This time the ol’ playbook didn’t work, and the extremists lost.
We’re talking about the races for chair and vice chair of the Texas Republican party, which in the end weren’t even close by the time Jared Woodfill and Cathie Adams conceded to current chair Tom Mechler and current vice chair Amy Clark at the party’s state convention last week.
Adams is no stranger to readers of this blog. Once the chair of the Texas GOP herself for less than a year ending in 2010, Adams was most recently the head of the Texas chapter of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum. Some of Adams’ greatest hits include blaming Texas’ sky-high teen birth rate on the “morals” of Mexican immigrants and comparing President Obama to Hitler.
Woodfill’s most recent claim to fame was his lead role in the campaign of lies and fear tactics that took down the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) last year.
Woodfill and Adams’ campaign against Mechler and Clark was based on the notion that the Texas Republican Party isn’t conservative enough. Let’s repeat that and let it sink in: Woodfill and Adams don’t think the Texas Republican Party is conservative enough! According to the Houston Chronicle, Woodfill, for example, was upset that Mechler in the last legislative session did not do enough to help pass state Sen. Donna Campbell’s anti-Muslim Sharia Law bill.
But things got really ugly when Woodfill supporter Steve Hotze got involved, as they usually do when the wealthy Houston doctor becomes interested in a race.
Hotze, the head of the Conservative Republicans of Texas, who vowed — with an actual sword in hand — to drive gay people out of Houston, sent out this deplorable mailer in the final days of Woodfill’s campaign.
The piece accused Mechler of supporting a “disgusting homosexual agenda” because a group of LGBT Republicans was allowed to have a booth at the party’s state convention, and because the state convention was being held in Dallas, which the mailer calls a “homosexual-friendly location,” among other anti-LGBT grievances.
To be clear, Mechler isn’t a friend of LGBT equality himself. He did start his tenure as chair by threatening to cancel a subscription to his hometown paper if it ever dared publish a picture of a same-sex couple smooching. But Hotze has been on an anti-LGBT crusade for decades. In 1985 he campaigned successfully to overturn a Houston ordinance protecting gay city employees from job discrimination. And he helped finance the anti-HERO campaign in Houston.
This time Hotze’s tactics of bashing LGBT people didn’t work and his pal, Woodfill, was soundly beaten in all but three of 31 senate districts. If only this meant Hotze, Woodfill and Adams would get the message, but we won’t hold our breath.