In a fundraising letter sent to grassroots donors this week, Republican Party of Texas Chairman Matt Rinaldi touted a multitude of conservative victories achieved by Republican lawmakers during the recent legislative session.
“As a result of action passed by the Texas State Legislature, doctors can no longer perform horrific “gender modification” procedures on children. Drag shows and other sexually explicit shows can no longer be performed in front of kids. And pornography has been banned and removed from school libraries,” said Rinaldi in the fundraising letter.
The letter continued, “Protecting our kids is just one of the accomplishments of our Republican-controlled State Legislature – and particularly our conservative-dominated State Senate. Thanks to you…
* Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has been banned at public universities
* Men can no longer compete in women’s sports
* It is now a felony to violate Texas election law
* Our Secretary of State has more oversight over the integrity of elections
* Banks can no longer track your firearm or ammunition purchases
* Granting lifetime tenure to university professors has been reformed
* Local government can no longer require masks, vaccines, and shutdowns
These are just a handful of the changes that will protect and enshrine the concepts of freedom, liberty, and personal responsibility in our Lone Star State.”
Rinaldi concluded the letter by writing, “You asked for it, and we delivered – probably the most sweeping conservative change ever passed in our Texas State Legislature.”
Texas GOP Fundraising Letter Touting Conservative Legislative Victories
Rinaldi’s comments in the fundraising letter, bragging about the many successes of Texas Republican lawmakers, is in sharp contrast to comments he has made publicly and on social media attacking Republican members of the Texas House of Representatives.
Earlier this year, Rinaldi appeared on an episode of the Conservative Review podcast entitled “Why do Texas Republicans Suck?” where he criticized the work of Texas House Republicans. More recently, Rinaldi appeared in a film by Texas Scorecard, expressing a belief that Democrats have functional control over the Texas House of Representatives.
As mentioned in the fundraising letter, the conservative legislation cited by Rinaldi faced strong opposition from Democrats, and several of those new laws have been challenged in court by liberal activists.
Questions remain about what the money raised by the Republican Party of Texas by promoting the many accomplishments of Republican lawmakers will actually be used for.
In the letter, Rinaldi stated, “We put your recent investment to work recruiting, training, and assisting great conservatives in their campaigns for the Texas State Legislature. After they won, we stood behind them and carried the banner for a policy agenda that puts families first and allows parents to make important choices for their children.”
However, as previously reported by The Texas Voice, the Republican Party of Texas spent a mere $10,000 outside of candidate “pass-through” donations to grow and defend the Republican majority in the Texas House and just $20,000 outside of candidate “pass-through” donations before election day to expand the Republican majority in the Texas Senate during the 2022 general election.
So far this year, the Republican Party of Texas has spent over $40,000 on television and radio advertising critical of Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan.
There is concern among some grassroots activists that the Texas GOP will use money raised from small-dollar donors who wish to support the work of Republican lawmakers responsible for the legislative victories described in the fundraising letter and instead use the money to attack those very same Republican lawmakers at the behest of the Party’s larger donors.
The Defend Texas Liberty political action committee has recently become one of the largest funders of the Republican Party of Texas, donating $257,500 to the Party’s state account since last January. Defend Texas Liberty is run by former State Representative Jonathan Stickland, who has vowed to provide significant financial support to Republican primary challengers against lawmakers he deems insufficiently conservative.
During the 2022 Republican primaries, Defend Texas Liberty targeted 20 Republican incumbent members of the Texas House of Representatives for defeat. All 20 targeted lawmakers were re-elected.
The largest donor to Defend Texas Liberty is Midland oilman Tim Dunn, who also serves as Chairman of Texas Scorecard’s parent organization. Dunn has contributed $85,000 to the Republican Party of Texas’ state account over the past two years.
Hunter Bonner, President of the Marion County Republican Assembly, expressed concern about how the Texas GOP will utilize the funds raised from this recent letter. Bonner told The Texas Voice, “It is interesting that Rinaldi states all these Republican victories, asks for money in one letter, and then turns around and uses this money to attack the very same Republican Legislators he says that carried out a conservative agenda in the Legislature. I wonder if Grassroots Republicans and regular Republican voters understand that this is exactly what’s going on?”
Speaker Phelan remains focused on building the Republican majority in the Texas House while running on a record of conservative success.
“During the 2022 election cycle, my team and I focused on supporting GOP incumbents and growing our majority in the Texas House. We raised millions of dollars. We recruited conservative candidates to run for office. And we devoted thousands of miles on the campaign trail. The results paid off: During the 88th Legislature, we passed legislation to create the largest property tax cut in Texas history, strengthen our border and prohibit gender modification procedures on minors. The list of conservative achievements in the Texas House this year does not stop there, and neither does the progress we made during the 2022 elections. I look forward to working alongside other Republicans that share the goal of growing our majority in the lower chamber during the 2024 election cycle,” said Phelan.