Thursday, November 21, 2013

RPT Chairman Munisteri Working on Presidential Primary Changes

Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri spoke at the monthly meeting of Village Republican Women Wednesday held at Lakeside Country Club.  Most interesting was his update on his work in reforming the Republican presidential primary process. As he announced recently, Chairman Munisteri has been appointed to sit on the Commission on Convention Planning:

I had been appointed by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to serve on the Commission on Convention Planning which is considering moving up the date of the national convention and seeking input pertaining how to have a better convention in the future. Chairman Priebus floated the idea of moving the convention up to June or July from late August/September. I spoke in favor of moving up the convention, but requested that the RNC not move it up so early so as to interfere with the Texas GOP’s plans to hold our state convention in 2016. I informed the RNC that the Texas State Republican Executive Committee had already voted to move up our state convention from June to early May in order to accommodate RNC changes, but that any convention earlier than late June would be near impossible for us to conduct. I told the commission that we could make late June work but it would be very difficult and that we would prefer the end of the first week or second week of July. The commission is going to consider a variety of wide ranging changes but no specific matters were voted on this meeting.
Chairman Munisteri addressed three specific ideas he is working on to promote change in the upcoming Republican presidential primary process:

An earlier primary for Texas:  Texas has such a  large number of delegates to the RNC convention yet with our presidential primary falling later in the process, the state is not as big an influence as is equitable.  

The primary debates
:  Less debates. All debates will be RNC approved events.  If candidates agree to participate in non-approved debates, penalties will be issued.  Why should Republican presidential primary candidates debate with CNN anchors or former Democratic White House staffers?

An earlier national convention:  Instead of the Republican convention being held in late summer, it should be moved up earlier on the calendar.  This allows more time for the presidential ticket to campaign and be more competitive before the November election.  The bonus of this would also be less risk of a hurricane threat that would result in last minute scheduling changes. 

Chairman Munisteri spoke of the importance of everyone working to keep Texas a red state, which is especially important in presidential elections.  There is no electoral college pathway to national victory for a Republican presidential candidate without the electoral college votes from Texas. 

Chairman Munisteri spoke to the subject of engagement in traditionally minority communities and bringing these voters into Republican politics.  Here is what he wrote in his last newsletter update on Asian American and African American voter engagement:

In addition to planning for the RNC’s future we continued to focus our efforts back here in Texas on Victory efforts for 2014 and expanding our engagement program. We finalized plans for opening up an office in San Antonio, completed agreements with the Harris County GOP for our Victory office there, and continued to gear up our operations in Tarrant County, where we have placed a Victory Director as part of an agreement with the Tarrant County GOP. We also continued to hire staff to fill our Victory and engagement positions. We added Melissa Fwu, a Rice graduate, as our Director of Asian American Engagement. We also added former prosecutor Tommy Coleman as our In-House Counsel & Director of African American Engagement.

Engagement with Hispanic voters is ongoing, as well.  He stressed the importance of Republican elected officials to be present in communities and reach out to voters in person at local meetings and gatherings.

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