Harris County Republican Party: Yo, dude, do you support pedophilia?

So I wake up a bit early this morning and find this in my Facebook Big Jolly Politics page Inbox:

In a 2011 article, Ed Hubbard wrote:

“Rather than drive these people away from us, can’t we acknowledge their courage, examine their qualifications based on competence and character, and then, welcome them to join us in our effort to rebuild our society based on our fundamental principles?”

The answer is a resounding no.

For proof, you should interview Chris Busby about his recent experience with the Harris County Vacancy Committee.

That quote is from Ed’s November 9, 2011 post titled It’s Time to Listen to Ourselves – and Stop and Think. And an awesome post it was.

I continue to be amazed at the ineptness of the Harris County Republican Party under the leadership of Chair Jared Woodfill. Yes, we’ve won the majority of the elections in Harris County for the last decade or so but as I’ve noted many times, that success has little to do with the party apparatus and a lot to do with the fact that citizens in Harris County are fairly conservative. But as we saw in 2008, 2010, and 2012, the Harris County Democratic Party has made progress in undoing that success and is poised to take over the county in 2014.

In case you missed this post, Chris Busby received an award from the Log Cabin Republicans for his outstanding volunteerism in 2012 and his work helping State Rep. Sarah Davis win her re-election campaign against a formidable Democratic opponent. Chris has also worked on the campaigns of Fernando Herrera, John Faulk, Jack O’Connor, Jack Christie, and obviously Mitt Romney. He is known as a relentless advocate and tireless worker who devotes hours upon hours each month to conservative Republican causes, particularly to groups that are not typically receptive to conservative Republicans.

It turns out that Chris moved last July into a precinct in Harris County that does not have a HCRP Precinct Chair. Like many, many other precincts unfortunately. It was after the primary and after the filing time to get on the ballot, so Chris decided to apply and go through the Vacancy Committee process rather than wait for the 2014 election. As it turns out, that wasn’t a very good idea.

Remember, this was July 2012. Chris personally gave his application to Executive Director Elizabeth Dillon. In October, having heard nothing from the party, Chris followed up and was told that his application “was lost”. So, he filled out another form, submitted it, and waited. Finally, this month, April of 2013, fully nine months after submitting his application, he was “granted” an interview with the HCRP Vacancy Committee.

After contacting as many people as I could today, including Party Chair Jared Woodfill, and talking to eight people who were in the room during that “interview”, I can tell you that I’m more certain than ever the demise of the HCRP will happen in 2014 unless Jared Woodfill resigns and new leadership is allowed to take over. The “gatekeepers” that are in place, including one personally appointed by Woodfill, are destroying the party.

One of the members of the committee that I talked to today said that what happened during that meeting was  “criminal” and that they would resign because of it. Another member told me that they were “appalled by the treatment of that young man”. Yet another said that it was “gay baiting” and that one person on the committee “implied that the only reason gays want to be a part of the party is to relax laws so that they can molest little boys”. A precinct chair in attendance to observe the meeting said that “they tried to bait the guy into admitting that he was a pedophile”.

All because he put on his application form that he was a member of the Log Cabin Republicans.

Hey people! Guess what?! I’m a member of that club too! Gonna kick me out of “your” party?

This “one person” that was so aggressive in questioning was none other than the guy that makes a fortune off of selling advertisements promoting his endorsements in the “Link Letter“, Mr. Terry Lowry. I know, I know, you aren’t surprised. Me either. But I continue to be surprised and amazed that the leaders of the HCRP allow this to happen. Specifically, Chair Jared Woodfill appointed Mr. Terry Lowry to this committee. I’ve had a difficult time determining who is even on the committee but here are the names of the ones that voted against Chris Busby:

  • Richard Dillon – Chair – SD15
  • Bill Kneer – SD15
  • Terry Lowry – SD7
  • Sarah Singleton – SD7 (no voter registration on file for 9807 White Rock Lake Trail, her address as listed on the HCRP website)
  • Bill Drout – SD7

It was a 5-4 vote against. Two members (at least) were absent from this meeting. How about a little transparency Mr. Woodfill? Put the names of the members of this committee on the website. I trust that you see the prevalence of Sen. Dan Patrick’s SD7 on that list.

When I spoke to Chris today, he described the questions from Mr. Lowry as “brutal”. Chris was asked about his membership in the Log Cabin Republicans, should sex education be taught to kindergarteners, his position on gay marriage, and, bizarrely, did Chris agree with the 1972 homosexual agenda that promotes removal of all “age of consent” laws. Yes, he was asked that, confirmed by the people that were in the room. Chris took this to mean that the question was asking if he approved of pedophilia. Obviously he answered of course not but the damage was done and Chris was denied membership in the club.

No words.

If you don’t know about the “1972 homosexual agenda” just Google it. Like I had to. Who in the hell has a copy of that on hand so that they can interrogate potential Harris County Republican Party Precinct Chairs?

Terry Lowry, that’s who.

I did call Mr. Lowry and he told me that he was driving and would call me back later in the afternoon. Guess it was a long drive because I have not heard back from him.

If you have given this guy money as a candidate in the past or are a current candidate and intend to in the future, shame on you.

When I contacted Jared Woodfill, he advised me to contact David Riddle. I was confused by that but did anyway. Riddle is not on the committee and wasn’t at the meeting. His defense of the vote was that Chris volunteered to work the primary last year but when it came time to be there, he was nowhere to be found. Chris’ version is that Sarah Singleton, who was being paid to coordinate primary workers, asked him to work the primary. Initially, he said he would, but then called her back and told her that he couldn’t make it because Sarah Davis was in a tight race and it was more important for him to help her win. Which he did. And it was. The idea that David Riddle or anyone else would question Chris Busby’s work ethic is ludicrous. Just ask State Rep. Sarah Davis or any of the other candidates that he has volunteered for. Shame on them for coming up with that excuse.

