Presented for your approval, here are the resolutions I am taking to my precinct convention on Tuesday. You can download the PDF of the resolutions here.
RESOLUTION REJECTING THE 2014 RPT PLATFORM
WHEREAS, The Declaration of Independence is 2 pages long, The US Constitution is 20 pages long, the Bill of Rights is 10 pages long; and
WHEREAS, the Republican Party of Texas adopted a platform in 2014 which was over 40 pages in length without time for delegates to either read or fully debate its contents; and
WHEREAS, the Texas Republican Platform contains such a diversity of positions, some of them contradictory, some of them of excessive specificity, some of them obsolete, and some of the offensive to many members of our party; and
WHEREAS, our party platform ought to be a document which is easy to read and useful for attracting new members to affiliate with the Republican Party of Texas and encouraging new voters to support the party; and
WHEREAS, many members of the grassroots of the Republican Party of Texas have expressed discontent with the 2014 Platform and Republican groups such as Texas Young Republicans, Texas College Republicans, and the Republican Liberty Caucus have rejected the 2014 Platform in favor of shorter, principle-based platforms, and
WHEREAS, some candidates find it politically impossible to run while adhering to our current platform or choose to ignore it or have not even read it because of its length and poor reputation; and
WHEREAS, historically Texas Republican Party Platforms prior to 1980 never exceeded 13 platform planks and focused on general principles held in common by all Republicans;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Republican Party of Texas Platform Committee not use the 2014 Platform as the starting point for the 2016 Platform and instead adopt a shorter platform that maintains conservative principles.
MODEL PLATFORM RESOLUTION
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Platform Committee adopt the following proposal as the starting point of the 2016 Republican Party of Texas Platform.
PREAMBLE We, the Republican Party of Texas, STILL hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. We affirm our continued support for limited government based upon a moral and spiritual foundation, as enshrined in our nation’s founding documents. We affirm freedom for every individual as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and protected by the Constitution. We recognize that the traditional family is the strength of our nation. It is our solemn duty to protect life and develop responsible citizens. We understand that our economic success depends upon free market principles. We believe that citizens' needs are best met through free enterprise, private initiative, and volunteerism. We support the “Rule of Law” and believe in upholding the law of the land. If we fail to maintain our sovereignty, we risk losing the freedom to live these ideals. As a party we adopt this platform and expect our elected leaders to acknowledge its principles in both word and action.
THE PROPER ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
We believe government exists by the consent of the governed and that it must be restrained from intruding into the freedoms of its citizens. The function of government is not to grant rights, but to protect the unalienable, God-given rights of life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.
REAFFIRMATION OF THE PRINCIPLE OF FEDERALISM
We believe that government must strictly adhere to the original intent of the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Constitution of the State of Texas. The 13 original Sovereign States in Constitutional Convention created the Constitution of the United States of America and subsequently ratified that document creating a Federal Government and granting to that Government limited and enumerated powers. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States defines Federal powers as those enumerated in the Constitution and reserves all other powers to the States and to the People. We oppose congressional, judicial, and executive abrogation of the principle that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People. We oppose unreasonable and intrusive federal mandates. This is essential to the preservation of the sovereignty of the state of Texas and its sister states.
We recognize the rights of the individual to own property. We resist any effort by government to take private property without an overwhelming need for public use. We reject the taking of private property by government for purposes of facilitating private development. We strongly oppose civil forfeiture of private property absent the conviction of its owners for a crime involving its acquisition or use.
ELECTIONS AND PUBLIC OFFICIALS
We demand honesty, integrity, morality, and accountability of our public officials. We will work to expose and stop corruption. We reject the buying and selling of endorsements in all elections. We support efforts to improve the security and sanctity of the ballot, including the requirement that voters show photo identification before being allowed to cast a ballot. We oppose public financing of election campaigns, limits on political speech, and efforts by government entities to influence the outcome of elections.
NATIONAL SECURITY AND PUBLIC PROTECTION
We honor all those that serve and protect our freedom. We support a military force of sufficient strength and readiness to deter any threat to our national sovereignty or to the safety and freedom of our citizens. We support the Constitutional mandate to protect and secure our national borders. We oppose placement of United States troops under any foreign command, including the United Nations. We support lawful efforts of local law enforcement agencies to protect citizens in their homes and in their communities. We urge reform of the legal system to accomplish a swift and balanced administration of justice, including consideration of rights of the victim. We support capital punishment when appropriate. We hold in abhorrence all schemes for disunion, come from whatever source they may; we hold it to be the highest duty of every American citizen to maintain against all enemies the integrity of the United States and declare that it must and shall be preserved.
