SREC Action Invalidates TFRW Board Resolution on Speech Regulation

A resolution passed by the State Republican Executive Committee supporting free speech has invalidated a conflicting resolution passed by the board of the Texas Federation of Republican Women, members familiar with the issue are arguing.

In October, TFRW’s executive board abruptly passed a resolution calling for the legislature to adopt draconian regulations on Texans who speak out regarding legislation, campaigns, and elected officials.

Many were surprised by the board’s action, given that the group’s resolution conflicted with the GOP platform and supported a major plank of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President.

TFRW members familiar with the organization’s governing document noted that TFRW’s President had appeared to violate a major provision of their bylaws.

On the first page of the bylaws adopted in 2015, TFRW prohibits state officers from passing resolutions on “controversial issues” without first polling local clubs and receiving written approval from two-thirds of them.

No such polling ever took place, nor was approval offered by any member club. TFRW President Theresa Kosmoski has argued that she didn’t need approval since the board’s resolution wasn’t “controversial.”

Her tactic left member clubs in a difficult position.

For example, after four of their local representatives penned a letter opposing the TFRW resolution, the Golden Corridor Republican Women of Collin County faced hurdles in writing their own response. Recognizing that the issue was, in fact, controversial, the local club was forced to poll its own members and obtain 2/3’s approval in order to pass a competing resolution supporting free speech.

Kosmoski’s argument that the TFRW board resolution was not on a “controversial issue” clearly no longer holds water, given the SREC’s passage of a conflicting resolution by a 58-1 margin.

This should put the issue to bed as it proves the original TFRW resolution was not adopted in compliance with the organization’s bylaws and is thus invalid. Members should correct the record by joining the SREC in standing up for Texans’ rights to free speech.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tony McDonald serves as General Counsel for Empower Texans. A licensed and practicing attorney, Tony received his J.D. in 2012 from UT Law School. While in school, Tony served as Senior Vice Chairman for Young Conservatives of Texas and helped manage its legislative affairs. During the 83rd Texas Legislature he served as Chief of Staff for Rep. Jonathan Stickland. Tony resides in Austin and attends St. Paul Lutheran Church.

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