It’s an honor to guest blog for the one and only Texas Grizzlette (a.k.a. my dearest and best friend) and for you, dear readers! Below is “the rest of the story” on the Republican Party of Texas State Convention.
Friday was a busy day for all of the delegates. We had our second and last Senatorial District Caucuses, where each SD elected their committeeman and committeewoman to the SREC (State Republican Executive Committee). Each SD also nominated someone for RPT Chairman and Vice Chairman. It was my honor to nominate current Chairman Steve Munisteri at our SD 28 meeting. Munisteri was the sole nominee out of every SD Caucus and was confirmed for a second term at our general session Friday afternoon. Our current Vice Chair, Melinda Fredericks, will also serve our Party for another two years.
At the afternoon general session, the body considered the Permanent Rules Committee report. This committee was chaired by retiring RNC Committeeman Crocker. Every proposed rule changed was passed by the delegation. While some of the changes were minimal, there were several significant changes to our Party’s rules which are listed below:
Rule 14 – The delegation voted to allow private and official video-recording of all committee, caucus, and general meetings, caucuses, and sessions.
This was vigorously debated. One delegate cited his wish for “libertarians posing as Republicans” to be denied access to private areas. Others who protested the rule change cited possible embarrassment if YouTube videos showed up that showed delegates or committee members acting inappropriately. However, the arguments for the proposed rule changes were successful. It was very apparent that the delegation was insisting on transparency at every level. The rule passed by a wide margin, as it should have.
Rule 24 – The Rules Committee recommended that those wishing to file a minority report should have an extra 30 minutes after adjournment of the meeting to submit it.
This rule had almost no opposition, and I think it’s fantastic. We as a party should remember our roots of liberty and never seek to disenfranchise those in the minority. To be clear, however, the signers of the minority report must show a valid photo ID at great expense. (Wait… wrong party!)
Rule 33 – Moves the election of Party Chair and Vice Chair to the first order of business instead of the last.
This rule has been necessary for a long time. Its passing helped make the general sessions under SDs go significantly smoother. There was an amendment to this amendment from the floor of the delegation, a caveat added to insure that a majority of registered delegates to the convention be present before this election took place. The amendment to the proposed amendment passed.
Rule 40 – Removing term limits to our RNC Committeeman and Committeewoman
Wow – this rule was the source of major debate. The elimination of term limits comes up every convention, at least every convention I have attended, and the change has always been soundly defeated on the floor, and the delegation reinstitutes term limits. This year, however, after vigorous debate, the amendment passed, which means that our RNC Committee members, starting with the members elected at this convention, will no longer be limited to two terms of four years each.
This rule caused major arguments on the floor. Our Party Platform supports term limits, so many people, including myself, felt that it was inappropriate to remove term limits that we already have instituted. On the other hand, Texas is the only state that term limits its committee members, so there is certainly less of a chance for our members to gain seniority. This year, that thinking prevailed, and Borah Van Dormolen and Dr. Robin Armstrong, our 2012 newly elected RNC Committee Members, will not be limited to two terms. Unless we change the rule back in 2014, which is entirely possible. Don’tcha just love conventions?!
Tomorrow, I will post what happened late into the evening on Friday, and how we ended the Convention on Saturday.
Catch y’all on the flip side!
Kristen Vander-Plas, @KVPTexas