After a week of discussion with members the Republican Liberty Caucus, excited by the new chairman of the Republican Party of Texas’ initiative to actually request lawmakers be responsible to the planks of our party, issued the following outreach to the Republican Party of Texas. We will continue, as a coalition partner, to help advance the cause of life, liberty and property under the planks the party has devoted to furthering individual liberty and removing government overreach.
PDF version can be found here: RLCTXStatementonPlankSupport
The Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas (RLC-TX) would like to thank the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) for voting to accept us as a coalition member. We applaud your pursuit to make the platform relevant again in state government. We look forward to advancing our shared principles and achieving real accomplishment in addressing reforms on specific planks.
While we will certainly have our disagreements at times, RLC-TX believes that pushing the best of the platform is of the utmost importance. We have long been supporters of a majority of the RPT platform and remain so. Words on paper are only going to get us so far. In order to make the platform a reality, Republican activists need to be meeting with elected officials, agencies and other stakeholders. Afterall, plank 77 reminds us that it is every Republican’s responsibility to implement the platform.
The RLC-TX does not have the resources to take on 250+ items, but we do have the resources for several items. We put the question to our membership, and they responded with overwhelming encouragement that we be a leading voice to advance the following planks:
Plank 161 – Property Search and Seizure without Due Process
Plank 265 – Replacement of the Property Tax (RPT Priority #5)
Plank 178 – Bond Elections
Plank 261 – Constitutional Carry (RPT Priority #1)
Plank 049 – Government Surveillance
Plank 163 – Juries
The RLC-TX is a big supporter of the “priority” structure that the 2016 convention adopted. We have seen the party lead on its eight priority issues and feel confident that the party will continue to do so. We look forward to your direction on how we can help advance and pass the priorities especially concerning the Property Tax and Constitutional Carry. We will defer to you and follow your lead.
Concerning planks 161, 178, 49 and 163, the RLC-TX stands ready to lead. To do so, we would benefit from support of the party. We recognize that the party has tremendous networking resources that can help facilitate the meetings necessary to build support to effect real change that these planks represent. Knowing the right people to talk to in politics is often the only thing preventing us from winning on our issues. With your support, we can clear these challenges.
I look forward to yours or your staff’s response on how we can continue the conversation and move these issues forward.
Chairman, Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas
Plank 161 – Property Search and Seizure without Due Process – We need to reinstate the rights embodied in the 4th Amendment that have been rendered null and void by activist courts and government overreach. We urge the Legislature to abolish civil asset forfeiture and to ensure private property only be forfeited upon a criminal conviction.
Plank 265 – Replace the property tax system with an alternative other than the income tax and require voter approval to increase the overall tax burden.
Plank 178 – Bond Elections – State and local bond election ballots should be required to include the amount of debt currently outstanding, current debt service payments, current per capita debt obligations, the amount of new debt being proposed, estimated debt service for the new debt, and estimated per capita burden being proposed. Any bond election (state or local) must pass with at least a 2/3 majority of voters to affirm the bond. The bond issue must obtain a yes vote of a minimum of 20% of registered voters. All elections of personnel responsible for adopting a budget and a property tax rate and all elections involving bond indebtedness shall be held on the November uniform election date and administered by the County Clerk or the County Elections Administrator. Any government entity should not spend taxpayer dollars in promoting further indebtedness or spending of taxpayer dollars via mass media. We oppose bundling of items on bond election ballots.
Plank 261 – Pass constitutional carry while maintaining licensing as optional for reciprocity purposes.
Plank 49 – Government Surveillance – The State of Texas should forbid mass surveillance of citizens by government agencies, specifically mass video surveillance of public areas, and nonanonymized vehicle tracking for non-business purposes.
Plank 163 – Juries – We support the notification to juries of their rights and powers (including jury nullification)