I’m going to end this before I go ballistic. But rest assured, this argument isn’t over. Chris is going to file and run for the office – he will win. I look forward to the day when he shows up at the Executive Council meeting with the puritans that excluded him. I wish that when I was his age that I had the courage that this young man has shown. And I’ll be happy when the day comes that puritans don’t use their Bibles to discriminate against eminently qualified people.

I apologized to Chris today on behalf of all sensible Republicans in Harris County. You could do better by contacting your SREC representative and demanding changes in the witch hunts conducted in your name by the Harris County Republican Party. A good time to do that would be tonight at the annual “Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner“. While you are sitting there enjoying your fine meal and the homogenous crowd around you, say a prayer for a young man that you injured by either commission or omission – and while you’re at it, say a prayer for yourself, your party, and this country. Lord knows, we need it.

SEE ALSO: Chris Busby’s response to the Harris County Republican Party Vacancy Committee

SEE ALSO: Rhymes with Right: Questions for the Harris County GOP Vacancy Committee

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  1. Sally Belladonna Baggins Stricklett says

    I think knowing Terry Lowry was placed on this committee is enough for me to wonder why people still say they are R in Harris Co. I'm saddened that they could not get past his sexual proclivity, but I understand it too.

  2. bob42 says

    Earlier this week Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Harry Pregerson ruled that Oregon’s 2004 constitutional amendment limiting government recognition of marriage to heterosexual couples was unconstitutional. “Here, Oregon does not state any reason for preventing same-sex couples from marrying.”

    I claim no right to “define” any consenting adult’s choice of a life partner. It’s simply none of my business, none of anyone’s business, and certainly none of our government’s business. That specifically and critically includes the HCRP.

    “Tolerance is giving to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.” ~Robert Green Ingersoll

  3. joan McMillan says

    I was one of the precinct chairs that winessed this questioning of Chris. I was appalled as well. Quite frankly it is probably a good thing that I never had to go before the vacancy committee. They failed to call me for an interview for over14 months. I did not understand then but I do now. I would never have passed their test questions…I would have told them to keep their party and walked out. I work to get my precinct out to vote. I run fair and orderly elections. I go to every Exec. Cmtee meeting. I am a member of 2 Republican Womens groups and on the board of the Clear Lake Area Republicans. I have volunteered hundreds upon hundreds of hours to get Republicans elected to office but I will be damned if I will ever allow anyone to question me in the manor of our vacancy committe to the candidates for precinct chairs in April. I am no longer surprised that there are so many vacancies in Harris county. Nor is it any wonder that the Democrat party has gleefully determined that Texas can be turned blue again…Republican groups like this are just as determined to eat their young it seems. More is demanded of our unpaid precinct chairs than we do our elected officials in many cases.

  4. Ed Hubbard says

    As I shake my head reading this post, there are so many things I could say right now–but, I’ll bite my tongue. Instead, I agree with David, and I’ll say a prayer for those who engaged in this witchhunt as well as for Chris, Joan, and the others who were subjected to it–and for the rest of us who believe in the fundamental principles of our country and our party. As George Mason, James Madison and Patrick Henry wrote at the end of the Virginia Declaration of rights, “it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.” Some of the members of the vacancy committee (and, apparently, the HCRP leadership who keep making the appointments to this committee) still haven’t gotten this message, don’t understand it, or have decided they can selectively apply it.

    Chis, thank you for your courage and don’t give up. File to run for your precinct in the next primary and continue your work. Time will heal this wound, and together we all will eventually make our party live by the principles we espouse.

  5. tom zakes says

    Although Jared does appoint some members of the committee, the majority are elected in caucus by their SD. I know that Dillon and Kneer were elected in our SD 15 caucus, which ran till about 11 pm on a week night, with written ballots cast on every race, including runoffs on most.
    I am one of the people trying to recruit people to be precinct chairs in SD 15 (and anywhere else I can find them). Unfortnately, many of the chairs that we have are not active, and we often do not get a quorum at the Executive Committee meetings.
    I tell them all the same thing: If you don’t get through committee, or don’t get voted in by the Exec Committee, file for the office in time for the next primary, and if you are unopposed, you will probably get a call to run the election. Even if you are opposed, they will want you to work a primary in another precinct.

  6. Eric Waligura says

    The vacancy comittee is brutal. I have been interviewed twice by the comittee. Even after serving for two years as a Precinct Chair, I was grilled again when I moved into a new precinct. I was called a bad republican the first time. The gatekeepers of the party are very protective of the inner circle. I think the party does need new ideas and more transparency but I do not know if a new Party Chairman will provide success. I think the Executive Committee can pass a resolution enacting changes. They have the power of putting Jared on notice of changes to come. I was forced not to run fo re-election this past election. I miss being a force for good in our county. Oh well.

  7. says

    People like Terry Lowry is why I’ve stopped calling myself a conservative, preferring instead to throw my lot in with the whackjobs populating the libertarians rather than paleoconservatives like him. I normally don’t pay much attention to politics at this level, but given the disaster we have running the GOP at the top our only hope for the party is talent from the “farm team” in the lower levels of government. Things won’t bode well if the all we have to fight battles in 2014 are small-minded bigots stuck in the past.

  8. Sally Stricklett says

    It’s fear, and it’s antiquated information.
    I don’t like the hypocrisy of allowing him to work his buns off, and it’s such hard work, most don’t volunteer, but let it be known he doesn’t pass their litmus test. I also don’ t like the rule that other chairs can’t speak up… but I have found a lot of times the rules are designed to protect and keep elite. I don’t see how to stop Harric Co from being blue for a long long time.

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