November 29, 2015

Conservatives Vs. Liberal On Those Engaged In Violent Political Activity

I rarely borrow an entire post from others, but I think this one from GayPatriot is important, for it shows how we on the right react to violent actions by those with whom we may agree on some point or another.

*We* Don’t Make Heroes Out of Violent Psychopaths

A violent psychopath went on a shooting spree near a Planned Parenthood butcher shop over Thanksgiving weekend.

He will not become a martyr and symbol of any movement, like violent thug Michael Brown.

No one on the right will wear a T-shirt or wave a banner emblazoned with his image, like mass-murdering communist icon Che Guevara.

He will not be given a teaching position at the University of Illinois and become a celebrated community organizer like unrepentant left-wing terrorist Bill Ayers.

He will not be given a job as a correspondent for taxpayer-funded NPR, become a cause celebre among the Hollywood left, and given honorary degrees like left-wing cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal.

The Right does not make violent sociopaths into heroes.

The Left does.

You will also not see anyone on the left go out of their way to claim that he does not represent the peaceful majority of people who oppose abortion-for-convenience.

Well said, my friend.

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November 25, 2015

Tom Mechler Makes His Case Against Moving The 2016 RPT Convention

By interesting coincidence, two pieces of correspondence from parties to the 2016 RPT Convention fracas arrived in my box in a 30 minute time span. This was originally sent to the State Republican Executive Committee, County Republican chairs, and heads of recognized auxilliary groups. It was forwarded to me, and after seeing it quoted in part on Facebook I have decided to share it in full with my readers. This is not an endorsement on my part -- call it a public service in the interest of having both sides of the issue clearly articulated by their respective leaders.


Dear SREC members, County Chairs, and Auxiliary Presidents,

I have received questions from SREC members about the 2016 Republican Party of Texas Convention which is scheduled for May 7-14 in Dallas. I wanted to take the opportunity to address some of those questions.

When I was first elected State Chairman, I told the SREC that together we would take the fight to the Democrats all across the State of Texas. The Dallas City Council has taken an action which many, including myself, find troublesome and offensive and demonstrates why we must stand united with the Dallas County GOP in their fight to turn the county Republican. We cannot allow the liberals to push us out of a city that is important to the RPT by passing an ordinance that we oppose. Their recent action should strengthen our resolve to move forward. We will stand by the women in our party to ensure their safety and will do so at the convention. And, we will come to Dallas with a Republican grassroots army that is so large and determined to win, the liberals will rue the day they picked a fight with our party

Like many of you, I am concerned not only about the recent ordinance that passed in the City of Dallas, but also the spread of the issue to the majority of large urban areas in the state of Texas. San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and Plano have all passed local ordinances related to gender identity. Many other areas have provided for some form of gender identity accommodation and non-discrimination policies through executive orders, including Houston. Based on a review by the RPT General Counsel, the recent reversal of the ordinance in Houston applied to all places of public accommodation, but the 2012 Executive Order by Mayor Annise Parker that is still in force provides accommodations against gender identity discrimination on city-owned properties. As part of the Executive Order, the prohibited harassment described in Section 7.1.13 with respect to access to restroom facilities would be enforceable within the city-owned George Brown Convention Center in Houston (in other words, transgendered men can use women’s restrooms at the convention center). Every major city in Texas has some form of a policy against transgender discrimination. Every city capable of hosting our Convention has a policy in place that prevents discrimination based on gender identity on city-owned properties, meaning that every single city-owned convention center capable of hosting our Convention in the state of Texas has some form of gender identity policy in place. This is not meant to discourage you, far from it, rather it is meant to serve as a reminder that if we only hold our Convention in a place that completely agrees with our core beliefs, we will never be able to hold a Convention again.

Consider this: even if it were fiscally responsible, logistically plausible, and strategically prudent to move our 2016 convention, it would be impossible to find a city large enough to host our convention that wholly agrees with the entirety of our core beliefs. This should be a wake-up call for all of us. We can celebrate our victories of the past, but we cannot stop fighting for the future. If we avoid cities with policies that we don’t completely agree with, we run the risk of losing Texas and reversing the tireless work of our predecessors.

A few SREC members have requested electronic copies of the contracts for the 2016 convention. I appreciate their desire to be involved and informed about this important event. At no time have any members of the SREC been told the contracts would not be available for review at the Austin headquarters. The copying or photographing of those contracts, however, would be a violation of the SREC's Bylaws. While all RPT contracts have terms that protect individual members of the SREC and the officers from personal liability in the case of default, the SREC's right to review them is provided by the Bylaws and I strongly support this right and have always done so.

