it is not extended, this 8-week period ends during the timeframe of our biennial State Convention scheduled for May 11th – 16th. 

We took immediate action Sunday night, spoke with President Trump’s team in Texas, our statewide elected officials’ team, our RNC leaders in Texas and Washington and began the process in earnest to move the RPT Convention from May to July.

We are pleased to announce that we have confirmed the George R. Brown Convention Center will host our State Convention from July 13th – 18th. Hotel accommodations will also be available in much the same capacity as they were for May. 

It is important to understand the Republican Party of Texas and its rules are intentionally designed to be bottom-up. We are a Party of the grassroots — not a party of top-down authority.  While it is our intent to hold the State Convention July 13th -18th in Houston, a vote on these revised dates must take place at the April 4th State Republican Executive Committee Meeting. We anticipate being able to follow that meeting with official communications about hotel bookings and other logistical details. 

I know that Coronavirus is affecting different areas of Texas differently. Our urban areas seem to be more affected than some of our rural areas. Nevertheless, the recommendation from the CDC on Sunday and the advice from President Trump yesterday afternoon to limit groups to 10 or less for the next 15 days, directly impact the execution of the Senate District Conventions and County Conventions for March 21st. As a result, we gave our strongest recommendation to our Republican leaders yesterday to adjourn March 21st meetings to convene at another time and place outside the 8-week suspension period. We know some Senate Districts and Counties have been looking at dates in April, which is now within the 8-week suspension period. We strongly encouraged our leaders to look for dates outside the 8-week window.

If you are in an area that is holding a Senate District Convention, please contact your Senate District Convention Chairman for an update on your Convention. If you attend a County Convention, please contact your County Chair. If you live in a large urban area such as the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Harris County, or Bexar County, you can contact your County Party Chair for information about your Senate District Convention. 

Contact information for your County Chair can be found at this link on the RPT website: https://www.texasgop.org/county_chairs/

You can also email convention@texasgop.org or text the word “CONVENTION” to 72000 to request information about the contact for your county or Senate District Convention and to receive convention update notices.

The RPT and I will continue to provide updates as current events and these historic circumstances demand.

To recap key pieces of information:

  • The Republican Party of Texas has a clear plan to handle unprecedented challenges to our Convention process and is working extremely hard to ensure as smooth of a path forward as possible amidst a quickly evolving landscape.
  • It is our intent to move the State Convention from May 11th-16th to July 13th-18th in Houston, with the approval from the SREC on April 4th.
  • We strongly recommend to County Chairs and Temporary Senate District Convention Chairs that they adjourn the March 21st meetings to a date outside the 8-week CDC suspension window.
  • Please text ‘CONVENTION’ TO 72000 to stay up-to-date via text, email convention@texasgop.org to be added to our convention update email list or visit texasgop.org to submit your information for updates.
  • We will continue communicating with you as details emerge and circumstances require.  

I want to thank RPT Staff, our RPT Parliamentarian, Chris Howe, and our RPT General Counsel, Wade Emmert, who have been working around-the-clock to provide solutions for our Republican grassroots leaders throughout Texas and to ensure our Conventions at all levels are held with as much engagement and transparency as possible for our delegates. 

I want to thank our Republican leaders – our RNC National Committeeman Dr. Robin Armstrong, our RNC National Committeewoman Toni Anne Dashiell, RPT Vice Chair Alma Jackson, our county chairs, Temporary Senate District Convention Chairs, precinct chairs, and the many dedicated volunteers across our great state – who are working tirelessly to see your rights as delegates come to full fruition at the state and national level with transparency, with adherence to our RPT and RNC rules and, most importantly, in the safest manner possible.

In this time of challenge, we cannot afford to give anything less than the best of ourselves. As President Trump often says, we are in this together. And, as Texans, we know we will persevere together. So let us encourage one another, pray for each other, and take care of each other. Let’s faithfully exercise our rights and execute the business and obligations of our Republican Party. Let us continue to prepare for victory in November. Let us pray for God to grant our leaders wisdom, and us patience and fortitude during this historic time.

God bless you, and may God continue to bless our great state of Texas. 

Sincerely,

James Dickey, Chairman, Republican Party of Texas

About Coronavirus & Our State Convention

My Fellow Texas Republicans,

We sent an update earlier this week regarding Coronavirus (CoVid-19) and its potential impact on our State Convention in Houston.  Although that email was sent Tuesday, there have been significant developments since then.

Yesterday the City of Houston and Harris County issued respective emergency and disaster declarations due to the first case of “community spread” of Coronavirus in the region. As of last night, three cases of the virus had been confirmed in the City of Houston.

Important information about Coronavirus can be found here – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html. Please be educated on ways in which you can protect yourself and your family. 

