At the Bexar County Republican Party Executive Committee meeting this evening, a number of conservative precinct chairs attempted to bring up a Rule 44 censure resolution against their state representative, Texas House Speaker Straus, but were obstructed by Bexar County GOP Chairman Robert Stovall.
Precinct chairs were successful in passing a no-confidence resolution a few months ago. That maneuver, however, was nonbinding and did not officially request that Straus be censured by the State Republican Executive Committee. Precinct chairs planned to add teeth to their earlier statement by passing an official censure resolution.
But they never got the chance.
Time after time, members of the committee took the floor in an attempt to be recognized in order to add the contentious censure resolution to the agenda only to be rejected by Stovall who refused to recognize them for any motion.
Sound familiar? It should.
Indeed, Stovall’s actions were taken directly from the Straus abuse-of-power playbook. At multiple times during the 85th Legislature, Straus would outright refuse to recognize conservative lawmakers attempting to make motions he didn’t support. Similarly, Stovall repeatedly rejected precinct chairs’ requests and then proceeded with the meeting by speaking over the members trying to gain recognition.
After both sides of the conflict declared each other out of order multiple times, Stovall called for the removal of Precinct Chair Patty Gibbons from the meeting, a move that was met with strong opposition.
“There were threats of ejecting ‘unruly’ precinct chairs that challenged his running of the meeting. It is my understanding that chairmen cannot eject precinct chairs, who are elected officials, because that will deny representation of the people in their precinct,” wrote George Rodriguez, a prominent local activist. “Furthermore, it is my understanding that the entire CEC must vote on ejecting anyone.”
Stovall made every effort to ensure an official Rule 44 resolution did not see the light of day by abusing and ignoring parliamentary rules, creating a hand-picked “Special Resolutions Committee” that he insists must approve any resolution before it can be considered by the precinct chairs.
One former precinct chair in attendance noted that Stovall’s parliamentarian “has been disciplined many times by the National Association of Parliamentarians.”
With an episode this egregious on Straus’ home turf, the conflict likely guarantees the Republican Party of Texas will be forced to contend with the issue of Stovall and the resolution sooner rather than later.
Texas Scorecard was on scene for this event. A Facebook Live conducted afterward may be viewed here.