Saturday, March 12, 2016

Simpson or Ramos?


That is why the most important race for Harris County Republicans in the May 24th primary runoff will be the office of Harris County Republican Party Chair.

The County Party Chair is an UNPAID position with duties assigned by both the Legislature and the state party.

Some of the main responsibilities include:
  • Oversee county party operations 
  • Oversee county elections 
  • Get out the vote
  • Raise, manage, and report funds
  • Promote and grow the party
In short: Make sure Harris County stays RED !

The two candidates in the runoff for this important position are:

For the Primary, I participated in 20 minute interviews with each candidate for the Conservative Coalition of Harris County. Candidates also completed questionnaires that are still posted online for all voters to read.

But, to get a more complete comparison of these two candidates for the runoff, I sent each the following request through both their campaign websites and facebook pages.



“Can you please give me specifics on your experience as a precinct chair, an election worker, a delegate to SD and/or state conventions, and your history on county and/or state party committees?”

The result?

Rick Ramos did not reply by email or on FB.



In contrast, Paul Simpson replied on FB and emailed me the information below:





After a few days of extra research I put together the following comparison of the two candidates.

#1 Party Operations Experience

Overseeing county party operations is like being the CEO of a corporation. To be successful, you have to know the business inside and out.

A CEO does not do every function, but he must know what is supposed to be done in order to supervise and select the right people for each job.

The chart below compares the party experience of the two candidates who want to be our CEO.

Simpson has served for years on the precinct, county and state levels.

Apparently, Ramos has never even been a precinct chair.


Simpson
Ramos
Precinct Chair
X

HC GOP Officer
X

HC GOP Legal Counsel
X

HC GOP Committee Member
X

HC GOP Committee Chair
X

SD Delegate
X

SD Officer
X

SD Committee Member
X

SD Committee Chair
X

SD Chair
X

State Convention Delegate
X

State Convention Committee Member
X

HC GOP Chair
X


#2 Elections Experience

Some will say it doesn’t matter if Ramos has no experience with the Party. He can learn on the job.

Well, the Party can recover from the temporary chaos and disorganization caused by inexperienced leadership. But there is no “do over” when it comes to elections.

Below is a comparison of the candidates’ election experience from available records:


Simpson
Ramos
Poll Watcher
X

Election Clerk
X

Election Judge
X

Appoint Poll Watchers
X

Appoint Election Judges
X

Appoint Ballot Board
X


The County Chair takes office just 18 weeks before the polls open for early voting in our critical November 2016 Presidential Election.

He will have less than 3 weeks to organize his staff and party committees in order to recruit and submit his list of Republican judges and alternate judges to cover 40+ Early Voting locations and 800+ Election Day polls.

Soon after he will need to submit his list of Republican Ballot Board members.

The whole election process can be chaotic and overwhelming, even for the most experienced people. It is completely irresponsible to turn it over to someone who has apparently never even been an election clerk.

Our County Chair must have the experience to be ready on day one. There is no time for on the job training when it comes to this critical election.

3. Getting out the vote

Since 2002, both candidates have been registered to vote in Harris County.

Simpson has come out to vote 100% of the time.

Ramos has come out to vote only 36% of the time.

 Ramos Voting Record
 Simpson Voting Record










         View full record

Can we really put someone in charge of “getting out the Republican vote” that we can’t even trust to show up to vote himself?


Election
Simpson
Ramos
2014 General
X


Even worse, in the 2014 General Election when Abbott won in Harris County turning control of Early Voting over to the Republicans for the first time in years, Ramos did not even show up to vote!

Either he DID NOT KNOW the political importance of that race, or he DID NOT CARE if the Democrats maintained control of Early Voting in Harris County. Either reason should disqualify him from being in charge of elections for the Republican Party of Harris County in 2016.

In contrast, Simpson not only KNEW the political importance of that election, it was his first election as our County Chair. While Ramos didn’t even show up to vote, Simpson rallied Republican voters to the polls in order to win the Governor’s race in Harris County and gain control of Early Voting for the HCRP.

#4 – Raise, Manage and Report funds

It takes a lot of money to run a political party, especially in the largest county in Texas. Pretty much a constant fundraising effort.

Both candidates have run for office in the past, raised money, and filed campaign financial reports for those races.

Both have filed three campaign financial reports related to this particular race with the Texas Ethics Commission.
Those three current reports show:


Simpson
Ramos
Funds Raised
 216,712
0
In-Kind Contributions
11,885
0
Personal Loans
0
 25,227
 78,767*


227
                       
Simpson has reported both cash and in-kind contributions.

Ramos has reported ZERO. That’s right….ZERO. Not even $1.00 from his campaign treasurer or a family member.