Here is the wording of the Bylaws of the SREC, Article VI, Section 2, Paragraph B.2, Page 7: "...the records of which shall be in safekeeping at State Headquarters and available for inspection by any member of the SREC and/or the Officials Committee." This is included under the RPT Treasurer's responsibility and relates to the RPT's books. I have spoken with the RPT's Treasurer, Parliamentarian, and General Counsel. All have agreed the Bylaws do not allow for distributing the RPT Contracts via email and that they should be viewed as confidential documents per 1) the Bylaws and 2) based on prudent business practices since the other parties negotiated in good faith with the RPT, believing the contracts would not be distributed thus keeping the discounted financial terms confidential from their competitors.

Additionally, some SREC members have requested specifics regarding the terms and financial impact of moving the 2016 Convention. I have asked our General Counsel to review the contracts and provide analysis on the Party’s options on the contracts. The City of Dallas’ recent change to its anti-discrimination ordinance does not affect the availability of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center or change the date of the Republican General Primary Election (the only allowance for cancellation by the RPT is a change of the Primary Election date by the Legislature or by judicial order). Cancellation, therefore, based on this change of the City of Dallas anti-discrimination ordinance, would not constitute an event under the Agreements which would serve as grounds for avoiding payment of cancellation fees.

Essentially, there are three contracts that have financial implications to the RPT if they are cancelled. The agreement with the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center provides for liquidated damages equal to one-half of the amount of $272,905.00 (or $136,452.50) for a cancellation of more than 60 days. The Omni Hotel Dallas agreement provides that liquidated damages for cancellation after November 3, 2015 is $382,330.00. The Dallas Hyatt Regency agreement provides that the cancellation fee for a cancellation 179 days or less from the event date is $247,686.40. Therefore, the cost of cancellation would be at least $766,468.90 (total estimated by General Counsel). In addition to those cancellation fees, changing the venue could and most likely would affect sponsorships, potential vendors, and other Convention aligned businesses. The RPT would also have to pay PIXL Productions an estimated $50,000 plus for work done for the Dallas Convention that cannot be applied to a Convention in a different location.

The Republican Party of Texas has been and always will be committed to total transparency, to principle, and to winning elections by ensuring the grassroots of our state have the tools they need to fight and win.

How will Dallas County turn red if we don’t show up and fight? Let’s not give our political opponents sanctuary, but rather let’s bring thousands of Republicans into their neighborhoods. Our job is far from done. Dallas County is the front line of this fight. I hope you will join me in Dallas in 2016.

You are welcome to share these comments as you see fit. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to give me a call any time. I appreciate your service to our State and our Party.

Tom Mechler
Republican Party of Texas

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Jared Woodfill Makes His Case For Moving The 2016 RPT Convention

By interesting coincidence, two pieces of correspondence from parties to the 2016 RPT Convention fracas arrived in my box in a 30 minute time span. Since I know Jared's is a document intended for general circulation, I will share it now. This is not an endorsement on my part -- call it a public service in the interest of having both sides of the issue clearly articulated by their respective proponents.


It is Time for The Republican Party of Texas to be Bold and Courageous:
Move the 2016 RPT Convention Out of Dallas
By Jared Woodfill

In the book of Joshua the Bible encourages us to be "bold and courageous!" Due to Dallas' recent decision to adopt an ordinance that allows biological males, including registered sex offenders, to enter female restrooms, it is time for the Republican Party of Texas to be "bold and courageous" and move our 2016 Republican Party of Texas convention out of Dallas. Since calling for the move, the Republican Party of Texas has given numerous excuses as to why it is too hard to move the convention with six months remaining until the scheduled convention date. Let's address the excuses put forward by the RPT.

Excuse No. 1: There is No Other Space Available in the Entire State of Texas

The RPT's first excuse for not moving the convention is that there is no other space available anywhere in the entire state of Texas to host our convention. Unlike the Republican Party of Texas, we decided to look and see if that was true. The first venue we looked into was Houston, Texas, a location that has hosted numerous Republican Party of Texas conventions. The same Houston, that overwhelmingly rejected an identical Bathroom Ordinance 61% to 39% less than a month ago. The former location of the RPT convention in Houston, the George R Brown Convention Center, indicated that they have the availability and are willing to host our 2016 Republican Party of Texas convention on the date it is currently scheduled for. Additionally, the Hilton Americas (which is connected to the George R. Brown Convention Center) has well over a thousand rooms available and are willing to negotiate a favorable rate. Additionally, numerous other downtown hotels and Galleria area hotels are available.

