Image: This photograph is ironic and harkens back to happier times before Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Wally Wilkerson began violating the Rules of the Republican Party of Texas and the Texas Election Code on June 26, 2018. Wilkerson (right) is with State Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey (center) and Senatorial District 7 Committeeman Mark Ramsey (left) at a Woodlands Republican Women meeting on May 9. Ramsey and Dickey are both members of the Officials Committee that heard the complaint, which a majority of the Montgomery County Republican Party Precinct Chairs filed against Wilkerson under Rule 8(k) of the Republican Party of Texas Rules.
Austin and Conroe, September 23 – Yesterday afternoon, the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) voted and ruled officially that the new Bylaws, which the Montgomery County Republican Party Executive Committee (CEC) adopted on June 26, 2018, were valid. As State Republican Party Chairman James Dickey explained, “The SREC confirmed that, according to Republican Party of Texas Rules, the first CEC meeting after every biennium [after the Republican Primary Election and Republican Runoff Election] is an organizational meeting at which bylaws are to be adopted and for which only a majority vote is required.”
Wilkerson ruled that way on June 26, 2018, when he presided over the organizational CEC meeting in Conroe. The Official Republican Party Parliamentarian, Jim Wiggins, also ruled that way at the same meeting.
A few days later, however, Wilkerson decided that he wouldn’t recognize the validly-adopted Bylaws, because they reduced his power to appoint Party Officers and Committees. After telling elected Party Vice Chairman Reagan Reed during a June 28 meeting that Wilkerson intended to work with Reed and the other Party Officers, Wilkerson locked the Republican Party Headquarters for a month, changed the locks on the door so no other officers could enter the office, and hid the financial books and records from the Republican Party’s elected Treasurer John Hill Wertz. Wilkerson canceled all meetings with the Party Officers and refused to meet with them, even when, during several attempts, Reed and others reached out to Wilkerson to try to work together.
On Friday morning, September 21, the Officials Committee voted unanimously that a complaint, which a majority of the Montgomery County Republican Party Precinct Chairs filed against Wilkerson under Rule 8(k) of the Republican Party of Texas Rules on August 17, “had merit.” Although the Officials Committee hasn’t determined that Wilkerson had “disgraced” the Republican Party or misbehaved, the Committee’s September 21 action was a bit short of those findings, while, however, finding that the 30-page complaint against Wilkerson had “merit.” (This newspaper mistakenly reported that the Officials Committee made the formal findings of “disgracing” the Republican Party yesterday. The Officials Committee only ruled on September 21 that the Complaint calling for formal findings that Wilkerson had “disgraced” the Republican Party and committed “misconduct” had “merit.”)
The primary basis of the 30-page complaint is in an excerpt at the end of this article.
Officials Committee meeting on Saturday, September 22
Under the leadership of State Chairman James Dickey, on September 22, the Officials Committee held a formal meeting to determine whether the Rule 8(k) complaint against Wilkerson should go forward to a punishment phase. Chairman Dickey made clear “this body has not yet made formal findings on the complaint.”
While Wilkerson tried to defend his actions in ignoring the County Party’s Bylaws and attempting to set them aside unilaterally, the Officials Committee relied upon the formal ruling of the SREC earlier in the day that the newly-adopted Bylaws, which the elected Montgomery County Republican Party Precinct Chairs had adopted on June 26, 2018, were valid.
Despite that ruling, Wilkerson refused to agree to allow the County Party’s Steering Committee to meet in the Party Headquarters. After Committee member Mark Ramsey, a State Republican Executive Committeeman from Senatorial District 7, attempted to get Wilkerson to agree to turn over the financial books and records to the duly-elected County Party Treasurer, Wilkerson only agreed to allow the Treasurer “to look at the books.” Wilkerson is sitting on enormous cash resources that he has refused to use for the Republican Party’s General Election campaign, even though the Montgomery County Republican Party Steering Committee ordered Wilkerson to turn $10,125 to the Party’s Victory 2018 Steering Committee by 12 noon yesterday.
The Officials Committee voted to meet against on Thursday, September 27, 2018, at 7:30 p.m., while sending a firm message to Wilkerson that they hoped he would agreed to abide by the Bylaws, follow the Republican Party Rules, and work with the County Party’s elected Officers and Steering Committee.
Ramsey voted against the delay, explaining, “I see no reason for delay. Personally with all respect for Dr. Wilkerson, it’s not in the authority of this Officials Committee to have Dr. Wilkerson decide here if he is going to listen to us or not.”
State Republican Executive Committeeman Terry Holcomb, of District 3 which partly includes a portion of Montgomery County, voted for a 5-day delay but against a 9-day delay. “This isn’t a difficult or complicated decision. It’s whether the Chairman [Wilkerson] will adhere to the Republican Party of Texas Rules. 5 days is enough. There’s a lot of unnecessary tension. This needs resolution sooner rather than later. I’m hoping that Dr. Wally will come to the conclusion that he’ll cooperate.”