Our State Convention is being held in Houston from Thursday, May 14 – Saturday, May 16 with State Committee meetings beginning on Monday, May 11.  We are in contact with our representatives at the George R. Brown Convention Center, where the Convention is to be hosted, who are keeping us informed on the developments in Houston. 

With the Convention still two months away, we are proceeding as planned. Our intent currently remains to open hotel registration on April 1.  Senate District Conventions and County Conventions across Texas remain scheduled for Saturday, March 21. This afternoon, RPT Organizational Director, Brandon Moore, distributed an email to County Chairs and State Republican Executive Committee Members regarding an update and preparations for those Conventions.

As a reminder, the purpose of our State Convention this year is to elect delegates to our National Convention, elect officers, and adopt our platform, priorities, and rules. 

We are vigilantly monitoring this dynamic situation with Coronavirus which has already shown us how rapidly it can change.

While we are proceeding as planned, we are taking all necessary precautions in the event these circumstances may force changes upon our State Convention.  

To that end, I have taken the following actions today:

  • A working group has been established to preliminarily examine Republican Party of Texas rules and to make recommendations to the SREC Rules Committee as to possible rules changes that may need to be made should the outbreak affect our State Convention being held in May or being held in the manner to which we are accustomed. RPT Parliamentarian Chris Howe will chair that working group which includes the following members: 
    • RPT General Counsel Wade Emmert
    • RPT Convention Temporary Rules Committee Chair Vergel Cruz
    • RPT SREC Rules Committee Chair Jan Duncan
    • Former RPT Parliamentarian Butch Davis 
    • Former RPT Parliamentarian Richard Hayes
  • State Republican Executive Committee members have been asked to save the date for an SREC meeting on Saturday, April 4 in Austin to discuss any items related to party rules and our Convention that need to be considered in light of the Coronavirus. A call with actual rule proposals will be distributed shortly.
  • Information about this update has been shared with the Republican National Committee.

We are in an unprecedented moment in the history of the Republican Party of Texas.  I am grateful for your partnership as we prepare for our Convention in the safest manner possible to execute the obligations and business of our Party.  

The Republican Party of Texas and I will provide updates as developments occur to keep you as informed as possible.  

Thank you. May God bless you and may He continue to bless our great state of Texas.

Sincerely,

James Dickey
Chairman, Republican Party of Texas

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Source: RPT Updates from Chairman

End Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying!

End Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying!

We wanted to make sure you saw the op-ed filed by Representative Mayes Middleton and Representative Kyle Biedermann on banning taxpayer-funded lobbying.

Ending taxpayer-funded lobbying is a Republican Party of Texas Legislative Priority. We encourage all Republican Texans to learn about the issue and get involved in the fight to ban taxpayer-funded lobbying.

Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey commented: 

“From the 2018 Convention, to the 86th Legislative Session, to the Primary just last week, Texans have sent a clear message: they demand the end to taxpayer-funded lobbying. We remain steadfast in working alongside our elected leaders to end this immoral practice and we will fight hard to ensure it ends. Thank you to Representative Mayes Middleton and Representative Kyle Biedermann for putting this issue at the top of their list.”

The work to end taxpayer-funded lobbying is not over, but we have allies on our side who we will work with diligently to finally end this practice. 

If you are passionate about ending taxpayer-funded lobbying, please consider signing up to be a member of our Strategic Texas Activist Team(STAT) so that you can get updates when hearings or legislation is filed on this important issue.

Thank you for joining us in the fight to defend your tax dollars!

For Texas,

James Dickey, Chairman

Republican Party of Texas

The post End Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying! appeared first on Republican Party of Texas.


Source: RPT Updates from Chairman

End Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying!

Understand the Issue

Pass legislation to abolish all forms of taxpayer-funded lobbying and end the automatic payroll deduction of union dues by the government.”

— Republican Party of Texas legislative priority

The Problem

  • Under current state law, political subdivisions may spend public funds to hire lobbyists for the purpose of supporting or opposing measures under consideration by the state legislature. According to the Texas Ethics Commission, political subdivisions spent an estimated $16 million on lobbyist compensation in 2015.
  • Also under current state law, governments can automatically deduct union dues from their employees’ paychecks, and these dues can then be used to fund political activity.  These political activities may be contrary to the preferences of the taxpayers, who are, in essence, funding the dues collection and distribution.
  • Taxpayers and ratepayers of political subdivisions and special districts that hire lobbyists are forced to pay for lobby efforts of their jurisdiction, even if these efforts take positions contrary to their policy preferences. As an example, homeowners may prefer lower property taxes or even the complete replacement of property taxes, while a taxing jurisdiction may be employing lobbyists to protect or even raise property taxes.
  • Given that the interests of citizens may differ from those of their local governments, citizens’ legislative lobby efforts toward state elected officials might be adversely affected by the distinct disadvantage they face when contending with the agenda of taxpayer-funded lobbyists hired by political subdivisions.
  • Many lobbyists participate in the political process through campaign contributions, fundraising, electioneering, and other political activities. The receipt of public dollars by these individuals presents the possibility that public funds could be used to directly or indirectly fund political activity.

