HCRP Chair race – Paul Simpson’s response to questions raised

(note: this post is in response to a post by David Jennings on 2/6/14 about the Harris County Republican Party chair race)

Paul Simpson campaign banner

David,

This is to respond to some questions you raised in your post today, to clarify where I stand on issues important to Republicans and why I can lead the fight to restore the Harris County to a be a Republican stronghold.

You write about the shrinking influence of the County Party during Jared Woodfill’s 12-year reign. So does our campaign website and literature. That’s a direct result of the Party’s losing elections and shrinking footprint on the ground. As County Chair, I will continue to do what I have long done – work in the trenches across Harris County to elect Republicans. Like how my group of volunteers four years ago created, for virtually no cost using open-source software, the Precinct Manager tool that gives precinct chairs online access to their precinct voter data, and to other precinct chairs, with built-in communications ability, 24/7 – and made it available for free to Republican precinct chairs. Meantime, the County Party has spent some $45,000 this past year on a tool that is still not operational.

You also write about how the Party fills precinct chair vacancies between elections. We have to be smarter. A party is a coalition. Winning in politics means building coalitions with those we don’t always agree with on everything. This is not a matter of principle, but a question of tactics. Because a party that advances no principles is meaningless. But a party that wins no elections is irrelevant.

Rebuilding our grassroots army will not happen overnight, but must begin right away. I will bring together paid staff and volunteers in task forces immediately to target key precincts throughout Harris County, in strong Republican areas and in competitive districts, to identify, recruit, and train precinct chairs who can identify, persuade, and turn out conservative minded voters. It will take focus from the top, organizational ability, and sustained effort to go into such precincts and identify enthusiastic Republicans and recruit them as precinct chairs. I can and will do that.

This is important because whatever 12-year incumbent Woodfill does is hurting our Party and losing our cause. For example, Democrats won 14 of 23 district judicial races in 2012 by an average of under 6,340 votes. That’s fewer than 6 votes per precinct – and fewer than 11 votes in each currently vacant precinct. We can win such races by turning out more voters in precincts where we have chairs, and by recruiting and training precinct chairs where we have none today. The Fort Bend County Republican Party under Mike Gibson is showing how it can be done. I can and will do that.

You also write that you “know that many of Paul’s advisors are urging him to drop social conservatives from the mix.” That’s news to me, because it’s just wrong. To the contrary, I’m grateful for the support of known social conservatives such as George Strake, Jr., and Maria Espinoza, who have endorsed our campaign. If someone advised me to drop social conservatives, I would tell him he was mistaken, as I have said to any who actually ask me instead of repeating mistruths and rumor spread by our opposition. In fact, if I were to drop social conservatives, I would have to drop out of the race, because I am myself a social conservative. I’m pro-life, always have been, and a whispered smear campaign will not change that fact.

Social conservative principles are essential tenets of our Party, our platform, and our beliefs. Social conservatives give our Party conscience, and heart. As a lifelong Catholic, I believe in my church’s teachings on such issues, including life and marriage. The Republican Party must remain the pro-life party, as that is the correct, and truly compassionate, position. And it is not conservative to toss out institutions that have endured for centuries, including traditional marriage.

Your post also asks about Party finances. The Party could hardly do worse: it is over 80% funded by its own candidates. The County Party must stop being a mouth, and become a helping hand to its candidates. But the Party long ago lost trust of the business community that could help fund it. The 12-year incumbent Chairman who was sued by a New York hedge fund for defaulting on millions of dollars in debt that had financed some 400 plaintiffs’ personal injury lawsuits he had drummed up against a Texas company in Somerville – who has never allowed outside audits of the Party’s books – who will not adopt budgets – who relies on cronyism to spend Party money – cannot win back the business community’s trust. Our candidates and activists deserve better. Outside audits, bidding for expenditures, and ending cronyism are essential to bringing our donors back, to win elections for our cause. I can and will do all of that.

As I have done on the grassroots side, the proof is in the pudding, because doing is better than talking. I have chaired a school board that raised millions of dollars with audits and budgets. My campaign’s last two finance reports show we already raised $163,845.69 from over 125 donors. We did that by bringing together the business community and the grassroots. As County Chair, I will continue to do so, so our Republican candidates do not have to fund Party operations. I can and will do that.

The 12-year incumbent would like to make this race about anything other than the current state of the Harris County Republican Party. If it turned on spin, he could win. But spin cannot change the facts. Despite all his talk, we have been losing Harris County to the Democrats, including close races we should be winning.

I am not running for County Chair to talk. I am running to restore independence and integrity to the Party, to once again make Harris County a Republican stronghold. Thanks for the opportunity to respond. See you on the trail.

