Image: Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey gaveled the 2018 Texas Republican Convention to adjournment at 5:55 p.m., Saturday, June 16, 2018, after the Delegates attending the largest Republican convention in history approved the 2018 Republican Party of Texas Platform.
San Antonio and Conroe, June 17 – The Montgomery County government’s reputation as “most corrupt in Texas” resulted in an important change to the Republican Party of Texas Platform during the 2018 Texas Republican Convention in San Antonio. The Convention Delegates approved the Platform at 5:55 p.m., Saturday, June 16, 2018, as the Convention adjourned. The 2018 Texas Republican Convention was the largest Republican convention in history, as the number of Delegates in attendance greatly exceeds the number of delegates who attend the Republican National Convention held every four years.
The terrible reputation of the Montgomery County government became an issue before the Republican Convention Platform Committee with respect to the Platform Plank calling for reductions in government spending. That the Republican Party has stood for substantial reductions in government spending has been a central tenet and principle of the Republican Party at least since 1964, when United States Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona was the Party’s standard bearer in the Presidential Election. Government spending was also a central issue in the successful Presidential campaign of Governor Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Election. Unfortunately, Congress failed to cooperate with President Reagan’s plans for major spending reductions in the federal government.
Since 2000, the growth in spending in the Montgomery County government has greatly exceeded the growth in spending in the federal government. Since 2000, Montgomery County’s spending has grown 428% while the County’s population has grown 84% and total inflation, as the Consumer Price Index, has been 38% during the same period. In 2010, voters in the Texas Republican Party passed a ballot referendum by a 92% affirmative vote calling for a ceiling on spending growth equal to the growth in population plus the inflation rate. Even since just 2010, when the statewide ballot referendum passed, Montgomery County’s spending has exceeded the growth of population plus the rate of inflation by $58 million.
The corruption of Montgomery County became an issued discussed before the GOP Platform Committee on Wednesday, June 13. Two citizens from Montgomery County had signed up to speak on that specific issue.
Prior to Wednesday, June 13, the Republican Platform’s Plank 166 read, in part, as follows:
“Government Spending is out of control at the federal level and the state level, and action is needed.”
The Finance subcommittee of the Republican Platform Committee recommended to remove the reference to state level spending in its report to the full Platform Committee. Montgomery County citizens and many others noted this strange change in moving the Party away from calling for government spending reform.
Therefore, during the evening of Thursday, June 14, fierce lobbying of Platform Committee members occurred from certain members of the Montgomery County delegation to the State Convention. At approximately 9:23 p.m. on Thursday night, Finance subcommittee Chairman William Lutz of Austin committed to restore state spending and to add local government spending as a major issue in the 2018 Republican Party Platform before the Platform Committee vote occurred on the Final Platform Committee Report.
Thanks to Lutz and the work of the Montgomery County Delegates, the Platform Committee Report and the Final 2018 Republican Party Platform contains the following Plank 144:
“Government Spending: Government Spending is out of control at the federal, state, and local levels, and action is needed. We urge Congress to become fiscally responsible by immediately enacting the following items:
- Adopt zero-based budgeting.
- Adopt a policy of requiring private sector efficiency commision for each governmental department.
- Oppose the use of “earmarks” as a part of the budget and spending process.
- Prohibit Congress from passing appropriations bills unless each appropriations group is considered and passed separately.”
With the passage of this Plank in the 2018 Republican Party Platform, it is clear and unequivocal that Republican elected servants should work to reduce local government spending, as well as at the state and federal levels of government.
As Montgomery County’s Commissioners Court moves into its budget process for Fiscal Year 2019, this clear call for spending reductions is the policy they should follow, particularly with Montgomery County’s terrible reputation for its out-of-control government.