After careful consideration, the answer is NO. TCR will support Jared Woodfill for Harris County Republican Party Chairman. Unlike some publications, I believe explaining the reasons behind my endorsements. Furthermore, as past Chairman of the Harris County Republican Party, I know what it takes to be an effective local Party leader. To that end, here are my thoughts for your review:
HCRP CHAIRMAN - THE CHOICES
No on-the-job training needed here. Since taking office, Jared has made significant progress in all areas required to be a good Chair. Jared hasn't just sat on the sidelines talking about problems, he's been on the front lines serving the Party. Prior to being elected Chairman, Jared served as Chairman of the HCRP Finance Committee, and Judicial Screening Committee. He has also served as HCRP Legal Counsel, Vice-Chairman for Senate District 17's District Convention and has been a delegate to numerous national, state and senatorial conventions. As HCRP Chairman, Jared has been an effective spokesman for conservative candidates and causes. He has consistently been willing to stand up for our Republican principles while weighing in on important issues (see photo ID, fighting against the Blocker Bill and the sanctity of life and marriage, just to name a few). Because of his courageous stances, he has received numerous awards, including the Texas Right to Life Horizon Award, Vision America Hero of the Faith Award, Justice Foundation Defender of Life Award, and the Texas Tea Party Republican Women Appreciation Award. Over the years, he has raised over seven million dollars for the Harris County Republican Party; funding its operations, programs and campaigns. Jared has implemented an innovative voter re-registration program which has become the model for local Party's across the nation. Additionally, as Chairman, Jared has overseen 3 county-wide Republican sweeps out of the last four election cycles. Simply put, Jared has the experience, knowledge and courage to lead the Harris County Republican Party into this critical 2010 election season.
For the past 27 years, Ed Hubbard has lived in Harris County; however, he has never been actively involved in the Harris County Republican Party, until 2008 when he ran unsuccessfully for Court of Appeals Judge. TCR is glad he is at a point in his life where he says he wants to work to build the Party. If that's the case, then he needs to join a committee, and work to raise some funds (he has never raised money for the HCRP) to let us all know he cares about the HCRP. One doesn't join a company and then immediately demand to be the CEO. Ed should serve with us in some role, any role, before he tries to become our leader.
Ed constantly speaks about how he'll bring more funding to the HCRP, while official records show that, in the last year, he has raised less than $9,000 for his own Chairman's race, despite the fact that the Chair is the party's main fundraiser (we know). Down the road, after years of service, maybe Ed will be ready to lead. Remember, your Editor, along with many of you, was there when the Democrats ruled Harris County...we were there when the HCRP was working tirelessly to get conservatives elected. It wasn't easy, but we persevered. Unfortunately, Ed wasn't fighting the battle with us. Ed says, "I want to finish the Reagan revolution..." TCR is just glad he wants to join it.
Paul has been involved in the party and has held various leadership positions, the last in 2001 while your Editor served as Chairman. Paul is a good and loyal Republican, who in any other year would be a capable choice, but he is not the best this year. He hasn't shown the consistent willingness to work or the courage to lead in a crisis. Allow me to explain: Paul talks about increasing straight Party voting and, while TCR agrees that this should be a constant goal of the Party, we were saddened that Republican straight ticket voting, in the very precinct that Paul chairs, has performed 8 points (on average) below the county-wide Republican average for the last three election cycles! Furthermore, Paul often speaks correctly of giving Precinct Chairs the resources they need, but he didn't bother to attend the 2008 HCRP Executive Committee meeting, where detailed information packets were provided by leadership for the Pct. Chairs; information which should have helped him increase the Republican vote in his own backyard. Paul has raised limited funds for the Harris County Republican Party; a critical job of the Chairman. The official records also indicate Paul hasn't raised a lot of funds for his own campaign (under $7,500 for a six month period). (When your Editor ran in 1996, we raised over $50,000.) Again, not an encouraging sign for someone who will need to raise millions for the HCRP victory effort.
Most disturbing of all is Paul's unwillingness to stand firm regarding a critical Republican Platform issue. While Paul was serving as an officer for the HCRP, your Editor was subpoenaed to testify before the Texas Legislature regarding a landmark case ultimately involving the sanctity of marriage due to a proposed GOP letter sent regarding the issue. The pressure was tremendous as the liberals and the media in Texas were pounding the HCRP to stand down and back off. Paul Simpson did, saying, "From a political basis, I didn't think it was something we ought to be doing." To which I said, "Bring them on" and we won the battle in the Court of Appeals and Texas Supreme Court (for the full story see Janice Law's book Sex Appealed). Leading our local Party takes hard work and a willingness to stand up for conservative principles (even in the face of liberal and media opposition).
Don has served as Precinct Chairman for ten years and wants to move up. He has some ideas worthy of consideration, but he has no fundraising experience; evidenced by the paltry $100 that he raised for his own campaign in the last reporting period, and the Chair is the main Party fundraiser.
Don is clearly not ready to be Chair in 2010.
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Red, White & Blue, featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones on Houston PBS Channel 8. Next up: Attorney General Greg Abbott. Coming soon: Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Karl Rove and many other exciting guests. As a new fun feature, visit Red, White & Blue on the Houston PBS website, where you can see after-show commentary about the show and its guests by Gary and David.
About Your Editor
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 thirteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last eight years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.