Paul Simpson
Candidate for Harris County Republican Party Chair

Website: SimpsonforGOPChair.com

 

Comments

  1. Jack O'Connor says

    You hit the nail on the head. Mr. Simpson, you are a forward thinking conservative and consistant in your positions. It is that simple and that good!

  2. Truth says

    Paul Simpson’s campaign finance report also shows that he gave $5,000 to Terry Lowry’s What’s Up program.

  3. Jack O'Connor says

    Truth says…..I would guess Paul Simpson paid for an ad in the well distributed Lowry publication. The endorsement appeared rigged for Jared in this case. When multiple opponents committ to Lowry for ads before he endorses, then Lowry can choose who he wants or chooses who his biggest supporters want.

  4. says

    Bravo, Paul! Please distribute this piece as much as, and as widely as possible before early voting starts. I’ve never seen as a concise and complete a statement of your goals and plan as you’ve stated here–and the voters desparately need to see and hear this ASAP.

  5. Wendy McPherson Berry says

    Mr. Simpson,
    Thank you for your detailed response and for pointing out the facts by stating “Democrats won 14 of 23 district judicial races in 2012 by an average of under 6,340 votes.” You further mention that your group has been diligent in providing information that has benefited the Republican Party Precinct Chairs, which was better stated by you Mr. Simpson: “As County Chair, I will continue to do what I have long done – work in the trenches across Harris County to elect Republicans. Like how my group of volunteers four years ago created, for virtually no cost using open-source software, the Precinct Manager tool that gives precinct chairs online access to their precinct voter data, and to other precinct chairs, with built-in communications ability, 24/7 – and made it available for free to Republican precinct chairs.” However, I can truthfully say that as a registered Republican voter in Harris County, a single mother working full time, and an individual pursuing higher education is public policy and administration, that I have never been contacted by the Republican Party in Harris County or any other Republican membership group offering any information, including dates to go out and vote, or how to get involved to secure our liberty as Houstonians. Thus, as a voter I have concerns with the current Republican Party outreach and just want to know the results of your efforts. There is all of this talk about how effective the outreach has been, however we are still losing ground in Harris County to the Democrats, who boast on their website how they are going take over Harris County is 2014. Thus, as a resident, aside from being a current candidate, I wanted to ask what the results of your efforts have been in recent years given that you stated “the Democrats won 14 of the 23 district judicial races in 2012”.

    • Wendy McPherson Berry says

      Please allow me to clarify one comment. I am no longer a single mother and I resently married Burk Berry on September 1, 2012.
      Respectfully, Wendy

    • Silent Archer says

      > I wanted to ask what the results of your efforts have been in recent years

      Wouldn’t that question be more appropriately asked of the incumbent chairman? After all, he’s why you “have concerns with the current Republican Party outreach” in the first place!

      > aside from being a current candidate

      The same question might be asked of you. Your website says, “My goal is to bring the Party together in Harris County. Rebuild the beliefs and confidence that constituents need to support the GOP party for Harris County. Keep Harris County and Texas RED.” What is your *plan* to accomplish these goals?

  6. says

    Dear “Silent”,
    I asked the question as a voter to Mr. Simpson, based solely on the direct statements made by Mr. Simpson. Nowhere on my website (www.berryforgop.com) does it state that I have provided information to the precinct chairs that has been said to be beneficial to the Republican Party voter turnout to date.
    With regard to your other candidacy questions, as a candidate for the Harris County GOP Chair, I can tell you that I have not been focusing my efforts on PAC meetings, interviews, etc., but am devoting my time talking to families, neighbors, professional associates, congregation friends, fellow students, and fellow Republicans about our current mission and movement in order to increase voter turnout for the primaries; the most important race for the Republican Party. I will not rely on endorsements from committees or participation in the Pay for Play slate because the majority of Republican voters I know- have no knowledge of those committees or endorsements and currently do not vote in the primaries. Therefore, my goal is to get the citizen’s vote and join the Republican movement through grassroots efforts because our Republican Party is fractured, and citizen’s are confused on what our mission is today. Needless to say, we are losing ground to keep Harris County red due to lack of communication to our voters and other potential voters. In other words, if you continue to do what you have already done, you will continue to get what you have already got. Also, why did the HCRP just purchased the rVotes program to provide information to the precinct chairs to enhance Republican voter turnout if Mr. Simpson’s ongoing group efforts have been successful?
    Thus, my question to Mr. Simpson as a voter still stands.
    Kindest Regards,
    Wendy McPherson Berry

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