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Some may call it “purification,” others call it basic accountability. But the rule book calls it “censure.”

On Saturday, conservative activist leaders from around the state gathered together to talk shop, debrief on the legislative session, and strategize how they can better coordinate going forward into the special session and election season.

In their ongoing effort to push policymakers more to the right, one weapon in their arsenal is the Republican Party of Texas’ Rule 44.

The rule basically states that an elected Republican who has been censured and penalized by the party cannot receive financial support from the RPT or its local affiliates. It also frees the RPT and its local affiliates from their normal obligations to remain neutral in Republican Primary elections.

Basically, censure allows the Republican Party to take sides to defeat one of their own who has gone astray and violated the RPT’s guiding principles.

But you won’t see the party handing out censures very often – if at all. The process for passing a censure resolution is almost as difficult as passing a tax cut through the legislature. Here’s how it works:

A Precinct Chair (or other party official) can introduce a censure resolution at a local party meeting (such as County and Senate District Conventions, or County and District Executive Committee meetings) as long as the body discussing the resolution actually has jurisdiction over the elected official in question. In other words, the Travis County Republican Party cannot vote to censure an elected official in Dallas County.

A valid resolution should detail at least 3 instances when the elected official in question violated the Republican Party’s core principles since the last state convention. Those principles can be found in the Preamble to the Party Platform.

The resolution must then be passed by a 2/3 vote of those present and voting.

The resolution may also request the elected official be penalized, and this is the trigger that allows the Party to work to remove that official from office during the election.

But a resolution with a penalty request must receive a second vote within the party, either at the State Convention, or at the SREC (Senate district Republican Executive Committee). It must be passed by a 2/3 vote of the full membership.

If the censure passes with the penalty, it would mean the Republican Party has officially declared that it refuses to support the candidate in the next election. You can imagine the bad press and difficulty winning re-election that would entail.

However, in 2014, Republican US Senator John McCain was formally reprimanded and censured by the Arizona Republican Party and still managed to win re-election.

Censured or not, many of the officials these activists desire to remove are already receiving Primary Election challengers for 2018.

Read the Republican Party rules for yourself by clicking here.

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  1. Matthew Stringer
  2. Jim Wolske Sr.
    Jim Wolske Sr.

    It is called toeing the party line, another way to put it: “Dance with the one who brung ya’.” If you want to be liberal the logical thing to do is join the other party. Political parties have a right and a need to enforce the party line, otherwise, they are just a disagreable mob.

  3. Richard Shade
    Richard Shade

    The problem is how unclear the party line is now

    1. Jeff Sadighi

      Actually Mr. Shade, there is no ambiguity at all. Here is the link to the Republican Party of Texas Platform. This document contains the ‘marching orders’ for everyone who serves in public office as a Republican. It’s very clear and most of the planks were passed with nearly 90% of the delegates votes – there were almost 6000 delegates, from every county in Texas – with the lowest support getting just under 80% of the votes. The only thing not clear is why some representatives in the Texas Legislatures continue to be Republicans if they reject the party platform and refuse to support it in Austin.

  4. Steve Anderson
  5. Bob Green

    It’s important to remember that to censure a “rogue” Republican, the group proposing the censure resolution MUST represent the county/district that has jurisdiction over the official. I can think of several, but there’s one specific rogue Representative who has undermined or just plain blocked conservative legislation from reaching the House floor for several Sessions of the Texas Legislature; and, he only remains as Speaker because of block voting by House Democrats in return for Chair, Vice-Chair and important/powerful Committee appointments. This problem is exacerbated by some House Republicans who are afraid to mount a serious challenge to “Mr. Speaker” due to a justifiable fear of retribution — via appointments to “lower tier” committees in which the Member has little interest. …and probably no Chairmanship appointments.

    House members should be free to choose their leader without such intimidation. Period. And further, the use of”loyalty cards” should absolutely be forbidden. Joe Straus has certainly angered enough people around the state and in the SREC that a 2/3 vote to censure is a real possibility…BUT it will be up to the party’s precinct chairs in his House District to “get the ball rolling.”

  6. Johnny Duncan
    Johnny Duncan

    Speaker Straus should be the most obvious target!

  7. Gene Zunker
    Gene Zunker

    I agree with Jim Wolske Sr. It is called toeing the party line, another way to put it: “Dance with the one who brung ya’.” If you want to be liberal the logical thing to do is join the other party. Political parties have a right and a need to enforce the party line, otherwise, they are just a disagreable mob.

  8. Teresa Beckmeyer

    Thanks so much!!

  9. bing

    Fastidious answer back in return of this question with solid arguments and
    explaining everything regarding that.

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