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June 17, 2018      4:31 PM

Full text of the RPT platform is released

The full text of the Republican Party of Texas platform is right here.

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June 16, 2018      2:04 PM

People on the Move

Republicans gather in SA, appointments, lobby sightings, swearing in ceremonies, and more

SAN ANTONIO – Good afternoon from the Alamo City, the site of the 2018 Republican Party of Texas Convention, which has been called the “largest political convention in the free world.”

In the exhibit hall, I filled my Kelly Hancock tote bag with swag from George P. Bush, Sid Miller, and others while catching up with the likes of Kevin Moomaw, Sen. Paul Bettencourt, numerous Texas House members, business lobbyists, and Mike Hailey (here in his hometown).

In the sweltering heat, Speaker Joe Straus actually had his tie loosened a bit at the TFRW “Margaritas with Senoritas” happy hour but lobbyist Jonathan Saenz had his just as tight as always at Chairman James Dickey’s party at the Menger Hotel. It’s okay to cut loose a little, Jonathan. There was free ice cream, after all.

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By Scott Braddock

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June 16, 2018      2:00 PM

Smith: Silence of the Wolves

QR’s Liberal Columnist Glenn W. Smith argues Texas GOP leaders are ignoring Trump’s kidnapping of children in Texas and should be condemned

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Jesus said that. Gov. Greg Abbott and his fellow Republicans should listen to the advice.

As the world knows – and as religious leaders of all faiths have rightly condemned – Donald Trump has begun a policy of kidnapping immigrant children from their mothers and fathers and placing them in internment camps. In Texas.

The full column by Glenn W. Smith is in the R&D Department.

By Glenn W. Smith

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June 15, 2018      5:11 PM

Dickey elected RPT Chairman 65% to 35%

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June 15, 2018      4:40 PM

RPT Convention grinds to a halt during chairman race

Dickey winning in SD caucuses; Asche forces floor fight and accuses Dickey of lying about party finances, cites abrupt resignation of longtime party accountant

SAN ANTONIO – The Republican Party of Texas convention screeched to a halt Friday afternoon when Chairman James Dickey’s challenger, Cincy Asche, and her supporters demanded a floor vote on the question of who will lead the party going forward.

Amid nasty accusations that he has been cooking the books when it comes to party finances, Chairman Dickey said the party is seeing days of “amazing unity” despite what has been a challenging year.

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By Scott Braddock

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June 15, 2018      4:00 PM

In the middle of the RPT convention, the party's accountant quits

Chair challenger Cindy Asche says the accountant, first hired by Cathy Adams, claims Chairman Dickey is manipulating the party's finances; no comment from Dickey just yet

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June 15, 2018      11:55 AM

RPT Chair race update: SDs won by Dickey, 22 SDs won by Asche: 9

That's from the Official State Nominations Committee Report, per Matt Mackowiak speaking for the RPT

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June 15, 2018      11:11 AM

ICYMI: Lt. Gov. Patrick considers bathroom bill fight over, settled

“We won,” Gov Patrick told reporters at the RPT convention in San Antonio, going further than he has in previous comments: “This issue is settled.”

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June 15, 2018      9:42 AM

RPT Chair race: Dickey leads Asche in senate district conventions this morning at GOP convention

Incomplete results via Matt Mackowiak: With 23 SDs reporting, James Dickey's won 19 and Cindy Asche has won 4. Nominees need to win 3 SDs to be a nominee for the floor vote

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June 14, 2018      7:22 PM

Texas GOP chair candidates make their pitch to delegates, begin final push before Friday vote

Chair Dickey stresses his past fight with an employer’s PAC’s practice of supporting Democrats; Asche argues “we need to make the Republican Party of Texas better and stronger than it is today”

SAN ANTONIO – Delegates to the Republican Party of Texas convention on Thursday gave warm reactions to both candidates running to preside over the majority party in this state.

It’s a race that, unlike some in the past, seems to have very little if any involvement from business groups while certain sponsors of the RPT have either pulled back their financial support or eliminated it altogether, as is the case with powerhouse contributor AT&T.

Still, Chairman James Dickey told the crowd during a short speech that despite certain challenges, “We are on track to have the largest self-funded convention on record.”

