Today all Harris County Republican voters should thank Texas State Representative Patricia Harless, (TX Dist 126), for exhibiting true political courage and real leadership as she shines the light on the corruption that is killing off our party in Harris County. Yesterday Harless published a chain of emails on Facebook that expose another behind-the-scenes deal for an endorsement in our current primary season. Not just any race - it is the race for Harris County Republican Party chairman.
The emails have been published in more than one place by now, as more and more readers are tuning in, but you can read them HERE, at Big Jolly Politics, along with thoughts from the publisher.
You will note that not only do the email authors smack around Harris County Republican Party chairman candidate Paul Simpson, they also take swings at a woman working to establish a local chapter of a socially conservative national organization and the state party chairman. They take aim, too, at a local Republican group - United Republicans of Harris County - that began back in the 1990's with the mission to fight this very corruption in the county party.
Disclaimer: I am a Republican Woman with a federated Republican Women's club and on its executive board, an elected officeholder with TFRW, and a member of the Board of Directors of United Republicans of Harris County. I speak only for myself here and not for any organization.
Ethics and integrity matter to me. Politics is a tough business but abandoning all measures of integrity is like losing your soul. Easy to lose, very difficult to recover. Is it any wonder that the average voter, the regular Joe and Jill in Harris County, has grown weary of participating in the political process? What is the motivation for anyone to research candidates, attend forums and debates, listen to interviews, etc, in order to get to know something about them?
As the regular voter begins to realize that so many races in the GOP primary are a done deal - that a handful of men are living quite comfortably off a corrupt endorsement system known as a pay for play system - he or she rightfully feels shut out of the process. We know that for many offices in Harris County the winner of a Republican primary race will be the winner in November against a Democrat opponent. Is it any wonder that this corruption continues to provide diminishing numbers in turn out on election day?
The corrupt pay for play system of candidates paying a small group of men for endorsements in the Republican primary discourages talented, capable quality potential candidates from coming forward to run for office. This iron grip on the power base of county politics is destroying the Republican party in Harris County. This is not the norm in other parts of the country - or even in other parts of Texas - and it is wrong.
The county Republican party exists to support and help elect Republicans into offices, not for the candidates to support the local party with campaign monies. It is past time for candidates to rise up and show some spine. While it is easy to write a check and not have to campaign so hard if the paid endorsement slates get out the word for a candidate, it is lazy and dumbs down the electorate. Voters have grown lazy, too, by relying on the opinions of paid endorsers instead of doing the research on candidates. Until we recruit and run candidates who will not participate in the current system, the Republican party will continue to die in Harris County.
The political climate is tough enough now without the constant divisions this corruption produces. Do the right thing. Say no to going to the polls and voting for slate of candidates on the recommendation of a paid endorser. Say no to candidates who pay the endorsers. Demand candidates earn your vote the old fashioned way - one on one and through public exposure.
Thank you, Rep Harless, for rising up and standing as a strong Republican Woman.