We believe that Americans have the right to be safe in their homes, on their streets, and in their communities; and the unalienable right to defend themselves. We support the individual constitutionally protected natural right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes. We encourage personal responsibility for the care and use of these firearms. We support the Castle Doctrine and the right of individuals to stand their ground when confronted with criminal violence, and reject the notion that law-abiding citizens have a duty to retreat rather than defend themselves from criminals.
FREEDOM OF RELIGION
We claim freedom of religion for every citizen and expect the protection of government in securing to us this unalienable right. We affirm the right to religious expression, including prayer, in both private and public. We reject efforts to limit the free exercise of religion to the four walls of a house of worship. We support the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
We recognize the traditional family, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman, as the fundamental unit of society. We affirm that parents have the fundamental right and primary responsibility to direct the upbringing of their children and to provide nurturing care, discipline and training in moral values.
RIGHT TO LIFE
We believe all human life is sacred from conception to natural death, regardless of age or infirmity. We therefore we oppose abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and the public funding of any of these abhorrent practices. We reject government efforts to force employers to pay for these practices directly or indirectly under the guise of "health care benefits".
We believe that the primary responsibility for meeting basic human needs rests with the individual, the family, and the voluntary charitable organizations. We recognize, however, that there are special social needs that must be addressed through state human service programs. We support requiring welfare recipients to work towards self-sufficiency. We reject the notion that the federal government may mandate the purchase of any insurance product or penalize the failure to do so, as well as federal regulation of insurance products offered for sale.
We believe that no individual is entitled to rights that exceed or supersede the natural rights of others guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Texas. There shall be no discrimination by government in favor of or against any individual due to race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. We reject efforts to sanitize history out of political correctness.
We believe that all children should have access to quality education. Parents have the primary right and responsibility to educate their children, and we support their right to choose public, private, or home education without being subject to coercion in that choice by government. We support incentives to promote competitive excellence. We encourage cooperative initiatives to help all Texans become literate in English. We support the distribution of educational funds in a manner that they follow the student to any school, whether public private, or home school. We reject federal imposition of educational standards and the tying of federal education funding to adopting federally mandated standards. We reject zero tolerance policies that mindlessly impose punishments that lack a rational relationship to the supposed offense.
We accept the necessity for limited taxation in order for government to perform and administer those services that meet essential public needs. However, we recognize that the power to tax is also the power to control, and believe that the best way to control government is to strictly control the amount of taxes imposed on the people. We encourage further simplification of tax systems, the elimination of the estate tax, and broad-based rate reduction where possible. We reject the imposition of a state income tax and support a meaningful cap on increasing property taxes so that homeowners need not fear being taxed out of their homes.
We recognize that government regulation can be a major impediment to productivity and to competition. We must rely more on market forces and less on government. Regulatory power now exercised by the federal government must be eliminated or returned to state and local governments to the degree that it is practical to do so.
We support a free enterprise economy unencumbered by government interference or subsidies. We believe that a strong, diversified economy based on a positive work ethic, a well-trained and well-educated work force, a business-friendly environment, and safe work place will help Texas compete in the global marketplace. We believe that developing our human resources is essential to the future of Texas. We support the Texas Right to Work Law.
We appreciate the quality of our environment. Our air, water, and land are at the heart of our existence and must be protected through balanced management. We support reasonable laws and volunteer efforts to improve air and water quality. We continue to seek responsible solutions to controversies surrounding uses of our wilderness. We seek to preserve the environment while serving the best interests of our Texas citizens. We oppose as unconstitutional the declaration by any President without approval from Congress of any large tract of land as a national monument. We call on the State of Texas to use the resources at its disposal to challenge any such declaration in the courts of the United States.
The jury is a fundamental institution of liberty, because it is the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution. The jury has the right and the authority to acquit if jurors feel justice will be served.
We recognize that America is a nation built on immigration, and celebrate the contributions made to our quality of life by men and women who have come to this country from around the globe. America is a stronger and better nation because of the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of legal immigrants, and the Republican Party honors them. We believe that control of our borders is critical to both national security and national sovereignty. We oppose illegal immigration and amnesty for illegal immigrants. We oppose granting government benefits to those illegally present in the US. We believe that current laws against employing illegal immigrants should be vigorously enforced, particularly to stem the now too common crime of identity theft in obtaining employment. We support the imposition of civil and criminal penalties for employers that knowingly employ illegal aliens. We support the mandatory use of E-Verify so that employers can determine whether job applicants are legally entitled to employment in the United States.