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By Scott Braddock

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June 14, 2018      7:16 PM

Advocates petition to throw out Texas legislature's abortion restrictions

Paxton spokesman Rylander says a “radical pro-abortion agenda” would sacrifice women’s health; Democrats counter “These are all thinly veiled efforts to disenfranchise women from exercising their constitutional right to bodily autonomy and choice.”

Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office is once again defending the state’s statutes on abortion as a coalition of abortion advocates sued Texas in federal court today to roll back layers of abortion-related laws passed over multiple sessions.

Paxton, and conservatives who have backed Texas’ expansion of abortion restrictions, calls the passage of recent abortion-related bills to be an expression of the state’s constitutional right to protect women’s health.

Paxton spokesman Marc Rylander said the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the right of Texas to safeguard women’s health and protect unborn life.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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June 12, 2018      3:59 PM

Sen. Bettencourt leads work group effort to price out new education spending

Sen. Bettencourt says the group will thoroughly review Gov. Abbott’s revenue cap proposal, as well as look at the cost of the Equity Center’s school finance fix and even some yet-to-be-formulated proposal to wean the state off of recapture

The work group led by Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, on revenue will begin to price out proposals – in the categories of both best practice instructional programs and school finance fixes – as the Commission on Public School Finance goes into the summer months.

The timeline for the Commission on Public School Finance’s final report continues to slide toward the end of the year. This past week, the commission heard some of its last testimony on best practices. It now appears most of the commission’s work may be done in its three working groups, which are sifting through recommendations they intend to bring back to the commission for a final vote.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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June 12, 2018      3:55 PM

Grusendorf: The Establishment vs. The Folks

Former Texas House Chairman Kent Grusendorf argues that despite the fact that incumbent Texas House Republicans held their own in the primaries and runoffs, external forces pushing for change in state government have the wind at their backs

The revolt against establishment forces is alive and well in the world today. In Europe, Brexit was the first major crack in the dam; then other events such as those in Austria and Italy have reinforced the movement. In America, Donald Trump defeated 16 establishment Republicans in the primary, and a very establishment former First Lady in the General Election.

In Texas the anti-establishment dynamics are also clear: Ted Cruz handily defeated establishment Republican David Dewhurst, Dan Patrick later defeated then incumbent Dewhurst for Lt. Governor, and Ken Paxton won over establishment choice Dan Branch for Attorney General. Greg Abbott did not need to beat a credible establishment Republican in the primary; they were all afraid to challenge him. Abbott easily defeated the establishment Democrat, Wendy Davis, in the general election.

The only establishment leader in Texas over recent years has been Speaker Joe Straus. However, his ascension to power was more of an anomaly, due to rebellion in a closely divided Texas House against a leader who was viewed as ignoring the will of the House.  Straus was not elected by the public, and probably could not win a statewide race; instead he was elected by 150 house members.  His position of power is definitely not indicative of public support for empowering “the establishment” in Texas.

The complete column by former Rep. Kent Grusendorf is in the R&D Department.

By Kent Grusendorf

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June 11, 2018      6:36 PM

AT&T pulls financial heft from Republican Party of Texas following bathroom bill fight and the censure of Speaker Straus

Meantime, some business groups and companies are gravitating toward the Associated Republicans of Texas event in San Antonio this week as more and more support for the RPT is coming from Texas Right to Life and allied organizations like Empower Texans

AT&T, one of the biggest corporate political spenders, is not sponsoring this year’s state Republican convention in San Antonio following the company’s opposition to a failed GOP proposal to regulate the use of bathrooms by transgender people, the Quorum Report has learned.

The Dallas-based telecom giant provided financial support for the Republican Party of Texas convention in previous years, but the company’s CEO has publicly blasted the Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick-championed bathroom bill as bad for business.

AT&T declined to comment on pulling its dollars from the RPT.

Meantime, Republican Party Chairman James Dickey said his group is still on pace to meet convention fundraising goals even without AT&T’s money. “We are working on keeping the relationship with AT&T and looking for the best opportunity to continue working with them,” Dickey told QR on Monday.

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By David Saleh Rauf

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