After a grueling Texas State Republican convention which ran more than 4 hours overtime, tired RLC members staggered into the Aloft Hotel in downtown Dallas to attend a special statewide meeting of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas. Most of the attendees were also convention delegates, but some had come in from around the state just to attend the meeting. The Austin, Dallas and Houston areas were most strongly represented among the group of over 30 RLC members who were in attendance.
The purpose of the meeting was to reorganize the Texas RLC state board and recharter the state organization to address a peculiar situation where the state has a number of successful and active regional chapters but no functioning state board. In the three-hour meeting the attendees were able to elect provisional board members and executive officers, approve a set of bylaws, fill out a charter application and discuss various issues of concern for Liberty Republicans in Texas. The meeting was moderated by RLC National Chairman Dave Nalle who is a Texas resident and RLC national board member Dan Shiell.
The overall mood was enthusiastic in the wake of the hard-won convention victory of Steve Munisteri, the new Chairman of the Texas GOP. Munisteri has a background of association with relatively pro-liberty leaders and campaigns, including having worked for Ron Paul, Fred Thompson, Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan. He is expected to be much more friendly towards Liberty Republicans than his predecessor who was quite hostile and had even denied Debra Medina’s new advocacy organization a booth at the convention. Many of those attending the RLC meeting had been working hard at the convention to assure a Munisteri victory.
The meeting agreed to elect officers and board members on a 60-day provisional basis to be confirmed or modified and approved in a teleconference to be held within that period. This will provide time for RLC members in chapters around the state to review the work of the representatives at the meeting and for additional board members to be selected. Joey Dauben of Ellis County was elected Chairman. Judson Vandiver of Dallas was elected Vice Chairman. Dave Nalle of Travis County was elected Secretary. Joe Petronis of Austin was elected Treasurer. Board members elected at the meeting included Jeff Larson (Houston), Summer Yen (Austin), Patricia Nalle (Manor), Dan Shiell (Dallas) and Stephen Schoppe (Austin).
At a dinner gathering after the meeting, National RLC Chairman Dave Nalle commented that “After a convention where hostile party factions were at each others throats, being able to sit down with a group of real Liberty Republicans who so clearly shared the same objectives restored my faith in our movement and our efforts and the potential for achieving great victories for liberty in the Lonestar State.”