Image: Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey (right) with State Senator Donna Campbell, Republican of New Braunfels, at the Hays County Picnic in Buda on August 10, 2019.
Austin, August 18 – Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey made clear during an exclusive interview with The Golden Hammer why he hasn’t called for Texas House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Bonnen to resign. Bonnen initiated a meeting on June 12, 2019, with Empower Texans Chairman Michael Quinn Sullivan during which Bonnen asked Sullivan to enter into a quid pro quo with him that the Speaker would arrange to provide press credentials to Empower Texans’ blog correspondents in return for Empower Texans not targeting certain Republican legislators and agreeing to target certain other Republican legislators for re-election. Sullivan did not agree to the quid pro quo during the meeting, which Sullivan tape-recorded. Texas House Republican Caucus Chairman Dustin Burrows, a State Representative from Lubbock, resigned yesterday as a result of his participation in the meeting, which Burrows attended at the request of Bonnen.
Dickey told Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, “As a conservative activist, I fought very hard for the passage of Republican Party Rule 44, which provides for a specific process to censure and penalize Republican office holders for actions they took while in office. The Rule requires that censure proceedings and penalties must begin with a vote of the elected Precinct Chairs or with a vote of the County or Senatorial District Convention, if they come from the County the elected official represents. The entire idea behind Rule 44 was to ensure that the grassroots activists within the Republican Party have all of the power to discipline officials.”
“I’m going to avoid the slippery slope of being a tyrant just to make my friends happy,” Dickey explained. “I don’t get to pick and choose when I want to follow the Rules or when it’s convenient.”
“I’m going to avoid the slippery slope of being a tyrant just to make my friends happy. I don’t get to pick and choose when I want to follow the Rules or when it’s convenient.” – – Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey
Dickey has been extraordinarily successful as Republican State Chairman. He’s responsible for record levels of Party fundraising and has worked to ensure that the Republican Party Platform is the “centerpiece” of “what guides the conduct of Republicans,” Dickey said. “It’s ironic that as a Chair who has fought for supporting our Platform, the most grief I’ve gotten from people who have disagreed with parts of our Platform. My job is to educate Republican legislators and officeholders about the Platform. I was in the State Capitol almost every day during the Legislative Session doing just that.”
Meanwhile, Allen West, who recently moved to Texas from Florida, has never held a Republican Part of Texas position, and is running to challenge Dickey for the State Chair position, has called for Bonnen’s resignation without waiting for Rule 44 procedures.
Kelli Cook, one of the leading conservative political activists in the State of Texas, Chair of the Montgomery County Republican Party Finance Committee and the Co-Chair responsible for its extraordinary Victory 2018 General Election campaign, and Gulf Coast Coordinator for the Campaign for Liberty, explained why West was able to act outside of Party Rules, while Dickey was not. Cook, in an exclusive interview with this newspaper, said, “I realize Mr. West isn’t bound by the Republican Party Rules, because he’s not a Republican official. I’m not criticizing him for that, but it’s true. I appreciate Chairman Dickey’s adherence to the letter and spirit of the Rules, especially Rule 44, and the requirement that censures and things like calls for resignations must start at the Precinct Chair level of the Republican Party.”
“I realize Mr. West isn’t bound by the Republican Party Rules, because he’s not a Republican official. I’m not criticizing him for that, but it’s true. I appreciate Chairman Dickey’s adherence to the letter and spirit of the Rules, especially Rule 44, and the requirement that censures and things like calls for resignations must start at the Precinct Chair level of the Republican Party.” – – Kelli Cook, Gulf Coast Regional Coordinator for the Campaign for Liberty
Several Republican County Executive Committees are deliberating over resolutions to censure and call for Bonnen’s resignation, as both Dickey and Cook confirmed during their interviews with this newspaper.
Rule 44 follows in its entirety.
Rule No. 44 – Censure Process and Penalties
A County or Senatorial District Convention or a County or District Executive Committee may by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting. adopt a resolution censuring a Republican public or party office holder representing all or a portion of that County or District for three (3) or more actions taken during the current biennium in opposition to the core principles of the Republican Party of Texas defined in the Preamble of the Party Platform as described in Rule No. 43A.
Such a resolution may include a request to the State Convention or SREC that the named office holder be penalized. If such a request is included, the delegates of the State Convention by majority vote, or the State Republican Executive Committee by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the full membership, may vote to concur with the resolution of censure and declare that no Rule or Bylaw enacted by any division of the Party at any level that demands the Party be neutral in intraparty contests shall be observed with respect to the named candidate, and no financial or other support shall be provided to their campaign by the Party except that which is required by law.
Any such penalty shall expire at the beginning of the State Convention following its adoption.