Excuse No. 2: It Costs Too Much

The next excuse the RPT has given for not moving the convention out of Dallas is that it would be too expensive. The numbers that have been bantered around go from $800,000 to millions of dollars. It would be easy to corroborate these figures if the Republican Party of Texas would release the underlying contract information. However, despite the request of a least five members of the State Republican Executive Committee, including a member of the Officials Committee, Bonnie Lugo, the Republican Party of Texas has refused to release the underlying contract information. In fact, Ms. Lugo was told she could come to Austin and review the contract in a private room under the watchful eye of the RPT counsel and treasurer. She was informed that no money had yet been spent. She was further told that she would not be allowed to take a copy or make notes regarding what she saw. Seriously! We are supposed to be the party of transparency? The logical question one must ask is if the contract is so secretive, how can the RPT let its constituents know that we will allegedly lose anywhere from $800,000 to millions of dollars. Wouldn't the release of these numbers violate the alleged confidentiality some in the RPT claim exists? We are constantly asked to donate to the Republican Party of Texas, but we can't be trusted to know what deals are being entered into with the donations they have been trusted with?

Regardless of what the "secret" contract states, it is clear that when the contract was entered into, biological males, including registered sex offenders, were not allowed to enter female restrooms in Dallas, Texas. Later, the Dallas City Council decided to change this ordinance, breaching the underlying agreement by changing the terms of the deal. More clearly, if at the time the contract was negotiated with the City of Dallas, transgendered biological males could enter female restrooms at our convention under the protection of law, we would not have chosen Dallas as the convention location. It was Dallas who changed the terms of the agreement, not the RPT! It was Dallas who breached the contract, not the RPT!

A group of principled business leaders have agreed to put their money where their mouth is and pay for any penalties that may exist in the event it is determined the RPT owes Dallas any money.

It appears the RPT has failed to consider a separate more important cost. As we all know, the LGBT political movement will descend upon our convention in full force. They will demand that biological males be allowed to enter female restrooms under the protection of the Dallas Bathroom Ordinance. If the RPT refuses, the RPT will be subject to prosecution under the Dallas Bathroom Ordinance. Consider the safety cost of allowing a biological male who is a registered sex offender to enter the female restrooms at our convention under the protection of the Dallas Bathroom Ordinance. Are we willing to sacrifice the safety of our wives, daughters, and mothers on the altar of political correctness? I say NO!

If you don't thank this is a real threat, just ask Angela Zatopek, a young conservative lady who took a principled stand against the Houston Bathroom Ordinance and was told by an LGBT activist, "I hope this passes so I can go into a ladies restroom and rape you." Friends, we need to take this threat very seriously.

Excuse No. 3: Let's Not Cut and Run

The RPT claims that moving Dallas is the equivalent of Cutting and Running. State Representative Molly White said it best in her letter to the RPT Chairman and the State Republican Executive Committee: "In the platform, we have outlined our strong moral convictions. We have announced these positions to the world as the foundation of our political actions: 'Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that have been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nation's founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples. We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or special status of homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. (State Republican Party Platform, 2014, page 1, paragraph 5.)'"

She then addresses the economic excuse raised by the RPT Chairman and some members of the SREC, stating, "Our word should be our bond...we must do what we said we would do and uphold the beliefs we said we would uphold. Trust has no price tag. Keeping our word and standing for what is right is more valuable than any cost we may incur by moving the convention."

By keeping our convention in Dallas, we are cutting and running from our Republican Party Platform. We are cutting and running from our values and beliefs. We are cutting and running from our grass-roots base that created our RPT Platform!

Excuse No. 4: Requesting the Convention be Moved is a Political Gimmick

After Houston overwhelmingly rejected the Bathroom Ordinance 61% to 39%, and Dallas embraced the Bathroom Ordinance, the City of Dallas began a campaign to draw convention business to Dallas under the slogan, "Move Your Convention to Dallas, We're Not Houston!" Where we spend Republican dollars matters. Where we have our convention sends a clear message to the rest of the country as to whether we are a party of principles, or a party of convenience. Why would we now spend our Republican dollars on a city that has proudly rejected our Republican Party of Texas platform, and encouraged businesses to leave a city that rejected a bathroom ordinance, Houston?

Through their early December vote regarding the location of the convention, the RPT Chairman and the SREC will answer a some very important questions. Will the RPT take a principled stand or will we bow at the altar of political correctness? Are we a party of principle or are we a party of convenience? Does our RPT platform matter to the RPT Chairman?

Action Item!

