This past weekend, the Republican Party of Texas began its process of developing its 2012 Platform. As the state party's official document, it outlines specific policy and legislative initiatives as well as general values and concepts for which the RPT, its members, and GOP elected officials are supposed to agree. As I mentioned in this previous post, the 2010 platform was not only often contradictory of itself, but it was also very poorly written, abounding with grammatical errors and poor sentence structure. The document is built from resolutions submitted at the local level and voted up through various levels of resolutions committees before a final debate, amendments, and vote at the state convention.
The first step in this process is typically at the precinct level, with precinct caucuses being held following the primary vote; however, due to redistricting battles, the Texas primary was set for May 29. This is simply too late to get delegates to the state convention set for the early June date, so instead the Senate District conventions were held this past weekend across the state. The purpose of these conventions was first and foremost to elect delegates to the state convention, as well as to develop on vote resolutions for that platform construction.
I submitted four resolutions for consideration. The first dealt with the problem mentioned above regarding the grammatical errors that are so abundant in the RPT platform. The Grammar Resolution, titled A Resolution for Correct Grammar in the Republican Party of Texas Platform, directed the State Chairman to name a committee following the adoption of the platform that would go through the text and correct the grammatical errors. The committee would rbe directed not to change the substance of the various platform planks themselves, only to correct for sentence structure and the rules of grammar. Their final report would face a final vote by the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC).
This resolution failed in committee and therefore was not considered by the entire Senate Distrct.
My second resolution dealt with the federally-enforced trade and travel ban with Cuba. In it, I pointed out that not only has the policy been an abject failure — the Castro regime still oppresses Cuban citizens over a half century later, even outlasting the Soviet bloc Communist regimes — but that the policy goes against core principles espoused by the platform itself: private enterprise, individual liberty, freedom of exchange.
After a spirited debate with the members of the resolutions committee, it failed the vote and therefore was not considered by the entire SD.
My third resolution dealt with state government-imposed bans on gambling and the current state government monopoly on "games of chance" via the Texas Lottery. I again referenced the language from the 2010 platform that advocated on behalf of individual liberty and commerce based on free markets unencumbered of government intrusion. I mentioned the nanny state, and how games of chance fit into the history of Texas, as evidenced by the popularity of Texas Hold'em poker.
The committee unanimously voted down the resolution, and it was therefore not considered by the entire SD.
My final resolution dealt with health care reform. Based on this article that I wrote for the wesite US Daily Review, it advocates on behalf of free market reforms that would transform the health insurance market into a vibrant, competitive, open enterprise that would reduce costs and expand access — without mandates, prohibitions, tax increases, and bloated bureaucracies.
The committee unanimously passed the resolution, when then was passed unanimously by the vote of the entire Senate District (along with some applause). We will see if this ends up making the final platform.
I'll be posting more on various other platform issues as we get closer to the June convention. I was chosen as a delegate from my Senate District, so I'll be able to carry the fight forward.