The Republican Party is the party of the people, by the people and for the people. We appreciate the productivity of our citizens, affirm the infinite worth of all individuals, and seek the best possible quality of life for all. We invite all Americans to join us in working together for a better America and a better Texas.
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF AN ARTICLE V CONVENTION TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION
WHEREAS, The drafters of the United States Constitution empowered state legislatures to be guardians of liberty against abuses of power by the federal government; and
WHEREAS, The federal government has abused its power by creating a crushing national debt through improper and imprudent spending; and
WHEREAS, The federal government has abused its power by invading the legitimate role of the states through the manipulative process of federal mandates that are to a great extent unfunded; and
WHEREAS, The federal government has ceased to abide by a proper interpretation of the United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS, It is the solemn duty of state legislatures to protect the liberty of the people and of future generations by proposing amendments to the United States Constitution that place clear restraints on federal power; and
WHEREAS, Article V of the United States Constitution authorizes the several state legislatures to restrict the power of the federal government through the amendment process; and
WHEREAS, Article V of the United States Constitution provides that on application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states Congress shall call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the constitution; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Republican Party of Texas calls upon the Texas Legislature to apply to Congress to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution for the limited purpose of proposing one or more amendments to the constitution to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, and to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.
RESOLUTION ON ADEQUATE REPRESENTATION
WHEREAS: The U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 2, clause 3 states: The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative…”;
WHEREAS: Americans are not represented according to the ratio set forth in the Constitution because of apportionment laws passed by Congress in 1911 and in 1929;
WHEREAS: The clear intent of the framers as demonstrated by the actions of Congress was to reapportion Congress and expand the number of representatives after every census;
WHEREAS: At the time of the debate on the bill setting the arbitrary limit on the number of representatives, Representative Ralph Lozier (MO) made the following seemingly obvious observation: "I am unalterably opposed to limiting the membership of the House to the arbitrary number of 435. Why 435? Why not 400? Why not 300? ... There is no sanctity in the number 435.... There is absolutely no reason, philosophy, or common sense in arbitrarily fixing the membership of the House at 435 or at any other number."
WHEREAS: In America today, each member of the House represents, on average, 721,609 citizens, America basically has two upper houses of Congress with less and less representation of the people’
WHEREAS: The US representation at 1:735K or 1:598K (including both chambers) per citizen ratio falls behind all other nations with representative systems of government, such as Sweden with a representation ratio of 1:27K, Germany at a ratio of 1:127K;
WHEREAS: A larger ratio of representatives to population will result in each constituent having more influence over his or her representative and make Congress more responsive to the people;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: Representation in the House must be expanded to a more reasonable number and a process should be set for regular reapportionment. We urge our lawmakers to work on significant changes to improve representation of the people and put our representatives back to a number that the people in districts can hold accountable .
RESOLUTION ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
BE IT RESOLVED by the Republican Party in Precinct 333 that capital punishment should be meted out to those whose crimes are capital in nature.
NO EXCEPTIONS FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS
WHEREAS, both Democrat and Republican elected officials have exempted themselves and their staffs from laws they force on the American public, the most recent being the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare);
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that both state and federally elected officials must be subject to the same laws, regulations and ordinances as their constituents.
RESOLUTION ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
WHEREAS, the First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion to every American; and
WHEREAS, religious liberty is under severe attack in our churches, schools, the military and the public arena by anti-religious organizations and the federal government.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Texans should be free to express their religious beliefs, including prayer, in public places. We reject the “politically correct” efforts by the Obama administration and anti-religious groups to intimidate, bully, and silence people of faith in the U.S. and call on elected officials to uphold the First Amendment.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Church is recognized as a God-ordained institution with a sphere of authority separate from that of civil government and thus the Church is not to be regulated, controlled or taxed by any level of civil government.
