The Harris County Republican Party takes a big step in supporting the Orange County Censure of House Speaker Dade Phelan, now known as “Failin’ Phelan”. Censure is technical under RPT Rule 44 and there are two schools of thought.
September 20, 2023
The fall out of the Ken Paxton impeachment continues. The Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee (HCRP-EC) met on Monday night, September 18. Tom Bazan went back and forth on the wording of his resolution with Scott Bowen who heads the Resolutions Committee for the SREC. Scott also heads the Local Government Committee for the HCRP.
Rule 44 is the censure rule of the state GOP. Elected officials fight Rule 44 vociferously and want no one holding them accountable for their actions. Speaker Phelan and state representatives do not want enforceable teeth in the Rule 44 censure provision. The unjust Paxton impeachment is the obvious argument for a strong Rule 44 censure provision.
There are a couple of schools of thought. Some believe the Rule 44 provision only applies to the home counties of a particular elected official. Failin’ Phelan’s home counties are Jefferson, Orange and Jasper. The thinking by some is that any censure applies to the home counties of said elected official. The other school of thought is quite different.
The other school of thought is that leaders of the Texas Legislature can be censured by any county. The thinking is that their actions in the Texas Legislature impacts everyone statewide. Phelan is the perfect example of this because the Speaker’s actions truly impact everyone from El Paso to Dallas. I guess there is an argument for the local consent calendar. An interesting debate for maybe 20 or 30 minutes in a legal argument before an appeals court or the Texas Supreme Court.
None of this is tested legally and has not been litigated since Rule 44 was last amended during the 2022 Texas Republican State Convention in Houston. It was quite a debate in the rules committee and is all likely to end up in court, probably sooner than later. The Texas GOP is finally organizing a statewide legal strategy and our talent is beginning to match up better to the Democrat talent. The Democrats play a long game with a legal strategy that is organized and compromised of very good lawyers. Our team is thinking long and talented lawyers are hitting the battlefield for the party and our candidates. This has been a Texas GOP priority. The Ken Paxton sham impeachment has the Texas GOP firing on all cylinders.
Counties Supporting Phelan and or Andrew Murr’s Censure.
Support of Orange County Censure of Dade Phelan