Friday, March 9, 2012

Travis County GOP Conventions for 2012: new rules and logistics

Like other Texas Counties, the Travis County GOP is trying to deal with implementing and adjusting to the new "emergency" rules passed by the SREC on Feb 29th.  Yesterday evening (08-Mar-12), Travis County GOP leadership met to discuss ways to conform to the new rules.  As your SD-14 SREC representative, here is my take on the issues discussed and how grassroots Republicans can contribute to an optimum experience.

1. Precinct Conventions:  The Feb 29th rules provided for a Precinct Convention option to be voted on by the County Executive Committee.  There was much discussion on this; the main point was raised by RNC Committman Bill Crocker, that new judicial orders prevent the Precinct Conventions from exclusively electing County Convention delegates as they have after past Primary elections.  Consequently, ANYONE who arrives at the Travis SD Conventions Saturday morning, shows voter registration in Travis County, and takes the "Oath of Affiliation", is entitled to join the Precinct Delegation at the SD Convention.  Given this fact, plus the additional cost and logistical / volunteer work, the leadership favored offering an Executive Committee vote (March 27th) on having "Precinct Meetings", which would be held at the order of Precinct Chairs (or precinct volunteers, in absence of a Chair); these meetings would serve for SD Convention participants to get early Oath of Office forms completed, and agree on which Resolutions (if any) they would like to forward to the temporary SD Resolutions Committee.

2. Oath of Affiliation:  The consensus on this issue is to ask/expect RPT to suggest a Oath to be used statewide by all counties (and even help fund printing cost); it would be a "No Carbon Required" (NCR), or carbonless copy, form which the Oath Taker would get a copy, and the Oath Administer (a Precinct Chair of other "officer" would return to the county.  The Oath would include a line for Oath Administer, as well as emphasize the need for a valid UVID (Unique Voter ID), which would be used by a Convention credentials committee to verify elligibility in a certain county and precinct.

3. The ESTIMATED State GOP Convention strength of the four Travis Senate Districts is as follows:
SD       State Delegate Strength
14        211
21        11
24        35
25        33

4. Temporary Committees:  It is proposed that temporary committees, for each of the four SDs, meet on the evenings for April 16th and April 17th, from 7:00PM to at least 9:00PM, at the Travis GOP headquarters.  (Members of those temporary committees, which typically become permanent committees, are appointed by the Temporary SD Chairmen).
Temporary Chairmen are:
SD-14 Bill Crocker
SD-21 Reagan Dees
SD-24 Russell Gallahan
SD-25 Mike Rodriguez

The temporary committees include Credentials, Rules, Resolutions (Platform), Nominations, Permanent Organization.

5.   It is anticipated that the NCR Oath of Affiliation will be available in time for the March 27th CEC; persons who would like to take the oath early are encouraged to attend.

6.  It is proposed to have a pre-registration (with Oath of Affiliation) for the April 21st SD Conventions on the evening of April 20th (around 7 - 9 PM) at the Hyde Park Baptist Church (site of SD Conventions the following Saturday).

In my observation, there is one very critical issue of concern to grassroots precinct convention delegates, that being the question of SD Rules regarding how State GOP Convention Delegates and Alternates are selected.  For at least the past two Travis Convention cycles (2008, 2010, and for far longer than that in other metro counties), the larger GOP precincts have caucused to elect their own State Delegates according the allocation formula of one delegate/alternate for every 300 votes for Rick Perry in the 2010 election.  There should be clarification now on whether SD temporary chairs believe that rule should be suspended, and all nominations done from a temporary committee.  The temporary chairs have sole authority to appoint members of the committees.


TJ said...

Thank You for keeping us informed but what do you think of what is going on?

I am not happy at all!


Don Zimmerman said...

I just firmly believe this important decision regarding the Precinct Convention Option should be fully discussed and voted on by the entire County Executive Committee.

Jerri Lynn Ward said...

Tarrant County is having precinct conventions to choose delegates to the County and SD conventions and I hear that Hays County is as well.