Training for Harris County precinct chairs to prepare for the March 1, 2016 precinct conventions was held Tuesday, February 23 in Houston.
RERcontributor Cyndi Martin Lawrence was in attendance and witnessed an unexpected grenade being lobbed into the middle of the meeting room.
SREC Committee Member Chris McDonald (SD6) was before the crowd conducting his portion of the training when he apparently went down the rabbit trails of rabbit trails. Inexplicably, McDonald purposefully voiced a warning to the precinct chairs that members of the Texas Nationalist Movement, Republican Liberty Caucus, and those in favor of legalizing marijuana would possibly attempt to “takeover” the precinct conventions.
Lawrence reported that an immediate and audible murmuring began to spread throughout the room. There was a bit of uneasy squirming going on. “It kind of spooked people a little bit. I wish Chris would have stated it differently or clarified what he meant. When I called Chris later to clarification about this, ‘is it a rumor, is this talk in Austin with the SREC, or is this coming just from you?’. He said It’s coming from him.’ He has been getting emails from the Texas Nationalist Movement and the RLC dealing with resolutions.”
To compound the problem and panic, Harris County precinct chair Nancy Scott rose up in the meeting and testified to all that it had happened to her in the past. She told Lawrence at a past convention 50-60 people showed up and took over. Lawrence pressed Scott on what she meant by “took over” after the training’s conclusion. Scott’s grievance is that they made sure that they occupied all the delegate slots and passed all of their resolutions.
On his program, Apostle Claver Kamau-Imani pointed out that if such attendance was achieved at a precinct convention, that’s not a “takeover”.
“In order to attend a precinct convention, you must have the proper credentials. You must have voted in that precinct to enter into the convention. Therefore, if there’s 50-60 voters in one precinct that show up and just happen to be a part of a LM org, that’s not a takeover. That’s democracy”, stated Kamau-Imani. “Just because a precinct chair is outnumbered on resolution and delegate votes, doesn’t mean it’s a ‘takeover’. There’s upheaval in the party, at every level, and Lavaca Avenue is either panicking or has decided to go postal.”
Texas Nationalist Movement President Daniel Miller, was none too happy. In a statement released by the TNM Friday after RagingElephantsRadio.com broke the news, Miller pounced.
“There is no doubt in our minds that this warning comes straight from the top. RPT Chairman Tom Mechler, in a desperate bid to hold on to his position has declared total war on the TNM, our supporters, and those within the Republican Party who want to simply see Texans be able to exercise their right to vote on independence,” said Miller.
McDonald’s warning is the oddest twist. SREC member McDonald pointed out to RERcontributor Cyndi Martin Lawrence that he voted in favor of the resolution presented at the 2015 fourth quarter meeting of the SREC to have a non-binding referendum on Texas Independence placed on the March 1, 2016 ballot.
Miller told RER, “That’s why we’re all sitting around sort of stunned. We really counted Chris to be in favor of the people having their voices heard on this. It’s not a matter of if someone is in favor of independence, or not. For the SREC, it should only be a matter of if the will of Texans will be heard.”
A close connection to Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP) expressed absolutely no surprise at the reported warning. The connection underscored that RAMP has been denied a booth at the state convention – in spite of the fact that the founder of the group is a lifelong Republican and senior citizen Ann Lee of Houston, and Gov. Abbott signed into law new medical marijuana regulations following the 2015 legislative session.
Controversially, Chairman Tom Mechler has allowed the first LGBT booth at this year’s convention.
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