Good grief, I’ve seen it all now. I’ve been very kind to Harris County Republican Party Chair Jared Woodfill this year because he has made a few changes and is a good spokesperson for the party. And I guess I’ve been writing for such a long time about Jared and the control that a small group of people have on the party that I’m no longer “outraged” about anything they do. Still, this one was mind blowing.
First, a bit of set up. Recall that the party has less than 50% of the Precinct Chair positions filled in the county. This is by design for a number of reasons – easier to get a quorum at the Executive meetings, fewer votes to chase at those meetings, and the big one, most people aren’t pure enough for Jared and the small group that controls the party.
Second, when a precinct does not have an elected chair, anyone can apply to fill the role. The applicant must go through the Vacancy Committee, whose members are primarily chosen by the precinct chairs from the Senate Districts. But, the HCRP Chair, in this case Jared Woodfill, is allowed to appoint a member. Jared, as I have told you before, appointed a guy named Terry Lowry. Lowry is a sort of super Pharisee/Sadducee/zealot in his quest to keep the party free of homosexuals and people that are, in his mind (warped as it is) pro-choice – they don’t have to be pro-choice, they just answer questions differently than Lowry wants them to. Because of his status as a Woodfill appointee and party insider, his influence on the committee is larger than one vote.
Third, recall that the Vacancy Committee denied the applications of two supremely qualified candidates last year, Chris Busby and Nghi Ho. I happened to hear Mr. Ho today at the Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club – goodness, he is like, I don’t know, everything Republicans need in a candidate! Wow. But the Vacancy Committee, led by Terry Lowry and a couple of other “Christians” said no to Busby and Ho because they aren’t the right kind of Republicans.
Okay, so there is your context. Now, imagine my surprise when I see this entry on the campaign finance report for the Harris County Republican Party:
Unbelievably, Jared and the HCRP paid Terry Lowry $5,000 to recruit precinct chairs. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be surprised, after all, I did write this about Jared and Terry. But how was I to know that Jared would pay the guy to do what most of us have been doing for free – recruiting people to be precinct chairs? When I think about all of the volunteer work done by the hundreds of Republican Women, tea party groups, liberty groups, and Pachyderm clubs in Harris County, it makes me sick that Jared would pay Lowry five grand to recruit certain types of precinct chairs.
And what, exactly, did the party get for their money? Is there a report? An audit of what Lowry did? Or is it just that Jared wanted to funnel money to Lowry to ensure his support? After all, Jared isn’t doing too well in the finance department and his campaign can’t pay Lowry the kind of money that he used to. We’ll have more on those financial problems soon.
I challenge you to search this site and read for yourself about the incestuous relationships in the HCRP under Jared’s leadership. We’ve written dozens of articles backed up with facts. Try this search for a start. Like I said, Jared has made some changes and is a good spokesperson but when I think of all the people giving $10 and $15 to the party plus volunteering their time to help and then Jared funneling $5,000 to Terry Lowry for nothing, it makes me sick to my stomach.
I spoke to HCRP Chair Jared Woodfill about this today. Obviously Jared disagrees with my assessment that this was for nothing. Jared told me that the program run by Lowry was for 100,000 targeted Robocalls, 15,000 targeted mailers and produced, they think, 25 applications for Precinct Chair. It will be interesting to see if anyone challenges this and asks for documentation on these results and if they do, what documentation is provided.
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