Bexar GOP Chair Strikes Back At Opposition to Speaker Joe Straus

In reaction to the passage of a resolution claiming “No Confidence” in local Republican Representative and Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus, the Bexar GOP Chairman, Robert Stovall, announced a new gateway committee to take control away from precinct chairs. In a recent e-mail sent out to local leadership, Stovall announced rules for a new resolutions committee to which he would appoint members. Included in these rules was a prohibition on opposition to any Republican candidate.

No resolution shall call for a change in the RPBC Bylaws; nor state the endorsement of, support of a candidate for public office, nor opposition to a candidate who is a Republican; nor mandate or restrict the spending of money by the RPBC.

Creating blockades to allow elected party officials voice their opinions and ideas through resolutions is generally a sign of weak control and a lack of support. It is like holding sand in your hand and the harder you grip the more slips through.

Many counties have resolution committees, but the main authority of these committees is to make sure items are presented in a proper and timely manner. They are not to regulate what can be heard by the full body. Some counties like Williamson County, have passed bylaws that a resolution can only be passed by 2/3 majority. Under these suggestions, the “No Confidence” resolution that Bexar GOP recently passed against Speaker Straus would have failed as it only had a slight majority of the vote. This seems like a wise solution since these resolutions speak with authority from the party and proclaim this is what that party believes.

Under Bexar GOP bylaws it is clear that the chair can unilaterally create a committee with rules and appointments as he or she desires, but he can not take away the authority of the elected body without the approval of that body.

In his e-mail, Stovall along with referencing Bexar GOP bylaws he also references Republican National Committee Rule 10 which speaks to Standing Committees. These rules do not apply to a local county party though and are only followed by the RNC.

Under Robert’s Rules of Order, under which most county parties operate, the body should vote to approve the agenda of a meeting before the meeting commences unless overridden by local bylaws. If following this process a motion can be made to add any resolution to the agenda or to be considered under new business. It is unclear at this time if the Bexar GOP plans to continue to operate under these suggestions or if they’ll make bylaws change. Should a resolution be brought and the chair or another precinct claims that to bring such a resolution would be against the rules of the committee then it would have no standing because said rules have at this time not been adopted.

Many Bexar GOP members that support Speaker Straus are likely to support these changes, but one would hope they can see how silencing opposition is not a good thing and such moves can antagonize and grow that which one seeks to silence.

Here is the Bexar GOP chair’s full e-mail:

Resolutions Committee Formed

I recently announced to the members present at the Management Committee meeting on September 11, 2017 of my appointment of a Special Committee to handle Resolutions.

All members, after discussion, agreed this was a good idea.

Therefore, as Chairman of the Republican Party of Bexar County under RNC Rule Number X: Section 2 (page 9 of 44 of the RNC Rules) and the Republican Party of Bexar County Rule Article X: Section 3

I official appoint a Special Committee to consider all resolutions submitted by any member for adoption.

Committee Members Include:
John Lujan Pct. 1107
Jamie Mathis Pct. 2055 ~ Betty Puckett Pct. 2143
Freida Wright Pct. 3102 ~ Kris Coons Pct. 3030
Mike Hoffman Pct. 4050 ~ Jim Sherman Pct. 4162

Article X: STANDING AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES
Section l: Standing committees shall be appointed to develop plans and to make recommendations to the Executive Committee and to the Management Committee, and to implement such actions as directed by the County Chairman, the Executive Committee or the Management Committee.

Section 2: The Standing Committees shall include: (1) Candidate Recruitment and Appointments; (2) Finance; (3) Budget; (4) Campaign Activities; and (5) Volunteer Recruitment.

Section 3: The County Chairman may appoint such special committees as deemed necessary to carry out the work of the Party.

Section 4: The County Chairman shall appoint the chairman and the members of each committee and they shall serve at the pleasure of the County Chairman. The County Chairman shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.

Section 5: Committees shall meet at the call of the Committee Chairman or of the County Chairman.

Committee Description

There shall be a Standing Committee on Resolutions, which shall be composed of one (1) member of the Republican Party of Bexar County from each of the four (4) Commissioners Precincts (if available), appointed by the Chairman of the Republican Party of Bexar County and a chairman appointed by the chairman of the Republican Party of Bexar County from among the members of the Republican Party of Bexar County Executive Committee. The County Chair and Secretary will serve as ex-officio member of the committee.

Standing Committee on Resolutions shall consider all resolutions submitted by any member for adoption by the Republican Party of Bexar County at least ten (10) days before the day on which General Meeting of the County Executive Committee shall be held at any regularly called meeting of the Republican Party of Bexar County or at least three (3) days before a specially called meeting. To be considered timely submitted, a resolution must be received by the chairman of the Standing Committee on Resolutions by the submission deadline, followed by the original signed resolution before the beginning of the meeting of the Standing Committee on Resolutions. This committee shall report to the Republican Party of Bexar County all resolutions, with amendments where applicable, for its consideration.

Standing Committee on Resolutions shall report out, without amendment and for consideration by the Republican Party of Bexar County, any resolution submitted in writing and supported by at least two (2) members of the Republican Party of Bexar County from each of four (4) commissioners precincts, which is dated and submitted to the chairman of the Standing Committee on Resolutions at least thirty (30) days before any regularly called meeting of the Republican Party of Bexar County Executive Committee or at least three (3) days before a specially called meeting. In the event of a memorial resolution submitted in response to the passing of the person so remembered, the ten (10) day requirement may be waived by the Standing Committee on Resolutions.

All resolutions to be considered by the County Executive Committee shall be distributed via email, and/or other social media sites ten (10) days before any regularly called meeting of the Republican Party of Bexar County Executive Committee or at least three (3) days before a specially called meeting. In the event of a memorial resolution submitted in response to the passing of the person so remembered, the ten (10) day requirement may be waived by the Standing Committee on Resolutions.

Presentation of Resolutions

All resolutions must be typed. A resolution, when initially submitted, must fit on a single 8 ½” x 11″ page. A resolution shall contain no more than three “inducement” or “whereas” clauses and no more than two “resolve” clauses, and shall be no longer than 400 words.

If a resolution is sponsored by multiple CEC members, a list of the sponsors and their respective precinct numbers should appear at the bottom of the text of the resolution.

Although a resolution may be sponsored by multiple individuals, for every resolution submitted to the Committee one single sponsor contact must be designated by the other sponsors. A single alternate sponsor contact is optional. The sponsor contact and alternate must be CEC members. The sponsor contact and alternate will each be considered to have full authorization to negotiate with a lead chair of the Committee or his/her appointee regarding changes to or disposition of the resolution.

The following information about the sponsor contact and alternate must appear at the bottom of every resolution: name, email address (if any), and mobile or home telephone number.

Resolutions may be submitted three ways: (preferred & recommended method); emailed to [email protected] or [email protected] or mailed to the RPBC, 909 NE Loop 410, Suite 514, San Antonio, Texas 78209 or presented to the Management Committee at the monthly meeting.

Form of Resolutions

All resolutions must be statements of principles.

Resolutions should generally not reference specific bill numbers or legislation. A resolution that references specific legislation will normally be returned to the sponsor contact to be rewritten as a statement of principle.

It shall not be in order to consider a resolution which has either not been previously considered by the Resolutions Committee, or has been considered by the Resolutions Committee and failed of adoption.

No resolution shall call for a change in the RPBC Bylaws; nor state the endorsement of, support of a candidate for public office, nor opposition to a candidate who is a Republican; nor mandate or restrict the spending of money by the RPBC.

Robert Stovall, Chairman
Republican Party of Bexar County

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