How is Ramos going to raise enough funds to operate the county party if he can’t even raise $1.00 for his own campaign for County Chair?

Ramos’ only reported campaign funds came from two personal loans recorded on the SAME DAYS as his payments made to two separate pay-to-play” slates.

Campaign Expenditure
Ramos
Loan
Ramos
Paid
2/1/16  Terry Lowrey (Link Letter)
15,227
15,000
2/11/16 Texas Conservative Review*
                     *Note: Gary Polland
10,000
10,000
                                                                                                                            
Is that how Ramos will manage the Party’s funds? Keep little cash on hand requiring a rush to borrow money to pay bills?

Sounds more like the federal government than the Republican Party.

But much worse to me is comparing the details of their previous financial reporting.

Both submitted their first report with the TEC on 1/15/2010. I reviewed all the financial reports both candidates have submitted to the Texas Ethics Commission for all of their elections.

I found one instance of the same common error by both candidates – listing items on one form but forgetting to list the total on the report summary page.
But I found additional issues with Ramos’ campaign financial reports:


1. Current website expenses not reported. An online search shows Ramos’ campaign website was purchased by 512 New Media on 12-16-15

SamMaloneShow@yahoo.com was given as the email contact. Ramos did not report this as an expense or an in-kind donation. 

The website is also missing the required “paid for by” disclosure statements. 








2. 2010 judicial election reports:

I have served as a campaign treasurer. I know firsthand how easy it is to make a mistake even after trying to report everything perfectly.

But one common mistake is very different than multiple issues related to lack of attention to detail.

The County Chair is responsible for making sure the party funds and expenses are properly reported on both the state and federal levels. Errors can mean thousands of dollars in fines for the Party.

There is another concern I have after reviewing Ramos’ current campaign financial reports.

Ramos did not report one Republican club or organization fee, meal or donation during this campaign.

A candidate running for County Chair who has not attended or donated to ANY Republican club meeting or event? NOT ONE?

ZERO% club/event support is even worse than his 36% voting record.

#5 – Promote and Grow our Party / Push our Platform

To be an effective leader, you must lead by example. If you “say” one thing, but “do” something else, people turn away.

Family Values

Both candidates “say” they support and promote “family values.” Both “say” they support the entire GOP platform, including marriage between “one man and one woman.”

But what do they “do”?

Simpson has been married to the same woman for 30+ years.

Court records show Ramos’ first marriage was
one man +
one woman +
one mistress.

The grounds for the divorce are identified as "adultery by Ricardo Lazaro Ramos."

Ramos' divorce was final on Jan. 4, 2007.




His second wife, Chelsie Moerbe Ramos, posted
on her high school reunion website that they
were married on Feb. 14, 2007   and...


  ..."we are expecting our first child in the fall of 2007."


Even a comment posted online by a person claiming to have been in Ramos'  court when he served as an associate judge questioned his family values….

“…he has nooo room to judge! he had an affair with some lawyer, got her pregnant, and had the nerve to sit up in his chair and judge me??!...”


Promoter

Simpson’s weakness is Ramos’ strength – public speaking.

Simpson’s speeches are college lecture style – data, timelines, and the like. It usually goes something like, “this is the problem, these are the causes, and this our solution.”

In contrast, Ramos has a colorful childhood story about his nighttime boat trip from Cuba, and he tells it well. When he ads in his “love for America” and “saving us all from ISIS,” his impassioned speech is a great rah-rah moment.

However, there are many good public speakers in Harris County, but few of them are qualified to run HCRP.

The Duties

Going back and reviewing the major duties of the County Chair, and reviewing each candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, and experience  - the choice for me is a no-brainer.

Paul Simpson is the better choice for County Chair.


My advice for Rick Ramos

I personally think he should withdraw from this race for two reasons:

  1. He knows he is not qualified at this time to serve as County Chair. He needs to start by running for precinct chair, serving as an election judge, and chairing the Engagement Committee. After he has gained the knowledge and experience needed to be the Party Chair of the largest county in Texas, he should then come back and run for the office.
  2. He should put the Party first. He knows what an embarrassment it would be for the spokesman for Republican family values in Harris County to be an adulterer. The Democrats will have a field day and mock us every chance they get.


Action Plan

If you agree, you can contact Rick Ramos and encourage him to withdraw from this race before the 5:00pm deadline on March 16th.

Contact info:

Campaign Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/RamosForCountyChair/

Campaign Website link: http://ramosforcountychair.com/contact/

Office Number as published in the Link Letter:
                                 713-227-7383




Remember: “As goes Harris County…so goes Texas. 
                           As goes Texas…so goes the Nation

So take this election very seriously, and choose wisely.



Colleen Vera
colleen@TexasTrashTalk.com










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