The Solution

  • Ban political subdivisions with taxing authority from hiring lobbyists, from paying dues to an association of similarly-situated entities which lobbies, and from automatically deducting union dues.

What People Are Saying

“I believe the public has a right to know that their locally elected officials and associations could be using their taxpayer dollars to directly or indirectly influence the legislative process against the best interest of the Texans they represent. We should do everything we can to ensure that the public trust is never broken and do away with taxpayer-funded lobbying.“

–Konni Burton, Texas State Senator

In 2017, lobbying disclosure forms also reveal an interesting data point: 11 percent of lobbying dollars spent that year—as much as $41 million—was spent by government to hire outside lobbyists to lobby government. This figure excludes government employees who may spend some of their time lobbying other parts of government or their agency. This taxpayer funded lobbying is problematic. How can one part of a representative government petition itself or a “redress of grievances” to another part of government?”

-Chuck DeVore, Vice President of National Initiatives

Talk to Your Community

Are you all in? Share these sample social media posts to start the conversation with your friends. Use the talking points to drive your message home when talking with friends or reporters. Send the sample Letter to the Editor to your local newspaper to spread the word.

Sample Tweets:

  • Taxpayers should not be paying for government to lobby against them. #EndTaxFundedLobbying
  • Government should not be collecting and distributing union dues for the unions. #StopGovernmentCollectionOfUnionDues
  • Using tax dollars to advocate policies that are not in the taxpayers best interest should be made illegal #EndTaxFundedLobbying
  • I don’t want my tax dollars being used to lobby against my best interests! #EndTaxFundedLobbying
  • Tax dollars should be used to help the people, not lobby against their best interests! #EndTaxFundedLobbying

Messaging:

  • State agencies are banned from using taxpayer money for lobbying. Local taxing authorities should be as well.
  • Taxpayer money should not be diverted for helping government grow.
  • Taxpayer money should never be permitted to be used directly or indirectly for campaign contributions.
  • Many states ALREADY ban taxpayer funded lobbying. Texas is long overdue to do so.  http://www.ncsl.org/research/ethics/50-state-chart-limits-on-public-funds-to-lobby.aspx

Letter to the Editor:

Please submit a letter to the editor of your local paper(s) and become active on social media on this issue. Below is a sample letter to the editor that you can customize, personalize, and submit to your local newspaper. Be sure to check and follow your paper’s guidelines for length and submission.

Paying Austin Lobbyists should NOT be a part of the local taxpayers burden

Did you know that a portion of your property taxes are funding Austin-based big government lobbying firms?  As tragic as it sounds, many counties, cities, school districts and other taxing jurisdictions employ high-priced consultant lobbyists.  This not only drives up the cost of government, but more egregiously, the lobbyists may be tasked with working AGAINST the very taxpayers that are paying for them!  Additionally, they may well be working against those very taxpayers for other clients. Last, in Texas, unlike many other states who ban or restrict outside lobbyists being paid by government, there is nothing to prevent those lobbyists from donating a portion of their taxpayer “pay” back to elected officials!

Your name

Your town

Daytime phone number

E-mail address

Talk to Your Legislators

Make a Phone Call

It’s easy — find your state representative and senator and their contact info using the resource list on this page. Call their district office and/or their Capitol office. You’ll speak to an office staffer. Tell them you’re a constituent. Tell them what issue interests you and why. Ask what your legislator plans to do to promote the issue.

Visit the Capitol — or your local district office!

When you call, ask for an appointment with your legislator (or alternatively, their chief of staff or legislative director). Or just drop by their district or Capitol office during regular business hours — leave your card or a note with the staffer.

Testify in a Hearing

The year and a half in between legislative sessions is called the “interim” period. During this period, the House and Senate committees hold hearings to study specific issues, or “charges” that are assigned by the Speaker and Lt. Governor.

This year’s interim charges include important items such as health care reform, reducing the tax burden, school choice, Second Amendment rights, and religious freedoms. Many of the charges relate to planks or priorities from the RPT platform.

Although bills cannot be passed since we’re not within an actual legislative session, these interim hearings are the Legislature’s way of reaching out to you for your opinion on important issues. By studying these issues now, our Senators and Representatives can be prepared to pass bills in 2019 that address the specifics you’ll bring to their attention.

Most of these hearings will include a time for public testimony — that’s your chance to make your voice heard.

