In March 2014, TCR published two articles that are as pertinent to today as they were 4 years ago:
(1) Harris County's GOP: It's Past Time To Come Together.
(2) A Time for Choosing: Unity or Division.
Our message for all Republicans is from one of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin who said, "We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately." This is a challenging election year, especially after the disastrous 2016 in Harris County, Texas. The outvoted Democrats are energized by their hatred of President Trump and the GOP in Harris County, but fortunately not Texas.
So once again, like four years ago, we call on Chairman Simpson to unite the party and end the divisive talk and threats to non-supporters by his team.
It only helps the Democrats. Remember it is all about November.
Harris County GOP: It's Time To Come Together
(Originally Published 3/6/14) Updated
The long bitter race for HCRP Chair is over, and Paul Simpson prevailed in a close contest. Parlaying a sixty to one finance advantage, an effective campaign that had a good GOTV effort and radio advertising spearheaded by County Judge Ed Emmett resulted in a successful campaign.
Chris Carmona should be thanked for his hard work on the campaign.
So, now some free advice to the HCRP leadership 2018:
- Reach out to the different factions in the party that didn't support you;
- Expand the leadership, creating multiple vice chairs;
- Look forward, not backward;
- Always be raising money;
- Reboot the use of precinct chairs so they are effective in identifying and turning out our votes;
- Focus on what unites and not what divides us as without both social and fiscal conservatives in our party we will win few elections;
- Revitalize a young leadership program and reboot party activities to reflect the digital age and its impact on involvement in organizations. One size does not fit all;
- Give the Judiciary the keys to run the joint campaign they want, run by whom they choose. It's their careers that are on the line.
Let's unify and work together for victory in November.
A Time For Choosing: Unity Or Division
By Marc Cowart, Managing Editor
(Originally Published 3/11/14) Updated
Friedrich Nietzsche said, "That which does not kill me makes me stronger." Republicans - after this particularly acrimonious political season - are collectively hoping that this truth Nietzsche observed applies not only to life, but party primaries as well. While the negative rhetoric infiltrated races up and down the ballot, it seemed most bitter at the bottom in the race for Harris County Republican Party Chairman, as if the vitriol became more intense as it descended and finally collected as so much political detritus negatively charged with rivalry and strife.
We can only hope that the schism opened by the Chairman's race will make us stronger as a party, that we will unite in a new common cause and become stronger as we repair and fortify the weaknesses and vulnerabilities exposed in this most recent civil war.
It is difficult to imagine - with only a few days since the cessation of hostilities - that we will be stronger, united and resolutely focused on defeating the Democrats in November. But that is what must happen if we are to prevail. We must heed the words of President Ronald Reagan who admonished his fellow Republicans, "We have no enemies, only opponents." Now that the primary election and the race for County Chairman is over, we - all of us on both sides - must unite with our former opponents and embrace them as such, not treat them as enemies. We do, after all, have more in common with them than the Democrats we face in November. We must remind ourselves that the longer we linger at the crossroads of bitterness and reconciliation, the longer we remain weakened. The longer the Democrats have to ready themselves for the coming battle.
The first step in moving forward is for the Carmona faction to acknowledge the defeat and resolve to support Paul Simpson. The first step for the Simpson faction is to acknowledge that Carmona and his supporters have value and are a necessary component to victory in November. This is exactly what Gary Polland did when he was elected Chairman in 1996. While Gary did not defeat an incumbent, he did defeat a candidate aligned with the outgoing Chairman. Polland's election was a pivot for the local party - a pivot from the center to the right. But Polland did not punish his political opponents by closing the door on them, because he was wise enough to realize that to close the door would only punish the party and its candidates. Instead, Polland not only kept the doors open to his more moderate opponents, he invited them in and offered them a seat at the table. He did so without asking either end of the political spectrum, or those in the center for that matter, to abandon their principles. It was a strategy that did in fact strengthen the party. With a united Harris County Republican Party behind him, Polland was able to orchestrate the first of many countywide sweeps in Harris County. Now, almost 23 years later, the party is again in transition. It remains to be seen whether this transition is a pivot back to the center as many have predicted the Simpson victory represents; whether it is or it is not doesn't matter in the short term. What does matter though is whether we unite or allow ourselves to remain divided.
I know, like and respect Republicans on both sides. I have no doubt that our party is big enough for Republicans of all stripes - Tea Party Republicans, social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, moderate Republicans and ultra-conservatives. Maybe it is time to strip off those labels - without abandoning our principles, of course - and unite for our common good.
The 2018 Republican Harris County Chairman's race was ugly. But we survived. This is our time for choosing - let us take this moment to choose unity over division. Let us congratulate the victors and join forces as we march ahead to victory in November.
Causes For Concern
Democrat groups are already mobilizing and purchasing fall TV ad time against CD-7 Congressman John Culberson. As one of the targets of the Democrat plan to takeover the House, we need to be ready for that battle.
While it's encouraging that the Republicans outvoted the Democrats roughly 1.5 million to 1 million statewide, an alarming concern is that in Harris County, the Democrats outvoting us in the 2018 Primary. We pray that leadership has a plan to substantially boost GOP turnout this November.
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8, replaying Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8, Monday at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpublicmedia.org.
About Your Editor
Watch Online Now: What Happened and Why, An Analysis of the 2018 Texas Primary.
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his twenty-first year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last sixteen years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 15 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his 15th year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.