'Pay to Play' at the Harris County Texas Republican Party
I recently read an article by Ed Hubbard on Big Jolly Politics and was surprised that, as the country is on the brink of losing freedoms with out of control spending and the "most important" Presidential election ever, Harris County Texas Republicans now must add keeping a more watchful eye on our own Party to our list of things to do.
Candidates that are able to raise thousands upon thousands of dollars and obtain local Party endorsements usually prevail in the primary. And here in Texas, if a candidate obtains the backing of the Harris County Republican Party (HCRP), one of the largest in the country, they're pretty golden ... so, why is said Party going to make candidates pay between $500 and $5,000 to speak to county convention participants?!
I love capitalism, but making candidates pay this "tax" to simply speak is crippling grassroots candidates. There have been many within the party that have done wonderful things to promote candidates who stand for conservatism, but allowing a "pay to play" system to continue is unacceptable. The Party should be raising money FOR the candidates, not the other way around!
From Ed Hubbard at Big Jolly Politics:
In a year when we have so much interest in public participation in our party’s primary, either as candidates or as voters, is this the system we want for choosing our candidates? Is this a system that we would be proud to explain to a middle school or high school civics class to promote the GOP to our children? Will a perpetuation of this system provide us with the tools we Republicans will need to meet the great challenges we have to address over the next two decades, including:
- Reforming the federal government to return power and responsibility to state and local governments, which will allow for reform of federal spending and taxation;
- Reforming state and local governments, and school districts to prepare them to accept and effectively manage the re-invigorated powers and responsibilities they will have to manage, which will require reform of state and local spending and taxation, and policies;
- Expanding our party demographically to reach young people, and to reach into precincts where we currently have no infrastructure; and
- Identifying, developing and supporting candidates for all offices who will effectively promote Republican principles and our agenda?
If you answered these questions with a resounding “no,” than we have some work to do.
Amen, Ed. We have a lot of work to do.
Read all of the embarrassing details to the HCRP "pay to play" story by Ed on Big Jolly Politics here.
With millions of tea partiers, 912ers and other grassroots conservatives across our great nation, we still need to get the word out to the rest of our population who sit quietly by admiring anything other than politics. We must unite and organize for and within the Party and ensure things like this "pay to play" cease to exist. We're better than this!
Do you wonder what more you can do to make a difference? It's not simply registering to vote and voting Republican. We must rebuild and work from within the Party and we need conservatives to come into the Party and win. Yes, change within the Party can be done. Again, don't think I believe every person within the Party has an agenda. There are countless numbers who work hard every day to ensure the conservative message is shared. You know who you are. We simply need more boots (and heels) on the ground!
The key is to be involved. So get on your county Party websites. Make phone calls to see where to go, who to email. For those of you in Harris County Texas, it's time to get our house (Party) in order.
And last night, a difference was made when several hundred precinct chairman and grassroots activists showed up at the HCRP Executive Committee Meeting. A spirited debate took place on a resolution to repeal the "pay to play." There was nervous energy in the room as person after person walked up to the mic to voice their being for or against the resolution. In the end, the resolution passed and now the HCRP will need to find another avenue to raise funds for the SD Convention. Great recap by Felicia Cravens of the Houston Tea Party Society here. But how do we pay for SD Conventions? Ed's suggestion is fantastic and I hope HCRP takes notice.
Last night I saw the beginning of change within my local Party. While I'm still very skeptical about what the future holds, at least I know we're back on track to being the Party we should be. Look how much of a difference we've made in the past couple of years since social media has taken off to heights previously unimagined. We have more reach and influence with our elected officials than ever before, and it will get better. Those in an elected office know we're paying attention and that we'll call them out when they're wrong and praise their work when they're right. Heck, even the media is on notice. #iamAndrewBreitbart
Don't leave it to someone else ... you ARE someone else!