Resources:

  • Texas Legislature Online — http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/ — your resource for committee hearings, bills from current & past legislative sessions, committee membership, and more
  • Texas Tribune Legislative Directory –– www.texastribune.org/directory/ — find phone numbers, office locations, contact info, & social media accounts for all the Texas legislators & other electeds
  • Interim Hearing Tracker — www.texasgop.org/85interim/ — see all the current interim charges that relate to RPT platform planks & committee hearing information
  • STAT — www.texasgop.org/stat/ — join the Strategic Texas Action Team to receive alerts when your help is needed to promote conservative policy
Update from Chairman Dickey, February 2020

Update from Chairman Dickey, February 2020

Friends, 

In February, we celebrated Black History Month and the numerous legacies that shaped the Republican Party and our country’s history and culture. The Republican Party of Texas (RPT) was founded by a bold group of African American leaders at the Harris county courthouse during the hot summer months 152 years ago. We remain committed to remembering the lasting legacy the African American community had and continues to have on our party. We remain as committed today to the fight for freedom and liberty for all as the party was here in Texas at its founding. It is a message – a message of freedom and opportunity – that we take to every corner of our great state. 

Last month the RPT shared the exciting launch of our new podcast – Let’s Talk Texas! The show is a weekly discussion on news, politics and hot topics facing the state and country Jordan Overturf and I host the show. The podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcast. Be sure to follow @LetsTalkTexas on Twitter and @letstalktexaspodcast on Instagram to get the latest news and hear the latest program!

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Following our huge Special Election victory in late January in House District 28, I was honored to attend the swearing in for Representative Gary Gates at the Texas State Capitol. Representative Gates’ victory served an excellent test run of our Victory plan – a plan we have been refining through 2019. Despite focused Democrat efforts and $2 million spent on their side, we doubled the margin of victory from 8 percent to 16 percent in a critical suburban district. This is the type of trouncing we can continue to expect if we are able to continue executing on our Victory plan for November. Representative Gates worked incredibly hard as a candidate, and that was absolutely crucial in his election. I have no doubt he will represent the people of HD 28 well in the Texas House. 

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I had the pleasure of attending Reagan and Lincoln Day Dinners across the state this month in Denton, Guadalupe, Rockwall, Upshur and Coryell Counties It was excellent to visit with grassroots activists and elected officials from all levels of government who are coming together to work towards one common goal – keeping Texas red. Thank you to all of those who attended Reagan and Lincoln Day events across the state. Your involvement is vital to the Republican Party’s success in 2020. 

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Finally, we ended the month with the second board meeting for our RPT Volunteer Engagement Project. Former RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri and RPT Political Director Mitch Carney delivered outstanding news that we are well on our way to achieve our ambitious voter registration and volunteer engagement goals. 

Here is big news from the meeting!  By late February, we had already registered 50,000 new Texas Republicans on our way to our 100,000 goal – and we had done so at a much lower cost than we’d budgeted.

We are firing on all cylinders as we look ahead to the General Election in November!

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Other pictures from some of the many events and activities in February:

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Attended a reception in Dallas with California Congressman Devin Nunes. It’s always great to visit with Republicans across the country.

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Traveled to Gonzales county – home of the Gonzales flag and immortal “Come and Take It” message – where I spoke at a Senate District 18 training event on how we will keep Texas red in 2020.

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Attended the Guadalupe county Lincoln Day Dinner. 

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Attended the Burnet County Chili Cook Off

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Celebrated Presidents Day with Congressman Roger Williams at the Johnson County Republican Party.

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Spoke at the Greater Katy Area Republicans “Get Out the Vote” rally. It’s exciting to see Republicans across the state getting fired up to head to the polls in 2020.

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Had the pleasure of sharing my Christian testimony and speaking at the Faith Assembly in Fort Worth.

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Presented the Red Alert Presentation to an excited group of Texas Longhorns at UT’s College Republican Monthly Meeting

RPT’s Weekly Updates:

News Articles:

Press Releases

We have accomplished an unbelievable amount as we prepare for 2020, but there is so much more to do. To help us keep Texas red, please text VEP to 72000 now and we’ll get you plugged in. 

Also, if you want to be in the loop on news about your Texas Republican Party and elected officials, text TXNEWS to 72000.

The stakes could not be higher this year, but we have proven that our plan is working and as long as everyone does their part, we will continue to win in Texas and leave an even brighter future than the one we inherited. We are not tired of winning yet!

Sincerely,

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James Dickey
Chairman, Republican Party of Texas

P.S. If you received this monthly update email as a forward, be sure to sign up here to receive your own!

P.P.S. Donate today to help us on the road to 2020 so we can protect Texas’ 38 electoral votes and win the White House again!

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Source: RPT Updates from Chairman