On December 4, 2015, the Republican Party of Texas SREC members will be voting on whether the convention should remain in Dallas. Please contact all SREC members and the Republican Party of Texas and let them know that you want the convention moved to Houston Texas. Let them know that it is time to take a stand and show the rest of the country that the LGBT political movement will not bully our party into submission. Dallas may have compromised-we won't! Let them know that we as a Republican Party will not bow at the altar a political correctness. Let them know that we are a party that stands on principle! Let them know that we are a party that is "bold and courageous!"

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Questions About Moving The 2016 RPT Convention

Last week I raised six points in a letter I wrote to the leadership of the Republican Party of Texas regarding the possibility of moving the 2016 RPT Convention from Dallas to another city (presumably Houston) in response to the adoption of a HERO style ordinance in Dallas. When you distill those points to their essence, it comes down to the need for proponents to answer a few questions.

1) What is your plan for moving the convention? When and where will it take place? Are there available venues that will allow us to hold the nation's largest state political convention in time to meet RNC requirements?

2) How do we cover the cost of moving the convention without bankrupting the RPT or taking financial resources away from what should always be our primary objective -- electing as many Republicans to office from the top of the ticket to the very bottom wherever we can do so? Is there a "white knight" who will cover those costd

3) How does moving the convention advance the objectives of growing the GOP and electing Republicans (which are really two ways of saying the same thing)?

Now I still oppose moving the convention, but have been troubled by the way the RPT Chairman and staff have handled the fallout from the campaign to relocate the convention. We've seen precinct chairs and activists shut down and rudely treated when they have called RPT headquarters seeking information. We have seen SREC members given the run around by staff -- including being told that they may not view documents and contracts related to the convention unless they travel to Austin to do so. This lack of transparency and the ham-handed tactics associated with it are troubling and do raise the question of whether need to be wholesale changes in leadership and staff. I don't like saying that, but candor and honesty compel me to make that observation publicly. I'm therefore a bit more open than I was a week ago to what I saw as an effort by Jared Woodfill to advance his campaign to replace Tom Mechler.

So all right, folks -- convince me. Answer my questions and show me how this helps -- or doesn't help -- the RPT and the Republican cause. I really do want to hear what you have to say.

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November 19, 2015

Reject The Call To Move 2016 Republican Party Of Texas Convention

Following the rejection of the so-called "Houston Equal Rights Ordinance" (HERO) by Houston voters on November 3, the city of Dallas adopted a similar ordinance with all the defeated ordinance's flaws on November 10. Jared Woodfill, former Harris County Republican Party chairman and once-and-future candidate for Republican Party of Texas chairman -- and, to his credit, the leader of the effort to overturn HERO -- proposed that various county Republican executive committees adopt a resolution calling for the 2016 Republican Party of Texas convention, scheduled to be held in Dallas, be moved to another city. The Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee took the matter up this past Monday and, after some debate, tabled the resolution indefinitely. To my knowledge, no county has adopted such a resolution, leading Woodfill and other supporters of the move to urge like-minded Republicans to call or write RPT chairman Tom Mechler and the State Republican Executive Committee in order to encourage them to move the convention.

* * * * *

Dear Chairman Mechler, Vice-Chairman Clark and Members of the SREC;

This past Monday night, it was my honor and pleasure to speak at the Harris County Republican Executive Committee meeting in opposition to a resolution urging that the Republican Party of Texas move its convention due to the adoption of a city ordinance that is contrary to the RPT platform. That resolution was tabled by an overwhelming vote of the body, a move I fully supported. In light of a continued campaign to move the convention, I would like to communicate my opposition to such a move to those who are ultimately charged with making the decision.

At the HCRP EC meeting, I offered three reasons for opposing the resolution and moving the convention. These reasons were as follows:

  • The goal of the Republican Party of Texas is the election of Republican candidates to office. Such efforts take money, and the frittering away of somewhere around three-quarters of a million dollars intended for that purpose would be gross negligence by RPT leaders. While supporters of the move claim that their so-called “principled stand” would bring in sufficient money to cover the cost of breaching various contracts associated with the Dallas convention, none of them are prepared to pledge to raise or contribute that sum if their proposal is implemented. Their proposal is therefore financially irresponsible and an abdication of the party’s primary role on the eve of what may be the single most significant election of the twenty-first century.
  • Any move that is made at this time would not guarantee that there is no “bathroom ordinance” in place at the time of the convention in the city where the convention is held. Houston, for example, has a candidate who is committed to re-imposing the HERO ordinance and a second who is open to imposing a modified version of that law. Fort Worth or San Antonio could do the same? What happens when this happens in March or April? Do we make another move, or do we stay put? Nobody is prepared to answer that question.
  • Why limit our criteria solely to transgenders in bathrooms? Why not make sanctuary cities off limits? After all, if we cannot patronize a city that opposes our party platform, we can find a reason to eliminate every city with the needed facilities from consideration. It is therefore disingenuous to declare that the party must move the convention because of this issue.

