Image: County Republican Chairman Walter Wilkerson stands during the Tuesday, August 15, 2017, Montgomery County Republican Executive Committee meeting in Conroe.
Conroe, August 17 – The Montgomery County Republican Party Executive Committee voted in breathtaking fashion – a 33 to 11 vote among the Republican Precinct Chairs – for a resolution calling for the replacement of Texas House of Representatives Speaker Joe Straus (allegedly R-San Antonio), so that the House of Representatives can pass meaningful reform legislature that the super-liberal Straus has blocked, including property tax reform, pro-life legislation, and a host of other philosophically-conservative bills which passed the Texas Senate but failed to advance in the House. During the 85th Legislative Session, Straus even killed the legislation to protect Montgomery County’s W.G. Jones State Forest from commercial development after the legislation had passed the Texas Senate unanimously.
John Wertz and a host of conservative Precinct Chairs involved in the Montgomery County Tea Party and the Texas Tea Party Patriots PAC authored the resolution. Conroe Precinct Chair Dale Inman also joined with the group to advance the resolution.
Inman explained the resolution in very low key remarks, “I think as a county and state we should have better than Joe Straus as Speaker, because we’re Texas…Straus referred to property tax reform and pro-life legislation as ‘horse manure.'”
Woodlands Precinct Chairman John O’Der also gave a rousing speech in favor of the resolution calling for the removal of Straus as Speaker.
There was some opposition, however, from “establishment” Precinct Chairs David Tate and Jim Schulze and from County GOP Treasurer Landon Estay.
Tate told the crowd of Republicans, “I’ve called Austin and talked to elected officials. There aren’t the votes to remove Straus as Speaker. As Lyndon Johnson said you don’t have the vote.” Lyndon Johnson was a democrat.
Schulze perfectly illustrated the reason that the Republican Party has completely lost control of candidates and elected officials who run under the Republican banner. Schulze said, “I will speak against resolution. I’m not here to defend Joe Straus or condemn him. The effort to remove a Republican officeholder is far off what we should do, and we have to ask ourselves whether his actions are so egregious.”
20 other county Republican Party executive committees have passed resolutions condemning Straus, including his home county’s, the Bexar County Republican Party Executive Committee, which on July 10, 2017, passed a vote of “no confidence” in him.
County GOP Treasurer Landon Estay, who has regularly stood against government reform and for little exercise of Party control over candidates, argued that the entire resolution was out of order, because the Party should only “articulate party positions and promote party candidates.” Wilkerson attempted to deflect a decision on Estay’s challenge to the entire proceeding to Parliamentarian Chuck Meyer, who ruled that Chairman Wilkerson should make the decision. Wilkerson permitted the resolution to proceed.
At that point, Estay, without Wilkerson recognizing him to speak, proceeded to offer a sarcastic amendment to the resolution to recognize that it was merely a method of fundraising for certain conservative political activist organizations, such as Empower Texas and commentator Michael Quinn Sullivan. Estay argued that those conservative groups were using Straus as a “scapegoat.” Estay’s obnoxious amendment died for lack of a second.
Precinct 13 Chair Brian Crumby spoke in favor of the proposed resolution and explained, “I think we could have a higher standard than just being better than democrats. Joe Straus is working with the democrats but not the Republicans.”
Longtime Precinct Chair Jim Doyle complained, “this guy [Straus] stops legislation.”
When the vote finally occurred, it wasn’t close. 33 reform-minded Precinct Chairs voted for the resolution, while 11 “establishment” supporters voted against it.
With the passage of the anti-Straus resolution and the passage of the anti-tollroads resolution (with 97% of the vote), it’s apparent that the Montgomery County Republican Executive Committee is ready to clean up the corruption in the County government in Conroe and in the state government in Austin.