Using the cutting edge in technology, Paul Simpson, candidate for Harris County GOP Chairman held an online round table discussion as he welcomed questions from viewers and listeners via Skype, personal computers, phones, Twitter and Facebook. How cool is it to sit in your comfy chair at home and attend a virtual round table discussion? Very. That's how much.
I have publicly endorsed Paul Simpson in his challenge to the current Harris County GOP Chairman. It is a tough race. A small group of men are enjoying the benefits of the current leadership and will not allow new leadership without a fight. And, by a fight, I mean some really nasty campaigning. Maybe they have forgotten the 11th Commandment of Ronald Reagan - do not speak ill of other Republicans. Financial rewards are powerful incentives to keep the status quo. It is, of course, the county party that suffers in the meantime.
Paul Simpson, like me, is from Louisiana. Politics is in our blood in that state. Paul, like me, sites an early interest in politics, as his parents guided his political philosophy development. It was that way in my house, too. Paul Simpson began participating in politics at the age of 13 and by the age of 16, he was State Chair of the Teenage GOP of Louisiana. At Rice University, he was president of Young Republicans. In 1987-88, he was District Chair for Jack Kemp and was a precinct chairman for 20 years.
To say that Paul Simpson knows grassroots politics and how to organize people is an understatement. This kind of leadership is needed to grow the party and bring about financial stability. Currently, the coffers at HCRP are empty and unless it is for a television appearance, the current chairman is rarely seen. I know he was a no-show for my Republican Womens Club PAC when Paul Simpson and he were issued the invitation to speak at our monthly meeting about the campaign. Simpson was there and the group appreciated his responsiveness to our questions and concerns. Paul Simpson knows the importance of Republican women in the GOP in Texas.
It is crucial to elect new leadership at the county level. Though solidly Republican since 1994, Harris County is now in danger of losing that control. In 2010, Democrats carried Harris County in the Governor's race and now control Early Voting, too. There are 100 less precinct chairs than Democrats possess in the county. This trend has to be stopped in its tracks.
In order for the current leadership to maintain its grip on control of the county party, a smear campaign in in progress, just in time to influence Early Voting. Here is a particularly ugly piece on a former HCRP chairman's blog:
In his TCR blog, Gary Polland attacks Paul Simpson to support the incumbent County Chair. Polland claims he once terminated Simpson from party “leadership” because he would not “uphold the Republican Party platform” on family values and “caved just like a Democrat phony.” This is a false and ironic smear.
Polland's claims are false, as online news articles published at the time show (linked in the following):
In summer 2000, Gary Polland asked Paul Simpson to draft a letter for Polland to send the court of appeals that had thrown out the Texas sodomy law. After writing the draft letter – which was never sent – Simpson defended it on TV, when Polland would not talk to the reporter. When Polland was later “unavailable for comment” to another reporter, Simpson called a Democrat-controlled State House Committee’s subpoena “a politically inspired attack on free speech.” Simpson emphasized “Other means of political action [would be] more appropriate and effective” because talking to a judge about an ongoing case was not proper. Others agreed, including Paul Bettencourt (“under no circumstances should anybody be lobbying people to reverse their opinions while the case is active”) and consultant Allen Blakemore (“To call on a judge to change his opinion, well, I'm not a lawyer, but that's bad . . . You're not supposed to do that”). Polland and Simpson together testified that fall before that House Committee (Simpson “stood by Polland”), and the Committee backed down.
Polland fired Simpson from the treasurer post the next year, because Simpson refused to sign a loyalty oath to him, lest Simpson run for County Chair (“When a party subordinate got too ambitious, Gary Polland fired him”).
The smear campaign centers on using the dog whistle issue of "sodomy" as a divider. And, it is a patently false claim, to boot. Plus, there is the bonus of irony amidst the charge leveled against Paul Simpson - that he doesn't support "family values" when push comes to shove. Perhaps Polland counts on the average voter forgetting his public support of Mayor Annise Parker in the last election. Pot/kettle, Mr. Polland.
I ask that you join me in voting for Paul F. Simpson for Harris County GOP chairman. Do not reward this kind of political hackery to continue to bring our party down in Harris County.