However, there are additional reasons for rejecting this ill-conceived proposal that others have brought to my attention since Monday evening.

  • The supporters of the “anywhere but Dallas” movement never offer a plan for how we make this move. What city do they want us to move to? Does that city have sufficient convention and hotel space available at the appropriate time? What are the logistics for making that change? Absent answers to these questions, the proposal is nothing but a publicity stunt.
  • This proposal is not about principles or legislation – it is really a thinly-veiled effort at self-promotion by a disgruntled loser in the recent race for state party chair who is seeking to win that position in 2016. He’s flexing his muscles and trying to rally support, not seeking to build the party and ensure it has influence at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next summer. Whatever the relative merits of his candidacy, the party should not be giving in to this demand – and I say that as someone who knows, likes, and respects him.
  • Most importantly, we are under time constraints for holding our state convention due to RNC rules. If we don’t select our delegates within a window defined by those rules, we will have no voice in selecting the Republican candidates for president and vice president next year, nor in writing the Republican Platform. Moving the convention would possibly put us outside that window. Is this city ordinance worth giving up Texas’ voice in this process, especially given the presence of our own junior senator in the presidential race?

Proponents of moving the convention have, of course, spoken in apocalyptic terms about the consequences of not moving the convention. One elected official insists that moving the convention will “unite the Republican Party and the grassroots” – ignoring, of course, that the grassroots rejected the proposal here in Harris County and no county party anywhere in Texas has endorsed this radical idea. This should make it clear that the grassroots – and the precinct chairs that make up the executive committee in each county are the elected representatives of the grassroots of the party – do not support it. The campaign to bring about this change is therefore not a matter of the grassroots making its voice heard. It is nothing but Astroturf.

This is not to say that those seeking the change are bad people. They are not. Nor is it to say that they are wrong in opposing the Dallas ordinance. They were not – but then again, many of us who object to moving the convention were their allies in defeating the HERO ordinance and will be again in opposing its Dallas analog and any other incarnation of that immoral law that may crop up in the future. What I am saying is that they are wrong on this one, and the RPT should stand firm on the location of the 2016 convention while considering the existence of such laws as a disqualifying factor for choosing the location of the convention in future years.

Gregory S. Aydt
Precinct Chair, Harris County Precinct 333

* * * * *

Here is the resolution that was introduced Monday in Harris County, and which Woodfill and company continue to promote.

WHEREAS, the Republican Party has a long history supporting and advancing traditional family values and opposing special privileges for any specific class of people and;

WHEREAS, the LGBT community is aggressively pursuing a radical agenda that includes special privileges at the expense of others including allowing biological males and females to enter the restrooms of the opposite sex and;

WHEREAS, allowing men into women's restrooms and similar facilities poses a real danger to our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters and;

WHEREAS, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Houston City Council passed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance which expanded rights for transgender persons including provisions to allow men into women's restrooms and;

WHEREAS, the voters of Houston overwhelmingly rejected by a 61% to 39% margin Houston's Proposition 1, which would have implemented the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, on November 3, 2015 and;

WHEREAS, the Dallas City Council voted on November 10, 2015, just one week after the defeat of Houston's Proposition 1, to expand protections for transgender persons which would allow men into women's restrooms and;

WHEREAS, the vote by Dallas City Council was an obvious act of contempt for conservative Republican values and the vote of a majority of Houstonians and;

WHEREAS, the Republican Party of Texas has selected the city of Dallas for its 2016 Republican State Convention to be held from May 12-14, 2016 and;

WHEREAS, the city of Dallas should not be rewarded economically for its contempt for traditional values by hosting the Republican State Convention.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Harris County Republican Party calls on the Republican Party of Texas to immediately move the 2016 Republican State Convention from the city of Dallas to another Texas city that respects our Republican values and does not allow for persons to enter the restrooms of the opposite sex and;

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Harris County Republican Party calls for the opposition of any ordinance, statute or law that permits a biological male or female to enter the public restrooms or similar facilities of the opposite sex and;

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Harris County Republican Party calls for the defeat of any candidate for office who votes for or supports any legislation by law, statute, ordinance or otherwise that makes it lawful for a person to enter the restroom or similar facility of the opposite sex on the grounds of gender identity or expression and;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to media and to the Republican Party of Texas, including all officers and members of the State Republican Executive Committee.

As you can see, it is long on rhetoric while being short on the sort of specifics that we need to have in order to actually implement it successfully and effectively without damaging the Republican Party of Texas. That's why I opposed it Monday, and continue to oppose it now.

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