Response to RPT Chairman Rinaldi and Texas Scorecard on New RNC-LCR Coalition

November 19, 2021

Recent statements aside, we first want to thank Matt Rinaldi, the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, for his willingness to meet in person in Houston, on November 9, with our state chairman, Marco Roberts, and our vice chairman, Michael Cargill, to engage in an extended and frank discussion on a variety of issues of concern to both the Republican Party of Texas and the Log Cabin Republicans of Texas.  The meeting covered areas of agreement and disagreement, and was civil and mutually respectful throughout.

We also thank the county party chairs that helped facilitate the meeting, and all the county chairs in all the major cities in Texas who routinely support and work with Log Cabin Republicans of Texas, and all our local Texas chapters.

Lastly, we thank the Texas Scorecard for factually reporting on the highly successful Spirit of Lincoln dinner gala held at Mar-a-Lago on November 6. Headlined by former First Lady Melania Trump, the event was attended by over 700 guests, including many prominent conservatives, and by former President Donald Trump.  Not included in their report was that President Trump also took to the podium and addressed the guests, to wild cheering and applause in the hall, and to frequent chants of “USA, USA!” To the Texas Scorecard, we believe in giving credit where credit is due.

Would that the Scorecard report had stuck to just reporting.  Instead, the report, like so much mainstream media reporting, took a statement from Matt Rinaldi on behalf of the Texas GOP “not supporting” the terms of the new coalition the Republican National Committee formed with Log Cabin Republicans at the national level, and added an implied, flawed, opinionated case; in this case, that this coalition could “conflict with the Texas Republican Party’s platform, crafted by grassroots activists in the state party.”  The report then goes on to list some planks that LCR or LCR Texas would not or might not support, as if disagreement with any one of the 337 planks of the 2020 platform precluded anything anywhere in regards to the Republican Party, at the national or state level.  Whether intentional, or through misunderstanding, this logic has been regularly used to justify blocking Log Cabin Republicans of Texas from having a booth presence at the biennial state convention of the Republican Party of Texas, or any kind of formal association or partnership with the RPT.  And, intentional or not, it is plainly and observably false. 

The fact is no one, no Republican candidate or officeholder, no non-partisan conservative organization, no Republican organization, and no other enterprise, except Log Cabin Republicans of Texas, (and apparently now our national parent as well), is held accountable to all 337 planks of the Texas party platform. At the 2016, 2018, and 2020 conventions, various candidates or officeholders, non-partisan conservative organizations, and Republican organizations, had booths at those state conventions while having stated opposition to one or more planks of the party platform (we can provide a list of some of these planks currently in the platform).

Plank 313, urges “the Texas Legislature to enact legislation to end Daylight Savings Time in Texas.” No Republican organization that likes Daylight Savings Time may partner with the RNC or the RPT ever?  That is patently absurd.

Consider Plank 124 that says, “the Texas Legislature should ban collective bargaining with police unions.”  Are now police unions banned from the state convention because they oppose that plank? No, nor should they be.

The fact is that current party rules do NOT call for adherence to the entire platform for booths, associations, or any other kind of arrangement or partnership with the Republican Party of Texas (or RNC).  If they did, then there would never be a need for any further platform committees to discuss changes of the platform, since in effect it would be against the rules to disagree with anything already in it.

We call on the Texas Scorecard to correct their reporting.

Regarding Chairman Rinaldi’s statement, elicited, we are told, by a flood of calls to his office by a band of activists as fervent as any that Equality Texas or BLM can muster, we respectfully disagree on his stated assessment of the new LCR partnership with the RNC.  The chairman says, “The Republican Party of Texas believes that the path forward to save our country from the extremism of the Democrat Party involves rejecting identity politics and building a coalition of families, parents, and individuals who value freedom to mobilize support for the upcoming midterms.”  Well, we agree, and that is what the RNC is doing with LCR.  He then adds, “We do not believe building GOP versions of left wing movements furthers our cause…” so far so good, neither do we.  But then closes with “…and do not support this move by the Republican National Committee,” as if they are connected. The chairman never says so directly, but leaves it to the reader to infer that the coalition with LCR is a “GOP version [] of left wing movements.”  He never says how.  He just follows that inference with the very obviously defensible claim that such “left wing movements,” do not further “our cause.” 

The truth of the matter is that while we agree with Chairman Rinaldi that we should reject identity politics as practiced by the Left, this partnership of the RNC with LCR is precisely the opposite. Unlike the Left that says that one’s demographic category, be it Hispanic, black, female, or gay, determines one’s ideology and beliefs, and even one’s party affiliation, this new Republican coalition says exactly the opposite: Republican values transcend those categories. It is outreach to new voters on that basis, just as it is for its outreach to faith-based, Hispanic, black, and Asian-Pacific Americans. The goal of all these coalitions is to engage with voters from all backgrounds to bring new voters into our party.  There is nothing in the coalition that calls for any changes to the Republican Party platform national or state, or makes any suggestions or advocates what the platforms should be.  How does outreach to new voters to vote Republican not further the Republican cause?  Of course it does.  President Trump has long understood it, and advanced the Republican cause in ways no one thought possible just four years ago, and he also doubled his vote among gay and trans Americans, while maintaining conservative Christian support.  You have to give President Trump credit: no one tells him whose vote he can or cannot solicit. 

Still, there is more than just votes at the ballot box.  There is the passing and repeal of laws and regulations that have direct impact on our lives, which is the whole purpose of our party, not just making pronouncements.  Consider this: Jill Glover, chairwoman of the SREC Legislative Priorities Committee (and the most prolific speaker for the RPT and apparent spokesperson), thanked and credited all the organizations that joined to act in support of the school sports bill that finally passed in the 3rd Called Session of the Texas legislature, all except Log Cabin Republicans of Texas. But, LCR Texas did in fact act in support of that bill, with public statements, media appearances, phone calls to legislators, and public testimony at the capitol.  And, in the last three legislative sessions these last six years, of all the different attempts to pass bills regarding complex gender identity and sex segregation issues, including various bills submitted this year alone, all supported throughout these six years by a combination of those same organizations Ms. Glover bothered to thank, only one has passed to be signed by the governor: the only one Log Cabin Republicans of Texas came to support.

Note: LCR of Texas has supported many other different kinds of bills of priority to the party that have passed, from constitutional carry, to election integrity, to religious liberty.

As we advised on November 9 to Chairman Matt Rinaldi, a man whose intellect and sincerity we do not doubt: it does not matter what ultimately happens with the booth, whether we get credit or not for our work, or if individuals on the extreme left or right will malign or bear false witness against us; we will continue to do the work we do to advance the Republican principles of limited government, personal responsibility and individual liberty – including freedom of conscience – any way we can, as we practice what we ourselves preach – not because we have some allegiance to Log Cabin Republicans or even to the Republican Party, but because we love liberty and we love this country, and nothing anyone says or does is going to change that.

Log Cabin Republicans of Texas – Marco A. Roberts, Chairman
P. O. Box 66162
Houston, TX 77006-6162