Texas Redistricting and Convention/Delegate UpdateSubmitted by Rienone on Thu, 03/01/2012 - 16:13
MY name is Ryan and I am a member of the republican party in Fort Worth (Tarrant County) Texas. I have some great news and some updates on the precinct conventions and delegate selection process. First the great news! In Tarrant County, the conservative stronghold of Texas, we now have a Ron Paul supporter as the County Chair!
In addition, many parliamentarians and Precinct Chairs are extremely focused on getting Paul supporters elected to delegate slots. I am filing for Precinct chair in my own precinct and have found out that at the precinct level, my precinct has a 19 delegate slots to go to the county convention.
Last presidential election, ONE person showed at my precinct convention and he was a Paul supporter. Last election cycle in 2010, NO ONE showed up. If I am the only one at my precinct convention. I will hold the convention myself and elect myself the precinct chair, secretary and sole delegate. In Texas, if there is no precinct convention because no one shows up, then no delegates are awarded. If even ONE shows up. They get to vote with the full delegate strength of the precinct. That means that if I am ultimately the sole delegate in my precinct, I will have 19 votes to cast at the county convention.
We NEED as many Ron Paul supporters as possible to show up to their precinct conventions and claim delegate slots.
That being said, the redistricting is still up in the air and alternative plans for the precinct conventions are being considered since the judges in San Antonio that are hearing the redistricting case have set a tentative primary date of May 29th and the state convention has been planned on June 6th for a year now. This leaves not much time for Precinct>Senatorial>County conventions before the state convention. The proposal right now before the TX GOP is to either hold optional precinct conventions at agreed upon time and date at the discretion of the precinct OR if no precinct convention is held, it will take place just prior to the senatorial\county conventions. If the later is the case, they will most likely seat people in precincts and allow for precinct conventions to happen right before the larger senatorial\county convention.
On Tuesday afternoon, the San Antonio three-judge federal panel overseeing Texas redistricting posted new maps for the State House, State Senate and U.S. Congress. We are awaiting a formal order enacting these maps, however, we expect that these will be the final maps issued by the panel.
REST ASSURED that if you keep up with the dates and process updates, that you will be able attend a precinct convention and get your delegate slot.
HERE is the PDF of the proposed NEW process:
THIS update came in an email to Tarrant County Republicans:
We have received a number of questions from around the state which we would like to address in this email.
Q: Why can't we simply have precinct conventions as normal?
A: The Republican Party of Texas has approximately 5500 precincts where we have precinct chairmen, and thousands more where we don't. Normally, precinct conventions are held where the primary is conducted, thereby affording the opportunity for a meeting space that doesn't cost the county parties any additional funds. Moreover, voters can easily identify where the location is, and if there is no precinct chairman - Republicans can still show up at the conclusion of voting and obtain a precinct convention packet from the election judge and conduct the precinct convention. Without a primary, it will not be practical for many counties to be able to locate sites for all their precinct conventions, and/or to bear the expense - a task made even more difficult in precincts without chairmen. Therefore, under the rules, counties would be given the option of either attempting to conduct precinct conventions, or if they can't, to proceed directly to county or senatorial conventions (as the case may be).
Q: Will the elimination of precinct conventions reduce grassroots involvement?
A: Under the proposed rules, we believe that there is a chance to actually increase grassroots involvement. This is because every registered voter who takes an oath of affiliation to the Republican Party will be allowed to attend their district conventions. Arguably, this allows more grassroots participation because under the existing system which starts with precinct conventions, a certain percentage of precinct convention attendees are not eligible to participate in a county / district convention. Under the proposed rules, everyone would be able to participate.
Q: Will people be able to propose resolutions as they normally do at a precinct convention?
A: Everyone will be able to have the same opportunity to propose any resolution at the district convention, that they normally would at a precinct convention.
Q: Why can't RPT simply move the State Convention?
A: There are many reasons. First, if we move the State Convention - to what date would we move it? As it is, there is no guarantee Texas would have a primary in time to allow precinct conventions on any date that we pick for the State Convention. The reason for this is that we have to have our State Convention in time to submit our delegate lists to the National Convention, 35 days before the National Convention starts. This means that we would have to conclude a State Convention no later than July 23. If, for example, Texas has a June 26th primary, there would not be enough time to follow the Election Code (which prescribes for precinct conventions and district conventions three weeks later) and then have enough time to process all the delegates. Consequently, under some scenarios, even moving the State Convention could not preserve the existing process. Second, where would the State Convention be held if moved? There are only four convention sites in Texas that can accommodate the number of participants that we expect at this year's event. Moreover, it is necessary to block out thousands of hotel rooms in order to accommodate the vast majority of delegates and alternates who come in from out of town. These facilities and hotels have to be reserved and contracted for well in advance of the convention. For example, this year's convention site in Fort Worth was decided upon 6 years ago, and we signed hotel contracts last year. Finally, there would be significant financial penalties to both parties if the conventions are moved. With all these considerations in mind, both political parties testified to the Court that it is simply not feasible to move State Conventions.
I hope this give you guys some clarity on the Texas situation and lets not get lost in the conspiracy theories and just keep in the loop so we can organize effectively.
There are stickers on the highways and (at least in Tarrant County) we are Ron Paul from the top down. It doesn't get much better than that. :)