In striking contrast to his opponent, Allen West—a challenger for the chairmanship of Texas’ Republican Party—declared his support for the Lone Star Agenda and also took issue with top Republican leaders praising this year’s “purple session.”
Last week, leaders of various grassroots organizations gave a press conference in Dallas, articulating their vision to energize the Republican base and wash away the stench of the scandal involving House Speaker Dennis Bonnen in time for the 2020 elections. Their plan involves Gov. Greg Abbott calling a special session to pass the Lone Star Agenda, a list of monumental conservative reforms unveiled in August that were left untouched during the 2019 Texas Legislature.
Close to 300 Texas organizations, SREC members, and other leaders voiced their support for the agenda in a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott in September, expressing their dissatisfaction with state lawmakers’ “purple session.”
However, current Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey gave a muddled explanation when asked about the conference, declining to outright join the grassroots in calling for a special session.
“I’m not sure why part of the platform is better than another part of the platform,” he said about the Lone Star Agenda. “I’m very sensitive given [the fact that] I’m committed to support all the [Texas Republican Party] platform. But if it’s all out of the platform, I’ll advocate for it just as I did during session.”
Former Florida Congressman Lt. Col. Allen West, who is challenging Dickey for the Texas GOP chairmanship, gave an emphatically different response. At an event hosted by the Keller Republican Club, West was asked by True Texas Project CEO Julie McCarty for his stance on the Agenda and a special session.
“Well, it just so happens that I brought the Lone Star Agenda right here, and I do agree with that,” West said as the audience thundered applause.
“As a matter of fact, if you call Miss JoAnn Fleming, she will tell you that I signed on to it, and my name is on the letter that went to [Gov. Abbott].”
Fleming, executive director of Grassroots America We The People, has been spearheading the Lone Star Agenda effort and confirmed to Texas Scorecard that West is indeed a signatory.
State Reps. Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredricksburg) and Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) recently voiced their own support of the Lone Star Agenda and a special session, as well.
West also went on to challenge Texas Republican leaders’ assertion that the 2019 Legislative Session was a “Super Bowl” session.
“There were five Republican Party of Texas legislative priorities. Not a single one of them made it through,” he said. “To be honest, I think people are delusional. You are way out of touch if you went 0 for 5 and you think that was a good day at the ballpark.”
West then questioned why, with Republican control of the Texas Legislature, there is such difficulty in passing Republican policies.
“If you were in the state assembly or state Senate of California as a Republican, do you think you have any hope of passing a Republican legislative policy?” he asked the audience. “So, why is it happening here?”
West went on to advocate for Bonnen to step down as Speaker of the House, condemning his “unethical act.” The longer Bonnen stays, West said, the more the Republican Party would be associated with his corruption going into 2020.
“Dennis Bonnen, please go away,” he added.
West, who represented Congressional District 22 in Florida from 2011 to 2012, was also asked about his less-than-stellar record during his time in Congress: Club for Growth’s scorecard shows West earned a lifetime score of 70, FreedomWorks’ scorecard shows a lifetime score of 73 percent, Heritage Action shows a lifetime score of 70 percent, and Americans for Prosperity shows a lifetime score of 73 percent.
“Why weren’t you stronger on our issues when you were in office?” McCarty asked.
“I think you should ask what type of district did I represent,” West replied. “I had to represent that district, but yet I maintain my principles and values.”
Delegates to the Texas Republican Party will decide the winner of the chairmanship race at next year’s party convention in Houston in May.
The full video of West’s presentation and the Q-and-A session can be seen below.
Thank you to Lt. Col. Allen West for addressing the crowd tonight. Our nation is grateful for your life of service!
Posted by Keller Republican Club on Wednesday, November 6, 2019