2012 rule for endorsement requests outside of Smith County
Now that Grassroots America is known across the state, our endorsement is in high demand. This puts an enormous strain on the all volunteer Board to deeply vet candidates; therefore, we have enacted the following rule. If a Congressional (US House or Senate), a Texas House or Senate candidate, or State Board of Education candidate is outside the Smith County voting district, they must be challenging an incumbent with a D or F conservative rating in order to qualify for board consideration. We are not attempting to set the bar too low, but we must work to weed out the worst of the worst first. If an incumbent is outside Smith County’s voting district and has a consistent, across-the-board A or B conservative rating, they may earn a review and possible endorsement from the board; however, the endorsement will not be automatic unless the challenger to the conservative is a known liberal or moderate. This rule is implemented to insulate the Board from the barrage of requests which are impossible for us to judiciously field, vet, and render a wise decision.
The Endorsement Process
Pursuant to Texas Ethics Commission rules and statutes, Grassroots America – We the People is registered as a General Purpose Political Action Committee (GenPAC). GAWTP is also filed as a 527 with the IRS. GAWTP has thus met legal requirements to endorse candidates at all levels of government and to take positions on legislation and ballot measures. As a GenPAC and a 527, we are required to disclose donors; donations are not tax deductible. GAWTP does not solicit donations to give to candidates; however, we do encourage our supporters to make donations directly to the candidates of their choice and not to political parties.
The Board of Directors of Grassroots America – We the People sets a very high standard for granting endorsements. Endorsement of a candidate is a serious matter. We don’t make endorsements in order to participate in a popularity contest. We don’t make endorsements based on appeasing interested groups. We thoroughly and intensely vet candidates by checking into their stated qualifications, credentials, training, experience, and voting records. We hold candidate forums and debates, attend forums held by other organizations, review candidate web sites, questionnaires, Facebook and Twitter postings. We seek to determine the character, core values, temperament, judgment, management style, and practical vision of the candidates. In many cases, we hold candidate interviews in order to get to know the candidates much better than a thirty- or sixty-second sound bite will allow. If allegations arise about a candidate, we dig deep to get to the bottom of the claims before we make a decision. In particular, if a local candidate is found using baseless rumors, undocumented/unsubstantiated allegations, mud-slinging, and lies to promote their candidacy and to tear down another candidate, their own unprincipled actions will disqualify them from consideration of endorsement – no matter how much money they raise, no matter their other endorsements, and no matter their resume.
A higher than three-fourths majority vote (7 of 9 board members) in support of a candidate is required for an endorsement. If the seven-vote consensus is not met, GAWTP will not endorse in that particular race. This does not mean that all candidates are unsuitable. It simply means that no single candidate received seven votes. In the rare situation where the Board deems two candidates in a race equally meet our high standards, we will state both are equally recommended.
While GAWTP networks with many statewide conservative public policy groups and political action committees and highly values and respects the work of those sister organizations, GAWTP remains independent and does not endorse a candidate simply because “everyone else is doing it.” Once we issue an endorsement, we will do everything we can to ensure these candidates are successful; we will also do everything we can to hold them accountable for the oath they take to serve the People and for the promises they make during their campaigns.