By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
Cooke County —
A member of the State Republican Executive Committee visited Thursday’s monthly Cooke County Republican Women meeting and held forth on the function of his organization.
Danny Pelton explained that his committee meets quarterly in Austin and acts in a management capacity for the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) in between state conventions.
During those conventions in even-numbered years, delegates elect two members from each of the 31 State Senate districts in Texas to serve the committee for two years by speaking to legislators on behalf of grassroots organizations such as the Cooke County Republican Party.
But it’s at the grassroots level, Pelton said, where much of the work is done on behalf of party members at all levels.
“We don’t have a party without you guys,” he said. “That’s the role that I think has to work the hardest, and that’s why I think it’s the most important role.”
Pelton also spoke at length about some of the resolutions passed in early March by the RPT.
Concealed handgun rights
On March 2, the RPT passed and sent a resolution to the Republican caucuses of the state Senate and House of Representatives concerning concealed handgun rights. The resolution included a position that many mass shootings occur in public “gun-free zones” that leave innocent bystanders helpless.
Pelton said this certainly applies to college campuses — where several mass shootings have occurred — and giving students the right to bear arms on campus might have a preventative effect in the future.
“It’s a Second Amendment right,” he said. “If the students are of age and pass the background checks, why should they not carry on campus — any more than they would anywhere else?” he said.
Another resolution passed by the RPT drew negative focus on the Texas Education Service Centers Curriculum Collaborative, also known as “CSCOPE.” Pelton said the program began as a sensible curriculum management program but has become something more insidious.
“Over time, like a lot of things without a watchdog, it evolved into what I feel is a bit sinister,” he said, explaining that among many problems, the program promotes Islam as a superior religion to others and teaches communism as a favorable form of government. “All of this stuff is done behind a cloak of secrecy. CSCOPE set themselves up as a nonprofit company. And by doing so, they’ve trademarked and patented all this stuff and had teachers sign saying that they will not disclose any of the content.”
Pelton, who said he has libertarian leanings, added during the meeting that he has stopped referring to himself as “more of a conservative than a Republican.”
This is because, in his view, there are only two political parties that have any tangible effect: Republicans and Democrats.
“I understand why I said it and I understand why I’ve heard a lot of other people say it,” he said. “But we’ve got to be Republicans — and we’ve all got to be Republicans. Because, here’s the deal: we may not like everything the Republicans do, especially at the national level. In fact, there’s a lot of things I don’t like about it. But we’ve got to be part of it to change it.”