AUSTIN, TX – November 15, 2017
Last evening in Travis County, all persons signing up to fill Precinct Chair vacancies in the Travis County Republican Party who had any affiliation with the Log Cabin Republicans were faced with what could only have been a pre-planned denial to them over the party’s anti-homosexual planks. While we certainly can understand that some planks in our party come into issue in this instance, the fact remains, Austin (Travis County) and all of the State’s Metroplexes are dominated by local Democratic control. Yet, some Travis County Republicans were ready to deny these individuals with presentations and using language such as ‘Evil Infiltrators’ to discredit those applicants.
The very goal of the Precinct Chair is to organize the precinct, speak to their neighbors, and turn out Republican support in both the primary and the general elections. This action over plank disagreements now leaves over half of the Republican Precincts vacant with no one to reach out to Republican voters.
Travis County, even more so than hard conservative districts, would have to look pretty hard to find any average Republican that agrees 100% with the platform and all of its planks. Additionally, they are throwing away our most valuable resource, grassroots volunteers willing to work for winning Republican seats versus empty areas with no Republican outreach.
It has been our experience, along with a number of other Republican groups and Auxiliaries, that the members of The Log Cabin Republicans usually offer more help and manpower than many others in events, policy initiatives, and candidate forums. In addition, most times their fiscal conservative strengths dwarfs even that of State elected officials. Michael Cargill, the LCR Austin president, is a gun shop owner, long-time party activist, strong 1st and 2nd amendment defender, strong on market principles and property rights, and is known to many in the GOP. He was just as surprised at the opposition as were we.
Filling local areas with Republican Precinct chairs should be a very important goal to us in recapturing the chunks of Republican voters in Texas lost in our major cities each cycle. How many thousands of voters will not be spoken to in vacant precincts about the party now in Travis County? As long as the general consensus of the platform is met, we should not deny help from those seeking to advance the Republican Party.
Surely, if Texas were ever to turn purple or return blue, we’ll need look no further than these types of unwise and short-sighted party tricks to know why.