The leadership body for the Republican Party of Texas this week voted down a measure to block members from associating with people and organizations "known to espouse or tolerate antisemitism, pro-Nazi sympathies or Holocaust denial." This came just weeks after neo-Nazi extremist Nick Fuentes was photographed meeting with a high-profile conservative political operative whose "Defend Texas Liberty" PAC has helped elect Republicans statewide.
The clause, part of a broader resolution in support of Israel, was voted down 32-29 by the Texas GOP's Executive Committee on Saturday, according to The Texas Tribune. Moreover, "roughly half of the board also tried to prevent a record of their vote from being kept," in a move that "stunned some members," the paper reported. Speaking during Saturday's vote, Texas GOP chair Matt Rinaldi claimed that he didn't see "any antisemitic, pro-Nazi or Holocaust denial movement on the right that has any significant traction whatsoever." Rinaldi was also reportedly present in the offices for conservative consulting firm White Horse Strategies, owned by Defend Texas Liberty leader Jonathan Stickland, at the same time as Fuentes last October. He has claimed he was not part of Fuentes' meeting there, and was unaware of Fuentes' presence.
On X, formerly Twitter, several high-profile Texas Republicans spoke out against this weekend's vote, with state House Speaker Dade Phelan calling the failure to adopt the resolution "despicable." Far-right Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said that not including the language in the final resolution was "totally unacceptable to me" while predicting that the executive committee "will correct this at their next meeting."
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Despicable. @TexasGOP/SREC can’t even bring themselves to denounce neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers or cut ties with their top donor who brought them to the dance. There is a moral, anti-Semitic rot festering within the fringes of BOTH parties that must be stopped. https://t.co/EnVgobkUn4December 2, 2023
Regarding today’s votes by the SREC, I’m glad they took a strong stand in support of Israel and against antisemitism. I stand with Israel and, as I have repeatedly made my position abundantly clear, I will not tolerate antisemitism. The values of the Republican Party stand with…December 3, 2023
In a statement, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa called for Rinaldi to resign, and urged Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel to "open a full investigation" into any ties between the Texas GOP and "anti-semites, Nazi sympathizers and Holocaust deniers."
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