In keeping with our effort to provide Texans with the information they need to be informed voters, Texas Scorecard distributed a questionnaire to those running for the lead the Republican Party of Texas as chairman: incumbent James Dickey and challenger Cindy Asche.
We also decided for the first time ever to make a number of the same questions available to those running for the State Republican Executive Committee as well. While we won’t be issuing an endorsement in any of these races, we hope that the responses to these questions will help you decide which man and which woman will best represent your interest on the SREC.
Here are the answers from the Senate District 14 candidates who responded without edits:
Why should Republicans choose you for the SREC?
Laura Pressley: While there are many issues confronting our state, in my heart and soul I believe voter fraud and election integrity is the most important. Our representative form of government, our laws, and constitutional protections originate at and are protected by the voters at the ballot box. It has to be secure. Unfortunately, we have seen election illegalities that exist around the state and we have to do more to protect the ballot box and ensure our votes are counted securely.
Today, more than ever, we have to ensure legal, honest and verifiable elections happen all over the state. Two main factors play important roles in this – we have to make sure only legal voters cast ballots and that those precious ballots are counted legally and securely. I have leadership expertise in both areas.
In the last three years, I’ve been working to ensure our votes in Travis County are counted legally and securely. As a former candidate for the Austin City Council I uncovered evidence of corrupted electronic vote tabulations and filed an historic election contest against Greg Casar, a Democrat, and the case is currently pending in the Texas Supreme Court. I’ve endured personal attacks, ridicule from those who are ignorant of the complexity of electronic voting systems, and have paid a deep financial price to bring the unconstitutional and illegal actions of Travis County elections office to the forefront. The great news is that in the last several months, Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office has submitted an Amicus Curiae Brief to the Court supporting the constitutional issues we have raised. Furthermore, at least 4 of the 9 Texas Supreme Court Justices have recently moved our election case to the full briefing stage. It has been a long road, and we believe truth and justice will prevail.
While addressing the election issues, I have given over 220 election integrity presentations all over Texas, and have learned many illegalities are occurring all over the state with regard to electronic vote tabulations. I’m the most knowledgeable person with regard to electronic voting integrity issues and am ready to serve the SREC and bring more honest and legal vote counting processes to the forefront.
With regard to illegal voters, I’m the Chair of the Travis County Republican Party’s Election Integrity Committee and we have an ongoing project to identify illegal voters and I’m excited to bring that expertise to the SREC, also. I feel I am the best leader to help the SREC ensure honest and legal elections are ours in Texas.
On other issues that the Party is facing, the relationships that I’ve built all over the state in the last 3 years working on election integrity range from grass roots, to state reps, to state senators, and beyond. This will allow me to work effectively with and move our platform issues forward in the SREC meetings and in our legislature.
Texas Republicans control every statewide office and the Texas Legislature by impressive margins. What measures must pass this upcoming session for it to be declared a success?
Laura Pressley: Here is a list of legislative priorities that need to pass this upcoming session. These include our current RPT legislative priorities plus some additional ones:
- Enact comprehensive election integrity reform that increases penalties for election fraud to felony offenses.
- Pass constitutional carry while maintaining licensing as optional.
- Replace the property tax system with an alternative other than the income tax and require voter approval to increase the overall tax burden.
- Enact a system of denial and/or withdrawal of public funds for entities, public and/or private, not in compliance with immigration laws, including sanctuary cities or campuses.
- Allocate funds to secure the border through whatever means necessary, including but not limited to barriers, personnel, and technology over land, sea, and air, because the federal government refuses to secure the southern border of Texas.
- Develop comprehensive school choice options consistent with the RPT Platform.
- Abolish abortion by enacting legislation to stop the murder of unborn children. Specifically, I fully support Texas Right to Life’s powerful prenatal nondiscriminatory legislative priority to eliminate the loophole of doctors providing authorizations for abortions after 20 weeks for fetal abnormalities or disabilities.
Current party rules allow for the SREC to censure a Republican officeholder that violates the party’s core principles. Do you think we should have this rule? Why or why not?
Laura Pressley: I fully support our Rule 44 for censure so that we as county executive committees and state leadership of the SREC have the means necessary to hold our elected representatives duly accountable. As a Precinct Chair of Travis County, and if I am elected as an SREC member, I would take this a step further and personally request to meet one on one with the individual that is being considered for censure so that I could make the best informed decision to support such actions.
Last year, efforts to censure House Speaker Joe Straus were successful, but efforts to censure State Rep. Byron Cook and other lawmakers were not. What are some examples of actions you believe violate the party’s core principles?
Laura Pressley: Our core principles are listed very clearly in the Principles section of our Republican Party of Texas Platform:
- “The laws of nature and nature’s God” and we support the strict adherence to the original language and intent of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions of the United States and of Texas.
- The sanctity of innocent human life, created in the image of God, which should be protected from fertilization to natural death.
- Preserving American and Texas sovereignty and freedom.
- Limiting government power to those items enumerated in the United States and Texas Constitutions.
- Personal accountability and responsibility.
- Self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.
- Having an educated population, with parents having the freedom of choice for the education of their children.
- The inalienable right of all people to defend themselves and their property.
- A free enterprise society unencumbered by government interference or subsidies.
- Honoring all of those that serve and protect our freedom.
Actions that violate these principles could include but are not limited to a) introducing legislation that violates the Texas and U.S. Constitutions, b) opposing legislation to close the loop hole for abortions for fetal disabilities or anomalies, c) limit the rights of all people to defend themselves and their property.
Should you be elected, what tangible metrics should Republicans use to determine if you have been successful?
Laura Pressley: The metrics that I’d like Republicans to use to determine my effectiveness as SREC would be to track the passage of legislative priorities outlined in our platform in this upcoming session.
Furthermore, with regard to election integrity, I commit to working directly with my fellow SREC members, state leaders, and our grass roots to increase the number of counties that are educated on the election laws for tabulation of votes and that choose to convert their all electronic voting systems to an election system that has a verifiable paper trail for ballots counted electronically and for recounts.