Does Censure and Resolutions Work?

Does Censure and Resolutions Work?

Does Censure and Resolutions Work?

Robert West | July 5, 2023

Two years ago, there were a lot of people that had never really heard the word “censure.” When I first started pushing it as a way to rid ourselves of career politicians, many people thought I was saying to “censor” them.

To be clear, “censure” is merely a formal disapproval of someone’s actions, usually an elected official.

I still get messages from people that are heavily involved or even inprecinct chair positions that have just learned about this process from me. 

Recently, a precinct chair reached out to say she learned more about how she could use her position from me in 15 minutes than she got from the 8-hour, formal GOP training.  She said in all that training, she had learned nothing about censure or resolutions as it related to her position.

Both Political Parties are not listening to Voters

Career politicians, on both sides, are not listening to the voters. In Texas both Democratic and Republican voters agree that government bodies should not use our tax money to pay private lobbyists. Both Democratic and Republican voters in Texas agree the Southern Border should be closed and if it takes declaring it an invasion, then do that.

I have never met a Democratic voter that just wants the left-hand lane of their street paved, just as I have never met a Republican voter that just wants the right-hand lane of their street paved.

Career politicians on both sides work to keep the voters divided. If sex, race, class and party does not work, they will come up with other things. I am sure we all wished that stupid and evil would pick one party and stay with it but the truth is we have bad in both groups. If we cannot stand up to evil in our own house, what chance do we have to clean it up elsewhere?

How do we make things better with the use of censure and resolutions?

Does Censure Actually Work

Does censure actually work? You can ask the six counties in East Texas that censured or were about to censure FORMER state representative Chris Paddie before the last Primary election. Thirty days after declaring for his reelection, with no opponent in sight, a full campaign war chest and all the Austin swamp behind him, he was censured by three of his six counties. The other three counties had a vote scheduled to do the same.

These counties had enough of electing a “Republican” who voted with the Democrats and attended Democratic events. The only way to avoid being censured in all six counties was to resign and that is what representative Paddie did, he resigned. These counties proved we do not have to wait for an election to get rid of bad representatives.

Now to censure someone, that does not automatically mean they will resign, it is not a recall. For people that point out it does not remove them from office, I respond that it removes them from politics, even if they get to finish out their term.

Joe Strauss was Speaker of the House and you don’t see him running for office since he was censured across Texas.

The other added benefit of a formal censure is to hurt the fundraising efforts of a bad incumbent. Who wants to give money to a candidate that has been called out by their own party?

It also opens the door to primary challengers. When the US Congressman, Tony Gonzalez was censured by 21 Texas County GOP’s, five opponents stepped up to run against him in the primary.

The current Texas Speaker of the House, Dade Phelan has only been censured by a couple of counties and a handful of counties have issued resolutions against him and he has already drawn two challengers in his race so far.

Normally, people do not run against an incumbent in the primary, especially a speaker. This is the power of censure and resolutions.

Censure Requirements and Resolutions

A censure requires 2/3rds of the County Executive Committee to vote for it and then it is sent to the state party for action. A censure passed by the counties and backed up by the state GOP is the best you can get and allows the party to take actions and speak against the censured individual.

What is a resolution? For our purposes they are pretty much the same. It is simply a statement of beliefs but instead of requiring a 2/3rds majority, it only requires a simple majority.

If a county GOP does not have the votes for a censure, then a resolution is the next best thing. A resolution does not allow the actions of a formal censure, but it does inform people that the party is not happy with elected officials mentioned in the resolution.

Parties Siding with Incumbents

For too long the parties have sided with the incumbents rather than the voters, party members or delegates. The reason used was that it is far easier to win with an incumbent and “beating the other side” was all that mattered. I ask you, if the R’s and D’s vote alike, what are we winning?

Holding our elected accountable will require County GOPs willing to stand up and censure or at least pass resolutions calling on our bad elected officials to resign. 

Until we remake the party into something that stands for conservative principles and sides with the public over the servants, we cannot improve our situation. Until we place “forming a more perfect union” above “beating the other side at whatever cost, “things will continue as they have.

Censure Does Work

Censure works, it makes career politicians find other careers, it draws primary challengers and it hurts the incumbent advantage when it comes to fundraising.  

Censure puts every other politician on notice that they can be held accountable.

If you have read this far then you are probably sick of seeing the same bad “Republicans” elected over and over.  Ask your precinct chair or county chair when will they do something about it. 

If they refuse to hold the elected accountable, then run against them in the primary and do it yourself.

The Five Star Plan website has a resource page, I also offer training and a lot of information you won’t find anywhere else. If you are ready for a seat at the table and a voice, step forward, we need your help.

Robert West