DEFUND AND REPEAL OBAMACARE
WHEREAS, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (also known as Obamacare), was passed by completely partisan votes (i.e. not one Republican vote) in both the U.S. Senate, and U.S. House; and
WHEREAS, reliable public opinion polls find that a majority of the American people want it repealed as more and more details of the costly law are revealed; and
WHEREAS, President Barack Obama has illegally and unconstitutionally changed the law by sidestepping Congress and by executive fiat; and
WHEREAS, the Office of Personnel Management has exempted Congress and its staff from Obamacare while forcing other citizens to comply; and
WHEREAS, the costly and error-ridden website to enroll in Obamacare is staffed by “navigators,” who have not been vetted, causing major security concerns of consumers’ private information.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we petition the U.S. House of Representatives to immediately defund Obamacare, including its implementation and enforcement, thereby effectively repealing the onerous law. We further petition Congress to hold President Obama and his administration liable for illegal changes to the law and ignoring the Constitution of the U.S.
RESOLUTION OPPOSING THE TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
WHEREAS, the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures;
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court has held that that the right to travel from one state to another …is not a mere conditional liberty subject to regulation and control under conventional due process or equal protection standards, but a right broadly assertable against private interference, as well as governmental action, and a virtually unconditional personal right guaranteed by the Constitution (Shapiro v Thompson 394 U.S);
WHEREAS, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has deployed advanced imaging technology requiring a traveler to either submit to a scan with the capability to capture a virtual naked image of the person or to submit to an intrusive, groping search including the touching of the individual’s genitals as a condition of travel without probable cause that the individual poses any threat;
WHEREAS, there remain significant questions about the long-term safety and effectiveness of the technology as a security device;
WHEREAS, refusal to submit to a body scan does not constitute probable cause to be searched;
WHEREAS, it is an appropriate role of the State of Texas to protect her citizens from the abuse of overzealous government employees groping and abusing them without probable cause and in the name of safety;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Republican Party of Texas recommends the passage of legislation to protect the rights and dignity of travelers by requiring that probable cause must be present for an individual to be searched as a condition of access to public facilities or transportation.
PROTECT PREBORN CHILDREN FROM DISMEMBERMENT ABORTIONS
WHEREAS, a dismemberment abortion, also called a D&E Abortion (Dilatation and Evacuation), takes the lives of preborn children by ripping their limbs from their tiny bodies; and
WHEREAS, in undercover videos, Planned Parenthood executives discuss preferring this horrific form of abortion in order to procure the body parts of preborn children so that they can harvest and sell them; and
WHEREAS, it is the purpose of the state to assert a compelling state interest in protecting the lives of preborn children who are capable of feeling intense pain from such an inhumane and torturous procedure; and
WHEREAS, in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007), the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that the state’s interest in "ethical and moral concerns” over preborn fetal life could be the basis of legislation to protect that life at all times during the pregnancy and not just after viability.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED we call on government at every level to enact legislation that would protect all preborn children, no matter their stage of development, from horrific dismemberment abortions.
REPEAL & REPLACE PART OF THE TEXAS ADVANCE DIRECTIVES ACT
WHEREAS, every year in Texas, an unreported number of vulnerable patients are victims of the unethical, unconstitutional, and unprecedented Ethics Committee process due to the Texas Advance Directives Act; and
WHEREAS, Section 166.046 of the Texas Health and Safety Code enables physicians and hospitals to unilaterally withhold or withdraw a patient’s Life-Sustaining Treatment at the expiration of ten days against the patient or patient’s family’s will and without a mechanism for appeal and with no liability attached for erroneous determination, although such withdrawal will likely result in death for the patient; and
WHEREAS, this legal process in Section 166.046 of the Texas Health and Safety Code simultaneously violates the patient’s Constitutionally protected right to Due Process, and the patient’s Right to Life through the hospital’s own Ethics Committee without opportunity for appeal or legal recourse.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, we call on the Texas Legislature to repeal Section 166.046 of the Texas Health and Safety Code and replace the unethical, unconstitutional, and unprecedented law with truly Pro-Life options that respect and protect vulnerable patients in Texas.
RESOLUTION ON NON-STATE SCHOOLS
WHEREAS, education is the primary responsibility of parents, and that parents, not the state, are the stewards of the children; now therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED, we oppose all attempts by the state or local government to interfere with parental rights in education; and that we further support maintaining the present status of private, parochial, and home schools free from state government control.
RESOLUTION ON RIGHT TO WORK
WHEREAS, any individual should have the freedom to work in the job he desires without being forced to join or pay dues to any organization; and
WHEREAS, the Texas Right-To-Work Law has provided a good economic climate for stable management-labor relationships; now therefore
BE IT RESOLVED that we urge the State of Texas maintain its Right-To-Work Law.