Upshur County Republican Party criticizes national party 'elitists'
by PHILLIP WILLIAMS
Mar 28, 2013 | 1082 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Upshur County Republican Party’s Executive Committee approved a resolution Saturday urging national and state GOP officials “to reject the divisive posturing of Republican ‘elitists’ such as Karl Rove, that disrespect constitutional conservative candidates.”

The resolution said the “elitists” actions “negate the vital importance of grassroots and TEA Party Republican activism in re-building our party.”

The committee approved the document after hearing State Republican Executive Committee District One Committeeman Stephen Lee, of Tyler, denounce certain actions of the Rules Committee at the 2012 GOP national convention, which he attended.

Lee charged the committee with making some rule changes that took “away some of the sovereignty of the state” on selecting convention delegates, and alleged that “the RNC (Republican National Committee) shoved the rules down our throats.”

The resolution approved after his talk said the Upshur GOP committee “was outraged by the disregard for the rules under which the Republican National Convention in Tampa was supposed to be conducted,” and the document decried “the removal of legitimately elected delegates from their delegations and the removal of members of the Rules Committee,” which “was apparently orchestrated to prevent them from voting.”

The resolution also alleged “there was an organized effort to silence dissent and disregard the results of votes during the National Convention.” And the document further noted that the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) had adopted a resolution concerning the convention, and that the Upshur GOP committee “officially endorses” the state resolution.

The resolution also commended Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri for “positively influencing the RNC’s recently announced $10 million planned outreach effort with Hispanic, black and Asian voters.”

But it went on to express concern that the RNC leadership’s efforts to rebuild the party appear directed at “sectors that currently comprise the Democratic coalition, while minimizing the limited government, constitutional conservative principles of the grassroots that has built our party and empowered the prosperity of our free enterprise system.”

The Upshur GOP, chaired by Cynthia Ridgeway, said it “recognizes the grassroots and TEA Party activists are the ones who provide the manpower, make the phone calls and cast the votes Republicans need to win.”

Lee had told Saturday’s quarterly committee meeting at the Walking ‘S’ Steak House near Gilmer that if the Republican Party moved left, “everybody on the right, they’re losing support from.” Yet, “they’re trying to push to the left” to reach young voters, which Lee said must be stopped.

Noting he is only 32 years old, he said he was attracted to conservative values.

Lee also said he heard his party lost the Presidential election because “(Mitt) Romney was too conservative. Does anybody in this room believe Romney was too conservative? I certainly don’t.”

“We live off a conservative reputation, but we’re not really conservative,” asserted Lee, who was a Ron Paul delegate to the national convention. He then praised a speaker who followed him, conservative State Rep. David Simpson, for “fighting some battles.”

Simpson, who conducted a town hall in Gilmer earlier Saturday (see separate story), told the audience of about 35 that “Our (state) budget was not cut this (current) biennium. We actually increased the budget by several billion dollars.” (The Legislature is now working on the budget for the coming biennium.)

Simpson also said he introduced legislation to basically abolish pensions for state representatives and state senators who are newly elected after next Sept. 1. Although the plan doesn’t apply to current legislators, the second-term representative told the town meeting he will not accept a pension if he qualifies for one.

Simpson said such pensions provide “a real incentive to stay in office” for the period needed to qualify—12 years—even if “you’re not there for the right reason.”

After Simpson spoke, the local GOP committee elected two committee members, Charlie Pelezot and Leslie Cathcart, to fill vacancies.

The committee also approved two other resolutions Saturday—one supporting legislation allowing a political party’s county Executive Committee to remove a county chairman for certain reasons. The other calls for “the voting record of each” SREC member on that committee’s business to be made available to each county GOP chairman in the committee member’s Texas Senate district.
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