Wilkerson seemed disengaged from the meeting and seemed to have trouble following the deliberations.
The following is an excerpt from the 30-page Rule 8(k) complaint which a majority of the Precinct Chairs of the Montgomery County Republican Party filed against Wally Wilkerson on August 17, 2018, with the SREC:
At the June 26, 2018, Statutory Organizational Meeting of the Montgomery County Republican Party County Executive Committee, by call and scheduling of the County Chairman Walter Wilkerson, the County Executive Committee (“CEC”) voted to adopt bylaws for the current 2018- 2020 biennium by a majority vote of 39 in favor with 32 opposed. Upon query, Chairman Wilkerson correctly ruled during the meeting that a “majority”vote was required to adopt the bylaws. His Parliamentarian, Jim Wiggins, ruled likewise.
However, 17 days later on July 13, 2018, Wilkerson reversed his position and has made several incorrect public pronouncements that the adoption of bylaws required a 2/3rds vote, so that the CEC adopted no bylaws at the Organizational Meeting.
Subsequently, Wilkerson has refused to recognize the officers elected at the June 26 meeting of the CEC, has locked out everyone from the Republican Party Headquarters for the entire month of July, changed the locks of the Party Headquarters, secreted the financial records, refused to provide the financial records to the duly-elected Party Treasurer, has threatened litigation against the duly elected officers, Steering Committee members, and all Precinct Chairs who voted in favor of the bylaws, and moreover has refused to communicate with any of the officers or Steering Committee members of the Montgomery County Republican Party other than by edict.
Chairman Wilkerson’s actions subsequent to the June 26, 2018 Statutory Organizational Meeting have fomented anger and confusion among the C.E.C. and Republican voters in Montgomery County and has clearly damaged and disgraced the party.
Here is a list of just some of the offenses committed by Chairman Wilkerson since the June 26, 2018 Statutory Organizational Meeting of the MCRP CEC.
- Chairman Wilkerson has refused to post the new bylaws on the County Party website.
- Chairman Wilkerson has refused recognize or post the names of the duly elected officers of the 2018-2020 MCRP on the website.
- Chairman Wilkerson has refused to attend Steering Committee Meetings on July 7, 2018 and July 18, 2018 nor did he attend the August 7, 2018 C.E.C. Meeting and has further sought to delegitimize that C.E.C. meeting even though it complied with the current MCRP bylaws as well as the expired bylaws which he claims are still in force.
- Instead of attending the first Steering Committee Meeting on July 7, 2018, Chairman Wilkerson gave an interview to the Montgomery County Gazette which is published on Facebook and Youtube in which he made false claims about the C.E.C. members who voted for the bylaws. Specifically, Chairman Wilkerson claimed that the C.E.C. members who voted for the new bylaws used “smears and lies” against those who disagree with those who support the bylaws (42:45). Claimed that a private citizen is behind the effort to pass the new bylaws (1:04:55) and accused that private citizen of being guilty of felony voter fraud(1:05:26). Imputed motives upon C.E.C. members by claiming that the purpose of the new bylaws was to overturn his election(10:02 and 41:42). In reference to the member of the C.E.C. who supported thebylaws, Chairman Wilkerson stated, “They are losers to begin with.”(55:01) States that those who voted for the new bylaws are Democrats (41:55).
- To date, Chairman Wilkerson has refused to give the proper notification for MCRP Meetings on the MCRP.org website in accordance with the MCRP bylaws.
- Chairman Wilkerson has also sent out a total of three (3) mailers to thousands of Montgomery County Republican voters in which he presumes to nullify the vote of the C.E.C. for the adoption of bylaws on June 26, 2018 and in which he also attempts to delegitimize the MCRP Steering Committee and all business that has been conducted by the MCRP under the new bylaws.
- Chairman Wilkerson also sought legal advice from the TexasRepublican County Chairmen’s Association (TRCCA). The attorney for that organization, Wade Emmert sent Chairman Wilkerson his opinion regarding the new bylaws (see attached). Emmert is quoted as saying, “I have reviewed the bylaws you sent me and I don’t think these bylaws violate the Texas Election Code.”Chairman Wilkerson failed to disclose Emmert’s opinion to the C.E.C. and has continued to ignore the MCRP bylaws, RPT Rules, Chairman Dickey and even the opinion of the legal counsel that he solicited. After this opinion was emailed to Chairman Wilkerson on August 9, 2018, on August 10, 2018 Chairman Wilkerson sent out yet another mailer to approximately 3,000 Montgomery County Republican voters in which he once again claimed that the new bylaws were not adopted and attempted to delegitimize the Steering Committee.