Inside Texas Politics: Interview with James Dickey, Chairman of Republican Party of Texas

Inside Texas Politics: Interview with James Dickey, Chairman of Republican Party of Texas



inside Texas politics with Jason White Lee starts now and good morning from South victory we are beginning with the state's Republican Party Chairman but first let's get you caught up on some other political news that also caught our attention in the past few days on Thursday Dallas is sick leave ordinance will go into effect it requires private businesses operating inside the city to provide paid sick time for their employees now the Texas Public Policy Foundation is threatened to sue the city over it saying employment law is the responsibility of the state and the feds not city halls the Trump administration wants to make a change to food stamps and that could mean a hundred and twenty-five thousand Texans no longer get federal assistance that's according to the Texas Tribune the administration says it wants to close a loophole where some people are getting assistance without first being vetted and this was odd I hope you've seen this before a fake presidential seal up on screen as president Trump walked out at an event last week look closely here it's a double-headed eagle like the Russian coat of arms and it's holding golf clubs in one Talon and cash in the other the group that hosted this event said this was an innocent mistake evidently the wrong image selected in a google search still someone got fired over and now to the build-up to 2020 Republicans no longer taking Texas for granted the party is putting people and money on the ground in areas across the state they haven't in recent years it's a new effort that James Dickey the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas is heading and joining the question as always is but Kennedy from the Star Telegram good to see you mr. chairman thank you it's very good to be here you mentioned the other day when you were on the phone with me about the the additional boots on the ground paid staffers on the ground what was it before what is it now and why the change so it's just one example of how seriously we are making sure that we get the message out to every Texas voter that we want to earn their votes last election we had eight paid Republican Party of Texas staffers on the field around the state and this election the plan is by the middle of the general election we'll have a hundred and fifty does that suggest to me or to our viewers that the party is concerned this might be closer this might go the other way my message to every every Republican is be concerned enough to make sure you do everything you have to do to make all the terrible doomsday predictions fall flat how concerned are you concerned enough to be putting in a whole lot of time I just I actually only I made a trip to DC to go raise money there to help us and in fact we're pretty excited to be announcing that our available cash on hand just for the RPT just passed a million dollars for the first time in five years congratulations on that mr. chairman you've got a success story to tell about the party but some of the grass roots are not so happy and they you know even listening to Cornel West talk about running for the chairmanship they see the squad they see Democrats who fight they say that they seem like Cornel West might fight they're not sure you fight what do you say well first of all it's the job of the candidate since a job of the office holders to fight it's not the job of the Republican Party chair to fight the job of the Republican Party chair is to organize the best possible first of all my legal responsibility is to run the primary so to actually have experience knowing how to accept the filings to be even-handed and fair in fact it's my legal responsibility to fairly execute on the handling of the election if in fact I were taking sides in primaries I would be violating not only our party rules but I would be violating the necessity of delivering on that free and fair election that we as Republicans take very seriously for the grassroots that seem to be organizing new sets of complaints this new Lone Star agenda and you know representative stick alone isn't making speeches I saw him in Arlington last week you know what do you tell those people there they're there they're not content with the way the legislature came out well first of all I the party is in a unique position to say thank you for and to appreciate the things that we did get so first of all I am grateful that our founders set up a legislature during which it is very easy to kill bells if not the hundred plus years the Democrats controlled Texas between reconstruction and 2003 when Republicans first took over the house the devastation would have been irreparable and instead our founders set up a policy where it is difficult to pass things and so given that is difficult passings the fact that they passed a multi-billion dollar tax cut the fact that they passed important protections on life important protections on religious liberty important protections on our Second Amendment rights there and so much more we actually had 92 bills passed that address a platform plank in our in the Republican Party of Texas platform important and useful things not headline grabbers like a city can no longer annex you without your vote you know bud mentioned Jonathan Strickland he had the Star Telegram reported the other day about the meeting he had with some grassroots grassroots Tea Party folks out in h-e-b he used Hearst you listened Bedford they were silent when asked how many people would support John Cornyn do you think he is vulnerable I my message to everyone is to act like you're vulnerable whether you think or not we two of the 12 seats we lost last time those were members of the Texas House who were out campaigning for other people who had money left in their bank account at the end of election night that they could have used to save those seats so every office holder I am strongly encouraging the good news from my standpoint and I don't know if senator corner and will have a primary opponent but I it goes both now and back in 2014 I have never seen a politician who works harder an office holder who works harder to earn the re-election you know in 2014 when I was out in East Austin as Travis County party chair at Juneteenth events his team was the only office holder team out there with me James considering that why do you think Senator Cornyn is having troubles from grassroots grassroots conservatives the beautiful thing about the party is it's my job to set the infrastructure it's my job to raise resources it's my job to handle the elections completely freely and fairly and then we have the utmost faith in the voters to make the right call and the the last election for Senator Cornyn he won by 27 points the last election for senator Cruz he won by less than 2 point 7 percent it's up to the voters to make those choices we're gonna make sure they have the strongest foundation no matter who the party's nominee will be 5 seconds left what's your take on the end of straight to to vote again how that affects Republicans this cycle well the one thing I know that had we ended straight to get voting earlier I'm very confident at Emma it would still be the county judge in Houston there wouldn't have been dozens of excellent qualified judges wiped out in a single day as a small government conservative the one thing I know is I don't know what the unintended consequences will be of a major government effort and this is a major government change so I don't know I do know we're out telling every Republican make sure you go all the way down the ballot even if you're not familiar with who that House member is you do want a House member hole pick a republican speaker and make sure republicans are controlling redistricting for 2020 and a million dollars cash on hand congratulations on that James Dickey the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas thanks for being here thank you

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