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Ralph Nader > Special Features > Nader Calls On President To State Where He Stands On Texas Republican Party Demands

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

October 2, 2003

Dear President Bush,

The Republican Party of Texas was instrumental in nominating and electing you to the Governorship of Texas. The state Party also was working to garner the state’s 32 electoral votes in the Presidential election of 2000 without which you could not have been selected President under Bush vs. Gore.

All available indications are that you generally support the Texas Republican Party’s platform. Indeed, the state Party expects such support and directs “the Executive Campaign Committee to strongly consider candidates’ support of the Party Platform when granting financial or other support.” Taking no chances with any candidates pleading ignorance, each “Republican candidate for a public or Party office shall be provided a current copy of the Party platform at the time of filing. The candidate shall be asked to read and initial each page of the platform and sign a statement affirming he/she has read the entire platform. The individual accepting the signed statement shall review the initialed platform and maintain a list of those who have complied with this request. This will become effective in the 2002 election.”

Since you will presumably be a Republican candidate for a public office in 2004, you will be asked by your state Party to “read and initial” each page of the platform.

The 2002 state Republican Party Platform is a lengthy and specific document. It ranges over a continuum of policy recommendations which are extraordinary in the diversity of their public philosophies. While there is much there with which you probably concur, there are positions taken that make it necessary for you to clarify your concurrence or dissent before the American people. This is the case because either your previous comments or your obligation to uphold existing laws appear to contradict some of the state Republican Party’s declarations.

What follows are some of the state Republican Party’s positions in the sequence that they appear in its 2002 platform:

1. “The Party believes terrorism is the greatest threat to international peace and to the safety of our own citizens. We also believe the current greatest threat to our individual liberties is overreaching government controls established under the guise of preventing terrorism.”

2. “The Party opposes any attempt by the United States Census Bureau to obtain any information beyond the number of people residing in the dwelling at the time of the census and in accordance with Article 1, Section 2 of the United States Constitution.”

3. “The Party demands the elimination of presidential authority to issue executive orders, presidential decision directives, and other administrative mandates that do not have congressional approval. Further, we demand a repeal of all previous executive orders and administrative mandates.”

4. “The Party directs that legislation be introduced in both the United States Congress and the State of Texas to repeal existing statutory requirements to end the ever increasing, incessant, recurring, and calculated gathering, accumulation, and dissemination of finger prints, Social Security Numbers, financial and personal information of law-abiding citizens by business and governments, the use of which are contrary to and destructive of our individual and collective freedom. Such legislation shall provide remedy and redress to any individual denied service for refusing to provide the above-mentioned information.”

5. “The Party opposes any and all unauthorized access, accumulation, and distribution of an individual’s private records by a government agency or any agent working on behalf of a government agency. We oppose the creation of a federal identification card for United States citizens or the use of state driver licenses as a national identification card.”

6. “A perpetual state of national emergency allows unrestricted growth of government. The Party challenges the President to cancel the state of national emergency and charges Congress to repeal the War Powers Act and declare an end to the previously declared states of emergency.”

7. “We support legislation enabling either party in a criminal trial to inform the jurors of their right to determine the facts and to render a verdict according to conscience.”

8. “We call on the Legislature to allow voters the ability to recall elected officials of an irrigation district, fresh water supply district, municipal utility district, or any other special purpose district.”

9. “The Party supports legislation to prohibit former legislators, government employees, and officials from acting as lobbyists for a foreign government and/or any business for a period of five years immediately after leaving public service.”

10. “Our Party pledges to do everything within its power to restore the original intent of the First Amendment of the United States and dispel the myth of the separation of Church and State.”

11. “The Party believes that all citizens have the right to be free from government surveillance of their electronic communications, including a government mandate for trap door encryption standards.”

12. “The Party supports an orderly transition to a system of private pensions based on the concept of individual retirement accounts, and gradually phasing out the Social Security Tax. We insist that Social Security benefits be non-taxable. To protect the Social Security System, its funds should not be commingled or spent with general revenues or invested in private or public corporate stock.”

