Welcome to July 2022…. Where we have runaway inflation, sky-high property taxes, through the roof fuel prices, a looming recession, and we are being ridiculed by the rest of the world. Just when you think it can’t get any worse -- remember who sits in the White House.
How did we get to this point? How did we allow such massive attacks on our way of life, our liberty and freedoms?
Sadly, we are all part of the problem. I am as guilty as the next person, but as your County Republican Chair, I’m determined we must do something about it. We must begin by electing people to office that will FIGHT for our rural way of life. Make no mistake, we’ve let it go far too long to try and gently correct the course; it’s now a BATTLE! To prepare our soldiers, we must start with training and education. In the next several articles you will find an outline of how the Texas political and electoral processes work and how you, the voter, fits within this most important system. This will be detailed so everyone understands the system/process and so you can be as effective as possible within the system!
The basic tenets of the Texas Republican Party are a bottom-up, grassroots philosophy. That means you, the voter, are ALWAYS in charge and decide the direction Republican elected officials will take when you hire them to do the job locally or hire them to go to Austin or Washington, DC. YOU are the boss. All too often many of the people we elect (hire) to office lose sight of this fact. They get the job (elected), their head swells and they begin to think they are in charge. We hired them to do a job and we pay them very well. All Texas election code (TEC), Republican Party of Texas (RPT) rules and State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) rules should be written with this philosophy in mind: THEY ARE NOT IN CHARGE – YOU ARE! YOU pay their salaries. They are the hired help. Their jobs are to do what we tell them, or we fire them (at the ballot box). As I go through these training articles, I will explain more in depth how these various organizations within the GOP are structured and function.
Today, the focus will be on the Texas Election Code (TEC), contained on the Secretary of State (SOS) website (https://www.sos.state.tx.us/). This is a large, bureaucratic organization with lots of moving parts. Please take a few minutes to go to the website and look at all the different functions contained within. The election codes outline almost everything a political party needs to know about how to run an election. All these codes are supposed to be promulgated into law. Of course, not all people actually follow or obey these laws. I have read all TEC at least three times in the last six months and the strictest penalty I can find for a violation is a class B misdemeanor. Some codes or laws have NO penalty associated with them so, are they really law? Even if a penalty is associated with the code, there is no guarantee the Attorney General (AG) will prosecute and if he does, how long before it goes to court? The answer is: years and years, and by then the offense or specific election is long since over, and the violator may already be out of office. The consensus is these codes are poorly written and have not been updated in years. For we, the voters, that’s a problem; but for bureaucrats, that’s never a problem.
There are essentially three political parties in Texas: Republican, Democrats, and Independents. Texas Election Code (TEC) is written for and is to be adhered to by all three. However, all three parties know the SOS is a paper lion and does not have the staff, time, funds or willingness to prosecute except only a few of the most egregious cases. Even if brought for prosecution, most cases are plea bargained down to almost a non-offense, so often, a case isn’t even brought to the AG.
While this may be an ugly picture, as we go through these training articles, you will begin to understand why the Republican Party was organized as a grass root bottom-up organization beginning with local elections and local voters.
Until next week, PRAY FOR RAIN!
Conrad Striegl is the Bandera County Republican Chair.