GOP Platform Would Punish State Reps
for False Accusations in Impeachments

Capitol Inside
May 25, 2024

SAN ANTONIO - The Texas Republican platform for 2024 would reward far right heroes and punish enemies by giving Attorney General Ken Paxton broad new powers and making Texas House members liable in civil court for failed impeachments.

The 50-page document that delegates will approve on Saturday before the curtain falls on the Texas GOP Convention includes pitches for a statewide secession vote, an end to Ukraine aid, crackdowns on doxing and swatting and the creation of a criminal offense for dereliction of duties by elected officials.

The platform would change the process of constitutional amendment elections to give rural areas more clout than they have now. The state party's guiding set of principles and values for the next two years reiterates the delegates' opposition to recreational marijuana and proposes to defund political correctness with intensified attacks on big tech, ESG and the "left-wing politicization of higher education" in Texas.

While subject to final revisions before the convention shuts down tonight, the platform contains a blistering analysis of the House's historic attempt to impeach Paxton last year.

"We believe that the impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton was unprofessional, petty, and a fiscally irresponsible abuse of constitutional power, in which members of the House of Representatives attempted to circumvent the will of the voters of the 2022 election, and the removal of a political opponent with little to no evidence of wrongdoing based on a non-transparent and secretive short term investigation and an unprecedented quick impeachment proceeding that lasted less than a day," the draft platform says.

The preliminary platform that delegates will debate throughout the convention's final day calls for civil sanctions for lodging a "false accusation of impeachment" at the Texas Capitol.

"If someone brings articles of impeachment and the charges are found to be false, the accuser(s) shall be held personally liable for legal fees and past wages which shall be reimbursed from the accuser(s)’ personal funds to the defendant," according to the platform plank.

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan isn't mentioned by name in the document as the engineer for the Paxton impeachment effort that 60 Republicans in the lower chamber voted to advance. But Phelan's has been more of a villain in the eyes of an estimated 10,000 delegates and alternates than President Joe Biden himself at the state GOP confab up to now,

Phelan faces David Covey of Orange in a primary runoff duel on Tuesday's ballot in House District 21. Most of the delegates in San Antonio have been convinced that Phelan's bid for a third term as speaker will end with a loss at the polls next week. But the party leaders and delegates have made Phelan's appointment of Democratic committee chairs to be their greatest grievance with his performance at the helm of the House.

Several delegates were surprised to learn from a journalist on Friday that all of the three Republican speakers in the Texas House before him had a dozen Democrats or more leading standing committees as chairs since the GOP claimed control of the chamber in 2003.

The vast majority of the delegates have been led to believe that Phelan's sharing of power with Democrats is a novel. All four speakers for the GOP in the past two decades were elected with support from Democrats as game-changers in their races for the gavel.

But the delegates want Paxton compensated for damages with or without a new civil culpability law for impeachments.

"We believe Ken Paxton did not commit any impeachable offense, condemn the actions of the Texas House of Representatives for the impeachment, and call for the State to reimburse the attorney General for lost wages and legal fees during his temporary removal from office,"

more to come ...







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