13. “The Party continues to oppose government-sponsored gambling as a means of financing state government. Government-sponsored gambling has had a devastating impact on many Texas families. Moreover, we oppose any further legalization, government facilitation, or financial guarantees relating to any type of gambling including casino, river boat, slot machine, video keno, eight-liners, and other games of chance. The Party supports the repeal of the state lottery.”

14. “We call for the abolition of the U.S. Department if Education and the prohibition of the transfer of any of its functions to any other federal agency.”

15. “We deplore the inordinate amount of time being forced upon teachers for state-mandated standardized test preparation to the detriment of basic academic instruction.”

16. “The Internal Revenue Service is unacceptable to U.S. taxpayers! The Party urges that the IRS be abolished and the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution be repealed. We further urge that the personal income tax, inheritance (death) tax, gift tax, capital gains, corporate income tax, and payroll tax be eliminated. We recommend the implementation of a national retail sales tax, with the provision that a two-thirds majority of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate is required to raise the rate. Such reforms will encourage investment and economic growth. Lastly, such a sales tax plan must ensure that no one in America pays taxes of any kind on the necessities of life, ensuring opportunity and quality of life for low and fixed-income Americans.”

17. “We encourage the adoption of a National Right-To-Work Act providing the same kind of protection from labor unions as is enjoyed by Texans under the State Right-to-Work laws.”

18. “The Party believes the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed and that wages should be determined by the free market conditions prevalent in each individual market.”

19. “The Party supports privatization of most government services. Public funds should not be used to fund or implement any private projects such as high-speed rail or sports stadiums.”

20. “The Party does not support governmental subsidies, tariffs, bailouts, or other forms of corporate welfare that are used to protect and preserve businesses or industries that have failed to remain relevant, competitive, and efficient over time. The cost of such corporate welfare becomes the burden of the tax-paying public.”

21. “We further support the abolition of federal agencies involved in activities not delegated to the federal government under the original intent of the Constitution including, but not limited to, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; the position of Surgeon General; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Education, Commerce, and Labor.”

22. “The Party opposes all unfunded mandates by the federal and state governments. The effect of mandating services without funding is a tax increase for local government.”

23. “The Party encourages the Congress to: promote all forms of domestic energy production including ANWR, offshore California, and the East Coast, while minimizing environmental impact.”

24. “The Party urges Congress to stop funding the IMF and any other international financing agencies, because such agencies prop up foreign tyrants and give American taxpayers’ money to international bankers.”

25. “We support business opportunity and oppose the previous Democrat administration’s advocacy of intrusive government-industry partnerships based on foreign models. We urge the repeal of NAFTA, GATT, and any other international trade agreements that do not promote free trade, and withdrawal from membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO).”

26. “We support re-establishing United States control over the Canal in order to retain our military bases in Panama, to preserve our right to transit through the Canal, and to prevent the establishment of Chinese missile bases in Panama.”

27. “The Party believes it is in the best interest of the citizens of the United States that we immediately rescind our membership in, as well as all financial and military contributions to, the United Nations.”

Party Platforms are meant by their authors and endorsers to be taken seriously. They are not mere sops thrown to one wing or another of the Party in order to pacify or deceive them with verbal duplicity. In 2000, at the platform conference in Cleveland, the Democratic Party was so concerned with how the Republicans would react that the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) controllers defeated one proposal after another by progressive Democrats that were little more than what Roosevelt’s New Deal would have included as standard Party philosophy, such as an updated minimum wage or a policy against poverty in the United States.

I call on you, President George W. Bush, as the leader of your Republican Party, to engage in truth-in-advertising regarding the Texas State Republican Party platform, and let the voters of this country know where you and your fellow elected Texas Republicans stand. Did you or do you now support the Texas State Republican platform?

As you accelerate your campaigning for re-election with Vice President Richard Cheney, it will be interesting to have your reaction to each of the above-listed Texas Republican positions. Surely, sooner or later you will be asked whether you associate or disassociate yourself from your own state Party’s unequivocal statements of domestic and foreign policy.

So, it will be interesting to have your reaction to each of the above-listed positions. Do you agree or do you disagree? In the interest of being suitably concise, the above are excerpts. For the full text of the Texas Republican state party platform, see:


Ralph Nader
P.O. Box 19312
Washington, D.C. 20036