Image: Texas Republican County Chairman Association General Counsel Wade Emmert (right) issued a legal opinion around July 10, 2018, a copy of which the Association provided to Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Wally Wilkerson around that time. Since then Wilkerson has lied to the public and to his colleagues in the Republican Party about the legal opinions he’s received. Wilkerson seeks to cling to power and try to claim that the June 26, 2018, Bylaws of the Montgomery County Party, passed by an overwhelming vote of the County Executive Committee, are not valid. Pictured with Emmert in this January 31, 2015, photograph are former State Republican Party Chairman Tom Mechler (far left), former Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill (second from left), and Republican Party activist Virginia Prodan (standing next to Emmert).
GIANT BREAKING NEWS!
Wilkerson has been lying about the legal opinions he’s received
Dallas and Austin, August 12 – The Golden Hammer has obtained a secret memorandum which contains a legal opinion from Texas Republican County Chairmen Association (“TRCCA”) General Counsel Wade Emmert, which Emmert drafted at the request of TRCCA President Jack Barcroft around July 10, 2018. TRCCA prepared the legal opinion after Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Wally Wilkerson requested TRCCA’s assistance after grassroots conservatives, by a majority vote at the Montgomery County GOP Executive Committee’s organizational meeting on June 26, 2018, passed new bylaws that decentralized the authority within the County GOP.
The Golden Hammer has confirmed through two individuals who are staff members of TRCCA and from nine chairs of other County Republican Party organizations who are members of TRCCA that Wilkerson received a copy of the memorandum a month ago! Therefore, Wilkerson has lied to his colleagues in the Montgomery County Republican Party and to the public for almost a month about the legal opinions he has received concerning the validity of the Montgomery County Republican Party Bylaws, which the County Executive Committee passed on June 26. (Hopefully, Wilkerson’s sleazy underhanded tactics will come to an immediate halt with the publication of this legal opinion memorandum.
Emmert has practiced law for 23 years. He has his own law firm in Dallas. Emmert is a graduate of Abilene Christian University and Baylor Law School. He served as County Republican Chairman for the Dallas County Republican Party from 2011 to 2016. Emmert was an elected member of the Cedar Hill City Council for 6 years and was President of the Cedar Hill Economic Development Corporation during 2003. Emmert’s objectivity with respect to this legal opinion is beyond any reasonable doubt, because a Tea Party activist ousted Emmert as Dallas County Republican Chairman in the 2016 Republican Primary Election. In other words, Emmert is no fan of grassroots conservatives.
The entire legal opinion memorandum from TRCCA General Counsel Wade Emmert follows:
“I have considered your request carefully. Let me first say that I am giving this opinion in my capacity as General Counsel of TRCCA, not as an Assistant General Counsel of RPT. My comments and opinions herein are mine alone and should not be attributed to the Republican Party of Texas, its officers or legal team.“I have reviewed the bylaws you sent me and I don’t think these bylaws violate the Texas Election Code. I share your concerns about these bylaws because I think they encroach on what is customarily seen as the responsibility of the county chair, but I don’t think they violate the plain language of the Election Code.“Here are a few points that will serve as a framework for my discussion:“First, I concur that county party bylaws must be approved every two years. The Executive Committee, as a deliberative body, has a lifespan of two years. At the beginning of each term, the Executive Committee must vote on bylaws that will control for the two-year term. The initial bylaws need only a majority vote to pass. If during the two-year term the bylaws were to be amended, they must receive 2/3 vote with prior notice.“Second, where a county party’s bylaws conflict with the Texas Election Code, the Code prevails. Similarly, where a county party’s bylaws conflict with RPT Rules, RPT Rules prevail.“To summarize these bylaws, they divest from the county chair duties and responsibilities of running the day-to-day activities of the party. Instead, these tasks are vested in a Steering Committee, which is a subset of the Executive Committee. The county chair is relegated to little more than a participant on the governing committee.“With that said, the Election Code does not define the general duties of the Chairman. There are specific actions that must be taken by the Chairman throughout the primary and general election process, but the Code does not specify who is responsible for the day-to-day functions of a county party. I refer you to Texas Election Code, Chapter 171, Subchapter B, which discusses the organizational structure of the County Executive Committee. Again, it is silent as to the duties of the county chair.“RPT Rules don’t define the duties and responsibilities of the county chair either. The only task assigned to the county chair is to maintain a list of precinct chairs. Rule 8(h).“To find specific duties of the Chairman, one must look at Robert’s Rules of Order. Even then, Robert’s discusses the Chair/President in terms of his/her role as the presiding officer. With regard to administrative or executive duties, Robert’s defers to the bylaws. RONR (11th ed.), p. 448, l. 21 – p. 457, l. 6. Nothing in Robert’s vests other administrative duties or responsibility in the office of Chair/President.“If the Election Code spelled out the responsibilities of the county chair, and these bylaws encroached on those duties and responsibilities, then I think the court would determine the bylaw provisions to be void. I do not think a court would read Robert’s to be on the same level as the Code. In other words, just because Robert’s discusses the general duties and responsibilities of a Chair/President, I don’t think a court would say that has the force of law. In fact, unless there is clear statutory authority, courts generally prefer to stay out of the affairs of political parties.“I do think these bylaws violate the spirit and assumptions of the Election Code, but I can’t say that they violate the specific wording of the Code.“If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.”