Republican Party of Texas platform committee members issued a sharp response to a recently penned opinion article by Ash Wright, a GOP politico and former George P. Bush advisor.

In an open letter to Wright, 20 members wrote:

“Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush—whose office oversees the Alamo—and his political operatives have pushed back vigorously against critics of this ‘reimagine’ project, as is their right. However, an article recently published by Ash Wright, a consultant and Commissioner Bush’s longtime political director, included an outrageously false and pernicious attack. We, the undersigned members of the 2018 Texas Republican Platform Committee, are obliged to respond.”

Specifically, the group took issues with Wright’s questioning whether or not a GOP plank-opposing Bush and his “reimagine the Alamo” plan was racially motivated because Bush “happens to be Hispanic on his mother’s side,” read the article.

They called the accusation “unequivocally false” and a “destructive and irresponsible smear.”

The group noted that not only was the plank passed unanimously by both the party’s state affairs subcommittee and the full platform committee, but it was also supported by over 93 percent of overall convention delegates on the floor of the convention.

“Naturally, some may disagree with this plank, or with any other platform plank. We welcome substantive debate. But to impugn the committee’s work by falsely playing the race card is absolutely shameful. That this was done deliberately and publicly by the political director of a statewide elected GOP official is especially appalling and inexcusable. Such a toxic accusation by Mr. Wright degrades political discourse, reflects poorly on his boss, Commissioner Bush, and is an unacceptable attack on their party’s own grassroots volunteers.”

The letter was signed by chair of the platform committee Mark Ramsey and the following committee members: Jeff Leblanc (SD 3), Allison Winter (SD 4), Marco Roberts (SD 6), Alan Vera (SD 7), Jerry Madden (SD 8), Scott Apley (SD 11), Beth Akin (SD 13), William Lutz (SD 14), Rolando Garcia (SD 15), Matthew Patrick (SD 16), Roman Klein (SD 17), Warrignton Lee Austerman (SD 19), Paul Perry (SD 22), Stephen Broden (SD 23), William R. Hussey (SD 24), David Westbrook (SD 26), Jim Baxa (SD 28), and MerryLynn Gerstenschlager (SD 30), Faith Bussey (SD 10).

*Updated to reflect additional signatories. 

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.