A hot topic in political circles recently is the explanation of and criticism of the corrupt pay for play system that has consumed Harris County Republican politics for far too long. A small group of men set the prices for candidates to pay them for endorsements in Republican primary races.
This issue has been spoken of in the past and even during some recent election cycles, with little being done to end the practice that is having the effect of turning Harris county from a 'red' county to a 'blue' county. The system stifles good, viable candidates from running for office. The system produces a very lazy way of governing - candidates feel obliged to take part in the system to win an election and the voters simply take the slate of their choice to the polls when voting day rolls around.
The latest criticism has come from a different source - not a blogger or a reporter - but an elected official currently serving in the Texas House of Representatives. Rep Patricia Harless first exposed a chain of emails that named names and exposed some nasty plotting of some of the people leading the politics of Texas Senate District 7. I wrote about it HERE. Others did, too, and the buzz generated around political circles and meetings.
Thursday, Texas Representative Patricia Harless (Tx Dist 126) came out with another swing at the corrupt Harris County Republican Party's pay for play system with THIS interview. In specific, she addressed a Republican primary race in the Katy area - District 132. She spoke about one candidate in particular, as his is a story of shopping for a district in which to run for elected office. I know he shopped for the district because the man was a resident of my own district - my own subdivision, in fact - in his last foray into seeking an elected political office. He was unsuccessful in that election cycle running in his home district and it is no secret he wasted no time shopping around for another district which might present an opportunity for him. He has the support of the pay for play slates. Surprise, surprise.
I would like to take this opportunity - while the topic is hot - to point out that there is an established group who has taken on this corruption since the early 1990's. The group is United Republicans of Harris County. I have written about this political action committee (PAC) in previous posts, the last one is HERE.
Full disclosure: I am a member of the Board of Directors of United Republicans of Harris County.
So, there is a vehicle in place to fight the corrupt pay for play system, if only enough people would pay attention and support United Republicans of Harris County. Each primary election, except in citywide races, United Republicans of Harris County puts out a list of endorsements in contested Republican primary races. Candidates are interviewed and questionnaires are studied. It is a long and tedious process, but it is necessary to be an informed voter. The Board of Directors then votes on endorsements. Sometimes no endorsement is made. Occasionally a double endorsement is made. There is no easy way out here.
Your vote is valuable. Your vote is your contribution to our democratic system. Voting participation is at an all time low. You can make a difference.
I encourage everyone concerned about the corrupt pay for play system in place in Harris County - that should be every voter except maybe that handful of men living comfortably off the candidates - to get active. One way to start is to attend events hosted by United Republicans of Harris County and also to contribute financial support so that the endorsements can reach the maximum number of Republican voters possible.
For more than two decades now, United Republicans of Harris County has toiled away, doing the work necessary to make a better Republican party in the county and electing the most qualified candidates to elected office. It is time for all to step up and show support with a presence at events and financial donations, too. I encourage you to do so sooner rather than later. There is no more time to waste.
Do the right thing. Make a difference. As Harris county goes, so goes Texas.